Window heating and cooling units in FL to they decrease value?

8 Replies

Hello guys,

I am closing next week on a property in Lakeland Florida. It's a 3/1 and I think I got a nice deal on it. I had a short discussion with my PM about the property and she says that because of the window AC units rent could potentially be affected and being lower than a house with a central AC.

The house has a low pitch roof with very little attic space. Central AC is doable but will be costly and I'm not interested in that upgrade. Especially because most rooms in the house already have a fully working window unit.

So what do you guys think? How much lower is the rental going to be because of the window units ?

@Mike S. I have not, just because it would likely cost me more than just using what I currently have. why fix it if it ain't broken ?

It depends on the neighborhood. A&B neighborhoods it may hurt your occupancy rate. I have a few properties C class neighborhoods with Window units and it has had no impact. Compare the increase in rent that you think you'll get by putting in central compared to the price of installing it. It will take a few years to get your money back.

I agree that it’ll depend on the area and class. I have purchased many homes that have working central air but the people put window units in because they claim it saves them money on electric. I believe it’s because they only cool 1 room at a time and don’t run it while the place is empty. I’ve got place I do not provide any units; people bring their own. These are low income, but not war zone. 

@David Tsedaka In my area, it affects rental rate by quite a bit, I would estimate probably 10% - 20%, and has higher vacancy rates because they are harder to fill.

There are too many rental comps with central A/C to not have it. You're putting yourself at a competitive disadvantage right from the start.

Personally, I would not purchase a property without central or factoring it into my rehab.

If you can afford it, I'd suggest adding central, especially if your exit strategy involves selling it later on. If there are two otherwise identical houses for rent, one with central and one with window-bangers, I think the one with central will be the one most renters pick.

Thanks for the input guys. 
I'm not a big fan of window units but it seems like it's still suitable for this specific neighborhood. I'm just going to get a bigger living room unit and a unit for a room and also have them with heating. Hopefully this should be satisfactory.