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Old 08-11-2011, 11:25 AM
 
5 posts, read 44,764 times
Reputation: 14

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I'm a first time home buyer and I was looking to get some ideas about what the utility costs would be. I know prices can vary depending on the home, but if given specific enough details I'm hoping to get a good ball park figure.

The home will be occupied by me and one other. It will be about 1500 square feet. And will have gas forced air furnace and central AC.

I'm looking mostly at split level homes built between the 1960's to 1990's. But I'm looking at town homes as well.

Any input for gas, electric, water, and sanitation would be very helpful.

Cities i'm looking into are: Blaine, Mounds View, Fridley, Roseville, Woodbury, Eagan, etc.


Thanks,
~Levon
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Old 08-11-2011, 12:10 PM
 
811 posts, read 1,879,374 times
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My electric bill was $150 last month for a 1300 sq foot house during a very hot month, we ran the a'c a lot and it's an older unit so I'm sure it could be more efficient. Our insulation is also not the best and thanks to dutch elm disease we don't have much for shade on our roof. In the winter our gas goes up and electricity goes down. If I averaged gas and electric over a year I think it would be less than $150 a month.
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Old 08-11-2011, 12:25 PM
 
20,793 posts, read 53,956,958 times
Reputation: 10530
Quote:
Originally Posted by Levon View Post
I'm a first time home buyer and I was looking to get some ideas about what the utility costs would be. I know prices can vary depending on the home, but if given specific enough details I'm hoping to get a good ball park figure.

The home will be occupied by me and one other. It will be about 1500 square feet. And will have gas forced air furnace and central AC.

I'm looking mostly at split level homes built between the 1960's to 1990's. But I'm looking at town homes as well.

Any input for gas, electric, water, and sanitation would be very helpful.

Cities i'm looking into are: Blaine, Mounds View, Fridley, Roseville, Woodbury, Eagan, etc.


Thanks,
~Levon
Also know that if you decide on a house, before you make an offer you can call the utility companies and ask how much the bills were (sometimes they can give you a monthly break down and others it is just a average/month or a yearly total you have to do the math). It's a good thing to be concerned about though. One house we were looking at buying had an AVERAGE monthly utility bill (gas/electric) of $400 . Um, no thanks (when other houses of similar size were in the $100-150 range).
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Old 08-11-2011, 01:01 PM
 
638 posts, read 1,375,104 times
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When we bought our house we asked about the utility bills. They averaged $500/month (just gas & electric). We bought it, put in programmable thermostats and put $1500 into insulating some crawl spaces. Now our monthly average is less than half of theirs.
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Old 08-11-2011, 01:05 PM
 
Location: MN
223 posts, read 455,848 times
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Default Age of House

Quote:
Originally Posted by MnMomma View Post
When we bought our house we asked about the utility bills. They averaged $500/month (just gas & electric). We bought it, put in programmable thermostats and put $1500 into insulating some crawl spaces. Now our monthly average is less than half of theirs.
Curious as to what year your home was built? We just moved here and our house was built in 1986. Just questioning if we may have to do something similar. We have the programmable thermostats but wondering whether we will need to install additional insulation. Thanks!
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Old 08-11-2011, 01:33 PM
 
638 posts, read 1,375,104 times
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Ours is a 1960s rambler with attic space only over parts of the house. We had a blower-door test done soon after moving in, expecting to hear that the original windows needed to be replaced--but they were not the problem. We had insulation blown in, caulked around some ceiling beams and outlets and the thermostats.
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Old 08-11-2011, 01:39 PM
 
Location: MN
223 posts, read 455,848 times
Reputation: 80
Default Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MnMomma View Post
Ours is a 1960s rambler with attic space only over parts of the house. We had a blower-door test done soon after moving in, expecting to hear that the original windows needed to be replaced--but they were not the problem. We had insulation blown in, caulked around some ceiling beams and outlets and the thermostats.
Thanks!
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Old 08-11-2011, 01:39 PM
 
Location: 44.9800 N, 93.2636 W
2,654 posts, read 5,154,920 times
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There are so many factors that play into this that just based on the square footage and house, its hard to say. I used to work for the gas company and this was a constant question that was asked.

Call the gas companies and get running averages for at least 2 winters. Look at the useage and not just the cost. The difference of setting your thermostat to 64 in the winter vs 72 makes a pretty substansial impact on what your cost is.

Electricity is a little bit easier. There isnt a ton of factors that will really drive up the price other than running A/C in the summer. Even that shouldn't be too outrageous provided you are conservative about its use.

Setting the utilities up on a budget is a pretty smart move.
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Old 08-11-2011, 02:41 PM
 
20,793 posts, read 53,956,958 times
Reputation: 10530
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick is rulz View Post
There are so many factors that play into this that just based on the square footage and house, its hard to say. I used to work for the gas company and this was a constant question that was asked.

Call the gas companies and get running averages for at least 2 winters. Look at the useage and not just the cost. The difference of setting your thermostat to 64 in the winter vs 72 makes a pretty substansial impact on what your cost is.

Electricity is a little bit easier. There isnt a ton of factors that will really drive up the price other than running A/C in the summer. Even that shouldn't be too outrageous provided you are conservative about its use.

Setting the utilities up on a budget is a pretty smart move.
Does it really though? I have never really noticed a substantial difference when we keep the thermomstat at say 64 vs or normal 69. I hear it saves an average of 10% but 10% of $150 isn't that much...$180/year--to be comfortable?
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Old 08-11-2011, 04:24 PM
 
687 posts, read 1,055,609 times
Reputation: 323
We're in a split-level from the early 1990's in Blaine. It's about 1800 square feet. We've got the original furnace and air conditioner in our house, so probably not very efficient. We also haven't done much to make our house more efficient (probably could use some more/better insulation in a few places). We are fairly aggressive with a programmable thermostat (80 in summer, 60 or so in winter during the day). We also replaced the fridge, which probably saves $6-$7 a month in electricity (plus the new one is bigger and actually keeps things cold).

Gas averages about $55/month. But, it's highly variable (about $20 in summer, tops out around $150 in winter). Electric is about $50/month and more consistent. Water/sewer/garbage are all billed through the city and come out to about $36/month. We do have the smallest garbage bin available which saves a small amount of money per month.
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