If purchasing an Oakland, Berkeley or Piedmont home look at the furnace

October 17th, 2009

Since 1997 I’ve sold over 200 Oakland, Berkeley or Piedmont homes.  At least half of them were in need of a new furnace.  Only a professional furnace technician can tell you the overall condition of a furnace. 

Most of the homes in Oakland Berkeley and Piedmont were built long before modern advancements in heating systems.  Today’s furnaces will last 15 to 25 years depending on the use and upkeep.  Today’s home buyers are not just looking for longevity, they are looking for efficiency.  When considering buying a property you should take a look at the furnace too.  Any home can have a furnace replaced but it can be a pricy repair/upgrade.  Take a look at the front of the furnace panel.  The last two numbers (on most furnaces) indicates the efficiency of the unit.  80% efficiency vs. 90% efficiency can add up to a real energy savings over time.  You should also take a look at the ducting.  Old ducting was wrapped in asbestos.  Not only are there a health considerations, but new ducting is much more efficient.  If the heater you are replacing has asbestos wrapped ducting, its removal will likely add around $2,000 to your job. 

When buying a home in Oakland, Berkeley or Piedmont there are lots of red flags that you should look for before writing an offer.  Once you get your offer accepted by the home seller it is time to do your home inspections.  Inspecting a home from top to bottom will cost you in the neighborhood of $1,000-$1,500 dollars.  Spotting red flags before you are in contract will help prevent you from spending a lot of money on home inspections that will go to waste if you decide not to move forward and buy the property.

Brian Santilena has been representing home buyers and home sellers in the Oakland Hills, Berkeley Hills and Piedmont California marketplace since 1998.  He is a Realtor, CRS Certified Residential Specialist, liscened contractor and Sr. Sales Associate with Pacific Union Real Estate.  He is highly knowledgeable in the Oakland Hills premier neighborhoods such as Haddon Hill, Rockridge, Montclair, Glenview, Trestle Glen, Crocker Highlands, Oakmore, Laurel District and Redwood Heights.  Berkeley Hills neighborhoods such as Northbrea, Westbrea, North Berkeley Hills, Berkeley Flats, Thousand Oaks, South Berkeley, Gourmet Ghetto, Elmwood, Uplands, Claremont, LeConte.  City of Piedmont, City of Kensington, City of Albany.  Please feel free to CONTACT BRIAN if you have any real estate needs in Oakland, Berkeley or Piedmont CA.

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