Adding home value with new windows

4 Replies

Folks - I am debating on whether to upgrade & replace all the windows of an older home I acquired for buy & hold rental.

The home is built in the 60s and all windows might have been updated since then but still are pretty old.  They are all made of wood with grills and are painted shut (you can open but will knock loose some paint). They also are single panel and few insulation issues as some of them have gaps between the window and casing. The wood frame/casing/sill around the windows are borderline passing shape.

The home is value around ~150k in the suburbs ARV. There are 18 windows. Got one quote to replace all with basic white double panel vinyl including vinyl wrapping of exterior casing/sill. But obvious the cost is the big factor here. I am looking at around 6.5K to replace them. Will bring my ROI down ~1.5% (plugging the additional cost straight into the calculation while not considering increase of value or rent). I do plan to hold for long term.

I am getting mix advice: some said keep things the way they are, sand, and paint the trim, fix sash lock, install insulation strips, while replacing a few exterior sills, and not worry about tenant wanting to open the windows..

Then I am told, go ahead and do it as a good feature to attract tenants (new, save energy with ensured/enhanced insulation, utility will be paid by tenant), of course the windows can be opened like they suppose to, less maintenance headache with possible landlord call for window breakdown/issues. The windows guy also told me it will provide ~70% return when I appraise the property if re-finance after repair (can't say I know if this is true? but again, he is the one selling the windows!).

Here are couple pictures, Any thoughts?

Opinion:

Your windows are shot. Get new ones.

Thanks @James DeRoest . that was a quick thought. The weird thing is that only 2 of 8 folks said I should replace them and the rest of the 6, including realtors and some contractors thought I should leave it since this is just rental.  I was wonder if any had experience with making this decision? 

Originally posted by @Wei Huang :

Thanks @James DeRoest. that was a quick thought. The weird thing is that only 2 of 8 folks said I should replace them and the rest of the 6, including realtors and some contractors thought I should leave it since this is just rental.  I was wonder if any had experience with making this decision? 

Realtors and contractors are promoting the slumlord experience, eg never investing in the property, and extracting every bit of blood out of the house you possibly can etc.

This works well in the short term, but when it's time to dispose of the asset, people will look at your manky horrible windows and knock you for them.

But then replacement won't be $6k by that time, they'll be $10k, and the buyer will knock you $15k on the price - because they can.

Don't fall into the trap "it's just a rental". It's someone's home.

Plus, new windows make a huge difference to energy bills as well. Less money tenants pay on utilities, more able they are to pay your rent.

Also, you don't need to spend a fortune on windows, even the companies that supply $200 windows (installed) will be vastly better windows than what is already there. Look around for ads like Window World for instance.

@James DeRoest

Thank you for the great input. If I didn't ask anybody I was leaning towards doing it right and replacing all just for long term pros.  It was just surprising the number of folks that advised me against it when I asked! so of course I had to ask BP. 

Funny you mentioned Window World somebody referred me to them and I have an appointment with them Monday.  Appreciate the great input again!

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