FLOORING AND YOUR INVESTMENT PROPERTY
When it comes to investment properties, there are lots of things to consider in order to ensure you get the best return. With companies like Airbnb and VRBO, short term rentals can be easily managed. Having a short term rental can generate a high cash flow in a short time frame, but it might not be the best option in the long term. If your investment property is in a city that has a constant stream of tourists throughout the year, such as Hawaii or New York, the short term is most likely the way to go. If your rental is in a town that has seasonal tourism, you might want to consider the long term as it can be difficult to earn enough in the busy season to carry the place for a full year.
Flooring For A Rental Property
Now, when it comes to choosing flooring for a rental, it’s different than for the home you live in. As you begin to get your place ready, be sure to look at all factors before committing to your flooring. One of the major considerations is cost. However, it’s important to not sacrifice the durability of a product simply because of a low price tag. (In the long run, it could end up costing more.)
There are lots of flooring options available for rental properties. Keep in mind, if it’s a long term rental (lease), there may be less traffic, but your tenants may feel the need to rearrange furniture more frequently than a furnished short term place. The flip side is short term rentals will create more traffic coming and going on a daily basis. Short term renters often won’t treat the place like their own home and aren’t conscious of removing shoes and keeping the place clean. Whereas long term renters are more likely (not always) to keep the place tidy as it is their permanent living space. It’s probably safe to agree, low maintenance floors are the best no matter what the rental term is.
The rental industry (at times) can be very competitive, therefore having an aesthetically pleasing interior can be a deciding factor in if your place is selected for rental. If your rental is a long term, picking the right tenants is often a “go with your instinct” decision - but try vetting them the best you can. If your property is close to a college and has more than one bedroom, there’s a higher chance of having college students looking at it. If your place is situated in a more affluent neighbourhood, it’s likely you will have working professionals considering it as their “home.” With that in mind, having it in a higher-end area may require you to have high-end floors to match, such as hardwood or tile.
Over the years hardwood has earned a reputation of being one of the most luxurious flooring choices. Hardwood can be refinished as many times as needed depending on the wear and tear over the years. By having this flooring option in your home, it tends to increase the property value as it’s considered a high end finishing. Just because some people say it’s the best, doesn’t mean it’s best for your rental. Hardwood is easily affected by moisture and therefore should not be installed in areas that tend to be damp. The cost to install hardwood can often be significantly higher than other flooring and is hard to repair if one portion gets damaged - therefore probably not the best for a rental unless your place is one with a more luxurious feel.
Tile is always a great choice, especially in bathrooms. It is long-lasting, easy to maintain and isn’t affected by moisture. Not to mention, it is also considered an upgrade, therefore adding to the look of the home. There are various types of tile you could go with; ceramic, porcelain or natural stone - be sure to research all of them before making a decision. Again, it’s important to weigh out the cost up against the potential earnings as it is one of the more expensive products. Tile can be expensive to install and overtime does need to be re-grouted.
Most rental properties are designed to be somewhat affordable for renters, yet still making the property owner money - it’s why they are called investments. One of the most common flooring types for rentals and even permanent homes is luxury vinyl plank (LVP). With all the advances made over the years, LVP’s appearance is very similar to wood - helping to elevate the look.
Although luxury vinyl is cost-effective and has the look of hardwood, it doesn’t increase the property value as real wood would. As mentioned above, tenants can be hard on floors and with short term rentals combined with foot traffic they can wear quickly. Unfortunately, it is prone to scratching, but on the positive side, it is easy to repair, as you can just pop out the sections you want to fix. It’s important to mention, luxury vinyl is easy to install and can be applied to almost any flat surface, making this an easy DIY project. Possibly one of the best features of LVP is it’s resistance to water, making it a great fit for any room.
Carpet has been around for decades and offers a warm cozy feeling in a home, however, with all the different types of flooring available, it’s losing its popularity. The pros of carpet are - it’s easy to install, relatively cost-effective, warm and one of the greatest benefits for rentals is the sound absorption it offers. If you have a rental property that is pet friendly, the carpet might not be a great option. It is much harder to clean and will stain, unlike other flooring surfaces. Carpet tends to show wear easily and can often be a challenge for people with respiratory issues. Installing carpet does help mask what might be an uneven surface and with all the technologies, there are many hypoallergenic options to consider.