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What's the best value? Finished basement or using the $ towards upgrades?

In my new home purchase, there is an incentive towards a free finished basement. Should I use the finished basement value, $17,000, towards upgrades instead of the finished basement? The basement would include a half bath and adds approximately 1150 sq feet to my 2600 sq foot home. Thanks.
  • October 06 2012 - Barnegat Township
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Answers (6)

Best Answer

Thanks for posting your question on Zillow.com!

Tough to answer without knowing the upgrades but I would say finish the basement.  It never goes out of style, increases living space is more of a "usable" feature then upgrades.  The cost to finish the basement will increase over time.  Some of your upgrade choices will go down in price and out of style.

Best of luck.  Hope we added value! :-)
  • October 06 2012
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From a resale perspective (and in my area in Chattanooga TN) basement space only gets about 40% of the value of above ground square footage, so I would advise you take that into consideration. I agree with the other agents, I would allocate towards upgrades that are common in the area or very popular, but a bathroom in the basement would add value for future. 
  • October 10 2012
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 It comes down to how you and your family will use the space.
Finished basements are great and do add to a homes overall value BUT when I view a house for sale with a finished basement the first thing that pops to mind is where would my husband put all his tools? Being married to a handy guy he has to have a place for his workshop.
  2600 sq feet is already a sizable place do you need all that extra living room? or will you be better suited to enjoy the updates that $17,000 will buy?    Maybe you could split the options up? go with your granite coutertops (if that is a upgrade option) but save enough to also have the builder put a bathroom in the basement workshop. Figure once the plumbing and wiring is done it would be easy to finish the basment space yourself BUT say ripping out your formica counter to replace with granite after you moved in will leave you living in a construction zone. 
  Good luck   
  • October 08 2012
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Profile picture for TeamDolinsky
Thank you for posting your question:

There are several good answers to you question here.  My feeling is since the builder would be completing the basement, it will now be done before you move in. Now you will not have to live through the construction nightmare.  To add a bathroom is costly so that being said this sounds like the best investment option to me. 

This will also give you other options for the space if the need arises.  
Have fun decorating your new home. :O)
  • October 08 2012
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If you are planning on staying in the home for many years and you do not need the extra finished basement - than use the money for upgrades.  However if you think about selling within 1-7 years an extra bathroom and extra family room or bedroom may be more valuable to potential buyers.  Extra bathrooms are always something buyers want.   

  • October 06 2012
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
If you are planning to live there for a while, what is the most benefit for you and your family?   (I don't consider $17,000 free!).   

We really enjoyed a ~1000 square foot unfinished basement.  It gave us a great place to play soccer with the dog in the depths of winter, have a place for a workshop, great place to dry the tent after camping, and many other activities that wouldn't have worked in a finished space.
  • October 06 2012
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