Should you replace your windows if you may be selling your home in the next few years?

In the ever changing real estate market in South Florida, this is a question that Daniel Van Dyk of the The Window Experts gets asked often by customers. According to Van Dyk you can always get the value of replacement windows back not only in the increased value of the home and faster sale, but also can help in reduced taxes if you do decide to sell your home. Add the fact that replacement windows add to the safety of your family from storms and home invasions there is little reason not to upgrade your windows even when a home sale may be on the table in your near future.

For tax purposes, a home improvement includes any work done that substantially adds to the value of your home, increases its useful life, or adapts it to new uses. These include room additions, window replacements, new bathrooms, decks, fencing, landscaping, wiring upgrades, walkways, driveway, kitchen upgrades, plumbing upgrades, and new roofs.

If you use your home purely as your personal residence, you cannot deduct the cost of home improvements. These costs are nondeductible personal expenses.

However, this doesn't mean that home improvements do not have a tax benefit. They can help reduce the amount of taxes you have to pay when you sell your home at a profit. This is because the cost of home improvements are added to the tax basis of your home. "Basis" means the amount of your investment in your home for tax purposes. The greater your basis, the less profit you'll receive when you sell your home.

Jane purchased her home in 2002 for $500,000 and sold it in 2014 for $900,000. During 2002 through 2014, she made $50,000 worth of improvements, including a new bathroom and kitchen. These increased her basis to $550,000. She subtracts her $550,000 basis from the $900,000 sales price to determine her gain from the sale--$350,000. Only this amount is subject to tax (if Jane qualifies for the home sale tax exclusion, she need not pay tax on $250,000 of this amount).

Window shopping?  Be a savvy buyer.  In Palm Beach, Dade and Broward counties, seek advice from a veteran of the window business for over 20 years, Daniel Van Dyk of Boca Raton Based The Window Experts is your go to guy in the window and door replacement industry.

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