My tenants left and my rental property is now for sale. To keep costs
down I want to turn off the water for the winter. Any downsides to
this? Do I need to do anything special with the gas water heater?
Drain the water heater. Flush the toilets so no water is in the tank. Pour
anti freeze in the bowls so the water does not freeze. Drain the water
pipes. Search google.com for the words...
"Mr. Nonsense" wrote in message
What cost are you actually going to defray? If it's unoccupied it's
nothing but a connection fee at most which wouldn't think would be of
any significant amount w/ no usage.
If you're actively in the selling mode, keeping the property in
habitable state is probably better plan unless it's a slumlord-type
rental that has little likelihood of selling to homeowner/occupant.
But, the answer to the original question is "winterize" --
Unless you can discontinue service (ie eliminate the meter charge) how
does turning the water off save money?
If oyu have sprinklers (outside water usage usually dominates a water
bill) just turn them off.....we're headed into winter so the yard most
likely won't need much / any water.
I had a property empty for a LONG time but kept the water on & did a
(more or less) weekly walk through.
Even empty houses need attention.
If the house is located where things might freeze and you're not
keeping the heat on (or electric service outages happen) you might
want to consider a "winter shut down"...which invloves draining
plumbing that can freeze & adding water safe anti-freeze to traps.
I had a condo that was between tenants and thought I would be OK
leaving the water on (actually it never crossed my mind because I knew
it wouldn't be m/t very long). I did weekly walk thru's and didn't
have a problem until one day I stopped by to check and the furnace
stopped working and the water pipes broke and water was everywhere.
It was a nightmare. Needless to say I always turn the water off if
it's m/t for more than a couple of days. If I have well water I just
turn off the breaker to the pump. That way if a line breaks at least
I won't have water running until the next time I stop by to check on
Yes. No one will buy it. People want to be able to test it out. That
includes flushing a toilet to see if it leaks, checking to see how long it
takes for the hot water to come out hot, run water in sink an check for
leaks. Basics like that. A *renter* may select a place without those
tests, but a buyer will likely just walk out (or if warned that the water is
off, just never opt to view it).
Lousy time to be selling property, even though interest rates are down.
Just so many houses out there it is a buyers market. Do you need to
sell, or are you just tired of the landlord game? It may be worthwhile
to just rent it out again, even at a lower price, to keep somebody in
the place. There are houses around here that have been on market for
close to a year, not slums or McMansions, just vanilla middle-class
houses. (Yes, I realize that varies by area, but I haven't seen any
reports lately of areas where the market is booming. Some places are
just hurting less than others.)
I assume the reason you are considering turning off the water is not
the water bill, but rather the heating bill and you want to winterize
the house. In any case, I would not advise turning off the heat and
water in a property you are trying to sell. When buyers come to look
at it, I think it will present better if there is at least some heat
on, say 55F which shouldn't cost too much to maintain.
Don't know where you are located, but if you shut off the heat and let
it go down too far, like to freezing, you run the risk of the building
contracting enough that drywall cracks open up, etc. If you are
worried about a water pipe breaking, you could just turn off the main
water valve. If someone wants to turn it back on, they can easily do
I'm one of the few area still fairly stable. Big military influx and the
house market had little of the 'boom' increase in value, keeping mostly
fairly even with inflation overall. Hence a 3 BR 1 bath in a city lot in a
decent neighborhood is about 150,000$, more if you have extra stuff.
More folks though are *choosing* to rent the houses because buyers
(understandably) want to offer way less than the listed price. They keep
hearing about folks in California and such giving .5mil houses up for
250,000 and think it's the same. Rents are going up and my next door place
is rented to 1400$ (shoebox 3 BR 1 bath, 980sq ft?). Thats well over the
price of buying that same house here per month including taxes and
When we bought we just had the home inspector do that kind of thing,
water purity tests, flow rates etc.
I think it was about $100 for the inspector (and he was there for a
couple of hours; we were present for about half of it) which is virtually
nothing against the price of a house...
Personally I'd just shut it off and drain the system down. I'd expect
whoever shows folk around could handle turning the water back on
temporarily so people could at least see that the system works, even if
they have to take your word that the heater's OK.
On Mon, 12 Oct 2009 16:37:07 -0700, trader4 wrote:
That's for the seller and the realtor to work out...
Round here, they just don't bother; see the house during the colder months
and it's pretty much a given that the water will be shut off and the owner
will have drained the system - but it'll all get tested come inspection
On Mon, 12 Oct 2009 07:52:50 -0700 (PDT), "Mr. Nonsense"
Make sure all services are on when prospective buyers look at the
property. A buyer may pass up a property without working utilities,
no matter what the excuse. If you already have a buyer, it doesn't
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