Friday, November 21, 2008

Hardwood Has Homeowners Floored

Making the switch from vinyl, carpet and laminate to hardwood is not only a relatively easy task it’s a wise investment as well. Hardwood owes much of its popularity to its capacity to increase the value of homes. Results from a survey conducted by the National Wood Flooring Association indicate that 90% of realtors find that homes with wood flooring sell faster and for higher prices than houses without wood floors. Anita Howard, the organization’s Communications Director, says that 32% of realtors agree that it increased home prices by 2-5%, while 10% say that wood floors boost the value of homes by about 6-10% and about 2% of realtors say that it helps properties top the price of others in the area by more than 10%.

California real estate appraiser Charles Loo agrees that solid hardwood flooring, which has a higher perceived value, can increase the value of homes more than other flooring types could. Also an expert in construction, Loo talks from experience: “For the sale price on the homes I remodel and sell, I typically add a substantial amount to the asking price of the house...and I always get it...but then again, I live in one of the hottest real estate markets in the country. In Orange County where I live, I would say a quality hardwood floor can add about 50k to the sale price if, say, a good portion of the upstairs has been done with a quality hardwood floor.”

The enduring quality of wood is also among its many advantages over other flooring types. While carpet’s lifespan is pegged at about 10 years, wood floors can easily outlast the life of your home’s mortgage.

Looking at it from an environmental angle, wood is a sustainable flooring option. According to Howard, one of the hottest trends right now in home improvement is reclaiming wood. “You can take old wood (from old barns, warehouses, etc.) and make it new again”

In addition, Howard also points out that wood “promotes a healthier environment since it does not harbor allergens and microorganisms, which is a tremendous benefit to those who suffer from allergies and other air-borne illnesses.”

Another major benefit of installing hardwood floors is its aesthetic appeal. Aside from tying a room together, the wide range of species, colors and patterns available also offer endless design possibilities.

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