We contacted our Real Estate Agent about whether we should purchase or lease furnace and AC unit. His answer follows and is quite enlightening. Basically you are going to pay for it one way or the other and it is up to you just how you want to do it. Some alternatives are more economic than others. After reading his answer decide for yourself based on your own situation.
In terms of the real estate sales side of things, it is presumed that the furnace and A/C are bought and paid for by the seller. If they are rented then the buy out is the key # required. At time of transfer of the deed it is expected that the seller will pay for it. I think that you need to examine that and look at different scenarios. What if I had to sell the house in 3 years, 5 years 7 years or 10 years, what is the cost to ‘pay off’ the contract.
You are suggesting that you will remain in the house for the next 10 – 15 years. Life changes on a dime and maybe you will be facing family or personal instances where you must sell. So somehow you have to factor that into your decision making.
As a buyer’s agent when showing homes, we take into account the furnace and A/C are 10 years or more. I emphasize to the buyers that they are going to have to budget for a new furnace and A/C in the short term. So if your contract is 10 years AND you actually expect to be living there for that time then maybe a rental plan would work to your favor. (is the equipment free and clear and paid for after the rental contract?)
Bottom line is that everything boils down to price. Your home would be priced accordingly – to market conditions. Also conditions of the home along with the features and chattels etc. so, you are going to end up ‘paying’ either now or later.
Many of the homeowners on our street used the same guy someone had found. He is a one man band so to speak, and he sells, installs and services the Goodman brand. When we bought, it had a 10 year guarantee which has paid off for us. We had the burner unit replaced in the furnace at about year 9. It works for us and him because he gives us all a great price on annual cleaning etc. and does everybody the same day for cash. So that’s another bonus for him.
It’s a tough question to deal with – as the homeowner you are looking at a good chunk of change to make it happen. Just be sure that on the rental lease scenario, you are well aware of the buy out costs. Also transfer costs / obligations conditions etc.
Hope this helps and hasn’t muddied the waters!