Is finishing a basement in an already large home an investment that will be recouped upon sale?

Our house is 2600 sq ft, two stories, with an unfinished daylight basement of 1650 sq ft.  If we sold within a year or two, would it be worthwhile to finish the basement?  The house already has four bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths.  The basement is plumbed for another bath already.  We would do a lot of the work ourselves and hire out the finish carpentry and electric and plumbing.
  • January 27 2009 - Five Mile-Prairie
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Answers (10)

Profile picture for sunnyview
I would say no. I think the trend is toward smaller less expensive houses overall. I think that your most cost effective selling point is potential and not necessarily development of that potential in this market.
  • March 09 2009
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One of the newest and favorite features on homes today is the Theater room, or game room, with the focus on electronic games. Finishing off a basement room with basic sheetrocking, sound and light dampening and wired for surround is pretty cheap work. Plus is gives your home a whole new reason to be picked.  Not hard to live through either. I would include the bath in the package, and of course a popcorn machine!
  Be little bit better than the next house on the block!
  • March 09 2009
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Profile picture for bamkmartin
not in this current market.  You will probably be throwing away money.
  • February 23 2009
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Basement square footage is always valued less than above grade.  Sometimes you are better off selling the dream.  "Oh, you could do this down there or that".  You have to figure that many people nowadays want media rooms.  Some people however may want an exercise room.  Others need even more than the 4 bedrooms you have.  Once you finish it off, you:
A) take that choice away from the buyer
B) have to charge more for the home
C) put in a lot of work breathing nasty dusts and fumes
D) suffer through living in a remodel that you won't even benefit from in the end.
  • February 13 2009
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If your selling in a couple years you won't make up the money and time you will invest.
  • January 31 2009
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The only remodeling that would ensure some measure of value down the road would be an additional bedroom with bath, esp if the home lacks a master suite that is typical of homes that are built today.

I've seen homes with recently remodeled kitchens that were so poorly done, they added nothing to the value of the home, and in fact drove the value down because the new homeowner would rip all the work out and start over. So whatever you do, make sure it is quality work that is reflective of homes similar to yours, so if you do indeed sell a year or two down the road, the work will not only look well done but also contemporary. (There's nothing sadder than a home remodel that is a huge nod to the 1990s because the homeowner liked that style)
  • January 29 2009
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Before going off to the races on your 'do it yourself' basement remodel make sure you are up to code and pull any required permits.  When the home inspector comes through at the time of sale you don't want him to come up with anything.  Even if it's minor it's still a leverage point for a buyer to negotiate on.  And if it's a major oversight you may not be able to sell your home until you or a contractor fixes it.
  • January 29 2009
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It really depends on what you do with the space and the condition of the basemen that you start with. Most realtors will sell your home based on square feet of living space.

If you already have or will install egress (fire exit) windows or an independent basement exit then you could also install a basement sink toilet and bath rather easy. I suggest if this is an option that you visit your local home store and ask them about a macerating toilet pump wich is a box that would sit under the toilet and accept connections from a sink and tub and will  pump the dirty water into your sewer pipe.

For about $1000 you could add a full bath and partition the basement into a bedroom adding much value for a few weekends work. That you could do yourself.

www.yourepair.com
  • January 29 2009
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It really depends on what you do with the space and the condition of the basemen that you start with. Most realtors will sell your home based on square feet of living space.

If you already have or will install egress (fire exit) windows or an independent basement exit then you could also install a basement sink toilet and bath rather easy. I suggest if this is an option that you visit your local home store and ask them about a macerating toilet pump wich is a box that would sit under the toilet and accept connections from a sink and tub and will  pump the dirty water into your sewer pipe.

For about $1000 you could add a full bath and partition the basement into a bedroom adding much value for a few weekends work. That you could do yourself.

www.yourepair.com
  • January 29 2009
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
The cost of finishing the basement may add some value, but probably not pay back your costs dollar for dollar. 
  • January 28 2009
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