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Old 08-19-2019, 08:20 AM
 
273 posts, read 131,234 times
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We have a 2600 SF farmhouse originally built in 1890. The last major renovation which was the addition of a master suite and two bedrooms (total of five) on the second floor, was completed in 1998. At that time the entire electrical system was upgraded (all knob and tube eliminated, 200A service, etc...) and the heat was converted from steam radiators to hot water baseboard. The boiler was replaced with a high efficiency Buderus unit in 2009. The one thing that the PO did NOT do was add central air conditioning, which, I can understand because he would have been starting from scratch (no existing ductwork) and it would have added tens of thousands to the project. This year we have added one 1.5 ton unit to the second floor and are making due with window units elsewhere, but the ultimate goal is to add an additional 1.5 ton unit on the second floor and a 3 ton unit on the first floor (first floor is a very open layout) for a total of 6 tons of cooling total.

These are the typical mini-split units with wall mounted air handlers that can be controlled either via a factory remote, smartphone app, or Amazon Alexa. I'm wondering once the house is fully converted to mini-splits (the goal is next summer), would an appraiser view the home as having "central air conditioning?" Why or why not? If not, would it land somewhere between having no air condition and central air conditioning? I should add that we live in an area (Northwest NJ) with a lot of older and historic homes, some dating back to before the Revolutionary War. Many of these homes never got true ducted central air because of the expense of adding ductwork to such an old home, not to mention the loss of already scarce closet space that typically accompanies that kind of work, so mini-splits have become quite popular here.
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Old 08-19-2019, 08:37 AM
 
2,163 posts, read 1,259,353 times
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My brother's system is one condenser and three blowers. He said that was the only aspect of the construction, that no one offered an alternative. Way better than central, if all the hot rooms have a blower. I use it in Bangkok, Carrier 17000 btu, and so do 99% of aircon users in Thailand, and the rest of Asia. Ductwork is an energy wasting, Cancer causing scam, that may have been useful at one time, but not anymore. Ducts and handler in the attic? Next.
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Old 08-19-2019, 10:06 AM
 
444 posts, read 409,303 times
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If mini splits are common in your area and are an acceptable alternative, then it would be comparable to central a/c. The appraiser will look at other properties in your area to determine if there is a difference in value between wall/window, mini split, and central. In my area, mini splits are not common, but are becoming more popular and are comparable with central.
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Old 08-19-2019, 10:56 AM
 
2,625 posts, read 5,357,087 times
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I don't know (or much care) how appraisers think.

For me the more important question is how buyers think. Personally- as a buyer- I would not consider mini-splits equivalent to whole-house AC. On account of aesthetics (although I understand some newer units are not as ugly) and convenience (I like to set and forget).

By the way, there is an alternative, that is, high-velocity (Unico) systems. I have had this installed in an older house in the northeast.
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Old 08-19-2019, 06:02 PM
 
273 posts, read 131,234 times
Reputation: 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by rational1 View Post
I don't know (or much care) how appraisers think. For me the more important question is how buyers think.
Buyers are irrelevant in this case as the only way we're leaving this house is in a box. We are concerned from a value/equity standpoint.
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Old Yesterday, 12:08 AM
 
2,163 posts, read 1,259,353 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rational1 View Post
I don't know (or much care) how appraisers think.

For me the more important question is how buyers think. Personally- as a buyer- I would not consider mini-splits equivalent to whole-house AC. On account of aesthetics (although I understand some newer units are not as ugly) and convenience (I like to set and forget).

By the way, there is an alternative, that is, high-velocity (Unico) systems. I have had this installed in an older house in the northeast.
You can set and forget a split system. Both the fan and compressor automatically switch many different speeds, including off.

OP, look at some local Assessor data and see how they define it. FHA guidelines don't even call for heat vents in some areas, nor aircon. Some places don't give much more than square footage, while others list heating, cooling, and type of fuel for each...and you can add that to the list of info listing agents leave out, and should not.
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Old Yesterday, 03:35 AM
Status: "Goodbye Portland, Hello Las Vegas!" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Henderson, NV
5,858 posts, read 6,056,431 times
Reputation: 6753
Quote:
Originally Posted by rational1 View Post
I don't know (or much care) how appraisers think.

For me the more important question is how buyers think. Personally- as a buyer- I would not consider mini-splits equivalent to whole-house AC. On account of aesthetics (although I understand some newer units are not as ugly) and convenience (I like to set and forget).

By the way, there is an alternative, that is, high-velocity (Unico) systems. I have had this installed in an older house in the northeast.
I can't blame you. Our last home, a 3-story house built in 2015 so new construction basically, the builder was one of the laziest, most incompetent builders you'll ever see. The top two floors were ducted, minus a bathroom on the main floor (!), which meant they had to put a cadet heater in THAT bathroom to comply with code. Not whatsoever necessary in reality, the air does move well enough to make sure that bathroom always felt the same temperature as the rest of the house, but apparently that's code. Then the basement wasn't ducted so we had to install a duct-less mini-split down there. It worked incredibly well, they are VERY energy efficient, like 30 SEER, so far above even our state-of-the-art Trane XVi 20 but it's not exactly a beautiful thing to look at. I mean, it blended in after a while to me, I suppose, but I can't blame you as a buyer. We used the basement as a gym and I didn't want to pay for the cadet heaters down there (about 8 SEER equivalent!) during the winter so we installed the mini-split. It's about $5,000 so it's very expensive, but it worked.

To give you an idea how incompetent the builder was, in the basement there was a large, deep alcove that appeared to be for a 1970s CRT model TV, even complete with cable hookup behind it, electrical, etc. The most baffling thing I have ever seen. Keep in mind, a 2015 home, nobody is using CRTs anymore and there's no reason you'd be watching TV 5 feet off the ground anyway. There was no bathroom downstairs because of course there wasn't because that would cost money to install plumbing. The doors were flimsy and hollow throughout the house, useless at blocking noise, they used the same "counter tops" in the master that were the floor tiles, really classed up the look of the place, I think. The kicker to me is they installed a large bathtub but a 40 gallon water heater and you couldn't fill up the bathtub past half way without running into cold water, so the bathtub was purely for aesthetic purposes and absolutely useless practically.

When people talk about garbage tract home builders, I'm pretty sure they were referring to the type of house I was just living in. I guess a half-million doesn't buy what it used to, evidently.
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Old Yesterday, 12:07 PM
 
4,824 posts, read 12,036,045 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rational1 View Post
I don't know (or much care) how appraisers think.

For me the more important question is how buyers think. Personally- as a buyer- I would not consider mini-splits equivalent to whole-house AC. On account of aesthetics (although I understand some newer units are not as ugly) and convenience (I like to set and forget).

By the way, there is an alternative, that is, high-velocity (Unico) systems. I have had this installed in an older house in the northeast.
I just went from an old Unico to a Daikin mini split and the new system is awesome! Wish my home would have never had the Unico. I just got my electric bill for 07/18-08/18 and it's like my a/c is free now. WHISPER quiet inside and out. Love it.
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Old Today, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,569 posts, read 60,241,453 times
Reputation: 54298
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swamp_Yankee View Post
I'm wondering once the house is fully converted to mini-splits (the goal is next summer), would an appraiser view the home as having "central air conditioning?"
Have you tried asking an appraiser?
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