Spending Money to Sell Our House - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 08-10-2011, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've asked similar questions on here in the past and gotten some good advice. We are looking to purhcase a slightly larger home in the next year or two. We were going to buy a house first and then try to sell ours, but I have been talked out of that idea by several wise women on this board!

 

SO - now the plan is to gradually fix up our house and then put it on the market next spring. Our realtor has been though the house, and we have a laundry lists of things to do - almost all of them are minor, like painting rooms, landscaping, etc. We will ask a certain price, and if the house sells, we will be happy. If it doesn't sell, we will simply continue to live here until we have saved up more money.

 

Try to make a long story short: Our kitchen/dining area has old sheet vinyl covered with newer peel & stick tiles. This flooring extends from the kitchen across the side of our living room to the front door. The rest of the house has hardwoods (and I'm pretty sure there are hardwoods under the old sheet vinyl). We had the sheet vinyl at the front door tested, and it contains asbestos. Not sure about the original layer in the other areas - our realtor advised us not to do anymore testing!

 

Anyway, we do not want to rip this up. We will disclose the fact that we found asbestos in the bottom layer of flooring in the entryway area and then go over the floor with something else - our realtor advises the cheapest flooring possible, since the new owners may want to tear out the floor entirely.

 

Our two main choices are a laminate or another type of vinyl. The cheapest and easiest would be vinyl (around $1500 professionally installed). Or we could buy a high-quality laminate with a stone look that would run around $3000. The laminate is Greenguard certified so would not negatively impact our indoor air quality if we ended up living here for several more years. 

 

We could also leave the floor as-is. But it is starting to peel up and looks terrible. I don't know how buyers would react to that, either.

 

We want flooring that we will enjoy if we stay here for two more years, but we don't want to waste money on something that won't appeal to buyers.

 

If you were planning to buy our home, which would you prefer? And what would you do if you had to live in our home for a year or two before selling it? 

 

Thanks for the advice! This is by far the most expensive repair/improvement we will have to make to sell the house (hopefully)!

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#2 of 19 Old 08-10-2011, 10:11 AM
 
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I think that someone who hears asbestos in a hourse they are buying will replace it. I wouldn't move it until it was gone. It wouldn't cause me to avoid the house but I would replace ASAP.

 

I'd choose the cheapest options that is grean like linoleum or marmoluem something. I think pretty much any engineered floor looks cheap and things that are supposed to look like other things are the worse. 

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#3 of 19 Old 08-10-2011, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree that the engineered floors look cheap. However, "green" floors like linoleum, etc. are even more expensive. And they would require a thin layer of wood be nailed down to the existing floor before they were installed. So we'd spend more money, and the floor would be more difficult to tear out down the line.

 

If we were planning to stay in this house, I would either pay to have the asbestos floor torn out, or I would splurge on the green linoleum. Both of these options are expensive, though.

 

I don't know if I want to spend that kind of money only to sell the house shortly after.

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#4 of 19 Old 08-10-2011, 03:55 PM
 
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I think you have to look at what is expected/appropriate for your area.  In my neighborhood I think the vinyl would be fine.  I am curious if the asbetos issue will make it harder for a potential buyer to get financing?

 

Anyway I feel you pain.  I just spent the day ripping out carpet in house I already don't live in in hopes that new carpet will help sell it. 

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#5 of 19 Old 08-10-2011, 04:29 PM
 
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I would err cheaper, with the asbestos you'll have to disclose.  

 

I would find out how much it would cost you WITH professional asbestos removal/containment though, for the sake of being able to say that you had it professionally taken care of AND put in some newer floor.  My (totally unprofessional) guess is that it would add less than $1000 to your costs and would be in your favor to be able to say that you'd taken care of it.  

I'm sure it would mainly be extra cost/hassle to do it that way, but I'd consider it heavily if you are going to replace the floor.  It just creates one less issue that the house has.

 

Good luck with getting the house ready and all.

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#6 of 19 Old 08-10-2011, 04:33 PM
 
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I would spend the $1500 and have the floor installed by a professional.  That way you're not spending too much, but it will look good! Make sure you can live with it in the meantime though.


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#7 of 19 Old 08-10-2011, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mnnice View Post

I think you have to look at what is expected/appropriate for your area.  In my neighborhood I think the vinyl would be fine.  I am curious if the asbetos issue will make it harder for a potential buyer to get financing?

 

Anyway I feel you pain.  I just spent the day ripping out carpet in house I already don't live in in hopes that new carpet will help sell it. 


We do live in an upscale area, but our house is one of the lowest priced houses in the neighborhood, so vinyl would probably be OK. The kitchen is old anyway, so somebody may want to replace the kitchens and the floors at the same time.

 

Sorry about your carpet! But I bet it will help the house sell.

 

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#8 of 19 Old 08-10-2011, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mumkimum View Post

I would err cheaper, with the asbestos you'll have to disclose.  

 

I would find out how much it would cost you WITH professional asbestos removal/containment though, for the sake of being able to say that you had it professionally taken care of AND put in some newer floor.  My (totally unprofessional) guess is that it would add less than $1000 to your costs and would be in your favor to be able to say that you'd taken care of it.  

I'm sure it would mainly be extra cost/hassle to do it that way, but I'd consider it heavily if you are going to replace the floor.  It just creates one less issue that the house has.

 

Good luck with getting the house ready and all.

 

The asbestos is considered "contained" if a new floor is installed over it. So ours is already "contained." It would cost about $4K to have it professionally removed. And then we'd have to pay for the new floor on top of that. I am willing to do this (or give the buyer a credit to do this) in order to make one less issue for the house, but our realtor feels we shouldn't. He thinks most buyers will rip it out themselves (it is legal to do that).

 

I guess we can try selling the house "as is" and see what happens. 

 


 

 

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#9 of 19 Old 08-10-2011, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by adorabelle View Post

I would spend the $1500 and have the floor installed by a professional.  That way you're not spending too much, but it will look good! Make sure you can live with it in the meantime though.



I think this is what we WILL end up doing. I just don't want to add a bunch of new vinyl to my house and then close all the windows for the winter. We could just tough it out until the spring, I guess, and hope we sell the house quickly. We're in a popular area and have a fantastic lot (and a lower-priced home) so I'm hoping we'll have buyers.

 

I just wish I had a solution for right now so I could stop thinking about this issue and move on to the next issues on the list!

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#10 of 19 Old 08-10-2011, 06:37 PM
 
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Well, the way our market is here (total buyers market) I wouldn't touch an asbestos home at all. (sealed and contained or not)  So in your shoes I would have the floor removed, properly fixed and something neutral put down.

I know you said the asbestos is sealed but you realize you are talking about air quality from the new floor in the same post as the potentially deadly old stuff.  Gotta put things in perspective here.

Clean up the old mess before you go adding more on top of it, that just makes sense.


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#11 of 19 Old 08-10-2011, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, the way our market is here (total buyers market) I wouldn't touch an asbestos home at all. (sealed and contained or not)  So in your shoes I would have the floor removed, properly fixed and something neutral put down.

I know you said the asbestos is sealed but you realize you are talking about air quality from the new floor in the same post as the potentially deadly old stuff.  Gotta put things in perspective here.

Clean up the old mess before you go adding more on top of it, that just makes sense.



Good point about the buyers market. Getting rid of the problem is my first inclination, but my realtor and most health experts disagree.

 

I'm not worried about our air quality. The asbestos is not exposed and is covered by two layers of non asbestos-containing flooring. I'd be more worried about the toxic flooring being used today - and all the dangerous stuff that's in that we just don't know about yet!

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#12 of 19 Old 08-10-2011, 09:47 PM
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I'd remove the asbestos myself.  Keep the area wet, wear a respirator, and just get it done.  Get the kids out, keep windows open.  

 

Asbestos is bad stuff, but like most things, it's bad in long sustained doses.  A two day project where you minimize exposure is not a long and sustained dose.

 

I removed asbestos flooring myself.  It was a LONG day of scraping, and I kept it wet so the fibers would not get airborne.  Asbestos fibers are the problem.  

 

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#13 of 19 Old 08-11-2011, 12:50 AM
 
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I would get rid of the asbestos- but don´t do it on your own.

Even small numbers of fibers might cause cancer- because of that, in most European countries it is illegal to rip it out by yourself and you have to let experts do it who get rid of this nasty thing professionally.

 

If your realtor think you don´t have to- ask a different one.

Maybe have more people look at your house and ask them.

 

Good luck!

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#14 of 19 Old 08-11-2011, 05:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MsFortune View Post

I'd remove the asbestos myself.  Keep the area wet, wear a respirator, and just get it done.  Get the kids out, keep windows open.  

 

Asbestos is bad stuff, but like most things, it's bad in long sustained doses.  A two day project where you minimize exposure is not a long and sustained dose.

 

I removed asbestos flooring myself.  It was a LONG day of scraping, and I kept it wet so the fibers would not get airborne.  Asbestos fibers are the problem.  

 


I wish we could! But we have a lot of it, and neither DH nor I know what we're doing. We're not very handy people.

 

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#15 of 19 Old 08-11-2011, 05:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by larablue View Post

I would get rid of the asbestos- but don´t do it on your own.

Even small numbers of fibers might cause cancer- because of that, in most European countries it is illegal to rip it out by yourself and you have to let experts do it who get rid of this nasty thing professionally.

 

If your realtor think you don´t have to- ask a different one.

Maybe have more people look at your house and ask them.

 

Good luck!


Maybe we should just ask a different realtor. We're friends with this guy, he sold us our house, has kids the same age, lives in our town, etc. But we could assure him we're just looking for other opinions. I would love to get other people's opinions on other potential repairs, too. 

 

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#16 of 19 Old 08-11-2011, 07:52 PM
 
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Makes sense about it already being contained - I'm coming to this from having looked at houses with older furnaces or boilers where the asbestos left from the older systems was professionally 'contained' versus others that had a 'homeowner did it themselves' thing.  There was a big difference in how it was done and what my comfort would be with it.  

 

I do think that flooring would be less of a big issue about that than other places you could have asbestos (it's not a fundamental part of your house like a heating system, foundation, whatever - it is much more easily removable).  You might want to have more estimates on having a professional do it (if possible - if there are others in your area who'd do such a thing, might not be. . .) which would be good to have handy for any buyers with questions/concerns in the first place if you go the route of laying new floor over it.    

 

Not a bad thing at all to ask other realtors about however - someone else may have had a client dealing with the same issue, know people who might be able to help you fix it that your realtor doesn't know, etc.  Chatting up other realtors at open houses or events (which btw, are nice to get to before your place is on the market to get a sense of how you'll want to have your house look) would be easy.

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The asbestos is considered "contained" if a new floor is installed over it. So ours is already "contained." It would cost about $4K to have it professionally removed. And then we'd have to pay for the new floor on top of that. I am willing to do this (or give the buyer a credit to do this) in order to make one less issue for the house, but our realtor feels we shouldn't. He thinks most buyers will rip it out themselves (it is legal to do that).

 

I guess we can try selling the house "as is" and see what happens. 

 


 

 



 

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#17 of 19 Old 08-12-2011, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks - yes, I agree that flooring is the least problematic asbestos location. It can easily be gone over, or it can be torn out pretty easily as well (if you're willing to take that risk). I just don't want to spend a ton of money on a new floor that a buyer may rip out anyway. But I also don't want to draw attention to the issue by leaving the floor as-is. I'm hoping for a happy medium, which will probably be to just go over it with an inexpensive vinyl. 

 

For us, the easiest thing would be to offer the buyer a credit (like 5 or 10K) and let them make the decision. I really thought this was a good idea, but our realtor is very against it. (But he is a person who ripped out the asbestos covering his pipes himself.)

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#18 of 19 Old 08-13-2011, 04:41 PM
 
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I'll throw one more opinion into the mix as a former buyer. We were looking at least expensive homes in our (not upscale) neighborhood. There were plenty of low cost "improvement" that we wished had been left as is. If I were looking to buy your house I would rather have a few estimates for removal &a credit. We did walk on a house with likely asbestos in the bedroom floor but it was because it was a little overpriced to begin with. That was the nail in the coffin so to speak. If I were selling I would sell as is. That said, Realtors should know best what works in YOUR market.


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#19 of 19 Old 08-13-2011, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'll throw one more opinion into the mix as a former buyer. We were looking at least expensive homes in our (not upscale) neighborhood. There were plenty of low cost "improvement" that we wished had been left as is. If I were looking to buy your house I would rather have a few estimates for removal &a credit. We did walk on a house with likely asbestos in the bedroom floor but it was because it was a little overpriced to begin with. That was the nail in the coffin so to speak. If I were selling I would sell as is. That said, Realtors should know best what works in YOUR market.


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You are the type of buyer we are looking for! I do have two estimates (ranging from $3K to $5K) to have the floor professionally removed (asbestos abatement). We could take care of that, but then I wouldn't know what type of new floor to put down! I'd rather give the buyer a credit for the removal and/or a new floor. We'd be wasting our money and the earth's resources to put down a floor that somebody might simply tear out when they bought the house. 

 

A buyer could also take the credit, tear the floor out themselves, and use the money for something else.

 

I've started another thread about selling the house ourselves. This would allow us to negotiate this type of stuff directly with the buyer, if we are lucky enough to even HAVE a buyer!

 

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