We are thinking of moving within 5 years m/l. Would it be worth our while to put in central air? The cost for our home would be between

Asked by Terry, Merrillville, IN Fri Jul 23, 2010

$5,000.00/$10,000.00. Would we recoup that money?

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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Fri Jul 23, 2010
You probably wouldn't recoup 100% of the money. But so what? You'd have central air, which would make you a lot more comfortable, and would make the house a lot more sellable when you do move.

And besides, do the calculations. Let's say it costs $7,500 to put in central air--that's the midpoint of your figures. And let's say that you recoup 70% of the cost. That's $5,250. So your actual cost--the amount you'll spend that you won't recoup--would be $2,250. Over the course of 5 years, that's a cost of $450 a year. (OK, we're not counting the electrical expense.) Assume you'd be running the air conditioning for 4 months a year. That's 120 days. That's $3.75 a day. About the cost of a big fast-food sandwich or a coffee at Starbucks.

Maybe it's just me--and maybe it's just because the temperature outside where I am (Virginia) right now is 98 degrees, and is expected to hit maybe 103 tomorrow. But I've lived in the Midwest, too--in Missouri--and I know it can get pretty warm there, too. So, if it were my decision, based on the figures you presented, I'd definitely get the air conditioning.

And while I noted above that you're not likely to recoup all the costs, it'll definitely make your home easier to sell. And that's valuable, too.

Hope that helps.
1 vote
Jessica Klja…, Agent, Schererville, IN
Tue Jul 27, 2010
The installaion of the A/C is an upgrade so it will help you increase the value of your home.
0 votes
Erik Armstro…, , 47802
Sat Jul 24, 2010
Allow me to answer this two ways...

1. Would you recoup your money? - A tax credit will certainly help to offset those costs for you but you probably still will not get a return on your investment for installing Central Air.

2. Will it help you sell your house? - YES. More so than wood floors, fireplaces, and walk-in closets most people will put Central Air in the "Must Have" category. Before I get started showing homes to my clients we start off at my office discussing what they are looking for in a home. Few have said, "Central Air wasn't really important to them." By installing the Central Air you will ensure that more people will look at your home, which will better position your self to get under contract.
0 votes
Maggie Hawk, Agent, New Smyrna Beach, FL
Fri Jul 23, 2010
Terry,
I, too, believe it's worth it to put in the central air.

Don has shown you how little it will actually cost you, and Chris has suggested you check for incentives offered by your state. To these excellent comments i would like to add that the federal government is offering incentives on Energy Star rated air conditioning systems, as well as other items.

The federal energy tax credit is in effect for purchases made through the end of this year, and could offer you a credit of up to $1,500 on your federal income tax. This is not a deduction, but a dollar-for-dollar savings on your taxes. For further information, please see the website referenced below.

Warm regards,
Maggie Hawk, REALTOR
(386) 314-1149
Watson Realty Corp.
0 votes
Christopher…, Agent, Methuen, MA
Fri Jul 23, 2010
Central air would certainly be a selling point, but it is difficult for anyone to say whether or not you would recoup your money or not because it depends on what the overall housing market does over the next 5 years.

You would get to enjoy the use of the central air system over the next 5 years though so you should factor that into your decision. Are you using a bunch of old outdated window units now? If so, a more modern energy efficient central air unit might save you money in electricity. It could be beneficial to check for the availability of state programs as you might be able to get some incentives for the upgrade. For instance, in Massachusetts there is a program called mass save at http://www.masssave.com that offers incentives for energy efficient upgrades to homes.
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