Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Is Your House Missing a Window?

Is Your House Missing a Window?

I was searching through the MLS today trying to find a house for a relocation person.  Our houses are mostly brick and after a couple of minutes of scrolling through listings, they always all seem to look the same... until one grabs your attention.

Granted, this is not "good" attention per se, but it definitely makes you do a double-take. I was looking at these houses and it seemed that several were missing a window.  Do you ever run across houses like these?  What do your buyers think?  Do they think the house looks odd and they cross it off the list?  Do they think they could put a big shrub in front so it's not noticeable (be careful with this in North Texas because you don't want big shrubs or trees around your foundation).




If the house is perfect on the inside and meets all your buyers' needs and wants, but they can't get passed the aesthetically unpleasing look of the front of the house, what do you do?  Do you give them suggestions on how to get used to the look, or do you tell them we'll continue to look, though maybe you've already seen 50 houses and this one is perfect?

Does the look of the outside effect resale that much?  Could you lose a sale because you're missing a window?  Are you a seller wondering why your house hasn't sold and you're beginning to wonder if your house is one of those that looks odd?  What do you think?

Comment balloon 21 commentsDonna Harris • July 22 2008 10:34AM


That is very interesting.  I don't think I've ever come across this.  It looks like somebody "touched up" the picture to make it look this way...  :)  I think most buyers would think it odd.

Posted by Debi Ernst, GRI, e-PRO, Broker/Sales Associate (St. Charles County, Missouri - Prudential Alliance Realtors) almost 12 years ago

When you consider that many new home buyers like to add additional windows as an option, it is very strange indeed. I wonder what the rooms inside are like that correspond to the missing windows?

Posted by Richard Mielke, REALTOR, Gettysburg Pennsylvania Real Estate (RE/MAX Results) almost 12 years ago

I've seen a few houses like this especially where the garage is in the front (similar to the bottom right).  Personally, I can probably get past that one, but some of the others are disturbing.  As a buyer, I wouldn't even bother to look inside. 

Posted by Erik Hitzelberger, Louisville - Middletown Real Estate (RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes) almost 12 years ago

Debi, Nope, they're not touched up.  They actually build them this way.  There are a couple of specific builders who do it to cut costs as they like to build a "box" to give the most space for the money.

Richard, Not many builders allow you to add a window in my market.  Moving and adding windows changes the structure, and if they have to redraw the architectural drawings, they're not going to do it.  Higher-end custom builders usually allow that though.

Erik, Yes, I could get past the one where it's the garage, however, too many builders put windows in the garage to make the house look cohesive, why leave it a wall of brick to look strange from the street?

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 12 years ago

I've never really paid attention until now. Wow. It sure looks crappy. I guess there are some disguise that can be done like putting a wrought iron balcony there to take away from the wall of bricks, add silk flowers or even paint the brick in that area..... Great post! Attention to detail...

Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co.) almost 12 years ago

I have seen this before and it looks MAJOR....Almost like missing the nose on your face.

Posted by Latonia Parks, Certified Military Relocation Expert (Top Bragg Realty, Fayetteville NC, Home of the 82d ABN DIV) almost 12 years ago

If a home isn't ascetically pleasing on the outside, I probably would not tour the inside. It just looks like the builder tried to save a few $$$.

Posted by Rich Dansereau (Positive Real Estate Professionals) almost 12 years ago

Curb appeal matters!  In this day and age of internet shopping, if the first, outside photo doesn't "grab" the consumer, they are moving on to the next one.

Side entry garages usually add value, partly because the whole house looks bigger.  Windows help.

Posted by Toby & John T. Williams (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

Donna, simple you tell them that's one less window to wash and one room with plenty of privacy ;-)

Posted by Peter Nikic (Broad & Bailey Realty LLC) almost 12 years ago

Loreena, A Romeo and Juliet-type balcony might work to mask the area. Thank you.

Latonia, A couple of those houses are missing the windows right in the middle which actually looks like they're missing their nose!

Rich, I agree, but in this price range, options are next to none and some things need to be compromised to get buyers into the houses at times...

Toby and John, I agree, but how do I get a buyer to "ignore" that issue if the listing is mine and I need to sell it?

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 12 years ago

Peter, I thought of that too!!  LOL

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 12 years ago

Donna - Good post because I have noticed that as well.  Not really from someone else's standpoint, but when we purchased our house.  When I looked at some homes, you could tell something was missing.  My wife and I talked about how odd it was but thought maybe it was a 'Texas' thing (we are originally from California).  Never really thought about it from a Realtor's point of view.  What do you tell your customers?

Posted by John Cannata, Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance (214-728-0449 almost 12 years ago


Call an artist friend of yours and create a faux window - inside and out or put up shutters in the closed position to simulate a window. :)


Posted by Steve Hoffacker, Certified Aging In Place Specialist-Instructor (Steve Hoffacker LLC) almost 12 years ago

It looks so unwelcoming because of the missing windows...I imagine these houses to be dark inside as well. They need some curb appeal!

Posted by Kelly Sibilsky (Licensed Through Referral Connection, LTD.) almost 12 years ago

Donna.    I took the liberty of going to each house and fixing the obvious functional obsolescence myself and at my own expenseso that you could show these homes with confidence.





There is NO end and NO depth I won't go for my clients OR yours Donna!


Posted by Leonard Thomas (RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs) almost 12 years ago

Leonard, Thanks!  That was too too funny!  You crack me up...However, I would never use false marketing in order to get a buyer in the door.  I'll leave that to the MBT's of the world ;)

Kelly, Yes, most are a little darker especially because they have lower ceilings as well.

Steve, Shutters might work.  That sounds interesting, thanks!

John, I can't say if it's a Texas thing or not, but it's definitely a lower price-range thing.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 12 years ago

Those houses are so ugly. I think I'm guilty of DWB yesterday evening btw! :(

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) almost 12 years ago

What were these builders thinking? Just how big of a box they could put on a house - who cares if it is aesthetically appealing!

Posted by Leigh Bates, The Trinity Group (Atlantic & Pacific Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

Greg, yes, yes you were quilty of DWB...

Leigh, The only thing these builders care about is building 3000 sqft for $120k. Cutting costs everywhere to hit the buyers' price point.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 12 years ago

LOL, when I first read your headline, I was thinking of a banged up property that had a place for a window but was open air as we have a number of shells in the Philadelphia area : )

When I looked at the photos, I saw what you meant.  Maybe the good news is that some people do not like natural light !!!!   If the price is right, I think buyers can overlook the aesthetics per se and maybe consult a contractor to see if a new window could be added or installed.

Posted by The Somers Team, Delivering Real Estate Happiness (The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia) almost 12 years ago

Christopher and Stephanie, If only it was an actual broken or missing window... This usually only happens in the lower end so you're right that buyers will overlook this... but as we get appreciation, these houses will not be lower end in a few years and that's going to be a negative for buyers at that time.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 12 years ago