Return on Windows: Higher in Cold Climates

Being a Realtor can have a warping effect on your sense of the calendar (it certainly warps your sense of weekends and weekdays).

So, the season that’s approaching isn’t Fall, it’s “furnace tune-up’s” and “new windows.”

For whatever reason, I’ve been fielding an inordinate number of questions about the latter this year.

If I were to venture a guess, it’s because, if you’re fortunate to have an extra $20k lying around and own an older, bigger home — and aren’t thrilled about earning 1.49% on your money, or trusting it to the vagaries of Wall Street — it’s smart to think about investing it in yourself. Or your home.

Nationally, the real estate studies that track such things say that the best “bang” for one’s remodeling buck is Kitchens and bathrooms. The same studies rank windows much lower as a good investment.

However, such studies lump the Twin Cities together with more temperate cities (in the U.S., that would be virtually everywhere).

Anecdotally, what I’ve seen and heard is that windows add much more to resale value here than other places.

So, go ahead and get those new windows — and don’t feel guilty about it!

P.S.: I know a local window company whose marketing slogan is, “only a rich man can afford poor windows.” Not exactly true — the lower heat bills pay you back only after several years. However, as a capital item, it’s certainly a good investment.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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