SFR in Memphis with no A/C

10 Replies

I'm looking at investing in Memphis, TN and I've found a property in 38118 zip code and the house doesn't have A/C.  Is this common?  I would think a house without an A/C unit would be harder to rent.  Any thoughts?  Thanks

There are plenty of rental units without central AC. Some just have wall furnaces or floor furnaces. I recommend you use a page like hotpads or zillow rentals to see what the nearby rentals offer to see if your unit would be competitive without central AC. Also, the window units are not necessarily provided by the landlord.

Depends on the market. How many neighbors have AC? I don't know the weather in Memphis, but I know there are areas in Texas, Florida and other places where the absence of AC is like a death sentence. You might as well live in Death Valley!

I remember living in Florida, and apartment rules were, do not turn off your AC. EVER. ("But, but, but my electric bill is so high!" So, you'd rather fight mold? Just leave it on. If you can't pay your electric bill, skip dinner.)

Either way, it'll rent more easily and for more money with than without. It's a feature that can only help.

In that area it may have been stolen. I would ask the seller if the home originally came with a central or window unit. Its not uncommon to provide heat and request for the tenant to provide cooling, but your home may sit on the market.

Originally posted by @Tristan Hayes :

There are plenty of rental units without central AC. Some just have wall furnaces or floor furnaces. I recommend you use a page like hotpads or zillow rentals to see what the nearby rentals offer to see if your unit would be competitive without central AC. Also, the window units are not necessarily provided by the landlord.

 Yah I hadn't even considered the difference between a window unit and central. Installing central can be quite expensive. But you can put a window unit in each bedroom for probably less than a couple of thousand, including hiring an electrical contractor to bring over an isolated electric line.

Depending on the floor-plan, another option is to have someone cut a hole in the wall and install the AC there.

When you say no AC do you mean it doesn't have a condenser presently or the home was not built with central heat & air.  For that area of town, when the homes were built, it would be very uncommon for a house not to have central.

Who told you it doesn't have AC?  As mentioned before, the condenser very likely could have been stolen.  Or the condenser could have been pulled and stored off site to prevent theft.  For that area of town, and many others, we either cage our units, or remove them and keep them in our warehouse.

Not having central heat and air, especially in relativity newer homes such as in 38118, will be a BIG problem in renting it in Memphis.  The summers are brutal.  Heck sometimes the springs and falls are brutal.  I have worked with investors/clients who only put window units in, and their homes sit vacant for way too long.  Never understood it.

Right, good suggestion on the through wall AC's. I have seen that most commonly in homes with a one-room addition. The main house has central AC and instead of upgrading the central HVAC, the homeowner just added a through-wall to cover that room.

And as@James Martin  shared, not all landlords provide window units. Again, check the competition.

Thanks for replies.  

@Brian Lusk   It doesn't have a condenser presently.   The inspection report list central heat, but the cooling system is n/a.  I'm waiting to hear back for more information.   

@heidiofferdahl sounds like you just need an AC unit. Just price it into the rehab budget. I would strongly suggest having that amenity in your investment. That vacancy is a cash flow killer 

@Heidiofferdahl

Heidi, In Memphis we handle A/C on a house by house basis based on neighborhood and competition.

Compressors tend to get stolen often in some areas. We tend in those areas to supply good dedicated circuits for window units which tenants supply if they want A/C.

Remember if you rent a home with central air you must maintain it, if tenants supply window units maintenance is on them. 

Again it all depends on the area and competition

Dean 

@Heidi Offerdahl   Landlords are not required to offer AC, it is really up to the owner of the property.  Some areas have them and some do not. I have central heat and air in all of my rentals because my goal is to get top dollar and tenants are attracted to having AC because it is very hot here.  If the house does not have it don't worry about it too much, just price it into your budget.  Be sure to also price a security cage into your budget as well which can run 200-300 bucks.   I would also suggest that you don't put the unit on until the day before or day of the tenants move in.  Good luck.

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