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Buying (Or Selling) a Propane-Powered Home? Three Questions to Think About
If you’re thinking about investing in a propane-powered home, congratulations – we think it’s a great move! But remember: buying a home that uses propane as an energy source requires some unique considerations that don’t apply to a homes powered by other fuels.
Before you join the growing list of propane homeowners, here are three key questions you’ll want to ask your seller.
Do all your appliances run on propane? Just because a home has a propane tank, it doesn’t mean that all appliances are propane powered. For example, a home could have propane furnace, but an electric water heater (which doesn’t make much sense to us, but we’ve seen stranger things).
One way to find out what appliances are powered by propane is to request the seller’s most recent propane safety inspection, which should list them all. Look for any discrepancies between what you see on paper and what you see in the home, along with any problems that might come up in the inspection papers (we highly recommend a professional inspection before committing to buy).
Is the propane tank owned or leased? Propane tanks can be owned by the seller or leased to them by their propane provider. Find out which is the case in your home-to-be. If the seller owns the tank, make sure it’s included in the terms of the house sale, and be sure to get copies of all propane tank paperwork.
If tanks are underground, ask if the seller has proof of cathodic protection (protection against tank erosion). And always remember that the choice of who provides your propane is always yours!
How big is the propane tank? Ideally, your propane tank has enough capacity do the job you’re asking of it without excessive refilling, and without spending more than you have to each time you fill the tank. If you’re considering adding propane appliances to your home (replacing that electric water heater, for instance), make sure the current tank has enough capacity to keep up with your increased need for fuel!
Propane home sellers – be prepared!
If you’re selling your propane-powered home, keep in mind that an educated buyer is going to ask questions like these, so get that paperwork together! Anticipating the needs of your buyer (in our experience) will put you ahead of the pack when the time comes, and who doesn’t want that?