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Is a Fireplace A Hot Item on Your Must-Have List?

For some home buyers, having a fireplace with a chimney is a deal breaker. While some people have no need or interest in a fireplace, others won’t consider buying an Austin home without one. There are several arguments for and against a home with a fireplace. It is one item that is surely considered a matter of personal choice. If you’re looking to buy a home, you may have made a conscious decision about the necessity or disinterest in a fireplace and chimney. Here are a few of the pros and cons to consider when buying an Austin home with a fireplace.
Weather
With an average low of 39 degrees F in January, which is Austin’s coldest month of the year, a wood-burning fireplace won’t replace your home heating system. A fire in the fireplace does make you feel warm and cozy, though, so it’s nice to have on a chilly evening.
Energy Efficiency
One of the greatest concerns about chimneys comes from the idea that they are inefficient. If you leave the flue open with or without a fire in the fireplace, yes, outside air can filter in and affect indoor temperatures. Keeping the flue closed when the chimney is not in use makes sense. Make note if there are any problems with cracks before using. Add a chimney cap to prevent rain, snow, cold air and critters from entering from above.
Fireplace
When looking at Austin homes, keeping mind that not all fireplaces are in working order. It may be a facade for appearances or a gas fireplace as a heat source. There are also electric fireplaces that offer a mantel and the elegant appearance that some people must have. Take the time to check and see exactly what it is and how it’s powered.
The Santa Factor
One problem for potential homebuyers with young children is the absence of a chimney on December 24th. While little ones may worry that Santa Claus won’t be able to fill their stockings if they’re not hung by the chimney with care, jolly old St. Nick has ways around this. He is just as likely to visit homes with a chimney as those without.
Adding One
Having one built just for the sake of having a fireplace can run a couple of thousand dollars for a gas fireplace without a chimney, while creating a traditional wood-burning masonry fireplace with a chimney can cost about $8,000 and up, depending on the placement, size and types of materials you want to use.
If a fireplace and chimney is on your must-have list — or must not have list — for buying the perfect  home, be sure to tell your Austin real estate agent. This will help to narrow your home search and prevent you and your agent from spending time on homes that don’t meet your criteria.

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