Buying house w/HTS. Keep existing or buy new?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by jenBow, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. jenBow

    jenBow Auditioning

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    I am very new to the world of home theater. My husband and I are purchasing a home that has a basement family room (not dedicated theater room) with a Sony big screen tv. The owners are offering to leave the existing electronics for $5K, but after looking around on this site all day today, I don't know if that's the best thing to do, since new technology and lower pricing may give me more for the same amount of money.

    I am listing the equipment they have. I've asked for model numbers, but haven't received anything yet. I think the equipment is somewhere between 3 and 5 years old. They have DirecTV, but I think we may stick with digital cable, unless there's a great reason to use satellite. We really don't watch that much television, but want a nice sound when we do. Also, my son has a PS2 that we'd like to add, as well. If you think the equipment is good, please let me know what you think about the price.

    Again, I know there's not much you can do without model numbers, but any comments, suggestions, or feedback is welcome. Thanks for your input!

    4 Receivers (Yamaha AV, Hughes Platinum, RCA, Sony) - I guess for other rooms?
    Klipsch 12" Subwoofer
    Klipsch Center Channel Speaker
    4 Klipsch 8 inch Ceiling Speakers
    2 Sonance Ceiling Speakers (6.5" or 8")
    Sonance 260x3 Amplifier
    Panamax Surge Protector
    Open House Modulator for IR - is this specific to DirecTV?
    4 IR Targets for other rooms
    Phillips Pronto Smart Remote w/docking station
    2 Outdoor Stone Speakers
     
  2. mylan

    mylan Screenwriter

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    Well, the moment they cut holes for the in-ceiling speakers, they became part of the house so they should stay regardless, unless they are planning to remove them and replace with an inferior speaker. The other receivers, Sonance equipment, IR repeaters, and rock speakers are part of a whole house audio system that I would consider keeping.
    The home theater equipment is dated in terms of newer sound formats and connections with regard to HDTV and the next DVD format called HD-DVD or Blu-ray. I think for 5K you can start over and build a superior system than what is currently in place.
    If you do decide to keep the system as is (for now) I would not pay 5K for it as used equipment prices would be less but rather deal it into the house some way.
    You can post in the other areas on this forum for specific recommendations on equipment but you can get a Sony 42" rear projection widescreen display now for $1,500 for example but here is a ballpark rundown of some prices.
    receiver-$500-$700
    DVD player- $250
    speaker package with sub-$1,500
    digital cable with HDTV package-leased, no money out of pocket
    wiring-$250-$500
    universal remote-$250
    total, not including tax or install=$4,700
    You might go over that 5K price he quoted but you will be getting far better quality all the way around and be ahead of the technology for several years.
     
  3. drobbins

    drobbins Screenwriter

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    My brother is buying my house & I am in the process of building another. He does not want anything in my theater room. He is going to turn it into a spare bedroom. I will take all the equipment with me. Because the buyer is my brother I will help him with this change. I knew that he didn't want the theater, we had it appraised with out the equipment.

    If I were selling to a stranger I would only leave what is mounted - wall speakers, painted on screen, etc. (it would be kinda hard to take the painted screen [​IMG]) As mentioned, I am sure the buyer wouldn't want holes in the walls. If they asked to leave it all, I would probably want full cost because I would have to buy every thing again. 8 leather recliners $5,000. Yamaha receiver, JBL speakers, 2 subs, BFD equalizer, projector, screen & DVD-VCR player about $3,000.00

    If you want the equipment, get a list and look up prices, then offer $0.10 - $0.20 on the dollar.

    Dave
     
  4. jenBow

    jenBow Auditioning

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    Thanks for the responses! We are going to go listen to the system on Thursday and decide whether we want to make an offer on the existing equipment or buy new. I've had a great time looking at all the cool things out now and if we don't get the old stuff, I've already made a list of some things I want to check out. This is a great forum and I will definitely be scouring them for months to come!
     
  5. BrianTwig

    BrianTwig Second Unit

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    Anything that is attached, built into, or "a part of" the home is considered a fixture and part of the home, such as the IR targets, face plates, and in ceiling speakers. It is to convey with the sale unless negotiated out. They are not to be negotiated into the sale. If your realtor was not aware of this, make them aware and the seller aware. Though you may have kinda screwed the pooch on this matter with your current convesations with the seller about the equipment. Receivers, subwoofer, etc... Those are not fixtures and clearly the seller can take them or negotiate them in.

    Look at the attached items as follows. If the home had an inwall double oven, an inwall microwave, and a drop in grill top on the back patio would those be considered part of the home and listing price? Or would the seller say the house is $X, but if you want the ovens, microwave, and grill you can pay $Y more or we take them with us.

    Doesn't work that way. Unless the listing specifically says "ovens, microwave, and grill does not convey." And actually, since they are "built in" items as opposed to a standing cooktop/oven they must convey.

    Or in your case, "home theater and automation equipment does not convey."

    Hell, even curtain rods and blinds are considered fixtures and part of the home.
     
  6. RickER

    RickER Producer

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    Yep, what these guys said. They cant jack the price up $5,000 on the built in stuff. They have to leave it or fix the holes in the walls/ceiling. I wouldnt keep someones older electronics, but id be OK with inwall speakers left.
    We just had a house built and did a hometheater room, lots of fun!
     
  7. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    Hold on. You can enter into a contract for whatever you want. You guys are assuming all sorts of facts about what the listing contract says or doesn't say. Even if the electronics were not specifically excluded from the contract, you're advising a fight about the repeaters and built in speakers and in the same breath saying that the money could be spent better on new stuff? That makes no sense. Granted, the seller should patch up holes and repaint after he takes out installed components, but it sounds like the stuff was excluded from the sale.

    To the OP, if you want an easy resolution, negotiate a price for the stuff. However, you could definitely spend the money more effectively (I'm assuming the $5k price does not include the tv.) Many here will tell you that klipsch has a very distinctive sound, on the "bright" rather than "warm" side. You won't have anything to compare it to in that room, but you might like other speakers better. Or you might not. Buying speakers is something of personal preference and nobody can tell you (in most cases) that YOU will like certain speakers over others. If you haven't had/installed a home theater and whole house system before, you will have to learn some things along the way, including how to program everything so it works together.

    Sorry, I just don't see it as easy an issue as other posters.
     
  8. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    At the end of the day, for people that care about home theater, they should design their own systems for their own needs and tastes.
     
  9. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I am neither a lawyer nor a realtor but it is my understanding that one something is attached, it becomes ‘real’ and as such is a part of the sale unless specifically excluded (exclusions often happen with things like chandeliers—and of course real estate laws and practices vary from state to state).

    But it is pretty hard to imagine exclusions for speakers built into walls or ceilings, though it could be done. Actually I’m a bit surprised at the bargaining, as built-in systems of almost any kind are normally a part of the sales pitch. Of course things like TVs, receivers and such would be fair game.

    It does seem as though $5,000 is a bit higher than FMV. Many people are reluctant to consider how much the things they bought and love have depreciated (and very true in electronics, where you can nearly always get more for the same amount of money a year later).
     
  10. jenBow

    jenBow Auditioning

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    Thanks for all the feedback! The contract did state that all built in speakers would stay, but we just got the list of electronics for sale that included the ceiling speakers. I don't know if the owners aren't aware of the contract or if they didn't realize the ceiling speakers were on the list. Or maybe they just want to see if we're paying attention!

    We're going to talk to them on Thursday, listen to the system, then talk about a deal. The $5K does not include the TV, which they did agree to leave that in the original contract. If they are not willing to negotiate a more reasonable price for the receiver, amp, sub, etc., then we will show them the contract, ask them to leave the built in speakers as agreed, and then go spend some cash on new stuff!

    I'm a musician (keyboard/vocals) and love to listen to music on a good system, and from what I've read, the equipment they have now may not be the best for music. I'm sure it will all work out either way, but I'll let you know what happens after Thursday... thanks again!
     
  11. mylan

    mylan Screenwriter

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    Then by all means buy all new stuff. The Klipsch tend to be harsh so prolonged listening might not be the best idea, it doesn't matter as much with home theater as soundtracks are "artificial" but with music you will want something more musical, warmer, and laid back. Pay careful attention to how you perceive sound coming at you from above as opposed to in front as a performance would be. The Sonance stuff will be more for background listening as you go about doing something else so it will not be as critical. Like I said, i'd keep that set-up. Do audition a piece of music you know well.
     
  12. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    If the built in stuff stays and the tv wasn't part of the price, then $5k looks way too expensive for the rest of the equipment. Two of the receivers -- the Yamaha and Sony look like audio video receivers (AVR) but the Hughes and RCA look like they might just be cable or satellite boxes which you'll get for free or almost free from your cable/sat provider. The two AVRs could be good, but doubtful they are $5k good. Klipsch are good speakers, but very distinctive sounding so you might not like them. You could definitely do better on the sub. Keep the built ins, including the IR equipment and then use that $5k to buy something better. IF you are unfamiliar with HT, you may need to have a pro come in to coordinate the IR whole house setup and program a universal remote for you to run it. That's a little difficult for people to do for you over the internet.
     
  13. jenBow

    jenBow Auditioning

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    Charlie,

    Is there a quick explanation for the IR equipment? I thought this might have to do with sending Directv through the house, but we're going to use cable. I don't know if their controller is built in so if they take it with them, do we still need one? Thanks!
     
  14. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    I don't have a whole house system. But the main purpose of a whole house system is to be able to control music in any room from anywhere in the house.

    For instance, if your AVR is in the family room and you have it playing a CD or the radio, how do you listen to the music in a bedroom where you have additional speakers? You can either use a remote that is radio frequency based (RF) so that the remote does not have to 'see' the device it is controlling. But if your AVR is controlled by infrared remote (IR), as most are, and the AVR must be able to 'see' the remote in order to work, you need a series of devices called IR repeaters that will control the AVR. The IR repeaters, many of which are RF based, take an IR signal at one location, transmit an RF signal that is received at another location, and then transmit another IR signal to the desired device so that you effectively can control the AVR from anywhere in the house where there is an IR receptacle.

    I think there are many ways to set this up, however, and that's why I said that if someone has already done the groundwork, it might make sense to leave it in place. I do think you'd need a tech from a sound shop to take a look and figure out how it was originally set up and what you'd need to make it work.

    If things are cordial with your seller and he is a HT buff rather than someone who paid to have it installed and knows nothing about it, you could ask him to leave you a detailed description of how everything is wired. This is why I was trying to emphasize not picking a fight with the seller over a few thousand dollars of audio equipment when spending a hundreds of thousands on a house. This guy can help you. If you decide to not buy the equipment, just be polite and say thanks, we're not sure what we want yet so are going to buy our own equipment, but any help you can give us about how the rest of it works will be appreciated.

    Edit - BTW, you're now starting to get beyond the 'basics' of how this should work. The forum admins need to keep this forum for basic questions only as the forum functions as a library, and stuff needs to be where people can find it. You should repost in the forum located immediately below this one 'Construction, Interiors and Automation' and ask for a quick description of how it all works. You can link to this thread so people can get some context about what you are looking for and you don't have to retype everything. It may take a day or so to get the info you need, but people here are very helpful.
     
  15. jenBow

    jenBow Auditioning

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    Thanks, Charlie. Your explanation is great and it makes perfect sense. I'm looking forward to hearing the system tonight and I'll post my feedback. Have a great day!
     
  16. jenBow

    jenBow Auditioning

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    Update... we went to the home to listen to the system and the owner said that the CD/DVD player was broken, but we could watch tv to test system. He demo'ed a baseball game... needless to say, I couldn't tell much about the sound. He said the system was 5 years old. I took down model numbers, came home and researched prices and made an offer of about 1/3 of new prices. He rejected the offer, but it's really fine. I would have only kept it in place while looking for good replacements. I am so excited about putting together a great new system! Thanks for everyone's great comments!
     
  17. mylan

    mylan Screenwriter

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    You are welcome, we are glad to help. It doesn't bode well if something is broken during a demo. I think you made the right choice. Shopping for your new theater is fun, however, paying for it is not! This hobby can be very draining to the budget, but stick with us, we'll show you the way!
     
  18. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Screenwriter

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    I was a real estate broker for a few years and in my opinion the built in speakers would have to be specifically excluded in writing as would the wiring through the walls to be removable. The purchase and sales contract would have to specify this exclusion to be enforceable. I like Sonance in-wall speakers and have a set not installed now and they are not worth much in any event.

    Chris
     

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