Monday, March 28, 2016 / by Extreme Home Selling Team
Perhaps you are moving to an Energy Efficient home with superb insulation, double or triple pane windows, automated thermostat with multi-zone HVAC, new appliances, toilets and plumbing fixtures! Congratulations! You're going to have low bills for years to come!
However... If you're not moving into the above home, you really need to do YOUR homework on the utility bills prior to moving! Hopefully, the Home Inspection revealed any issues involving the utilities such as leaky pipes, running toilets, plus doors and windows that don't seal when closed. That adds up to money flowing right out of your wallet!
Pay a visit to each Utility Office (or call Customer Service) and talk with the company about the last 12-24 months of usage. They may even give you printouts to help you calculate costs. The expense of course is based on the previous occupants' personal use and the number of people there any given month. They may prefer it ice cold and dry or love the warmth of Florida and left the windows open most of the year. One person will use the base amount of water while 4 will use roughly 2-3 times that amount. In Sarasota, the sewer charge is 110% of the fresh water PLUS the amount of water sitting in the pipe from the main to your house. The greater the distance, the higher your base rate.
The City of Sarasota adds the Trash Removal, and Recycling Fee to the monthly Water Bill, collecting the first month's fee IN ADVANCE! The amount you pay ($200 /-) covers this fee plus a deposit but not the first month's service for water and sewer services. Sarasota County bills for Trash and Recycling on the annual Tax Bill for Residents outside the City Limits.
People are more frequently turning to Natural Gas as an alternative to Electricity to power various appliances such as their Range, Dryer, Hot Water Heater, Fireplace, etc. Easy to sign up and the last time I did it, I got a new HWH just for converting the appliance! GENIUS! I saw savings immediately as the cost of the gas was much less than the drop in my electric bill. Good move.
Probably the most contentious Vendor category is the Internet/Cable TV/Landline Provider... Check each major provider's website to see if they actually provide service to your intended address. DON'T ASSUME THEY DO! Some may say they do but really sub-contract with smaller companies that can't offer the same quality, same service, same response time as the big companies. On the other hand, you just might find a hidden gem in one of the independents that meet your needs perfectly! Just check the pricing carefully!
Charting your Expenses can give you a strong visual of spikes and reveal anomalies that the Inspection may not have detected. As an example, this chart shows high usage on a home where the owner keeps the thermostat set between 78 and 82 year round( Purple Bars are Electric Cost). This may be an indication of a leak in the air ducts in the attic which is greatly pronounced in the summer months. This is an issue that an experienced HVAC Technician would be able to discern versus the Home Inspector who searches for big problems & is not qualified nor responsible for performing
a complete A/C/Heating System inspection.
It can be a lot to think about, but as soon as you have an executed contract, start calling your Utilities to get this information! You'll have the data in hand by the time the Inspector is ready to go over the property which will be valuable to him also. After all, this IS a large purchase you are making so don't leave the details up to anyone else. Due Diligence is YOUR job here.
The EXPERTS of the Extreme Home Selling Team will take of the Transaction Details for you. Just give us a call and we'll get you started on listing your next home or purchasing your next home!
ROBERT “CHIP” DEACON, Broker-Associate
Jeff Kaplan, Customer Care Team
Shari Shepard, Team Admin
Laura Dobrin, Realtor - Buyer's Agent
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