Homebuyers can look for resale value in efficient windows

October 6th, 2014

Although efficient windows aren't the most glamorous feature of a house, they can add to resale value.

When it comes to buying a home and thinking about resale value, energy-efficient windows are typically among the lowest concerns.

Homebuyers are are usually focused on updated kitchens and bathrooms, communities that are headed in a positive direction and good schools. However, efficient windows are becoming more popular among buyers, though few people give them as much thought as other home renovations, according to MarketWatch.

“Most people buy windows because their old ones are shot and drafty, and they know they’re losing energy,” said Degenhardt Home Improvement President Paul Vosen, the news source reported.

Citing data from Remodeling magazine’s 2014 Cost vs. Value Report, MarketWatch  said homeowners can get a 78.7 percent return on the price of installing mid-cost vinyl-window replacements. The ROI goes up to 76.6 percent for more expensive vinyl windows. Similar returns are possible for wood window replacements.

From an energy-saving standpoint, windows don’t produce enough energy savings to offset the cost of installation for some time. Yet, the resale value is what makes the project worthwhile. One reader asked the source whether the endeavor was worth the costs given that it could take 30 years before the windows pay for themselves. Based on responses from contractors, energy-efficiency experts and real estate agents, MarketWatch concluded the eventual payoff when selling the home is viable.

What does this mean for homeowners?
This news presents implications for both current homebuyers and owners who are thinking about selling down the road. Buyers can look for efficient windows in addition to other features that typically add value while they search for a home. Plus, they can consider installing the windows themselves if they purchase a fixer-upper. Homeowners who want to sell may consider installing new windows before they list.

Depending on the time of year when the house is on the market, the effect of bad windows can be noticeable. If the house is listed in winter, prospective buyers will likely feel the draft, as traditional windows are the cause of 50 percent of heat loss in an average home, according to Palm Springs, California, CBS affiliate KESQ. New windows have more panes, improved frames and protective coatings to keep heat in.

Those coatings also keep out ultraviolet rays, which prevents flooring and fabrics from fading. Additionally, many new windows are easier to clean and can reduce the amount of noise that gets in from the outside. With these benefits, it’s no surprise homebuyers are becoming more fond of efficient windows.