With the average age of our properties here in Ahwatukee at around 20 years there seems to be a shift in what is most important to buyers out here looking to purchase. Ten years ago interior upgrades like granite counter tops, newer fixtures and flooring were on top of most buyers list when searching for a home. Top of the radar these days are big-tickets items that have reached their life span like roofs and air condition units. Another non-cosmetic item high on the list is energy efficiency such as newer windows and solar equipment.

According to Dennis Porter, longtime resident of Ahwatukee and owner of Porter Roofing, around 60 percent of homes today in Ahwatukee will have roofs that have reached their useful life if they’re original. Porter went on to say that although the roof tiles should last around 50 years the underlayment, if installed properly, should last around 25-30 years. From this we can see the factors that add to shortening the life of the roof are improper installation. Currently, Porter roofing is re-roofing about five to eight homes per week in Ahwatukee. Depending on the size of the home the approximate cost to replace the roof is approximately $10,000 to 20,000, Porter said.

With our blistering hot summers being another big concern buyers are interested in energy efficiency, especially with the age of the air conditioning units. We talked with a local air condition company, Brewers Air Conditioning. According to Brewers, the average life expectancy of A/C units, depending on use, is eight to 12 years. This varies according to maintenance and operation. The approximate cost to replace A/C units with 13 seer is 5,000 to 6,000 per unit. Again, depending on the size of the home there could be multiple units needed. This would be another major investment for a buyer if the units are more than 10 years old.

Because roofs and air conditioning units are so costly to replace buyers are likely to be as concerned with condition and age of these items as they are with cosmetic things like upgraded interiors. A buyers agent and buyers can use search fields in MLS to determine if the roof and air conditioning units are original or if they have been updated and what year they were updated. Sellers need to be prepared to either replace roofs with failing underlayment and air conditioning units on their last legs or price homes accordingly to be competitive with current market conditions.

• Bonny Holland is with Keller Williams, Sonoran Living in Ahwatukee Foothills. Reach her at (602) 369-1085, www.leadingluxuryexperts.com or on Facebook and Twitter.

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