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lamolina

Is it worth it to finish the basement??

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We don't NEED the space, we have lived here 3 years just fine with the space we have. But our parents are aging and it is likely at least one might need to live with us. It is a large, dry space with normal ceiling heights and a walkout door. 

 

I'm wondering if you have finished a basement and how it impacted the value of your house? I read that below ground square footage is not worth the same as above ground so I don't know how much it would raise the expected price of our house. 

 

Also for what it is worth we are not planning to move anytime soon.

Edited by lamolina

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If you're considering finishing finishing it for your parents, definitely factor in the cost for installing a bathroom. Our basement is finished, with a rough in for a senior friendly bathroom. We're not doing it till there's a parent in need, though. At this point, we're ok as is.

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I would not pay extra personally for a finished basement unless it had a bathroom. If it's just the typical "rec room" type finished basement that's not worth a premium to me over an unfinished one. But I would pay a premium for a house with an extra 1/2 or full bath, regardless of whether that bathroom was in a basement or another floor.

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If you can do a bathroom and egress windows it can be worth a great deal.  You can add a lot of value to your home.  Esp. with a private door it could in the future be used as a rental, apartment for senior parents, college age kids, etc.

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To me, my basement's worth is rough storage to keep the upper floors neat. We have enough room that it wouldn't be practical and my oldest is 20, so we'll soon have fewer people.

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It depends. If it isn't permitted and counted n the taxable square footage it will have very limited impact on the value of the house. It simply can't be calculated in the sales price as finished square footage. Additionally, a basement that is finished complete with a kitchenette and bathrooms has a limited sales appeal. Only people looking for homes with those types of arrangements will be willing to pay for those finishes. Others who want basements are often only looking for storage, recreational or office space, or an entire apartment. So, really, you need to decide if you need to finish it to meet your needs and not make an increased sales price your main goal.

 

Honestly, I just had to sell my parents' home that had an unpermitted finished basement. We got very little additional money for it on the sale price. It would have been better to get it permitted, but my dad didn't think the government should dictate what he did with his private property. As a result, he made a couple of design mistakes, such as not having a window in the room we used as a bedroom. None of us ever gave it a second thought, but that is actually a big problem when it comes to safety and fire codes. Even if the basement had been permitted, we could not have called that room a bedroom in our bedroom count because of the lack of windows. Permits also help make sure that the existing plumbing is up to code for the addition. In the area where I live now, for example, the size of the septic tank is determined by the number of bedrooms in the house. They assume an occupancy rate of two people per bedroom and size the septic field accordingly. So, if one were to add a bedroom, then it might require resizing the septic system. These are all things that a qualified contractor knows, but the average homeowner might not. The permitting system is there to protect the homeowners safety and investment. Of course, more square footage may cause an increase in property tax, and you need to figure that into the equation as well. That increase is something the permit process picks up on as well.

 

ETA: You are correct. Basement square footage, called "below grade" is not worth as much as above grade square footage, finished or not.

Edited by TechWife

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This would all be permitted, and would most likely be a living room, bedroom, bathroom, and kitchenette. The bedroom would have real windows as would the kitchen area. There is also a room that would be an office or some undetermined space. 

 

We had also looked at making it into more of an actual apartment space with a bedroom suite but that seemed more limited in use, at least for our family. 

 

The septic tank size would be an issue, as we are on septic and would likely have to increase the tank. I wonder how much that is!

 

 

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My biggest concern, if the main point of finishing it is having a space for parents, is that there is a high probability they won't be able to use stairs long before they would actually need to be in a nursing home.

We have found that all of the finished basements we're familiar with get the most use when there are teenagers and then later when all the grown kids come home with their families.

Edited by ksr5377

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That is a good thought also. I am thinking if a parent really needs to live with us that they would take our main floor master bedroom and we would move downstairs.

 

 

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