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Old 01-16-2017, 07:26 PM
 
32 posts, read 37,186 times
Reputation: 36

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We just closed on our first home last week. We're having work done and will be moving in a couple of weeks. We were down there today and turned on the heat. The house warmed up nicely. Went to the basement which was really cold. We looked around for vents and didn't see any. We left and then asked our realtor. She said it was in the seller's disclosure that the basement was heated. I looked at the photos and see a stand alone kind of electric furnace. about 2'long x 1' high. I didn't see that when we were there so maybe it's there or maybe they took it.

Whichever is the case, is that considered a heated basement? I thought a heated basement meant that it was heated in a way a house would be heated.

And now what can we do? Just eat it and pay for ducts or whatever? We bought this house a lot because my husband can have his grand piano down there so stable heat is very important.

Thanks!
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Old 01-16-2017, 07:52 PM
 
2,720 posts, read 5,494,630 times
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Seems to me this is a bit of a gray area and by saying "heated" the seller was trying to pull a bit of a fast one.

If he was foolish enough to take the electric heater you might be able to go after him.
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Old 01-16-2017, 08:10 PM
 
Location: Madison, AL
3,300 posts, read 5,124,938 times
Reputation: 2646
How did you get to closing without knowledge of heat in certain areas of the home? Did you not have a home inspection? Did no one note the presence (or lack thereof) of vents/unit when you were looking at the house at any time? That seems like something that would be hard to overlook.
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Old 01-16-2017, 08:32 PM
 
1,400 posts, read 617,737 times
Reputation: 811
Quote:
Originally Posted by teo23 View Post
We just closed on our first home last week. We're having work done and will be moving in a couple of weeks. We were down there today and turned on the heat. The house warmed up nicely. Went to the basement which was really cold. We looked around for vents and didn't see any. We left and then asked our realtor. She said it was in the seller's disclosure that the basement was heated. I looked at the photos and see a stand alone kind of electric furnace. about 2'long x 1' high. I didn't see that when we were there so maybe it's there or maybe they took it.

Whichever is the case, is that considered a heated basement? I thought a heated basement meant that it was heated in a way a house would be heated.

And now what can we do? Just eat it and pay for ducts or whatever? We bought this house a lot because my husband can have his grand piano down there so stable heat is very important.

Thanks!
It sound like you have a legitimate beef if they took it. They can't say it is heated and then turn around and remove the method of heat. That would be like pulling AC units out of windows. It sounds like a disconnect between the seller and the listing agent. They need to get together and decide who is at fault. I wouldn't let this one go.
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Old 01-16-2017, 08:56 PM
 
32 posts, read 37,186 times
Reputation: 36
LCtMadison, let's just say you could say we all were stupid here. Our realtor didn't notice either. But in our defense I didn't check that there were vents in each room of the house bc well they're expected. Anyway are we are. I want to go forward to figure this out.

So then to the next. I'm trying to understand what constitutes a heated basement. I mean I'm thinking (but don't know legally) if there's just a stand alone heater, that it can be considered heated. I mean it wouldn't be acceptable to have a room in the house not hooked up to the heating system. I mean even if they bring back the little heater, that wouldn't resolve it I don't think.

Thanks for your responses.

Our realtor is looking into it and I'll contact our lawyer.
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Old 01-16-2017, 09:16 PM
 
Location: MID ATLANTIC
7,827 posts, read 19,059,566 times
Reputation: 8640
Fortunately, as ductwork goes, this should be moderately easy (as compared to other areas of the home). Get an estimate so you have a precise figure to negotiate over. Also, be sure to confirm the current HVAC can handle the extra square footage, or you could be regretting your expansion.

Definitely pursue this now while it's all fresh.
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Old 01-16-2017, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Madison, AL
3,300 posts, read 5,124,938 times
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Teo23....I definitely don't think you are stupid. You are a first time homebuyer and probably don't know the things to look for, which is why you hired an agent. That's the agent's job. Specifically on areas like basements where they can be finished/partially/unfinished, I always look to see if area is heated/cooled and how many units are servicing the home...usually on the first showing and if not most definitely the second time we go to look.

In my area, it has to be "permanent" heat, ie an installed system. A space heater or other types of portable or temporary heating sources do not constitute heated space. I can't imagine anyone considering a small heater in a basement as heated square footage. An appraiser would not give that value as finished space.

Your agent dropped the ball on this one IMO. Sounds like they just relied on the seller's disclosures. I work in a state that does not use seller disclosures (we are caveat emptor) and to be honest I like it...it keeps us on our toes and makes sure that we are verifying information that is important to the buyer and makes home inspections a VERY important part of the transaction.

With that being said if the seller stated in their written disclosures the basement was heated yet there is no heat source it sounds like you have a strong case against them. I would definitely consult with an attorney.
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Old 01-16-2017, 09:55 PM
 
1,400 posts, read 617,737 times
Reputation: 811
Quote:
Originally Posted by teo23 View Post
LCtMadison, let's just say you could say we all were stupid here. Our realtor didn't notice either. But in our defense I didn't check that there were vents in each room of the house bc well they're expected. Anyway are we are. I want to go forward to figure this out.

So then to the next. I'm trying to understand what constitutes a heated basement. I mean I'm thinking (but don't know legally) if there's just a stand alone heater, that it can be considered heated. I mean it wouldn't be acceptable to have a room in the house not hooked up to the heating system. I mean even if they bring back the little heater, that wouldn't resolve it I don't think.

Thanks for your responses.

Our realtor is looking into it and I'll contact our lawyer.
My home had a heated and cooled sunroom in the back. It was considered finished space. When I sold it I didn't even consider removing the electric AC/Heater combo unit. Your agent may feel partly to blame if the heater was not included on the sales contract. Between the listing agent, your agent, and the seller, you should not be stuck with this one. If it was just some cheap electric space heater that was temporarily in nature, then I don't believe that would constitute heated space. If it appeared to be quasi permanently installed, then that could explain the disconnect between the listing agent and the seller.
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Old 01-17-2017, 12:21 AM
 
5,048 posts, read 7,212,590 times
Reputation: 4159
tea23, you are really ticking the boxes on lessons learned when buying a first home. Aren't you the people with the asbestos problem, the attorney who didn't do what you felt he was supposed to and the unlicensed garage? You could make a good video of your experiences and what you discovered through all this.

Things in NJ can go by state law or by smaller jurisdiction law. Here's one example:


Check out #11 as just one example of what can be required in heating a basement:
http://www.hillsborough-nj.org/wp-co...QUIREMENTS.pdf

See if you can find the finished basement requirements or heated basement requirements for your precise area.

At the very least, you would hope for the "heated" part of the "heated basement".

Grand piano. Don't know if I'd trust any basement with a significant piano...at least not any in my experience.
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Old 01-17-2017, 04:45 AM
 
Location: Northampton, Mass.
703 posts, read 1,011,228 times
Reputation: 659
You might have an electric or gas heater unit that's totally separate from the house's main heating system. I have seen these in many finished basements, especially those that were finished some time after the house itself was built...normally, yes it would still be considered a heated finished basement, provided it works. From what you describe, it might be a gas heater---I had one in my old house in the finished half of the basement.
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