Lets break this down into two categories. Pro and Cons.
It will certainly make the home more attractive to renters. This could be important depending on the rental market in Fairfield. If the home is vacant for 3 or 4 months in say a 2 year period because it isnâ€™t up to par with other rentals then your friend has cost himself money by not upgrading.
It gets hot in Fairfield and it is a way of showing renters that they are more than a rent check. You want a rental to look as nice as possible the day a new renter comes in. If you show that you care about the home then they are more likely to take care of it. I use the same philosophy with my car. I make sure that it is spotless when I take it in for repair. This sends a message to the mechanics that I care about this vehicle. I also believe that a nicer home may attract a different type renter.
Itâ€™s a tax write off. Since the windows donâ€™t truly need replacing and the new windows are an improvement this can be considered an upgrade and not just maintenance. This may serve him come tax time.
Money saver. Windows eventually leak and unless you are on top of the situation you probably wont know they are leaking until you see evidence such as water stains on the sheetrock. This means additional expense to repair the damage. In addition, nothing gets cheaper in life so every year he waits will cost him more money.
Since most windows have a ten plus year warranty he wont have to replace them 2x. On that note, make sure the installation is done by a company that has been around for ten years or so. Get referrals!
If he decides or is forced to sell early there is a good chance he will get much of his $3,000 back.
The home will probably not rent for much more because of the new windows.
The $3,000 could be used for other investments. Stocks, bonds, etc.
If the project is financed then there is additional finance cost.
Hmmm. Thatâ€™s all I got for cons. Make sure he checks with the city to see what permits are required. This is more money. If they are required he really should get them. Also, there are three ways of installing windows. New construction, and two types of retro installs. For $3,000 I assume he is not getting New Construction installation. This is the best install. Sometimes a city only requires a permit for certain types of installs. He needs to spend a few minutes and educate himself on the types of windows and installation methods. If he sounds educated on the process he will be less likely to have a â€œfast oneâ€ pulled on him during the installation.
Here's what I would tell your friend: All of the reasons you give for replacing the windows would benefit you personally if you were living in the home.
However, if you're planning to rent the house, you need to view any improvements you make to the house as a landlord would. One of the questions you might want to ask yourself is "Will this bring me a significantly greater rental income, enough to justify doing the work?"
My "gut instinct" is that replacing the single-pane windows with double-pane won't actually net you noticeably more rental money, unless you're paying the tenant's electric bill. You could achieve some of the advantages of window replacement by other, less costly means. Applying an ultraviolet-filtering film to the windows could help with the air conditioning bills, and caulking the windows should address the concern about potential leaks.
It's possible there are tax benefits for replacing windows in a rental property--Check with your accountant on that.
Regarding resale, if you replace the windows now, and sell the home in 10 years, you'll be selling a home with 10-year -old windows. From a resale point of view, it would be better to replace the windows just prior to putting the home on the market. Then you can market it as having new windows.
Just some things to think about.
Maggie Hawk, REALTOR
Watson Realty Corp.