Puget Sound area Built Green® Certified Professionals (agents and appraisers) spend a good amount of time thinking about and talking with people about various remodeling and retrofit projects. The 2009 Cost vs. Value survey done by Remodeling Magazine has some great insights for all of us.
As the ECert Report completed by my brokerage, GreenWorks Realty, shows buyers are looking for energy savings and "sustainable" features and purchase homes with these characteristics sooner than similar homes without these features. Is reducing time on the market from six months to two months worth a little money? You bet. Many sellers are reducing prices and granting concessions for a quicker sale, but they still are trying to sell a house that lacks the efficiency and interior finishes of an upgraded home.
Let’s talk about windows. If the homeowners will be in the home for two or three years in exchange for the cost of the window upgrade they will enjoy a small utility savings every month, AND they will feel more comfortable in their home in several ways: the room temperature will be more stable so people won’t be hot then cold in cycle with the furnace turning off and on. And if the home is heated with a forced air whole house system, the less the system runs the fewer the dust particles and less contaminated air will be sucked in to the house by the draw of the rising heat going out the attic and the cold air being sucked in through the crawl space of under the door (and around the windows of course). My explanation here was a little awkward but give me a napkin and a pen and I can draw you a really cute picture of exactly what is going on with your house and where your indoor air is coming from (yuck).
A window upgrade pays for itself in savings, comfort AND equity value. So upgrade those windows now for present comfort, savings starting now, and future resale value. Because one of the easy things for people to notice when shopping for a house is if windows upgraded or not (only because it is easy for a layman to tell).
So check out the Seattle area report for yourself. You will have to register if you want to download it as a PDF. It is free but expect to get some email from the sponsors of the report. You will see that the numbers tell you a window replacement is the best way to spend your money when it comes to the amount you spend for the work versus how much of that you will get back in resale value when you go to sell – nearly 90%. When my husband and I bought our first home, in the Puget Ridge neighborhood of West Seattle, it was the first thing we did. It was a 1929 farmhouse on 1/4 acre – and the windows were from a remodel in 1968. They were huge windows, too. We replaced only the top floor windows (since heat rises). It was a large investment, but we financed it, and then paid that off with a refinance of the house in later years. It more than paid for itself.
If you have any questions about what might be the best green upgrade for your home, or for a home you are considering purchasing and greening yourself, just drop me a line! You can email me using the button to the right or call me on my Accessline (listed in the profile.)