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Should You Reveal Your Portsmouth Rental Property’s Hardwood Floors?

Restored Hardwood Flooring in the Kitchen and Living RoomWhen 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. But should you let it stay hidden, or should you remove the carpet? For some property owners, carpeted floors would be the way to go— it would be the most economical and efficient choice for them. However, for others, revealing those hardwood floors may be the very thing they need to do to get much 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 choosing between carpet and hardwood flooring in your Portsmouth rental property, you should keep these things in mind. Hardwood floors can be an attractive feature in a rental home. They have in them a beauty and durability that few carpets can match. However, this doesn’t mean that hardwood is always the best option for rental homes. So, think about the type of tenant you have, the resale value of the property, the neighborhood, and the cost of preparing and maintaining each flooring type. Make the decision only after you’ve considered these things. Choosing to permanently remove your rental’s carpeting should not be done casually.

Not all tenants would share the same response to an upgrade of a hardwood floor. There are many tenants that may appreciate the beauty of a hardwood floor, and many of them are conscientious enough that you feel safe giving them the responsibility to keep 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 more than aesthetic beauty. 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. But if the tenant doesn’t know how to properly care for hardwood and uses harsh cleaning products or scrubs it really hard, they could easily 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 them have carpet, then the initial assumption is that removing yours may not be the best option. On the flip-side, if your neighborhood is undergoing a renewal, perhaps offering the upgrade of a hardwood floor is what would make your rental home more appealing than the competition.

Finally, count the costs before you decide to permanently remove your rental home’s carpet. While you may save on the cost of replacing the carpet every five years, you will have to deal with the additional expenses of removing the carpet and preparing the floor for your tenant. For one, today’s hardwood finishes are more durable than older ones, but chances are that the floor under your rental’s carpet is not exactly new.

The hardwood lurking beneath a layer of carpet for years probably hasn’t helped either. So, exposing a hardwood floor would likely require refinishing. And when it’s out, it would then need regular maintenance to make sure it stays in good condition. There are costs involved in all these steps, and having a clear idea about how much this would cost you can help you make a more informed decision.

After careful consideration and with good information, you would be able to weigh if exposing your rental property’s hardwood floors makes sense for your rental home.

Take the headache and hassle out of managing your rental properties. At Real Property Management Seacoast New Hampshire, we handle the lease paperwork, renter relations, professional vendors and everything else! To talk to a professional Portsmouth manager, contact us or call us at 603-343-2202 today.

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