How much does this home cost to run? It’s become one of the most important question my buyer clients ask – and an answer that Sellers need to be prepared to answer.
In today’s market, much more so than the previous one(s), buyers are much more cognizant of the costs to operate a home.
Everyone can calculate the PITI payment – Principal + Interest + Taxes + Insurance
What’s not easily calculable by buyers is –
– How drafty is the house?
– What’s the natural gas bill?
– What’s the electric bill?
– What’s the water bill?
– Trash/recycling is a fairly fixed cost.
– Do the parents scrap over the thermostat?
– How much is my commute going to cost? (this is huge; many of my buyer clients are looking forward to the time when gas goes to $6/gallon )
If the mortgage is going to be $2500 per month, but the utilities are $900/month, I’m thinking that my clients may be disinclined to move forward with an offer – or they might knock $30k (or some other number) off the offer price.
I said late last year that I suspect 2012 will be the year when buyers start doing energy audits as part of the home inspection process – sellers need to be prepared for this component to the home selling process.
2015 update – I’ve not had more than a handful of people do energy audits, in large part because of the cost as well as due to the competitiveness of our market. Maybe 2016 …