Keep a fireplace or remove it?

8 Replies

Hey everyone. Recently purchased a property through a foreclosure auction. We found a gas fireplace in the basement without the exhaust hooked up. Another colleague recommended taking it out as the inspector for the city is very picky. I was looking to be doing the brrr scenario thinking the fireplace would be a good selling point. If I keep it I will have to bring in a hvac contractor, etc.  What does everyone else think?  

Do most other properties in the neighborhood have a gas fireplace?

How much and complicated could it really be to get it into running condition? What exactly does your colleague say the inspector is picky about? If the only thing between it working or not is hooking up the exhaust, that seems simple enough. Find a *quality* contractor that specializes in gas fireplaces, get a couple of estimates, and decide from there.

Mike,

I would at least get a quote on the repairs. I would imagine that a fireplace in your area would be a good thing

Originally posted by @Mike York :

Hey everyone. Recently purchased a property through a foreclosure auction. We found a gas fireplace in the basement without the exhaust hooked up. Another colleague recommended taking it out as the inspector for the city is very picky. I was looking to be doing the brrr scenario thinking the fireplace would be a good selling point. If I keep it I will have to bring in a hvac contractor, etc.  What does everyone else think?  

 This is one of those very rare moments that you can have your cake & eat it too. For liability reasons we cap every gas fireplace so that the tenants cannot use them. Once you go to sell when you are done holding it as a rental you still have a fireplace to offer potential buyers.

Not to hijack Mike's thread, but @James Wise , what are the specific liability reasons that you cap your gas fireplaces? Aren't gas fireplaces just turned on at the click of a button? I can see not wanting a wood-burning fireplace/insert/stove. What class neighborhood is yours in? Curious as I'm planning to make my current home a rental, but was thinking of converting my wood-burning insert to a gas fireplace. It's an A-class area.

Originally posted by @Nicole A. :

Not to hijack Mike's thread, but @James Wise, what are the specific liability reasons that you cap your gas fireplaces? Aren't gas fireplaces just turned on at the click of a button? I can see not wanting a wood-burning fireplace/insert/stove. What class neighborhood is yours in? Curious as I'm planning to make my current home a rental, but was thinking of converting my wood-burning insert to a gas fireplace. It's an A-class area.

 I run a $50M+ portfolio that ranges from D-A class assets. In dealing with this many tenants I can tell you for a fact that in this biz the tenants will break, destroy &/or burn any & everything you can think of & then many more things you don't think of. Don't give them access to fire. 

For some more insight into the savagery that is the property management business you should drop by the following threads.

TENANTS FROM HELL #2 Tubs & Showers from hell. PICS INCLUDED!

TENANTS FROM HELL #1 Deplorable living conditions. PICS INCLUDED!

From an insurance stand point, maintenance stand point, inspection stand point, I'd cap it.

There's nothing inherently dangerous about a gas fireplace. I would have a qualified contractor look at it and give me an estimate. It's a nice feature to have, could make the home more rentable, and no more maintenance than a standard furnace.

On the other hand, my guess is they probably disconnected it for a reason so maybe it doesn't even function.

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here