Unless they installed flourescent pink windows that flashed into your windows at night, I can't see how a variation in window style on someone else's townhome would affect your home value.
Am I missing something?
Rebekah Owen, MBA
Unfortunately, despite any Board of Directors' or Association Manager's best efforts, there are homeowners who will violate the archtiectural rules of a homeowners association and change portions of the exterior of a home without approval or will add items that are specifically not approved by the Association. Depending on the variance in appearance, the presence of the new windows may or may not affect the home values within the community.
At this point, it is the homeowners association's responsibility to police the matter with the homeowner and to have the windows replaced to those that are more harmonious to the community. If, for some reason, the Board allowed the homeowner to make this change to the inconsistent windows, then they are (presumably) trying to make these newer window standard and all homeowners will eventually put these new windows into their homes when opting for updated windows. To know the full story, you'll need to discuss this with the Board of Directors or the management company.
In the meantime, depending on how the new windows look compared with the older windows, the new windows may make the older homes look "dated" or, if the windows are particularly different, the value loss can actually happen to the home with the newer windows.
Truthfully, however, most homeowners prefer updated windows both for noise reduction as well as energy savings. Many of the older homes (especially those built in the 70s), have black framed, single paned windows, and the black or dark brown color is really not favored by most buyers today. Most homeowners prefer the white vinyl windows to the dated look of the darker colored frames. So, while the change from black or anodized bronze to white colored frames can be visually off-putting, the updated look does add to the value of the home, and the loss of the dark colors will also "lighten" the overall color scheme of the community.
Again, my suggestion is to talk with the Board of Directors to learn why the new windows were approved, and then to see if the newer windows might help your home's energy consumption and value.
Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Community Association Manager and Consultant
Area Pro Realty
Owners are restricted by the CC&R's from doing anything that could potentionally reduce the value of any property in the community. If this appears to be the case you should bring it to the attention of the Home Owners Association and request that it be carefully reviewed.