Author Topic: Refinish hardwoods in rental?  (Read 2377 times)

Stachetastic

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Refinish hardwoods in rental?
« on: May 24, 2017, 05:37:27 AM »
We have a rental currently available that is attracting a ton of interest, but not a lot of great applicants. We have shown it to several families we know personally, who have all passed.  All applicants so far have had evictions, criminal records, etc. We feel the house isn't showing as well as it could, so we are looking into adding central air and doing something with the floors. It currently has hardwood throughout the downstairs and in one bedroom upstairs that is in bad shape. It is approximately 1000 square feet of flooring that needs addressed.

We do have enough vinyl plank flooring that we purchased for the property initially, but husband is hesitant to ruin the real hardwoods with glue down flooring.  A flooring professional in our family advised that the floors are too wavy for floating flooring, so that's out. Also, there are spots that look like swiss cheese from former tenants drilling through the floors to fish cables that would need repaired. Thoughts?

Bobberth

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Re: Refinish hardwoods in rental?
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2017, 03:09:13 PM »
How long have you been marketing the rental? In my experience, most good tenants start looking 4-6 weeks before they are looking to move so they can give proper notice. Once it gets to around the 7th-8th of the month, and the Pay or Quit and eviction notices start going out, the quality of tenants drops considerably. There can still be some good ones but as a %, it drops. A lot. Now at the end of the month, you're going to have a mixture of the good tenants looking 4-6 weeks out and the really terrible tenants that are desperate because they only have a week left either through laziness or nobody will approve them. Right now, May 24, I'm assuming I'm looking to fill July 1 unless I'm lucky with a mid-June move in as, most likely, anybody looking for June 1 won't pass my screening.

I have installed vinyl click flooring on some wavy floors and it has turned out alright. I think you can also find some underlayment that you can glue flooring to. I'm not positive as I had a company install my glue down vinyl 8 years ago but I believe that is what they said they were going to do.

MommyCake

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Re: Refinish hardwoods in rental?
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2017, 04:19:38 AM »
My vote will always be to re-refinish the hardwood floors.  You can do it yourself, or pay someone.  You can fill in the holes with wood putty, rent a sander from home depot or wherever, sand down the floors, stain them a pretty color, and then finish up with polyurethane.  After the machine rental (and truck rental if you need that too) plus materials, the savings isn't worth the time and effort in my opinion, but it is certainly doable if you want to do it yourself.  Nice floors,nice light fixtures, and a fresh coat of paint go a long way.

Stachetastic

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Re: Refinish hardwoods in rental?
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2017, 05:49:46 AM »
We've only been marketing it for a couple of weeks. We did have one family we know who looked at it a month ago and initially said yes, but then backed out. I've seen them and a few other lookers on fb looking at similar properties that look a bit nicer in pics, but less amenities (no garage, smaller yard not fenced, etc.) and higher rent.

My husband would love to redo the floors himself, but he's never done it and is currently working 6-7 days per week and does not have time. I spoke with my mom/realtor, who advised renters and buyers in this range are not sold on hardwoods, so she would go with the vinyl plank. 

matchewed

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Re: Refinish hardwoods in rental?
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2017, 05:55:49 AM »
If it's only been a couple of weeks I'd say you haven't been patient enough. A few weeks vacancy to find the right tenant is nothing IMO.

Stachetastic

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Re: Refinish hardwoods in rental?
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2017, 06:41:03 AM »
If it's only been a couple of weeks I'd say you haven't been patient enough. A few weeks vacancy to find the right tenant is nothing IMO.


What concerns us is that less than half the people who are coming to see it are actually completing an application. Is this typical? The last time we had a vacancy in our other rental, I held an open house and had approximately 10 families show. Nine of them left completed apps that day. Some of the applicants were duds, of course.

Kl285528

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Re: Refinish hardwoods in rental?
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2017, 07:15:54 AM »
Clearly make it as clean as possible. Maybe just a "buff and topcoat" is all that the floors need. Quicker and cheaper than a full refinish. Call a floor refinishing guy for a per square foot general quote.
You could also carpet it, but I hate replacing carpet every other time I turn a rental.
Or, try neutral, bound carpets that are not installed, to serve as large area rugs.
Finally, if you know the people who passed on the rental, ask them. See what turned them on about what they eventually rented. How does your property compare? What about other competition in the neighborhood?

matchewed

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Re: Refinish hardwoods in rental?
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2017, 09:07:42 AM »
If it's only been a couple of weeks I'd say you haven't been patient enough. A few weeks vacancy to find the right tenant is nothing IMO.


What concerns us is that less than half the people who are coming to see it are actually completing an application. Is this typical? The last time we had a vacancy in our other rental, I held an open house and had approximately 10 families show. Nine of them left completed apps that day. Some of the applicants were duds, of course.

You're encountering tire kickers, you weed those out with upfront communication about an application fee.