Shopping for a Home with Hardwood Floors
Many people on the market for a new home actually pay close attention to the flooring, looking specifically at homes with hardwood floors. If this is you, it is important to know what to look for. Keep in mind, some homes have hardwood floors that have been covered with carpeting or tile, which can be sanded and finished.
First, if you find a home that has hardwood floors that have been covered with carpeting, you need to find an area where the corner can be pulled back. Usually, this would be in a closet or corner of a back bedroom. You want to get a visual of the hardwood flooring to determine the species but also the condition. If the hardwood floors are in good condition, then refurbishing would not be difficult but if in bad condition, you may have a big challenge on your hands. Next, you want to walk around each room, checking the floors for squeaking, loose boards, or any type of movement whatsoever.
You will also need to go armed with questions, which would help you understand the flooring condition better. For instance, find out the type of floor, ask about condition, whether the floors were cared for properly, if there are any pet stains hidden, if the flooring has ever been refinished, and so on. If the floors are not covered, you want to look for dark coloring, which could be pet stains or moisture spots caused from plants. Sometimes, these areas can be fixed or covered with rugs or motifs.
One of the most important things about buying a house with hardwood floors is to make sure you have an ironclad contract with a clause stating the condition of the floors, as well as the party that would have responsibility for any repairs. In other words, this clause would protect you if you were to move in and a few weeks later discover the subfloor in one of the bedrooms is in bad shape, meaning the hardwood has to be removed, the subfloor fixed, and the hardwood replaced.
One of the most common mistakes is that people do not get information in writing. Especially if hardwood floors are covered with carpeting or tile, you would not be able to see the middle of the floor. Therefore, you might ask the seller the condition and receive the answer that everything is fine. However, upon moving in and removing the carpeting or tile, you find a huge stain or serious damage in the center of the floor. While we would love to believe everything, we are told but the truth is that not everyone is honest. Therefore, it is imperative that you take steps of protecting yourself by having a straightforward clause put into the contract.