Phone jacks or not?

12 Replies

I am flipping a 2500 sq tf split level house in a middle income neighborhood with an anticipated price of 270,000 when complete.  Should I keep existing landline phone jacks located throughout the house?  Some are inconveniently located for upgrades I need to do and I'm questioning whether buyers still expect them to be located in every room of a house now that so many folks rely on cell phones.   Any thoughts?

I would put them only in rooms may be used as an office, bedroom or study. You could take the option of leaving up to the new owner.

Agreed. I would provide a minimum of one active jack (probably office or kitchen area) and the rest of the rooms can have a cordless extension handset, which don't require a separate jack. Most people today aren't even interested in landlines anyway. 

I totally skipped cable and phone on my last one. $210k list.

Cable I probably should have run, but Im on Uverse and don't have wires, plus the last time I had cable put in they didn't want to use the other company's run so ran a new one. Easy enough to put in. Plus, I don't know anyone that still has an old school landline anymore. Even the ones that have a home phone/fax one use cable or Uverse on a bundle. I think the day of phone jacks in rooms is over for new buyers.

Second one I've skipped that stuff on, never came up on the last one.

For rentals, I've been removing them and I've never gotten a single complaint.

I think most people only use a land lines anymore for a fax machine (like I do). I agree with @Carl Gipson - put one in the office or kitchen area but not throughout the house.

I had lines stapled around the baseboards in a rental.
I needed to install new floors and after removing the baseboards I noticed that it would be a pain to re-staple the lines. I ended up just cutting them and leaving the boxes dead and inactive. It was a lot easier than sheetrocking the holes.
You can also buy blank outlet covers to hide the holes instead of leaving the old phone jacks (they give an outdated impression).
They are very cheap and don't look bad at all, especially if they match the trim.

For a flip I would leave a few if they are there in reasonable places especially if you aren't in the city. At your price point I would want one wired in the wall in a common area if I was buying but it wouldn't be  a deal breaker. Remember not every buyer fits the same demographic so part of it is your market.  

For a rental I would take them out if there is cell reception, one less thing to fix. I still have a landline that works when the electric is out but that is due to our location and frequent power outages. If they go fiberoptic it will stop working in power outages -not sure why but if so then I will drop. However, I have rental houses where I have never tested the landline the tenants always use cell.

Originally posted by @Anne A.:

I think most people only use a land lines anymore for a fax machine (like I do). I agree with @Carl Gipson - put one in the office or kitchen area but not throughout the house.

There are at least two other good reasons for a landline. 

One, 911 can locate on a landline better than on cell. 

Two, in a power failure a traditional landline (not VOIP) will still be operational since the telco uses batteries. But you need a phone that also doesn't need power, so those cordless types aren't going to help here. 

And some people like their home security systems to be on a landline. 

This is my question on a fix & hold.  Small cute house--ideal for grad students.

I have rehabbed houses in the past where we totally overlooked the phone line and it was several turnovers before a tenant asked.  Putting one in was not a big deal but would have been easier when the walls were open.

The other question is how to decide on hard wired outlets for RF (coax) and Cat5/6?  I'm told that ethernet is a must for gaming, but are people adding these to their rehab-to-rental punch list?

In short, has this ever affected ROI?


I kick myself for putting these in 5-10 years ago on my rentals. Now no one really uses them. I know for my next rental/rehab I am not going to put them in. Everyone uses a cell phone or their Internet VoIP instead. No more copper land lines. Don't bother. If they require it they can have the phone company install when they turn the line on.

Depends on your market.  I currently rent to young professionals in an urban market.  None of my units have land lines, nor is it expected by any of my tenants.

Now if you have units in a neighborhood with a much older demographic.  I would join the consensus of the forum and say to only put one in the kitchen and perhaps in an office/bedroom.

I would skip the phone jacks and put in CAT 5 cables/jacks with a patch panel in the closet.  This way it can serve dual purpose, data or voice. 

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