Home Buying in 75244>Question Details

Deb, Home Buyer in 75244

how do you get a history of utilities expenses on a house in dallas?

Asked by Deb, 75244 Wed May 11, 2011

Help the community by answering this question:


The owner or maybe ask some neighbors if the home sizes are similar. I doubt any of the utility companies will give you that info.

I know my renters spend a lot more than I did living in my last house. They have two young children and a stay at home parent. They use the A/C, heat, and water much more than I ever did being gone during the days.

Systematic Home Inspections, PLLC
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 11, 2011
The only way to do that is to ask the person that was paying for the utilities to supply the information. If a property has been tenanted sometimes the info is impossible to get. Good luck with this - buyers want this kind of information all the time, sometimes it is not available, but it never hurts to ask the owner of the property.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 11, 2011
Don't forget to investigate which electric provider will give you the best deal at http://www.PowerToChoose.org

That's a government-sponsored website in Texas that aggregates various plans from all retailers. You'll like the information you find there.

We offer our buyers a coupon good for a $25 credit on their bill, and some providers offer similar incentives to switch.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 12, 2011
It's good thinking on your part to plan for utility bills.
You can ask your agent to see if the current seller will provide.
Some sellers can, some can't, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

In the past you could often call the utility company and get a printout.
My attempts at this over the past couple of years with most utilities has prompted a response
that it is private information and cannot be released to anyone but the customer.

In my opinion for the most part these are not worth the time and effort to review or chase.
Everyone has such different usage.
You see some people who almost never use heat and air conditioning for example.
Then the next house you go in has the AC on freezer mode or Heat on Sahara mode.
I remember one tenant complaining about electric bill so I went to the house. They were not at home
but had every light in the house on, the big screen tv on, and the AC on sub zero. I could probably
cut their bill by 2/3 just by turning stuff off.
I've also had sellers who travel 6 days a week. Once had never used the kitchen appliances in 6 years.
I'm sure her bills were super low in all areas.
Just something to think about.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 11, 2011
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
Yes - have your Agent contact the Listing Agent on the house in question for this information.
Most Sellers today "expect" to provide this information to potential Buyers anyway as it is frequently requested. I recommend asking for at least 1 year's worth of bills for Electric, Gas, and Water/Trash.
One must also take into account however if it's 1 person living in the house vs. 5 or 6 also -
that is going to make a difference in usage. Excellent question !
Visit my website for more Buyer tips and information -
Jay Narey ABR, ALHS
Keller Williams - Preston Rd.
Web Reference: http://www.jaynarey.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 11, 2011
I like Valerie's answer, but I would add that in addition to lifestyle differences that John brought up, you will also be shocked to know that prices among vendors on the retail side can vary by almost double or even more.

We're paying about 8 cents/kW-hr fixed but many people are paying the default rate of almost 13 cents/kW-hr. You can also find variable rates from 5 cents to over 13 cents. So, even if you had the monthly amounts paid, you wouldn't know the energy consumption without knowing their rates.

I assume you're trying to figure out what your bills might be. Unfortunately, even so-called Green houses don't truly have an "Energy Label" like refrigerators and water heaters do. Some builders are venturing into consumption labeling for their newer builds, but existing homes are almost a lost cause.

So, if the owner (or person paying the bills) has the actual invoices, you can see the consumption side and plug in the rates you expect to pay. But, you won't know how cold in summer they kept it, or how hot in winter. Same problem with gas and water bills, too. It's something like asking what the phone bills are - knowing the dollar amounts doesn't do you much good.
Web Reference: http://www.SumnerRealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 11, 2011
Your buyers agent can request these documents IF property owner choice release the info.

However much is based on lifestyle of family structure

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 11, 2011
Just ask your Realtor, he will get it from the seller via the other Realtor.
Web Reference: http://www.bengalbroker.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 11, 2011
I agree with my peers. Most utility company's will not give that information, some will if you use "honey" on them. But, don't count on it.

Best of luck.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 11, 2011
I don't know if they can compare, but you can at least shop the price. Simply go to http://www.whitefence.com.

Here you can quickly compare prices for movers, phone, electricity, television, or high-speed Internet. Just select the services you wish to compare. For example, phone, cable, and electric. Or, enter your address on the home page, hit search, and within seconds, a list of services and prices available in that area will appear.

Good luck and if you have any financing questions, please feel free to call. GOOD LUCK!

Melissa Bachmann
Sr. Loan Officer
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 11, 2011
John makes a good point. The more people residing at a property, and the differences in their habits, could mean a big difference in utility bills from one homeowner to the next. Good answer John.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 11, 2011
If you are the owner you can ask the utility company for them. If you are looking at a house you do not own you will need to ask the homeowner to get them for you. If the house is for sale, ask the listing agent to contact the homeowner for this information.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 11, 2011
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