If you are shopping for a home, you have lots of things to think about. One of those things that might not be a biggest concern is the type of basement you want. Do you want to buy a home with a basement that is already completed, or would it be a better decision to have a home with an empty basement and do the work yourself?
Finishing a basement can be surprisingly expensive, and the likelihood is that you’re not going to recover your cost when you sell the property. In fact, paying to finish a basement will only get you about 75% return on your dollar in resale value. The bottom line is that you’ll probably lose money by buying a house with an unfinished basement and finishing it on your own. In most cases, then, when you are looking for a home, it’s smarter to find a home that already has the basement finished. It’s the opposite side of the same analysis that says it doesn’t pay for the seller to spend the money on the remodel. When you are on the buying side you are getting a bargain position in the situation.
In addition to saving time and money, which are significant motivators by themselves, there are other reasons for buying a home with a finished basement. Basements that aren’t in use tend to get damp and can foster mold. On the other hand, if the space is in use you can take advantage of the fact that basements tend to be relatively stable in terms of temperature. They tend to keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer, which means that you’ll spend less on heating and air conditioning.
A finished basement provides more living space. Gone are the days when basements were only used for storage. A well finished basement can be used for more bedrooms, a rec room, a laundry room, a large living room, or places to exercise. Another good thing about having a functional basement is that, if need be, it can be used as an apartment or suite for an older family member who can no longer live completely on their own or for a grown child who has returned to the nest.
If you live in an area where tornadoes have to be considered like the Midwest, a basement are also a good place to take shelter from the threat of a storm. The anxiety of having to take shelter during a storm can be frightening. A comfortable and accommodating space can help ease anxieties and make the experience better for the entire family.
So when you buy your next piece of real estate, do yourself a favor and look for a home with a finished basement. Take advantage of someone else having done the work — you can enjoy the benefits of their labor.
Article furnished courtesy of Automated Homefinder, Colorado’s Highlands Ranch real estate specialists.