Homebuyers should keep an eye on the windows

Although a seemingly peripheral consideration, windows can play a surprisingly important role when buying a home and should be carefully inspected.

So says Harcourts Africa CEO Martin Schultheiss, who notes that older houses tend to have a few questionable window frames and latches in need of attention or even replacement due to weather or insect damage.

“And sometimes it’s even more serious than that, as windows that are out of alignment and do not shut properly can be a sign of shifting or sinking foundations.

“Whatever the case, it’s important for buyers to ascertain what exactly needs to be done to remedy the situation and factor the cost of this into their offer to purchase.”

The costs can be quite high, especially if you are buying a home built prior to World War 2. “At this time, there were no universal building standards and the windows of each home were individually constructed to fit – so replacements would need to be custom-made.

“Similarly, you need to be wary of buying a one-of-a-kind designer home with non-standard windows unless these are in perfect working order.”

Alternatively, your choice might be to renovate the whole house in such a way that standard windows can be installed and indeed, says Schultheiss, this may be the way to go if you can afford it.

“Replacing windows is often a good way to add value to a home by improving its appearance, letting in more natural light and, depending on the type of material used, reducing maintenance costs.”

Modern windows can also be treated to reduce sun damage to interior furnishings, limit heat loss in winter and reduce excess heat in summer. They can also be made shatter-proof to increase home security.

Article by: www.harcourts.co.za