Buying a home in the winter? Ask for an escrow account for seasonal repairs.
Buying a home in the middle of winter may seem like a mistake. After all, who wants to trudge through the cold looking at homes? There are typically less buyers in the winter months and that means sellers are often motivated to work with you. Your home inspector can't effectively test the performance of any air conditioner unless the outside air temperature is at least a minimum of 60-65 degrees for the previous 24 hours. Worse yet, you can do some serious damage to the unit if you do run it below those temperatures.
Home Warranty Plans are great but don't always cover everything
Some home sellers provides a home warranty package to cover appliances or mechanical systems like the air conditioner for the first year after the purchase of a home. We did this when we sold our home and it is becoming more and more common in today's real estate market as home buyers typically expect sellers to provide a home warranty.
Seasonal Repair Escrow Account
So what do you do if you are unable to test the HVAC system and the home warranty plan does not cover you in cases of pre-existing damage? Ask the seller to place money in escrow to cover any necessary repairs once the HVAC has been inspected and approved by a licensed AC technician. After the AC has been inspected and any necessary repairs have been made, the balance remaining in the escrow account is returned to the seller.