Your moving questions answered — from “How do I transfer my account?” to “Who pays for the leftover propane?”
Whether you’re buying or selling a house with a propane system, you’ve got questions. From the pros and cons of using propane to who pays for propane at closing, there’s a lot to learn about this steadily growing energy source. Stay informed throughout your move with our answers to some of the most common questions.
What homebuyers need to know about propane.
When buying a home that runs on propane, you may be wondering about cost and energy efficiency — especially if you’re new to propane.
Q: I’m deciding between two houses, and I love them both. One has a propane system, which is new to me. If I buy a house with a propane tank, what are the advantages and disadvantages of using propane?
A: Congratulations! It’s nice to have choices. Granted, we’re partial to the propane-powered home, but below are some objective pros and cons of using propane.
- Propane is versatile, offering many indoor and outdoor uses, including home heating and cooling, major appliances, fireplaces, emergency generators, as well as outdoor functions like heating units and swimming pools.
- Propane is also efficient. High-efficiency propane furnaces generally burn hotter and heat faster than heating oil furnaces, and heating a home with propane is less expensive than with electricity. And unlike natural gas, which consists mostly of the potent greenhouse gas methane, propane is designated by the EPA as a clean energy alternative.
- Finally, propane is safe. It produces less exhaust than natural gas, and any exhaust it does produce is cleaner than other fuel sources. In addition, propane tanks and heating systems meet stringent safety requirements. When correctly maintained and certified by qualified technicians, propane tanks and other equipment can remain leak-free and worry-free for their lifespan.
- If you’re thinking about moving into a propane-heated home, talk with your real estate agent about the appliances you’ll inherit. Are there propane appliances that need to be updated? Does the current owner want to remove appliances from the home? Are there appliances that you’ll want to add to the propane system? All of this may be negotiated in the home sale. If you do need to purchase propane appliances, this may add some extra cost to your move. However, the long-term savings from the higher fuel efficiency of propane and propane appliances may well offset the initial spend.
Q: Speaking of spending, how does a propane tank affect the cost of the house?
A: There are a lot of factors that determine the price of a home, as well as the cost of propane tanks and fuel. Here are some things to bring up with your real estate agent or the seller:
- Buying versus leasing the propane tank: If the current owner owns the tank and plans to leave it behind, the cost of the tank needs to be included in the bill of sale for the house. If this is the case, ask the seller for the tank’s maintenance records — you could be getting a tank that will need to be replaced in a few years. The propane tank’s value is assessed in property appraisal and inspection, so it’s a good idea to get a home inspection (even if it’s not required for the sale). It can influence the final cost, so check with your real estate agent for details.
If you’re buying a house with a leased propane tank, you can keep the same tank and sign a new lease agreement with the propane provider that owns the tank. This is also your opportunity to shop around. Propane tank rental, maintenance, and fuel costs vary somewhat by provider. Get Pricing online or Contact Us to find out how we can help you save compared with the current service rates.
- Fuel remaining in the tank: The seller has a choice about leftover propane in their tank. They can leave it and pass the cost on to the buyer in the bill of sale, or they can have the fuel removed and receive a refund. This is something you’ll negotiate — talk with your real estate agent about your options.
- Appliances: As we mentioned, a propane system requires propane appliances. If you’re interested, ask the seller if they’re willing to leave behind their appliances. If they’re moving to a non-propane home, they may be open to the idea — they may even suggest it. This could save you from having to buy all new appliances.
Q: What else should I do to make my move easier?
A: Get documentation. Ask the seller to provide you with maintenance records and a statement of total spending on heat for the past year or two. (If they don’t have them on hand, they can get them from their propane service provider.) This will give you an idea of the tank’s condition, maintenance costs, and refilling costs and schedule. Importantly, as long as you and the seller have similar usage habits, it will help you gauge how long the fuel in the propane tank will last.
Finally, set up your account. Contact your local propane provider before moving day to set up your account and establish a service agreement. Learn more about setting up an AmeriGas account here.
Remember to do your research and ask as many questions as you need to, and you’ll be ready come moving day.
Getting ready to sell your propane-powered home
When you’re moving out of a home with propane, you have several items to check off your to-do list so that you can continue service elsewhere and make sure the new homeowners have a seamless transition with their propane system.
Q: My propane tank is rented. What do I need to do before I move?
A: Contact your propane provider to let them know you’re moving. They can give you more information about your lease agreement and transfer service to the new homeowner.
Q: I own my propane tank. Can I sell it to the new homeowner?
A: Absolutely, you can sell your propane tank. Simply include it in the bill of sale. Talk with your real estate agent for guidance and details.
Q: If I own my tank, can I take it with me when I move?
A: It is possible to relocate propane tanks. However, standard movers are not equipped or licensed to do this, so you would have to have certified technicians come to disconnect the tank (and extract it from the ground if it’s an underground tank), transport it safely to the new location, and reinstall it. It’s up to you whether the effort and cost involved is worthwhile. Contact the company that services your tank for more information.
Q: What should I do with propane remaining in the tank when I move out?
A: You have a couple of options. You can have the propane removed and receive a refund, or you can leave it for the new homeowner. The cost of the fuel can be negotiated and included in the final bill of sale. Talk with your real estate agent about how to proceed.
Q: What else do I need to do before I move out of a home with propane?
A: Remember to transfer your account to your new address. And leave the contact information for propane account setup, service, and refilling for the new homeowner. We can help with that — use our Ultimate Checklist for Transferring Your Propane Service. (And if you need to transfer your service to AmeriGas from another provider, here’s how.)
The burning question we’re all asking
There is one propane-related question that everyone has on their minds when selling or buying a home:
Q: Will propane impact my home’s property value?
A: While there are many advantages to using propane — efficiency, cleaner-burning energy, and more — it doesn’t significantly change the value of your property compared to other fuel sources.
One exception may be when it comes to fireplaces and firepits. These extras reliably increase a home’s attractiveness to homebuyers (unlike the curb appeal of something like landscaping, which is highly subjective). In fact, the National Association of Realtors has reported that a fireplace can increase the value of a home by up to $12,000. With propane, these fixtures burn cleaner than they do when burning simple firewood. Note to buyers: That means reduced mess and maintenance for you. So if you’re a homeowner and you have a propane fireplace, your real estate agent will probably spotlight that.
Make your move with propane. Download our Ultimate Checklist for Transferring Your Propane Service, or contact us to set up your account before you move in.