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  • Writer's pictureMike Roberts

How Your Home’s Major Systems Affect Value

A new roof, foundation or HVAC system may not be as exciting as a kitchen or bathroom remodel, but all of these can add value to your home. How does the condition of your home’s major components and systems affect its value?

Professional examinations of systems

When you sell your house, two professionals come to examine it: a home inspector and, when the buyer is seeking a mortgage, the lender’s appraiser.

The appraiser will not deduct value for a major component unless there is clear evidence of a deficiency, such as an air conditioner that doesn’t cool or a shifting foundation.

A home inspector, on the other hand, will look closely at your home’s structure and the condition of its systems as he prepares a report for your buyer. He will measure your HVAC system’s output, study the condition of the roof, and look for deviation in the foundation level. He’ll also check plumbing and electrical output. His inspection report can influence whether the buyers go forward with their purchase. It can also affect your net proceeds from the sale, as a potential buyer may require that you replace an aging roof or HVAC system.

Many states require sellers to complete a property condition report. This report asks questions about all components of your house, its known deficiencies and its history of repairs.

In addition to the effect that aging major systems can have on these various reports, they can also rattle potential buyers who consider your house. This can cause your home to sit on the market longer and force you to make price concessions. Therefore, for all these reasons, updating and/or replacing aspects of your home systems can add to its value.

Get cool cashback through your HVAC systems

HVAC components — the compressor, the condenser, the furnace, ductwork and the air handler fan — are expensive. Depending on the size of the house and system, updates could cost $8,000 to $20,000. If you’ve already made the necessary improvements, it will give a buyer peace of mind against a huge surprise repair bill one day. Besides, updating an aging system will save you money while you live in the house, since more modern equipment uses less energy.

It’s got you covered

An aging, tired roof is an eyesore and a potential source of leaks that lead to water damage. Insurance pays for storm damage to a roof, but replacing an old roof is an out-of-pocket maintenance cost that could top $12,000. If you’re selling your house and think your roof may pose a problem, have three reputable companies inspect it and get bids. It’s possible that you can avoid a full roof replacement and simply repair some weak areas.

A firm foundation

A home with a history of foundation problems scares potential buyers. Uneven floors, cracks running diagonally up interior or exterior walls and evidence of past repairs can give buyers pause. Foundation issues are common in regions of the country that have shifting soils. Repairs can run into the tens of thousands. Knowing that a faulty foundation has been prepared will reassure a buyer. Be sure to have the warranty paperwork transferred to the new owners.

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