If you are thinking about buying a house with an old boiler what are the risks? What are your options if you love the house but the only thing that’s stopping you from purchasing is the fact the boiler is old.
Relatively speaking, boilers are not too expensive to replace. But if you don’t have the money when your boiler finally beaks down completely, this is why it’s important to understand whether or not you should be buying a house with an old boiler.
There’s nothing wrong in buying a house with an old boiler, as long as you have the funds to replace it if it fails. It’s worth offering less on the property to reflect this fact or reduce your offer if the old boiler is picked up in the survey. But the vendors don’t have to accept your low offer.
What are the risks of buying a house with a old boiler?
An old boiler can fail at any time. But the same is true of a boiler of any age that may go wrong at any time. Your risk will be slightly higher if you buy a house with an old boiler. But this is all part of home ownership, as things break down. When they do you hope you’ll be able to find the funds to repair them.
You won’t have a problem if you’ve budgeted to replace the old boiler if it needs to be replaced. However, you may want to have it replaced in the summer months.
You don’t want the boiler to fail in the winter months when it’s cold. A house with no heating and no hot water isn’t fun in the winter.
What are you options if the house you love has an old boiler?
If the house you are considering to purchase has an older boiler, what are your options?
- Get a heating engineer to survey the boiler: If you are in any doubt and worried about the cost of having to replace an older boiler, arrange to have the older boiler checked by a heating engineer.
- Ask the vendors to have the boiler serviced: If the old boiler is serviced and certified as safe, there should be no reason not to buy the house. Even if the boiler is old. If it’s already been serviced, ask to see the service report.
- Reduce your offer to reflect the cost of replacing the boiler: It’s always worth offering less on a property. This is especially true if the house is not up to scratch.
- Walk away and find another house that doesn’t have an old boiler: If you have any doubts, walk away. Especially if you’re already stretched and don’t have the funds to replace a broken boiler.
If you are considering to offer less on a property, you may like to read this article about how to make an offer on a house below asking price. You may want to seriously consider point eight of this article if you want to buy a house below asking price.
But then you may also be interested to discover how you could save yourself over £70,000. Please take a read of this article about selling your house with nowhere to go.
How long should a boiler last?
A boiler can last as long as 30 to 40 years without needing to be replaced. But as with anything, the older an appliance gets the greater the chance of something going wrong.
But just because a boiler can last for up to 40 years, this doesn’t necessarily mean you should keep it for that long. Older boilers are less efficient than newer boilers. Plus an old boiler may start to become unreliable. You can bet the time it goes wrong is when you least want it to happen. Like on the coldest day possible.
So if your boiler is more than 20 years old, you may consider replacement in any case. Even if it’s still working.
What type of old boiler does the house have and are the parts still available?
If the house you are looking to purchase has an old boiler, check if the parts for the type of boiler are still available. If parts are no longer available, it will be almost impossible to fix the boiler when it goes wrong.
Consequently, if it does go wrong, a boiler replacement may be your only option.
Does the price of the property reflect it has an old boiler?
If all else is equal, and you compare two properties where one has a brand new boiler and the other has an old boiler, you would expect the property with the old boiler to be worth less money.
The value of the property with an old boiler shouldn’t only be reduce by the replacement cost. But there should be a reduction for the hassle factor too. So for example, if the boiler replacement would cost £2,000, the price reduction might be £5,000 to £10,000.
If the old boiler needs replacing do you have the money to replace it?
If the house you are looking to buy has an older boiler that may need replacing, but you don’t have the money to replace it, be careful you don’t over-stretch yourself.
For example, if you are a first time buyer and you’ve never owned a property before, you may not realise you need to budget for repairs. Whereas this isn’t the case if you’re renting. Make sure you have spare funds to cover for repairs. This will include the cost to replace an old boiler.
How much does it cost to replace an older boiler?
The cost to replace a boiler, including the cost of installation, will be between £1,500 to £3,500. The cost to replace the boiler will depend on the size needed and the type of boiler you buy. There are a number of different boiler types, which include combi boilers and system boilers.
If you decide to change the current boiler to a different type of boiler, for example a system boiler to a combi boiler (tankless water heating), the cost of replacement is likely to be higher.
But there are other cost implications if the old boiler needs to be replaced. When an old boiler is replaced this might highlight other problems with the heating system. These may also need to be replaced.
What are the implications of buying a house with an old boiler?
Older boilers are less efficient and will cost more to heat the house. Which is a good reason to budget to replace an old boiler in any event, even if it’s still in working order.
What it costs to heat the house will depend on the fuel the boiler burns. Gas is cheaper than oil, but if the boiler is old and inefficient, even if it’s gas, it will cost more than a modern condensing boiler to heat the house.
Conclusion on buying a house with an old boiler
If you know the boiler is old when you’re buying a house, you should budget for its replacement. Think carefully if you’re stretching yourself when buying a house with an old boiler, as you could come unstuck if it goes wrong. Particularly if this happens in winter and you don’t have the money for it’s replacement.
If you go ahead and buy the property with an old boiler, at the very least make sure to have the boiler serviced. Also, make sure to buy a carbon monoxide alarm for your own safety. Then make sure you have the boiler gas safety checked every 12 months.
You may want to read this article about can you sell a house without a gas safety certificate. In the article it explains who needs a gas safety certificate.
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