My name is Grant Wilsterman and recently stated my real estate journey. I am located in Greenville, SC. I just purchased a $50k condo to house hack in. I am debating on whether I replace the carpeting in the property with a wood look laminate flooring to make the condo more appealing to renters when this becomes a rental property. about 650 sf of the 850 sf is 5-10 year old carpet that is in mediocre shape. Is it worth spending $2k to replace this carpet even though the value of the property will not be raised due to a consistent sale price over the last couple years throughout these 2 bed 1.5 bath condos regardless of condo condition?
I am also interested in any options for how difficult it is to lay laminate flooring over stairs with no flooring experience. Would I be biting off more than I can chew by attempting to do this myself?
It's not difficult but you don't want floating floor on a stair tread; it needs to be firmly secured in some fashion to the subfloor treads. You can do that with construction adhesive or you can let it float and secure it with nailed stair-edge nose trim, which you're going to need anyway to cover the edges of the laminate. Personally, I would do both because if the stair nose trim comes loose there's nothing to keep the floating floor from skipping away. Some laminates also make stair-nose edging that nails/glues to the stair edge and allows the rest of the floor plank to float, secured in a groove in the edging.
Is this harder than just a regular floor? Yes, because you have to cover treads and risers, cut around obstructions (posts, molding), and make sure everything is secure enough that the stairs are safe. If it were my stairs, I would have regular oak treads put down and then have an inexpensive runner tacked into place to protect the treads and provide better footing.
As for replacing carpeting, I would do it. W2W carpeting is definitely not in right now, especially in your market (which is just down the street from my market).
The manufacturer Pergo has an online installation guide in .pdf form that details how to do this well.