Congratulations on your goal to buy a new home! Whether it’s your first purchase or you’re moving up or down to accommodate your family, buying a house is always a big endeavor.
Since most of us don’t buy property every day, we sometimes forget some of the tasks involved in ensuring we’re investing money wisely.
In the Phoenix area, one of those considerations is cooling costs. Not all homes are equal in this regard, so you should definitely take into account how your new home can cost more than you may have anticipated.
Which Direction Does the Home Face?
A house on the side of Camelback Mountain may be unequivocally gorgeous, but if it’s on the south side, it’s going to come with some high cooling costs. Of course, you don’t have to be in the market for a multi million-dollar home to worry about your A/C bill.
Note where the majority of the home’s windows face and in what rooms. If the great room offers a room full of windows, it may be gorgeous, but if it captures the afternoon sun it could be quite expensive to keep cool, or the drapes may need to be drawn when you most look forward to the light.
How Well Insulated Are the Windows?
While we’re talking about where the windows face, let’s also discuss their insulation. Newer double-paned windows will do a lot to reduce heat transfer, whereas older single-panes are just going to conduct heat.
Certainly, you can go about replacing the home’s windows and upgrading the insulation, but you will want to take that into account when you make an offer. Windows and insulation can add a hefty amount to an already high price tag.
Is the House Ventilated Appropriately?
If you’re eyeing an older home there might have been some additions that don’t quite meet today’s ventilation standards. Count the number of vents in the home to be sure each room has its own way to receive cool air; in larger rooms, there should be more than one vent.
Larger homes often have two A/C units: one for the upstairs and one for downstairs. Since heat rises, having two systems enables you to regulate the home’s temperature better and avoid high cooling costs and keeps you from having to hope downstairs’ cool air eventually makes its way to the second floor.
Ask About the Cooling Costs
If you have the luxury to meet with the current owner, or even the owner’s Realtor, make a point to ask what the utility costs are like. You may even be able to call APS or SRP to ask them what the last year has looked like for the home. Sometimes, you cannot always see any pressing issues, but when you ask, you may get the whole story.
Buying a new home is a big job, but you can make a smarter investment when you know the right questions to ask in the process.
Trust Forrest Anderson, your residential heating and cooling experts, to provide you with sound guidance and advice to make the best choice you can.
Contact Forrest Anderson Today!