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Old 08-09-2017, 07:56 AM
2 posts, read 1,113 times
Reputation: 10


Hello everyone

I am buying a new home in Macomb Twp., it is being built. The home builder offered two options that I initially declined but now I am concerned if I did the right thing:

1. They offered the air conditioning system, lennox 3ton, installed for 5k together with the construction.
The sales person told me that if I want I could get this after the home get done cheaper, about $3k installed. I am now concerned about pricing, not sure if I can save this and if worth it to get this done later;

2. They also offered an irrigation prep, that includes a vacuum breaker and outlet for timing system, for $1k. This would avoid drilling into my home in the future, but the sales person also told me that this was not a big deal, that a landscaping company could do everything so I would pay less in the future for the entire package (sod and full sprinkler system).

I would like to know what are your thoughts on that. I still have the possibility to get those items from the home builder, paying an additional change fee of $500.

Do you think one of these of both worth it to be done with the home builder?

Thank you!
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:24 PM
977 posts, read 1,115,239 times
Reputation: 1089
I would question your decision on #1. I say this because it really isn't so much that are not going to install A/C but you are attempting to kick the can down the road to some undefined point in time. I'm not sure how to justify going to expensive and price premium for a new home but not going to install an a/c system. While you can easily survive a Michigan summer without central a/c it seems silly to not put it in a new home at the time of construction, if not for anything for future resale value. I question the advice of people able to do it cheaper in the future. Maybe if you time it right during a less busy time of the year, like late-fall but I highly doubt if waiting until next spring or summer is going to save any significant money. Not to mention the time/hassle factor of shopping around for a company and getting it scheduled to do when most of these guys are super-busy during peak months.

I can't really comment on #2, but if you are having a full lawn of new sod installed you will need to water extensively to have it take root. So having an in-ground irrigation system will probably make sense, otherwise you'll be moving hoses around alot for the first year.
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:07 AM
2 posts, read 1,113 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you very much!
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:53 PM
Location: Ann Arbor MI
2,103 posts, read 1,347,757 times
Reputation: 2885
I find the $500 change fee a bit odd. But I haven't had a home built so if that is an industry norm I guess I learned something new.

One potential advantage to acting now is you roll the cost in to the mortgage. I think the AC is a worthwhile upgrade but if its 2000 less afterwards its not a big thing to put in after assuming your heating is forced air and an AC unit uses the same duct work.
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Old 08-11-2017, 03:21 PM
1 posts, read 498 times
Reputation: 10
Without knowing the size of your home and lot it is impossible to make a recommendation. However, some things to consider: is the size of the unit adequate for your house, type of pad used (concrete is best); placement - not under a bedroom window for example, condensate disposal (condensate pump or into sump), the energy efficiency of the unit (makes a difference in your monthly bill). As far as a sprinkling system - number of zones, does it require a pressure regulator. (my last house had a water pressure of > 150 psi), drip irrigation for your foundation plants, water sensor. I don't know how Warren Twp water charges are calculated, but a second water meter for you sprinkler system could reduce your water bill. You shouldn't pay sewer charges for watering your lawn and plants.
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:25 PM
Location: Here.
14,537 posts, read 13,269,944 times
Reputation: 17010
Why would it be cheaper for you than the builder? Seems to me they could/should do it cheaper. Sounds like they don't want to be responsible when problems arise down the road, like when installation is complicated due to poor initial construction.
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Old 08-11-2017, 09:26 PM
Location: Phoenix AZ
6,073 posts, read 11,802,419 times
Reputation: 9716
The irrigation valve with freeze ports & a vacuum breaker is like $89 at the depot.. An outlet really isn't necessary for an irrigation controller, as it is low-voltage and can be located anywhere it is convenient & low-voltage wire run to it. A really nice irrigation controller is a $25 item at the depot. Your landscaper dude can totally add it later & they will be running pipes and valves anyway.

A/c shouldn't cost anywhere near $5k to have added.. I'd be looking for bids closer to $2k, and expecting a fancy-pants brand and an installer warranty for that price.

Builders often have stupid prices on "upgrades" - it's a silly business model, but it is what it is..
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Old 08-12-2017, 04:09 PM
47 posts, read 29,048 times
Reputation: 39
Assuming your NEW house is being built on a basement, as most in Macomb are. Adding A/C after the fact is not a problem. I in fact would rather add it after the fact, then take the "builder grade" A/C the will install. Even if it is the same price.

Unless they are plumbing a second water meter at that price. I would pass on the Irrigation system upgrade too. Not sure on Macomb, but some cities, township, are allowing second meter installs for Irrigation; lowering your sewer bill. (which is the expense part of the water bill) A Second meter is worth the cost.
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Old 10-11-2017, 08:12 AM
5 posts, read 1,599 times
Reputation: 10
I would ask the builder about a lawn meter for $1000. if he is offering to just put in the PVB for that price ...pass. Im a licensed Irrigator and will set a PVB for half that if the pipe run is less then 40 ft.
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Old 10-11-2017, 08:47 AM
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,752 posts, read 65,567,547 times
Reputation: 32915
Our home is different (restored 180 year old historic home), when we were restoring it, we decided to put in ducting while some of the walls were open and then install the AC unit later when we could afford it. Fast forward 10 years - we still have ducting and no AC. The $6,000 for the AC unit and connecting tot he ducting never made the priority list. Other things in life came up so we make do with ugly window units in several rooms. Point is, if you do not do it now, you may never get around to it. Yes it will cost more now, but will you have the money available to do it later? We thought we would, but then kid stuff, medical issues, car stuff, career changes, etc got in the way. Had we done it then and rolled it into the purchase price/mortgage, it would have been done. Instead we have had ten years of being hot/sleeping in the basement/or using horrible window AC units. We will have to put it in if we ever decide to sell the house. Kinda stupid to put it in for someone else to enjoy. Hopefully we will get to it one day, but we have bigger issues to deal with right now.

Financially, it is a bad move to pay more and then pay interest on it for 30 years. However the practicality is that woudl have had it done as opposed to not having it.
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