We get it: building a dream home theater or music studio, installing an in-ground swimming pool, perhaps adding a barbecue pit would enhance your joy in homeownership. And to that, we at Hall’s Window Center say, “knock yourself out.” Life is about living.
But when it comes to boosting the sales price of your home, it’s the less sexy moves that will make a financial difference.
That’s where we come in, because we also believe life shouldn’t be about losing value.
Take the example of a homeowner on the West Coast who purchased a 1928 bungalow for $270,000, invested $100,000 in upgrades, and saw his assessed at $460,000 after the dust settled. According to ISoldMyHouse.com, a for-sale-by-owner website, spending $10,000 on windows will raise the asking price at sale time by $8,500. Meanwhile, you’re also cutting your energy bills, which will jet past the $1,500 difference for many families within the first year or so. This doesn’t count any rebates your utility company may offer for Energy Star-certified windows.
Indeed, HGTV lists replacing old windows with Energy Star-compliant vinyl windows as the fourth project of 10 must-dos if you want big dividends when it’s time to move on. But, as they point out, you can save even before that. Because these windows don’t shatter when broken, your agent might find a break on your insurance premium too.
Then there’s the curb appeal. Says one Realtor on a trade website: “I have found in the Southern California market especially that buyers look for updated windows. They make for a quicker sell at a stronger sale price.”
Why? For starters, millennials are putting a strong emphasis on green housing, which is why LifeHackers lists this advantage as third on its list of good investments for resale value. The National Association of Home Builders rates it still higher, in second place when it comes to attributes that would most influence a purchase decision. Let’s face it, new homeowners have a lot of things to pay for besides the electric bill.
“My millennial buyers usually ask for two years’ worth of utility payments,” real estate professional Joe Rivellino told Consumer Reports. “They want to know the R value on the insulation and whether the windows have low-E coatings.”