How We Got a Discount on Our Furnace by Paying Cash


Testimonial from Krissy:

After purchasing a house in August of 2013, everything seemed to break! This included the garage door opener, the washing machine, the couch frame, and then the furnace — all within three months of moving into the house!

We called a company that we had done business with in the past for a repair estimate/inspection. Since our furnace was 21 years old, we were told that “if” we found parts it would be very costly and there was no guarantee on how long this repair would hold out. We were charged a $135 service fee for this estimate and inspection.

We discovered that we had a home warranty and tried to go through them for the repair. After two weeks, we still had a broken furnace and didn’t seem to be getting anywhere with our home warranty, so we called the company that did the initial inspection back.

They told us it would cost us $3500, plus $300 for a humidifier (which we really wanted), and then the original service call fee of $135. That is $3800 — and we’d already spent $135 with them for the initial service call!

Our options:

  1. 12 months same as cash, no interest. (We had savings but were worried about an extra $330 payment each month, the savings would be gone before we paid it off. We did not have the cash in our normal budget.)
  2. Finance the project (interest, interest, interest… and again, no extra cash.)
  3. Pay in full.

We choose option 3!

We used almost all of our savings, but because we paid-in-full, they waived the $135 service fee and gave us a cash discount. We paid $3650 — saving $420 — which made the humidifier FREE!

We have to build our saving back up, but we have a brand new furnace/humidifier and NO PAYMENT and NO INTEREST from a charge!

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  1. Jessica says

    You really should have gone after the warranty on the furnace. If nothing else, I hope you reported the warranty company to the BBB and / or your state attorney’s office. Also, when you buy a house, plan on 1-2% of the house’s cost each year for repairs. So if your house cost $100,000, plan on setting aside $1,000-$2,000 each year for repairs. Some years you might not use it all, but then another year you might need a $4k air conditioner or furnace or new roof or all three.

    We’ve had a lot of problems with our house… there was one month in 2010- yes, in one month, we had the sewer line get backed up with tree roots, the washing machine broke, and then the heat pump went out. The heat pump was a cool $7,500. The new washing machine we got for $400 at a scratch & dent, and the sewer repair was $800.

    • Krissy says

      Jessica, we are both previous homeowners an had a healthy savings. Things just happened all at once! I dealt with the home warranty people for almost a month and we had water pooling on the floor. We needed action to be taken. Also, our washer was purchased off the clearance section because the original owner noticed a dent. The panels here the dent was had been repaired, plus we got a substantial discount because my brother-in-law works at the store, plus free delivery and a warranty.-krissy

  2. L says

    Sounds like when we first got married! Literally within the first two months of our married life our water softener went out (and we have extremely hard/rusty water so this required purchasing a better quality water softener), our furnace, and our washing machine all needed to be replaced/no fixing them. It felt like A LOT on not much savings after paying for our wedding. We were also able to pay cash (although I don’t remember any discounts :( but it left us “very tight” for a month or two. My advice to all people is to have an emergency fund, even if it’s $2,000. Since we just got married, we didn’t have time to build an emergency fund, but since then we have built one to cover those unexpected bills.

  3. Karen says

    It sounds like the furnace company doesn’t plan on paying taxes on your purchase. When companies, especially small ones, give a large discount for cash payments, it usually is because they don’t plan to report that income to the government. Regardless, it is great for you that you got a discount!

  4. Roxanne says

    Don’t feel bad about not getting anywhere with your home warranty company.

    We have never requested or paid for a home warranty on the homes we purchased, but we have bought homes where the sellers included it in the purchase.

    We have never had good experiences with service calls from the home warranty company. They seem to send struggling contractors who are willing to accept below market rates for service (read: unprofessional demeanor and questionable skill). Then there seems to be an encyclopedic list of exclusions to every single thing you could ask them to repair or replace.

    I think no matter how you tried to work with the warranty company you still would have ended up making the fix yourself. I think you made the right decision.

  5. JD says

    I can so relate to your story and glad that you had the money to take care of the problem. We have been through similar situations with two different homes we have purchased. Frustrating.

  6. beth says

    Another Awesome example of “savings” coming in handy and saving you more in the long run. Great job!

  7. Amy says

    Why wouldn’t you have done the 12 mos same as cash option? You could have held onto your savings longer, right?

  8. Melissa says

    Krissy, that’s great that you had the savings to pay for these repairs! My husband and I just purchased a home in October and there were a lot of repairs that needed to be done on our place too. Some things we knew about and others were suprises. We too are paying cash for our repairs. I’ve heard a lot of people have trouble with their home warranties. Our realtor told us that if we have any trouble w/ the warranty company to contact him and he’d help us get them to resolve the problem.

  9. says

    Sometimes when you buy a house, there isn’t any home warranty. We bought our house seven years ago and there was no such thing offered.

    I think Krissy made the right decision. Sometimes you’ve just got to get a utility fixed without messing around for weeks and weeks.