Post # 1
We are in a bit of a crazy situation right now. We have our wedding coming up on May 28th and not only are we in the midst of wedding planning but, also working on renovating our townhouse. We just bought it 2 years ago and planned on staying at least 5. Our niehgbours have drove us nuts for those 2 years so much that we want out this summer. We have remodelled the second floor (new paint, modern baseboards, doors and gutted the bathroom adding new tile tub surround, vanity & sink. We are now working on the main floor. We plan to do the same. We are between the idea of wether or not we should finish the basement. Do you think it would add anymore value? If you were looking at a house would you be willing to pay a little extra for a finished basement? I am not sure it is worth all the work and money to get it back in the end. What would you guys do? Also we are getting on a tight timeline we want to list by may because it is not far from the military base in the city and hoping we could sell it to the military or someone who works for them and wants a more affordable place near the base. They usually start buying in april and are done by summer.
Right now it is 3 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath, living room and eat-in kitchen. The basement would just be a big rec room and laundry room.
Post # 3
I think a finished basement would be a huge asset for you- people want all the livable space they can get. I think it’s a better use of your time and money than some things you may have already done, even. You don’t have to go overboard with minor details or anything. If you are concerned about the return when you sell, the most important thing is just to make sure you don’t go overboard.
Post # 4
Honestly I don’t think it’s a make or break to not have a finished basement. You would be surprised with the things that you do that actually don’t add that much value. We have a finished basement now, but I wouldn’t be turned off by a place that didn’t have a finished basement. And like I said with our finished basement, it’s nice and all but it has no heat, has title floors, the layout could have been done much better so it actually would have been nice to finish our own basement the way we had wanted and liked it ( if we were planning on staying)
We had brought in a Consultant to tell us what they thought of the add ons we did and also of the ideas we were going to do before we listed it. We added a second bathroom and a deck. We were going to put wood floors in the bedroom and redo the carpet upstairs but the Consultant said to not even bother because we wouldn’t get that back in the resale of the house. Obviously with the second bathroom and all it was a great add on but it was good to hear that we didn’t have to more work to list it.
Post # 5
Here’s a useful website. It wont be as accurate because it doesn’t cover Canada, but it will give you an idea.
Post # 6
A heated finished basement can add liveable square footage to your house that can be used as a selling point and will allow you get a higher assesment value which will be a great point for selling. When your house is assessed it is based on the house within a 1 mile radius with comparible bed/bath/and sq. foot.
I bought a house that the owners claimed it had a finished basement, however there was no heat so therefore they could no claim it in their sq footage. It worked for our benefit because the house has the potential for more livable space but we didn’t neccesarily pay for it. We will be finished the basement this fall/winter.
If you do finish the basement, I would suggest adding another bathroom to the house. 2.5 baths will sell much better than 1.5 baths.
Post # 7
I think you should contact a realtor and find out if a lot of the houses in the area have finished basements. You should also price out the project and ask the realtor how much you should list your house for with all of your improvements already. Sometimes you don’t always get the money back for your improvements if it makes the house significantly nicer/more expensive than the surrounding houses.
That often happens because the next person might not like your upgrades and would rather get a cheaper house to have it fixed up to their own tastes.
Post # 8
Absolutely. Ask any male out there and they want a man cave aka finished basement.
But you have to figure out what you will put into it to finish the basement vs what you can realistically get for it. Your Realtor would probably be the best person to ask for this.
If we were planning on selling a house with a unfinished basement we would finish it to sell it. BUT. That is because we can do 90% of it ourselves. My husband can hang drywall, run electricity, get flooring dirt cheap and put it in, etc etc. So for us we would be able to get the return + profit on the cost of finishing the basement.
Also keep in mind depending on your local building code when you list your home you cannot list it as liveable SF. A lot of cities a basement is considered a UNhabitable space.
Post # 9
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
I agree with lemondrop that you should scope out your potential competition. If finished basements are the norm, you lose a buyer by not having one. But if they are an extra perk, the market may not reward you for adding such a perk.
Post # 10
Real experience on that one here – we looked at 2 separate houses in our neighborhood…one with a finished basement and one with and unfinished basement. We bought the one with the unfinished basement.
We didn’t like the way the finished basement was set up. We knew we were going to be there for a while and we wanted to do what we wanted with the basement rather than pay an extra $30K for the exact same house with a finished basement.
Post # 11
Do alot of the houses in your neighborhood have finished basements? If so, you might need to finish it to compete with the other houses on the market.
My opinion as someone who is looking for houses now: A finished basement is a nice-to-have feature, but I wouldn’t want to pay a lot extra for it. I would rather buy a house at a lower price and use the money that I saved on the sale to finish the basement myself.
If you end up not finishing it, I would make sure your basement is clean during showings and open houses. I hate scary, dirty basements.
Post # 12
WOW. But I think in that case for a difference of 30K I would go for the unfinished basement! I can not imagine how fancy that finished basement is to make up for the 30K price difference!
Post # 13
Thanks for all the great advice so far.
IAmLemondrop I think we will finish the renovations on the main floor and than get our realator’s opinion on listing as is or finishing the basement.
roxy821 As for counting towards living space and having a heated basement i never knew there were such thing as it not counting or not being heated. Maybe it is different in canada as opposed to the u.s.a. It is definently liveable and heated. We are currently renting the basement to a friend who needed a place to live.
Gerbera We do all our house projects on our own or with help from friends and family. Luckily FI has tons of construction experience and everything we don’t know we have friends in almost every trade to ask for advice. If we had to pay someone to finish it i think we definently would lose out on allot of money.
Post # 14
In our case– a finished basement was a HUGE plus. We were not willing to buy a house that didn’t have either a finished basement or a second living room because we really wanted a ready-to-go home with no construction necessary.
Post # 15
@Gerbera: Exactly our thought! The basement was nice, but no where near a $30K price difference!
@roxy_angell13: You just want to make sure you’ll be able to get your return on investment of the basement. If it will cost you $10K to renovate it, hopefully you’ll get that back in the sale price of the house.
Post # 16
You should really work with a realtor to find out what houses around you have. In my neighborhood, its about 50/50, finished and unfinished. Its a HUGE plus to have a finished basement. It was on our wish list and our basement adds a ton of liveable space.