spend 3.5k on hardwood worth it or just replace carpet?

joep_2009February 17, 2011

In the middle of my flooring project, my wife up and decides she wants to move out of state to be closer to family. We just had our first baby and it was a difficult child birth so whatever makes her happy is fine with me.

I've already taken off the carpet from 2 flights of stairs plus parts of the living room. We live in a 3 floor townhouse. My original plan was to replace the stairs and put in hardwood for the living and dining areas. Cost of materials will run to about $3500 plus time spent on DIY. Given that we'll be moving is it worth it to spent the extra time and money on wood? If it does not add anything to resell value, I'm inclined to just put in new carpet(about $1k) and then sand and refinish the stairs.

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Refinish the wood if you can. I think it depends on your competition...are there other townhouses for sale in your complex? Do you want to sell fast?

Replacing carpet with wood will appeal to buyers and possibly sell faster. I refinished my wood floors when I listed my house. The new buyers, pulled up the newly refinished floors and put down new wood floors. I'm glad I didn't put new down.

How much competition do you have and what area do you live?


    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 12:15AM
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I live in northern NJ. You hit the nail on the head about the competition.

Only one other townhouse is for sale in my complex. We're small, only 8 of us. However there are others in my area. There is one huge new development that's 5 years old. Their 2br 2ba units are about 1200 sq ft. We also have 2br 2ba. Our units are larger, about 1600 sq ft but 25 years old.

The problem I see is that no matter how I improve our place, I'm afraid there's a price that I can't go beyond because of this new place. My neighbor has had to lower his asking price to be competitive with the new townhouses.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 6:03AM
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How badly do you want to sell your home to please your wife? If her piece of mind is your primary concern then do what will get you the fastest sale regardless of the flooring you choose or resale value.
My own personal preference is hardwood for the public areas of a home, (living and dining rooms). Bedrooms are all right for carpeting, never in a bathroom thou. Sanding and refinishing the stairs is a great idea.
I would think that the RA you choose would point out to potential buyers that your town home is larger then the huge development and much more neighborly and intimate with just 8 of them. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 8:43AM
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She gave me 6 months to get the house ready. Aside from the floors, we still have to update the bathrooms.

My preferences on flooring are the same as yours. What I would really like to do is call my neighbor's agent and get her feedback. I want to find out what buyers are looking for in our area and what my chances are of getting back any additional money I put into renovating. Do you think she would be willing to answer my questions?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 11:00AM
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I don't see why she wouldn't answer your questions. You may be a potential client of hers at a future date. Your questions are ones she fields all the time. If she knows the area your town home is in she will know the answers to your questions. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 12:37PM
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I would normally recommend to put in hardwood but not in your case. You will have your hands full with all your other projects! Maybe sand and refinish the stairs but I would just replace the carpet with carpet. If you have to update bathrooms too you will be spending alot of $$$! Oh, and you are a nice guy to make your wife happy!!! Good for you!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 10:18PM
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What are the comps for your sale like?

You are not likely to recover the actual costs of the floor, but it may result in a faster sale if it is seen as an upgrade over the competition.

Just replacing the carpet would likely be easier, faster, and if the co petition is carpeted not a disincentive.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 9:40AM
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All the new townhomes have wood floors.

On the plus side, we redid our kitchen last year. This is the main reason I'm unwilling to put more money into the house. Hopefully buyers will see this as enough of an upgrade to offset us not having wood.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 12:33PM
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I would make sure whatever you do you make your unit look as spacious and updated as possible. Stage it well. You have more sq feet, they can always add HW floors.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 12:37PM
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I agree with gmp3 above. Staging is critical. It would be pointless to sink money into too many upgrades that you will not be able to recover. Instead having it competitively priced - since you did not throw money down the well - and having some wiggle room there may be a better route to go in the long run. If the buyer feels like they have got a deal, they can spend the money in the future making the upgrades they want. Neutral carpet, fresh paint, clean home, open and well staged - goes a long way.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 6:08PM
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Have you priced shopped for cheaper hardwoods? Since you are planning on doing it yourself that price seems high for just the material.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 6:14PM
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That price included getting new stair treads. You're right, I could also get something else and keep the stairs I have. I haven't quite made up my mind yet.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 11:36AM
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