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Old 04-12-2011, 02:12 PM
10 posts, read 24,496 times
Reputation: 10


I have an opportunity to replace 3 A/C (PTAC) wall units at a "reduced" cost of ~$2,000 in total for a 2 bed/2 bath 1,140 SF condo in Hoboken (NJ) that can be classified as "just a notch below luxury". The current A/C units are about 11 years old -- the same as the condo building itself.

I plan to sell the condo unit in a year, but for now, I am renting it out to a tenant through February 2012. The current A/C units are working, but I'm concerned about the one in the master bedroom failing w/in the next year, and the overall ability of the other two to survive through the future home sale.

The question is -- is it worth replacing all three units now (at a "reduced" cost) or just 2 of the units (i.e., the 2 bedrooms or the master bedroom and the living area)? The "savings" from just replacing 2 units is about $700-750 now, but if the 3rd unit breaks down later, that cost is likely to be about $1,000-$1,200.

I need to decide by this Friday to take advantage of the reduced rate for replacement.

Any and all comments are welcomed! Thanks.
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:21 PM
Location: No Sleep Til Brooklyn
1,413 posts, read 4,774,944 times
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Sounds like a question for streeteasy.
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:40 PM
Location: Beautiful Pelham Parkway,The Bronx
8,477 posts, read 20,368,049 times
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"If it ain't broke,don't fix it" unless you just can't wait to get rid of that 2,000.

I don't think new air conditioners will increase the resale value of your condo.
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:47 AM
Location: NY,NY
2,898 posts, read 8,599,017 times
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If you're certain to put the condo on the market at the end of the lease; AND the price is actually a good deal for TOP quality A/Cs, then it makes sense.

The point being, any intelligent buyer will discount the 10 yr old condition of the apt. I'd imagine that there's no marble counter tops and no stainless steel appliances. In a near luxury building which has to compete with near new and newly built bulidings/apts, you're likely going to have to modernize to get top dollar in the marketplace.

Otherwise, imo, you'll have to market at a discount.

You should contact a local experienced broker, have her/he take a look and advise as to what is needed. That's what a seller pays for, a broker's marketing expertise.

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Old 04-13-2011, 08:26 AM
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,830 posts, read 26,410,486 times
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I would not replace the units right now. And should one fail and be completely irreparable, I would not replace it with a top-end unit while the tenant is in the apartment. The main reason for this is that while you may get a deal now on the better units, they will still be used A/C units with diminished, or expired, warranties when you go to sell the condo. As such, I can tell you that from the perspective of a purchaser, it would mean little to me if you spent $2k on them the year before, since I would not pay anything close to that -- perhaps more to the $500 mark if they were in excellent condition, or the fair used price for the same units, whichever is lower. You also cannot guarantee the condition after a year at the hands of a tenant.

If the A/C unit fails and you must replace it during the current tenancy, go to Costco, PC Richard, Sears, etc. and buy a sufficient replacement unit, preferably on sale, to replace that one. Don't worry about resale on it, since it's not going to affect your price when you go to sell. Then, when the time comes to sell, pull that unit, and sell it as a used unit on CraigsList, or the building's bulletin board, etc.

When you go to market the home, I agree that you should ask the sales agent what is expected at that time in that market. You don't know what improvements are expected, and acceptable. Remember the A/C units only must work through closing, then they become the property, and responsibility, of the new tenant. An upgrade to an Energy Star A/C unit would get attention, and if you could get a good deal at that time, it might be a marketing point. However, I would not rush into it a year before the unit goes on the market.
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
~William Shakespeare
(As You Like It Act II, Scene VII)

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