If you are purchasing a home this winter, you no doubt have several difficult decisions to make. When it comes to heating your home and running your appliances, we believe it’s a great move to purchase a home that uses propane/natural gas as its primary energy source. With that said however, there are some topics you should discuss with your real estate agent or the current home owners, prior to making your decision.
Here are just a few recommended topics of discussion:
What Is the Propane Being Used for Currently? Be sure to ask when the home adopted . It’s possible that there are some appliances that aren’t (and should be) benefiting from propane. If you decide you’d like to make an offer on the house, you should consider whether you’re willing to replace appliances that don’t currently run on propane.
Determine Whether the Tank is Owned or Rented by the Occupants: If the owners purchased the tanks, you won’t have to worry about monthly payments that come with rentals. These tanks are also typically buried underground which means you’ll have more space in your yard for other purposes such as leisure or recreational activities. You’ll want to confirm whether or not the owners are including the price of the tank in the overall asking price however, because these can be quite costly. Just another consideration to keep in mind when weighing out your options and if/when you begin the negotiating process!
Rented tanks on the other hand, require monthly service fees, but the nice thing with renting is that you don’t have to worry about maintenance; the propane provider takes care of this entirely. The biggest benefit with a rented propane tank? If the unit were to break or require fixing, you won’t be in a position where you’ll be stuck paying for it. If you discover that the current owners are in fact renting the tank, you’ll want to arrange to discuss with the propane retailer how to transfer the agreement onto you. Of course if you are more inclined to purchase the tank outright, confirm that you are supplied with the right documentation outlining your ownership details. You’ll want to store this away in a safe place.
Take a Look at the Tank Size: The size of the tank is important because it will dictate how often you’ll need to have it filled. While you’re speaking about other major aspects of the home, be sure you obtain information on the particular unit size so there will be no surprises with how often it will require servicing moving forward.
Find Out Where the Tanks are Located: Are they located underground or above ground in the front/backyard? Rental tanks are usually situated above-ground because it is much easier for the propane company to install them here and refueling is simple because of immediate accessibility.
Request Maintenance Records if Available: To ensure your propane tanks are in good shape and quality, you should ask how regularly they are serviced. If the current owner doesn’t have maintenance files or doesn’t provide you with them, this should raise some red flags. With that said, if you love the home and are interested in moving forward with purchasing, for your safety and best interest, arrange an inspection by a qualified technician prior to signing any documents.