El Dorado Hills - Homes & News - DeeDee Riley Realtor: "Furnace Has Had An Annual Service Contract"

"Furnace Has Had An Annual Service Contract"

I can tell you that when a home inspector sees a service sticker on an HVAC unit, and the service is up to date, that inspector will feel a little bit better about the system.  Even if it is an older system, as on this house.

And, knowing that the system is old, the agent thought to feature the fact that the diligent homeowners had a regular service contract.  Prominent in the list of features was listed, "Furnace has had an annual service contract."  And, normally, that is great information.

The key word however is system.  If a company is going to maintain a unit, they have to treat it as a system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The "V" in HVAC stands for VENTILATION.

The exhaust gases have to vent out, and in this system they vent outside the house through the roof.

All of the exhaust tubing and the vent stack through the roof is original.  It is corroded.  It is rusty.  It is holey.

AND IT IS DANGEROUS!  THOSE HOLES ALLOW CARBON MONOXIDE OUT OF THE SYSTEM AND INTO THE HOME!

Now I am not an HVAC technician.  But it seems to me that if you are hired to maintain someones HVAC system, you should maintain everything associated.  That's the idea behind the word - system!

Well, I can tell you that it will be fixed now!  Nobody should move into this house with the venting tubing in this condition.  A total replacement is in the future.  NOW IT'S NO LONGER MAINTENANCE.

This particular house had lots of electrical problems, technically speaking, which were repaired according to the buyer's list of walk through and other requested items.  They sent me an email yesterday (with an attached receipt) and just the electrical problems came to nearly $2K.  It seems this home inspection paid for itself...

My recommendation:  even when a homeowner's diligence is advertised as a sales feature, it is always best to have a home inspection.  You never know what an objective eye might see!

 

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 51 commentsJay Markanich • January 02 2011 06:22AM

Comments

Thank you for the post. I agree . If there is a service contract it gives me peace of mind.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 7 years ago

Right, Gita, and even more so if the company pays attention to everything.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

I've run across several homes whereby the exhaust pipes were horizontal or worse, on a downward slope.  All I can think is "what were they thinking".

And, yes, I've seen pipes with holes and leaking carbon monoxide into the house. 

I've also had several "systems" that were leaking gas which prompts a telephone call to the gas company who comes out and "shuts the system down" until the system is repaired.

This is serious business.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Excellent Jay;  Happy new year to you and yours.  Again, you prove that good home inspectors are priceless.

Posted by Kenneth Cole, NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com -) over 7 years ago

Kinda sorta looks like a drive-by inspection. The technician drove by to pick up the check…

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 7 years ago

More sets of eyes....more brains....better idea.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (Keller Williams 414-525-0563) over 7 years ago

Lenn - this sticker was a from a company I have never heard of and frankly would not want to maintain my system!  The words dangerous and serious are good words!

Thanks Ken, same to you and yours.  Inspectors may not be priceless, but I would accept worth our weight in gold.  And the sooner the better!

I think so too Michael.  So many companies do schlock work and get paid for it.

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

S&D - I tell my clients that they are a part of the inspection process that more eyes are better than two!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Yup - home maintenance is important, and home inspections a must!

Posted by Debbe Perry, 828.439.3084 Morganton/Lake James NC (Real Living Carolina Property ) over 7 years ago

I am SO fortunate to have an EXCELLENT HVAC service firm that not only maintains the HVAC system, ducts and gives me a written report semi-annually, they change the batteries and give me a certificate * check mark on their inspection list * per VA landlord requirements....

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) over 7 years ago

Agreed Debbe!  Maintenance that is paid for is especially important, but you need to get a real pro!

Wallace - that is a company with its head in the game!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Wow, that is bad.  How could someone who comes to service only look at part of the system?  I don't get it.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 7 years ago

Jay,  Thanks for bringing this up. It's also a good reminder that carbon monoxide alarms are a really good thing.

Posted by Jen Bowman, Realtor - Anna Maria Island & Bradenton FL (Keller Williams on the Water) over 7 years ago

I agree Debbie.  The key word you mention is "look."  Yo no get-o either!

Jen - I recommend CO detectors on every report when the house has gas systems.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay, those are some sad looking pipes. That homeowner shouldn't be upset with the inspection results, they should be upset with the company that wasn't looking after their system. Many times home owners that have lived in the house for years are oblivious to it's problems, and assume that if it was fine for them it should also be fine for the new owners as well.

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 7 years ago

Those are really ugly-looking pipes, Jay. I'm sending my husband up to check on ours today! He's so grateful to you :) :)

Posted by Toni Weidman, 26 Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL (Sailwinds Realty) over 7 years ago

Jay:  Makes you wonder why the owner was not concerned about the rusted holes in the pipes.  Yes, a home inspection is definitely in order. Congratulations on the Feature.

Posted by Valerie Zinger, Home Organizer (House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada) over 7 years ago

Ed - sad indeed!  And yes, they should be very dissatisfied with their service company, and I use the word "service" loosely.

Toni - I'm glad!  And check regularly!

Valerie - could be they never saw them, I don't know.  But there were many things on this house that did not add up.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

I have one Jay on my home and it is nice to know it is checked annually and that they will be there during the year if needed...wow..those are some nasty looking pipes....

Posted by Dennis Duvernay Broker/Owner (Hillview Realty) over 7 years ago

Jay - Having a sticker on the furnace referring to a maintenance contract does not mean that the contract was maintained each year.  Perhaps the maintenance person did not come in some years if it was not scheduled.  Also, the quality of the maintenance can vary from person to person.

Posted by FN LN over 7 years ago

You think it would be pretty hard to miss that mess. I also wonder if the professional called it to the home owners attention and it was the home owner who denied taking action (you might know that from viewing the work of the same professional in other circumstances).

Posted by Bob "RealMan" Timm, Bob Timm, Broker Associate, Alliance Real Estate (Alliance Real Estate - Minot) over 7 years ago

It is all about preventive maintenance when it comes to a home.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (Real Estate and Beyond, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay, this is why home inspections are essential. These items can be easily overlooked by potential buyers. Thanks for the reminder.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 7 years ago

Guess the quality of the maintenance is more important than I would have guess, Jay!  You certainly were "value added" for your clients.

Posted by Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ (Weichert) over 7 years ago

Clearly it was maintained by one of those services who only service the "furnace", and not the system.  My guess, is that they only came on once a year, too. 

My HVAC company comes out for twice a year maintenance... (once for heating season, once for cooling season).

Posted by Alan May, Helping you find your way home. (Coldwell Banker Residential) over 7 years ago

Jay, buyers should ALWAYS have a home inspection! Most homeowners hire people, and have to trust that those people will do the job correctly. I'm sure these sellers were upset too that they've been spending money and their house was unsafe!

Posted by Marney Kirk, Towson, Maryland Real Estate (Cummings & Co. Realtors) over 7 years ago

Jay, I have the same gripe---they come and service the furnace and the b-vent through the roof is falling off the house or has no cap---they never even look at the vent part of the system.  It takes a long time for vent pipe to get the way your pictures look which means that most likely the vent has been overlooked many times.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 7 years ago

Carbon monoxide detectors are much cheaper than funeral arrangements.  I wonder why more people don't have them!

Posted by Richard Strahm, Lansdale and North Penn Real Estate (RE/MAX Realty Group - Lansdale, PA) over 7 years ago

Jay-Good post.  I have both my Real Estate license and my Home Inspectors license in Ky and do both.  It is always interesting when I list a property and the owners tell me that this systems have an annual service.  Looks like you really helped out the buyers on this one.

Posted by Timothy Mattingly, Louisville Homes for Sale (Louisville Homes Team Louisville KY louisvillehomesreport.com) over 7 years ago

Dennis - and be sure they check the entire system!  Annual service calls are fine, but there are two sub systems in that system - heating and cooling.

Marc - that is right - I have seen service stickers and the last visit was '93 or so!

Bob - they missed it because they weren't looking.  And they weren't looking because they aren't professional.

Harry - it is, and important to have everything looked at.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Michael - buyers simply can't walk around a home and have as many things in their head as I do in mine when I am walking around a home!

Irene - this house had a lot of issues and it is disappointing to see such issues with a "maintained" system.

Alan - twice a year is best, but even if once a year, this kind of thing should have been caught long ago.

Marney - you are right.  If I was that seller I would be very dismayed with the "service" I had been paying for.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

You got that right Charlie.  This tubing was just as bad where it went through the attic.  How long did this problem take to happen - over a decade, if not more, and those holes didn't show up last week!

Richard - and they are recommended on every one of my reports.

Timothy - so far only one receipt has been sent my way, but there may be more coming.  Usually buyers don't let me in on the repair receipts they have accumulated!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay...good post for all to read this 2nd day of January 2011.   Right back to business is the only way to proceed; eyes on the ball--or in this home's case--the Holes.  Now I want to take a walking trip around our furnace. LOL
have a great day & year.

Barb 

Posted by Barb & Sal Dragotta, Macomb County Michigan over 7 years ago

I always advise buyers to have an inspection. It definitely is well worth the money spent.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay - I almost always learn something when I read your posts.  Keep up the good work in 2011!

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) over 7 years ago

Barb - it pays to have a look see at all your appliances!  Sometimes stuff creeps up!

Tammie - well, I think so too.  Well worth it all the time, from my perspective.

Jason - thank you very much!  I'll be around as long as my fingers work, I guess...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Those holes are very scary looking!  That is indeed serious business with gases leaking into the house.

Posted by Justin Dibbs, REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale (Pearson Smith Realty) over 7 years ago

And, Justin, this has beeing going on for some time.  Those holes have been there probably for years.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

I liken it to insurance.  When you need it you've got it!!  Peace of mind.

 

Patricia/Seacoast NH & ME

Posted by Patricia Aulson, Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate ) over 7 years ago

Patricia - I think these people thought they had a good insurance policy in having this system under annual contract.  They should be very dismayed with the performance of that company...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay ~  Late to the party today -- Congrats on the Feature; well deserved!  This takes the term maintenance to a whole new level!

Posted by Tish Lloyd, Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches (BlueCoast Realty Corporation) over 7 years ago

Or lack thereof Tish.  It amazes me how for so many years this could have escaped someone's attention.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay, this is good information.  I had never thought of it.  BTW....just glancing at your picture makes you notice all these radiating lines from your head...sorta like a halo.  LOL

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) over 7 years ago

Thanks Barbara.  And yes, that is a halo.  Thanks for noticing.  I'm that good.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

So tell me, was this service contract with the local utility provider?  If so, their quality of service is right on par with my local utility company.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) over 7 years ago

Jay - Some "service" companies don't understand the meaning of "service."  Looks as if you may have saved your client some money, problems and perhaps a life.

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) over 7 years ago

I alway recommend a house inspection by a licensed inspector hired by the buyer. It is money well spent to have a professional with the requisite skills inspect a home for the most common problems and document his/her findings for the buyers. Good job and good blog.

Posted by George Bennett, Inactive Principal Broker, GRI (Inactive) over 7 years ago

I think it was a local private company Reuben, if who was doing it is the name on the sticker.  The utility companies around here will light pilots or check for leaks, but they don't do service contracts.

Agreed John.  But please have your check ready when they get to the house, and it better not bounce.

For sure George.  This is my 30th year of providing such a service.  Thanks, and stop by again!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

It is amazing to me, and difficult to understand, that home owners skimp on maintenance of their homes' systems.  Heating/air conditioning, electric, plumbing - all need to be maintained and updated on a regular basis in order to keep them efficient, keep the owners comfortable, and most importantly, safe.  When I see a boiler and oil tank that are clean and with annual service tags, I feel good about the home.

Posted by Kathryn Acciari, RSPS, SRS, REALTOR(R) Sturbridge-Shrewsbury MA (Cameron Real Estate Group) over 7 years ago

I do too Kathryn, but the service has to encompass the entire system.  Most of the time they do.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

This post and mine today would seem to have similar themes. Too often it looks like some one's more interested in getting paid instead of earning their money.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 7 years ago

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