The Neverending Rehab Debate of Hardwood or Carpet
There are two different kinds of rehabbers.
- House flippers – These are professionals that are buying houses on a discount, fixing them up, and selling for retail.
- Home owners – They purchased a house that is in need of repair, and they want to make it their own.
You’ll find that no matter what type of rehab you are doing, you will always be faced with the decision between hardwood floors and carpeted floors. When it comes to new homeowners, the decision will almost always come down to taste. Emotion usually becomes the deciding factor rather than resale capacity, because the buyers plan on being there for years to come. From an investor’s standpoint, there are a few factors to consider.
Costs of materials
The installation of hardwood floors can run you $9 to $12 per square foot. The price depends on the quality of the hardwood being installed. Compare this to the price of carpet at $3 to $5 per square foot.
Taking into account that the professional rehabber is looking to make a profit, the deciding factor on whether to use hardwood or carpet may fall back on acquisition costs and retail after market value for a quick sale.
Location, location, location!
Your decision may fall back on the location of the home, and what is standard for the area. Are the retail buyers looking for more high-end materials, or are they looking for cheap and easy? Do they value the “comfort level” of carpet between their toes, or do they want the easy-cleanup convenience of hardwood?
As a professional, you should know your area well. These nuances should have already been accounted for before buying a fixer-upper.
Generally, you will want to avoid going by your own tastes when flipping a house. But if you are the end buyer, the situation is very different. You are going to be living there for a long time, and being comfortable is a must. From a rehabbers standpoint, however, you may also use this method if you already have an end-buyer in place.
The rehab experience can be a smooth one when you already have your buyer waiting for you to finish. I envy the “builder” because often times they find interested parties that they can ask what color paint they want in their new home or their preference in counter tops. If you have an end-buyer already in place, you can easily find out whether they want carpet or hardwood. They may not want either, and opt for tile or marble instead!
Who wins the carpet vs hardwood war?
The winner is the end-buyer that will enjoy the home for years to come. Your market will dictate the standard, but the new homeowner will be the person you want to design for.