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Buying a Home With Radiant Heat

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    LESLIE: Russ in Maine needs some help making a home purchase. How can we help you with that big purchase?

    RUSS: Yeah, I have some questions about radiant heat. I’m looking at a home on a lake or as we would say in Maine here, a camp.

    TOM: OK.

    LESLIE: OK.

    RUSS: We’re looking at a camp, whether it’s 4,000 square feet or not. And the people who own it have been going to Florida in the winter for the last, probably, five or six years.

    TOM: OK.

    RUSS: And for the first few, they kept it warm in the winter and – but for the last couple of years, they’ve shut it all down and pickled it. And so I want to make sure when I go look at this, that I’m looking at all the right things, to make sure that I’m not stepping into a broken system.

    TOM: Is the heat on now or is it not on?

    RUSS: This time of year – they also have a gas stove and they may be using just that, so I don’t know if they’re using that or not.

    TOM: OK. Well, look, you’re not going to be able to tell whether or not the radiant heat is functioning properly unless it, in fact, is turned on.

    LESLIE: Until you fire it up.

    TOM: So, whatever you do in terms of buying or not buying this house, you need a contingency that says at some point before closing – and hopefully well before closing – that heat has to be turned back on and thoroughly checked out by a professional. Because there’s just absolutely no way that you can sit there and stare at those floors and know if the water is traveling through those pipes the way it should be, with no breaks or cracks or leaks.

    Because I will tell you that radiant heat is fantastic; it’s a wonderful heat to have until it breaks and then it’s quite a job to get it fixed.

    LESLIE: It’s a huge fix.

    RUSS: Alright. Well thank you very much for the help.

    TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
     

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