Some good answers below; Laminates are popular right now, again in 2 years that could change and for the most part people are not going to detour from a newly carpeted home.
Either way I would wait till right before putting the house on the market and look into a neutral carpet or a popular laminate. Either will not necessarily increase the value of the property Thousands of dollars comparatively to the market values of homes in the area. Obviously, showing the property will be a benefit and comparing to what others in the market are doing the new flooring will give an advantage and the home will sell quicker with "newer."
Great question. As a Parker Broker, I have been unable to get a solid answer to this question and running comparables in the same area has not made a difference in price per square foot based solely upon flooring. The best advice I can give is to go with your preference and the neighborhood standard. What are you neighbors doing as their houses will be your competition in the near future. If you go with laminate/engineered flooring, use a good quality product that has a guarantee similar to Pergo brand. Put the correct underlayment down to prevent squeaks and water barrier over concrete.
If you want to differntiate your home and it is not being laid directly on concrete, consider true hardwood flooring as an option. This will help your home sell as a competitive feature, but again gaining value has been hard to quantify. True Hardwood floors may make your home sell quicker if it competes with carpet or laminate.
Let me know if you have additional questions or concerns. I would be happy to analyze your home and area to give you a more definite answer.
FYI-4-DIY.. Whether laminate or hardwood is going into the kitchen, raise the sub floor under the dishwasher to allow it to be pulled out in the event it needs to be replaced after the new floor is installed.
A follow up question if we do decide to go with laminate or hardwood - what are your thoughts on the kitchen? The living room, dining room, and kitchen are essentially one big room, but the kitchen currently has lino. Should we consider extending the flooring into the kitchen?
What a GREAT question! I appreciate your researching the alternatives before spending money. Most buyers do not like laminate flooring. The coments I hear is that laminate flooring is no different than having linoleum. Carpet is a great choice and a suggestion is to spend extra money on the pad to make the carpett "feel" good to perspective buyers. If you can go the expense, wood flooring is another desirable feature that buyers are looking for. A combination of carpet and wood flooring is another option to consider. For more information, I recently wrote a blog article on this topic. Go to http://www.susanspondering.com to read more. To search for townhomes in your area, identifying the different features and their respective prices, go to http://www.susanpond.com. Call me if you would like to discuss further.
The value contributed overall by improvements and/or upgrades (including amenities and/or additions) varies by market areas and property types. In some instances, improvements can be considered an over-improvement within a subject's market area where others may be considered an under-improvement. Both of which can have a negative effect on the overall market value of the subject property.
Improvements/upgrades and such do not reflect in market value of a property dollar for dollar. Those that contribute the highest value are generally kitchens, baths, and roofing whereas flooring is more of personal taste or preferrance of a buyer. Market reaction and/or buyer preference of such improvements would be a greater indication as to which you should choose and the quality.
Costs will be similar grade for grade and the laminate will be easier to maintain. If you use a high quality product the laminate will maintain its appearance longer. One thing to consider when installing the laminate is to make sure you use the highest quality/ highest density underlayment available. The objection many people have with laminate flooring is the "hollow" sound it can have- a high quality/high density underlayment can make or break the application and even expensive flooring can sound bad and move if you cut corners on the underlayment.