Does having A/C increase your home’s value?

Girl talking into fan

To A/C or not to…..That is the question

Ever since we purchased our current home without A/C thirteen years ago, this conversation has been a hot topic (pun intended) for my family. I argue that for $10,000 to install the new system, we could spend quite a few nights camped out at The Westin. In fact, 5 days per year at $200 per night means we could hotel it for ten years before we were in the hole.  On the other hand, my husband claims that a good night’s sleep allows for better work days, therefore upping our overall earning power which would offset the cost.

Fueling the discussion recently, Seattle has had particularly hot summers in the past few years. Last summer saw 12 days over 90 degrees and 26 days over 85 degrees. The year before was the previous record at 22 days. Not to mention the 116 days over 70 degrees. Typically Seattle only has 10 days a year with temps over 85 degrees. With the heat climbing, I know we aren’t the only ones dreaming of A/C on another sweaty sleepless night.

So how does having A/C play into the value of your home? Here comes the tough truth… it doesn’t add value to your home.  It is a fabulous feature to market, and the buyer will be very happy to have it, but I couldn’t take the value of a home and add $10k because of the A/C.  I help folks from all over the country purchase in Seattle. The locals never assume a house has A/C, and people from the East always assume it has A/C. Either way, they don’t make their decision to purchase it, or whether it is worth the price, based on A/C.  In that moment there are too many other important considerations, mostly about location, lot size, room size/count, overall condition, schools etc.

So here is my advice. If you want to get A/C for the enjoyment and comfort of your family, go for it!! Consider it an investment in your well-being. As for us, after 13 years of discussion, we have decided to make the investment. And since we will apparently be getting a better night’s sleep, we will be extra ready to help you sell your home- A/C or not. J

Bonus Round – Ideas in case you don’t want to purchase full A/C

  1. Buy a small local unit. It’s good for one room at a time. Cost $400
  2. Once the sun goes down, open all windows and turn on fans to blow the hot air out. It usually cools down enough at night making for a natural A/C.
  3. Visit your friend who has A/C. We all have that one friend with A/C. Now seems a good time to catch up. (Give us a call if you want to come mooch off of ours).
  4. Starbucks – At $4 per coffee, the price of A/C is built in, so stay and hang out all afternoon.
  5. Movies – So cold you’ll need a sweater.
  6. Small plastic pool – for the adults. Put it in your front yard, pull up a lawn chair and put your feet in. It will give your neighbors something to talk about. If you want to give your neighbors another reason to talk, leave it there over the winter.
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