Re: Rehab windows - Posted by Ron (MD)
Posted by Ron (MD) on February 27, 2001 at 21:49:08:
I rehab houses with ARV of $60k-$75k and that are 35-75 years old. I never keep the original windows.
One disclaimer: I only deal in townhouses, so typically I am replacing about 8 windows. I did a few detached homes a couple of years ago and don’t even look at them now…the repair costs are usually too high and the ARV is not that much higher than a townhouse.
I figure about $200 per window. We have to get them custom-made for these old houses and they have to be insulated…the window itself is usually around $130-$140 and I figure $50-$75 to install them and wrap the outside with aluminum.
I do it for a couple of reasons.
They look better. (If you look up and down the street, usually you will see that half, or more, have new windows…and you can tell.)
They make a difference in the appraisal. (With the FHA flipping controversy, my ARV is virtually dictated by the appraiser…and they do make a favorable adjustment for new windows, although I don’t know what it is.)
Finally, I think it’s the right thing to do. I’m selling these houses for the upper limit in the neighborhood. Since I’m charging top dollar, I want to be able to look my buyers in the eye know that I’m giving them the nicest house. (I also routinely replace furnace systems, roofs, etc. that don’t affect aesthetic appeal.)
Frankly, I think the third reason is the most important one…to me. I say this because about 1/3 of the houses I buy have replacement windows that look fine from the street…but when you look at them up close (and open and close them), you can see that they are junk. I replace those, too.
Having said all that, I’m not certain I would do the same thing in a house with a $50k ARV and $2k cost of replacing the windows. I think it’s probably a good idea to do what I suggested above…stand in the front yard and look at the other houses. If they have replacement windows, you probably need them. If not, it is probably fair to stick with the old ones…after all, you’re selling a $50k house. (I do think I read that in one of your posts, below.)