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Should You Reveal Your Milwaukee 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. What you need to think about now is whether or not to remove the carpet. For some property owners, the economical and efficient choice would be to continue with the carpeted floors. But for others, the decision to reveal those hardwood floors may just be what they need to achieve higher rental income and better tenants. In the end, as is with most difficult decisions, there are pros and cons to exposing your rental property’s hardwood floors.

When choosing between carpet and hardwood flooring in your Milwaukee rental property, take these things into account. Hardwood floors can be an attractive feature in a rental home. It is beautiful and durable— traits that few carpets can match. But this doesn’t mean that the best choice will be hardwood all the time. Not all rental homes would benefit from it. 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.

Different tenants would view the upgrade of a hardwood differently. They wouldn’t share the same reaction. Some tenants are conscientious and may appreciate the beauty of a hardwood floor and see that it is worth the added responsibility of keeping the floor clean and dry. However, there are those that would only ruin the floor, for instance, tenants with pets and heavy furniture. These can easily scratch or gouge a wood floor and make it look unattractive. Some tenants may prefer hardwood floors for more than the way it looks. For people who suffer allergies, a hard floor surface is more forgiving. It’s easier to clean and keep free of dust than carpet. However, if a tenant doesn’t know how to properly care for hardwood, they could easily damage it with harsh cleaning products or hard scrubbing.

This decision should go beyond appearance. It would be best for rental property owners to base their flooring choices, 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 smart to know what flooring the neighboring homes have— whether they feature hardwood or carpet floors. If most of them have carpet, then the initial assumption is that removing yours may not be the best option. There are exceptions, though. If your neighborhood is undergoing a renewal, offering upgrades like a hardwood floor may be just the thing your rental house needs to stand out from the other homes.

Finally, there are costs you need to think about when making the decision to permanently remove 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 removing the carpet and preparing the floor for your tenant. For one, today’s hardwood finishes are more durable than older ones, but there’s a good chance that the floor under your rental’s carpet won’t be exactly new.

Lurking beneath a layer of carpet for a long time hasn’t done anything to help the hardwood either. That means exposing a hardwood floor will likely require refinishing, and then regular maintenance would need to be done to ensure that the condition doesn’t deteriorate again. Of course, each step of this process would involve some amount of cost, but knowing how much you’d have to invest would allow you to make a well-informed decision.

After careful consideration and after taking a look at how your tenants, neighborhood, and rental home will be affected, you will be more confident in deciding 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 Greater Milwaukee, we handle the lease paperwork, renter relations, professional vendors and everything else! Talk to a professional Milwaukee manager; don’t hesitate to contact us or call us at 262-309-6961 today.

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