Carpet vs. hardwood, Inspections for a rural property


Ask David...David Schooley, real estate Broker at Remax Twin City in Kitchener, answers questions about flooring options and common inspections for the sale of a rural property.

I love to engage with readers whenever I can. Here is a 2-part question from a recent conversation:

Dear David,

We are considering installing new carpet to replace our old carpeting of 30 years. Is it worthwhile to do so before selling? – HOME SWEET HOME

DAVID: This would be a very simple “yes”, except for the fact that you may want to consider some alternate options, depending on where it’s located in the house. I suggest you select flooring based on what is currently popular, to help ensure the best results when it comes time to sell.  I regularly help clients choose paint and flooring options with this in mind.

HOME SWEET HOME: Thank you. It’s the living room we want to re-carpet, though we aren’t planning to sell for five years. I like the coziness and warmth of carpeting, but is laminate or hardwood the best way to go? 

DAVID: Carpet is fine in a living room, though I would probably recommend hardwood or engineered hardwood to showcase a room like this. It’s a little more expensive, but really brings the ambiance of a home to the next level.

I agree that carpet is cozy. In this case, an area rug on top of hardwood could be the best of both worlds: you’ll be comfortable now, and the floor will be a desirable feature when it comes time to sell. Keep in mind that if you’re planning to stay in your home for another five years, the carpet you install today will likely be showing some wear and tear when it comes time to sell. Hardwood will be more durable and has a bit more pizazz. When showing a home, I rarely see someone get excited about carpet, but most buyers notice hardwood products. Just something to keep in mind as you compare flooring options.

Dear David,

I have a rural property just over 10 acres in total. I read last week that the sale of my house would require a WETT Inspection, due to the wood-burning fireplace. Are there also requirements for sale for my drilled well and septic system? – COUNTRY LIVING

DEAR COUNTRY: Generally speaking, there are no mandatory inspections that accompany the sale of a rural property, but inspections are almost always requested by the buyer’s Realtor, bank or insurance company. The WETT (Wood Energy Technology Transfer) fireplace inspection discussed last week is commonly needed for a buyer to obtain insurance.

Regarding additional inspections, there are a few seen often when a rural property changes hands. If there is a well, expect to be asked for water tests to ensure potability, and a capacity test to establish that the well has enough capacity for peak periods. If you have a septic tank, a number of things might be requested, depending on its age. At bare minimum, I expect a buyer would want to pump it out and inspect the baffles.

I encourage buyers to take on these inspections themselves, so they have firsthand information about their potential purchase. Last year, we had a case where there were significant deficiencies in the septic report. Because I identified them (and made them part of our offer), we were able to include septic system replacement in the sale.