It looks pretty. It sounds great. But is hardwood flooring really worth it if you’re going to sell your Boston Beacon Hill condo anyway?
In most cases, yes. While the overall temperature of the Boston real estate market will probably have the biggest impact on the final sales price of your Boston condo for sale, as a real estate agent I always remind my clients that there’s not much we can do to control overall market forces. What a seller can do is improve the quality and appeal of your home. Hardwood flooring is something that adds both. It’s a material that shows up great in professional listing photos, and buyers know they are getting a quality feature in their home. As a seller’s agent, I encourage my clients to go hardwood where possible. Here’s why.
You might already have it.
We covered in a recent Boston real estate market post, the vast majority of Boston condos were built in the 1980’s or so, hardwood flooring was the primary floor material, and all homes had it. Many of these homes have since undergone remodeling in more recent decades, which caused that beautiful material to be carpeted or laminated over. If that’s the case in your home, you’re in luck. Refinishing old hardwood floors may be time consuming, but it’s worth it and far cheaper than replacing floors.
It’s a listing buzzword.
Along with “granite countertops” and “new appliances”, Boston Beacon Hill condo buyers love to see “hardwood floors” in the listing description. It imparts a sense of quality and luxury in a way that “new laminate or vinyl floors” simply doesn’t! If you refinish your classic hardwood floors, you get eco-friendly and sustainable points as well.
Technology has improved.
It used to be that you couldn’t install radiant heating systems under hardwood flooring; now you can with engineered hardwood flooring. Layering thin slices of wood with a laminating material, this “hardwood alternative” has revolutionized the market, as it is often significantly more affordable than solid hardwood. Bamboo flooring is a close relative.
Buyers will pay more
for hardwoods. In a 2017 study, the National Association of Realtors found that the average hardwood floor refinish cost was $3,000, but that 100% of that cost was recovered and added into the sales price of the home. New hardwood floor costs can be harder to recoup, so best talk to your real estate agent if getting all or most of your money back is important. The NAR also found that 54% of home buyers were willing to pay more for a home with hardwood flooring (2016).
Hardwoods are healthier.
Solid wood flooring is free of formaldehyde and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s). Although engineered wood and bamboo do have some VOCs, they will be less than most carpets. In addition, wood flooring does not trap allergens or moisture. Many people suffering from mold allergies (especially in wet places like Boston) say that this is the only kind of flooring that keeps them sniffle-free indoors.