When you buy a rental home with a carpet already installed, you may be in for a great surprise. There are homes that have beautiful hardwood floors hiding underneath the carpet. The question now becomes: Should you remove the carpet or keep it? For some property owners, the economical and efficient choice would be to stick with carpeted floors, but for others, revealing those hardwood floors would open the home up to higher rental income and better tenants. In the end, before making your decision, you have to evaluate the pros and cons of exposing your rental property’s hardwood floors.
When in your Eureka rental property, it’s important to consider a few things. Hardwood floors can be an attractive feature in a rental home. They have beauty and durability that few carpets can match. However, this doesn’t mean that hardwood is always the best option for rental homes. So, before choosing to permanently remove your rental’s carpeting, you’ll need to know what type of tenant you have, the resale value of the property, the neighborhood, and the cost of preparing and maintaining each flooring type.
Not all tenants would share the same response to an upgrade of a hardwood floor. There are conscientious tenants who may appreciate the beauty of a hardwood floor and do not mind the additional responsibility of keeping the floor clean and dry. However, there are also tenants that should not have hardwood floors. Those with pets and heavy furniture can easily scratch or gouge a wood floor, damaging it and making it unattractive. Some tenants may prefer hardwood floors for reasons other than aesthetics. For people who suffer from allergies, a hard floor surface would be better for them since they are easier to clean and keep free of dust than carpet. However, if a tenant doesn’t know how to properly care for hardwood, their harsh cleaning products or hard scrubbing may damage it.
Beyond appearance, rental property owners should make their flooring choices based, at least partly, on the property’s current and future value. Because value is often influenced by a property’s location and nearby homes, it would be a good idea to find out what kind of floors the other homes in the neighborhood have— whether they feature hardwood or carpet. If most of the homes have carpet, then, perhaps, it wouldn’t be wise to remove yours. On the other hand, if the neighborhood is developing and undergoing a renewal, by offering an upgrade like a hardwood floor may be what your rental house needs to stand out from the rest.
Finally, think about the costs when you’re considering permanently removing your rental home’s carpet. You may save on the cost of replacing the carpet every five years, but these costs may be replaced by the additional expenses of for your tenant. For one, modern hardwood finishes are a lot more durable than the older ones, but chances are that the floor under your rental’s carpet is not exactly new.
The hardwood may have also degraded from the years it spent lurking beneath a layer of the carpet. So, exposing a hardwood floor will likely require refinishing. And when it’s exposed and being used, it would then need regular maintenance to make sure that its condition is maintained. There are costs involved in each step of this process, and knowing how much this would cost can help you make the right decision.
After carefully considering how your tenants, neighborhood, and rental home factors into your specific situation, you can confidently decide whether or not you should expose your rental property’s hardwood floors.
Take the headache and hassle out of managing your rental properties. At Real Property Management Humboldt, we handle the lease paperwork, renter relations, professional vendors and everything else! Contact us or call us at 707-444-3835 to talk to a professional Eureka property manager today.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.