She bought the house new in 1979. Other than a brick façade in the front; all the other sides of the house have asbestos shingles, a material that was banned by the EPA in 1989. Asbestos is highly regarded for its heat resistant qualities and the siding is not dangerous on the walls, BUT its fibers have long been proven to cause serious lung damage including cancer. Awkkk!
Mom is part of the Greatest Generation, born just before the depression. They learned to do without. She is strong willed and has never “wasted money fixing what wasn’t broken”. During her 41 years of ownership, some of the asbestos shingles cracked, and broke off but luckily, my Uncle Adolfo, bought her some shingles so that when one broke; she had a replacement. But now… the siding is really looking bad and it will be costly to remove, dispose of and replace. I love the fact that the house will have beautiful new siding, and great curb appeal, but hate the fact that she will not get to enjoy it. By the way, siding does NOT have a $1 for $1 return on investment! But if it makes the house more appealing, then a 50% return is an investment on attracting a good buyer. And yes, the NEXT owner will enjoy the siding for years to come.
If you are a Buyer considering a house that is sided with asbestos shingles, add the cost of replacing it to your buying costs. Yes, it is cheaper to buy a house that already has the siding than to buy this property, and replace the siding yourself. However, ugly siding may make it easier to negotiate a credit from the Seller so that you can replace it after settlement.
If you are a Homeowner, the moral of this story is if something needs replacement, do it now, while your plans to move are in the future and enjoy the improvement! First, consider how many improvements you need to make, and how long you intend to live in your present home. If you’d like to know about improvements that give $2 for every $1 invested, call me before spending any money, so we can talk about improvements that add value. You see, whenever you do move, I want your move to be Your Best Move.