long winded! cork floor in a resale

LocrianJuly 30, 2012

Hello *\0/*

May I have a bit of guidance from any & a'sundry, please. We're getting ready to market a 20-yr old, 3-lvl townhouse in Ft Belvoir, Va. area. Consulted with several local REAs and all concur: NEEDS new main-lvl flooring.

Currently there is sheet linoleum in the 12x12 kitchen & 3x7 powder room, carpet in the 10x12/11x20 dining/living room, and wood-look boards in the entry way. *blush* *hangs head in shame * all still original builders grade..We already anticipated budgeting replacement.

We're in a pocket of older "entry" (1970-1990), recent "luxury" (early 2000s), and coming attractions of "executive luxury" townhouse subdivisions. REAs haven't been too helpful with suggestions/recommendations for main-lvl flooring. Just: It needs to be replaced.

I'm leaning toward mid-grade Millstead brand cork 5.5" plank in Natural throughout. It is very sedate in colour & visual texture. A neutral, neither warm nor cool. Walls are all Valspar White & trim/doors are Valspar Ultra White. Except for the steel front door inside which is Behr Dark Green baked on ;-).

Kitchen cabinets are restained Minwax Walnut, countertops are Formica Antique Mascarello, appliances are black. LR/DR furniture will be staged once flooring is in.

This is definitely a Relo/Move-in-Ready area. So, main-lvl gets done. Please, any brain-storming is greatly appreciated!

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I wouldn't do anything too "different" or non-mainstream. I don't think that cork qualifies as a mainstream flooring material. Some people will love it, but more might not like it. I would go with hardwood floors in a medium color.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 7:39PM
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I would do a site-finished oak throughout. Buyers can't really complain about wood. I think cork is too different if you are doing it solely for resale. I know I personally wouldn't want it.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 8:24PM
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Thank you Tekris & Nini! Hmmm, didn't know cork wasn't main street :-)

Ok, medium tone hardwood. Is it family friendly? Honest question! I remember hw-floors of my youth needing waxing, polishing, etc regularly. And running at full tilt to "ice skate" across said freshly waxed floors.

This is primarily a young family neighbourhood, E6 Military and above. Mom, Dad, two kids, and a dog. Perhaps a kitty, too. Also families from Etheopia, Algeria, Korea, and India. An eclectic mix :-) and a lot of fun.

Most of the existing townhouses have ww-carpet and tile baths/kitchen, maybe a few feet of tile in the entry way. The new "lux luxury" coming have a menu of flooring options...

We've kept up with all of the structural/functional aspects over the years. And had recently recarpeted the bedroom and the terrace levels. The main lvl flooring is giving me fits LOL.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 9:17PM
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Oops! "Terriks". Sorry about misspelling your handle.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 9:26PM
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Hardwood floors nowadays have a durable polyurethane finish. No waxing or polishing required. Hardwood floors are classic and generally desirable.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 10:13PM
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In an entry level condo with laminate counters, I wouldn't waste the money on hardwood at all. Put back exactly the same materials, i.e. vinyl and carpet. Just make them current looks and fresh. You will NOT get your money back on putting in hardwoods in an entry level condo, especially since you will have to do sound a mitigation installation rather than a standard nail down or glue down. That's a much more expensive install, and it's out of pocket expense that you won't see again. If the market is slow, it might help to differentiate your condo from the competition and get it sold, but you won't get the dollar value that you put into it back in a higher price. If your market is slow, you'll have to be the judge as to whether or not 10K is an expense you really want to absorb when you have all of the other expenses of selling a home.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 11:12PM
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I am from the DMV area originally. So I know that area well. I would say put hardwoods in. That market is doing better than most and hardwood has a much higher perceived value. It would be a HUGE selling point. I would look to do a basic oak or try to find a deal on build direct. Sme cloeouts are extremely low priced.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 11:55PM
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If you go with hardwood, buy prefinished. There is no reason for you to go through the hassle and mess of a site finished floor.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 8:02AM
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LoveInTheHouse, thank you for the link. This is actually fun (although I'm going cockeyed with all of the options available today). My experience with hw-floors was in houses built in the mid- to late-1800s. Those babies got paste waxed and buffed. And the "King's Planks" were upstairs, at least hand-length width.

GreenDesign, yes, this is more "entry" and young family neighbourhood. So not upscale or posh-posh ;-) A decided step up from govt quarters and apartments, though. The main lvl is 680-sq' total. Hopefully not 10-grand for hw-floors. Then again it really depends upon manufacturer/grade/etc.

Believe it or not, that's why we didn't upgrade to premium counter tops and kept Formica...not saying "entry" buyers wouldn't appreciate it, they would. They might be off-put at a perceived higher asking price and shy away.

GaOnMyMind, this area you would NOT believe the massive growth! DeWitt Army Hospital reopened after its expansion and BRAC is bringing many commands into the area. New subdivisions are popping up like proverbial mushrooms.

That's our main concern with a resale...comparison with new build. We're cleaning, painting, and refreshing. Not upgrading per se, just making the property sparkle and nicer than the average "entry level". Plus with 2040-sq' living area, the house is larger than many others. Another plus is back yard is 19x20, a good size in a townhouse.

WooHoo, off to look at hardwood flooring! I'll undoubtedly be back with more inane questions and prattling. Thank you ALL for helping :-)

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 8:10AM
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GreyWings, oh yes, it would have to be pre finished. We'd be relegated to the downstairs sans kitchen & upstairs bedrooms otherwise LOL. Not conducive to a pleasent atmosphere of peace and harmony.

Thankfully we're been paring down and putting into storage most everything to move. This is making the spector of re-flooring much easier.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 8:24AM
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Sophie Wheeler

You need to go look at the other units that are for sale and well as other condos elsewhere. You want yours to show at the top of it's category, but there is zero reason to put in amenities that don't belong in it's category. That IS wasted money that you won't see again. If every other unit in your price range has vinyl and carpet, you just want to make sure your vinyl and carpet looks in better shape and more up to date than theirs. Putting in wood might get you a quicker sale at the same price as everyone else but it will NOT let you add that 10K to the price as "added value". That's an HGTV crock o crap. Location is the prime driver for price, and you just don't "upgrade" a 200K condo to a 400K one by adding on bling. You'd have to physically move it to another complex of 400K condos to have it appraise for that.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 11:43AM
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"If you go with hardwood, buy prefinished"

Still does not carry the 'cachet' of site finished 3/4 inch thick tongue and groove hardwood floors.

More important that anything is what do the market competitors in the area have?

You only have to be 'as good as' the comps.

'Better' might get a faster sale at the same price.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 12:07PM
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HollySprings, yes we've been doing both virtual tours and physical tours. Properties run from foreclosed HomePaths to breathtakingly beautiful bonbons and that's in the low 300s range. The age span is from 1974 to present. All 3/opt-4 BR w/ 3.5 bath. Ours has wood fireplace on the terrace lvl, a few have gas fp, most have none. That is a nice differentiation :-)

BrickeEye, "a faster sale at the same price" would have me squealing in delight! This place had a 15-year note and is paid-in-full. Putting money into structural/functional items like new flooring is nothing compared what we've spent on the biggies like windows & doors, roofing, HVAC, and CPVC plumbing. And hw-floor is sexy ;-) Plumbing...not so...

We got an estimate from a local carpenter for 3/4"-depth, 5"-width planks, natural white oak to be finished in "honey" on-site: 1,275 materials; 1,225 labour. Oh, and a pull-apart loaf (savoury bread), pineapple upside-down cake, and a flagon of meade.

So...we camp out in the yard and downstairs (aka the terrace level *guffawh*) becomes the staging area. Will we recoup everything we've invested in the house these past 20 years? Probably not. Will we pass on the house to a new owner in better condition than when we moved in? Hopefully. Will a potential buyer make an offer quickly for a fast sale?

That is all part of the Grande Adventure of selling a house :-)

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 3:03PM
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