My first house was built in 1939 and had asbestos siding, knob and tube electric wiring and a converted coal furnace that was the size of a small space craft.  When I had my home inspection, my inspector told me everything was working just fine and that there was no need to change anything.  The only thing I ultimately replaced 7 years later, was the furnace.  It wasn’t broken and never gave me a problem, but I just had the money to upgrade it to something more efficient – and smaller.

Austin Homes for Sale

There are some upgrades that we need to do and others that would fall into the ‘nice to do’ category.  I often try to put perspective on this when the home inspection comes back on a house. The dilemma on how to move forward often comes when buyers feel that a major system, like the furnace is old.  The main question Austin home buyers to ask and to be mindful of is whether or not the system has reached its end of life.  If in all probability a furnace is coughing up its last breathe of hot air, my buyers need to consider the cost of a replacement during their option period, because we may want to go back to the sellers and talk about the cost.  Sellers don’t always know a lot about their house before it is inspected, so this is often new information they need to consider.

Selling a Home in Austin

[Helpful tip to Sellers:  if you are worried about the condition of your home before a buyer’s inspection –
have your house pre-inspected before it goes on the market.]

On the flip-side, it is important to remember functionality.  Building codes change over time, as new and improved ways of doing things are discovered.  That doesn’t mean the existing system isn’t doing the job, just because standards have changed.  For buyers to think a Seller should make a concession because there is a better way of doing something now, is not realistic.  Sure, it would be more efficient to have a two zone HV/AC system on a two story house, but to expect a seller to pay for that is not realistic.  Again, is the system functioning properly?  There is always a new and improved way to do something and there always will be, but to expect a 1969 home to be upgraded to 2012 standards is not realistic.  If you want a new home, then I will sell you a new home.

Don’t get me wrong, upgrades are a Seller and Buyer’s best friend.  Houses that have been updated sell for more money, simply because they have more appeal.  A buyer feels confident that they should not need to worry about replacing something for a while, which is then something they don’t need to budget for in the future.  A house that has updated systems shows pride of ownership from the inside – it’s not just the aesthetics that attract a buyer.

My latest Central Austin Real Estate listing is a great example of pride of ownership from the inside – out.  Yes, the house looks great, but the added appeal comes from the fact that just about every system in the house has been replaced in the last 6 years – even the water heater.  The owners got into the habit of replacing things as needed, which is of course what we all strive to do.  5905 Paseo Del Toro is located in Central Austin just North of 2222 in the Highland Hills/Northwest Hills area of Austin.         5905 Paseo Del Toro details