Converting Oil to Gas
After taking out enough buyers, I know the oversized oil furnace in the partially finished basement is a deal breaker. I also know the lack of outlets and light fixtures (outdated ones at that) means the electrical hasn’t been updated. A roof that has seen its last day can put a damper on things but usually that’s more obvious to a seller, a listing agent, and buyers so a roof credit or warranty is already put in place. I’ll address converting from oil to gas here since I hear that more than the other two as one reason for a lower than average offer or no offer altogether.
Look, there are plenty of homes in Seattle still using oil heat and sometimes if you don’t have a gas main in the street, then you’ll continue to be a Seattle home still using oil heating and cooking.
So first step is calling Seattle Public Utilities and finding out if there is a gas main under the street. If there isn’t, sometimes enough neighbors can pull together and get one. Next:
1) Equipment. A basic furnace is $1500 to $3,000.
2) Outside Hook Up. The gas company digs the trench $1000 to $1500. Now this may be waived the the city in their efforts to contract more new customers.
3) Inside Hook Up. A contractor pipes the as from the meter to the (new) furnace $500 to $1,000.
4) Line your Chimney. The moisture in gas can damage any masonry, lining your chimney is critical and will save you loads of money down the road. $750 to $2,000.
5) Decommission Old Oil Tank. $3,000 to dig it up or you can fill it in with concrete.
Grand Total: $9,500 to $10,000.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard the phrase “turn key” how and buyers (especially new home owners) want many of these upgrades done already. If you’re a seller who can’t or won’t get at least some of these done, then reduce your price. Buyers are savvy and they are constantly comparing your home to the next one that is “turn key”.
So to summarize:
Threat to value: Medium to high; up to 20%Have an inspection done before you list your house and fix the major things.
A roof that needs to be replaced could knock 15% off the value, she says. A heating and air-conditioning system that needs repairs could cut the value by as much as 20%, and an electrical-system problem is probably somewhere between 8% and 10%.