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Smart Real Estate Improvements - Windows

Aug 4, 2008
There are a number of quick and easy tips and tricks you can do to improve your home. Before you start making changes, however, analyze if the change you want to make will have the impact that you are looking for. After all, sales pitches can sometimes fall short of your reality and knowing what you are getting into beforehand can help you make the right choices for your budget.

Changing old single-pane windows to the new double-pane ones can be a smart upgrade for most homes. However, you may hear the enticing statistic that just by changing your old windows to the new, more efficient versions you will cut your heating and cooling bills by 50%.

While the new double-pane windows will be twice as efficient for your home, windows only make up a portion of your homes frame. If you have fewer windows, your energy savings will be proportional to the space covered by these new double-panes. If you have just a fraction of your home using window space, your energy savings might only be 25%. Considering that the price of installing new windows can run as high as $1,200 per window, you will be long gone before your new windows pay for themselves in saved energy costs.

On the other hand, if you need new windows, it makes sense to get the more energy efficient ones. Also, you can use the double-paned items as a future selling point if you plan sell property in upcoming years. For this reason, the choice for double-pane windows would be a smart move. However, if you are installing the windows in a home with less window space only to enjoy reduce energy costs, the price might not be worth it for you.

A recent study from the 2007 National Association of Realtors showed that many sellers got close to 80% of the cost of new windows back with the sale of their home. However, character can make a big difference. If you put in the wrong windows and lose some of your homes architectural style, you can see the loss when it comes time to sell your home.

Look at the current pattern of your windows. If they are multiple pieces of glass separated by dividers, you should consider putting in new windows that feature the same pattern. If the cost of true divided windows is too much for your budget (custom windows can start at $2,000), look into the standard solution of snap-on grilles that give the appearance of divided glass from the inside.

Keeping the character of your home overall is a very important step when considering upgrades and changes to your house. Removing built-in cabinets or mantelpieces can strip the home of the intrinsic value that future buyers are looking for, so before you make any upgrades that involve removing some of the older details of the home, think about the future. Downscale the home and you will be downscale the price as well.
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