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Is it Worth It to Remodel the Basement?

Basements are evaluated differently compared to the above ground space, which makes up the living area. However, the type of basement space can have a significant impact on the value that a homebuyer will be willing to pay. You can transform your basement into a space that fits your needs, hobbies, or personality. When remodeling your basement, it is important to weigh between the desires to have what you want with the possibility of selling your home in the future. This article discusses whether remodeling your basement is worth your investment and how they are valued.

How Different Basements are Valued

The type of grading, which includes a non-walk-out basement, a partial drop in grade and a full walkout basement determines the value of a finished basement. A non-walk-out basement is the least attractive type featuring four concrete walls and tiny standard windows. This type of basement is mostly used to store items that are never used often. A full walkout basement is considered the most valuable type of basement space featuring regular size windows and an atrium or sliding glass door.

It offers more natural light compared to non-walk-out basements that often rely on artificial lighting. The unique feature about full walkout basements is that you can leave the house through a regular door rather than a bulkhead. A partial drop in grade does not have a full-size door but still allows you to have some full-sized windows. It is less attractive than full walkout basements but more valuable than non-walk-out basements.

Assessing the Potential Payoff

The amount of money spent on the remodeling may vary depending on the size of your basement. You may save money doing the work by yourself but it may not meet the same standard as your living space if you do not have the right skills and equipment. On the other hand, splurging too much on your dream basement without considering the needs of a potential homebuyer may give you a hard time recouping your investment. It is important to get different opinions from different real estate agents on what features are likely to pay off when remodeling your basement.

People always look for more space in places where square footage commands a premium and a home with a finished basement could be a plus for sellers. It can be difficult to recover your costs in a down market where home prices are very low. However, there are some markets where a home with a finished basement attracts more potential buyers that could help you sell it more quickly.

Features That Improve the Functionality of a Basement

  • An In-Law Suite

It is easier to find an in-law suite in a finished basement rather than an added addition above grade. An in-law suite works better for a full walkout basement as it allows easier access in and out of a home. Some places have regulations that prohibit the addition of a second kitchen so it is important to research before installing another kitchen in the basement.

  • Playroom

Many potential buyers are looking for a place where kids can play with their friends regardless of the weather fluctuations outside. A playroom in the basement can provide the best opportunity for buyers with younger kids to minimize the number of toys or games in other areas of the home.

  • Sports Bar

A finished basement can make a great place for people to have fun. Most men would not mind having a beer with friends while watching their favorite sport. Sports bars have become a popular feature in luxury homes as they allow people to interact with each other while having fun.

  • Home Theatre

Some finished basements are designed with great theatres that offer a similar experience to a movie theatre. They feature unique television sets, music systems, seats, and virtual reality headsets. Home theatres can offer great entertainment during special occasions and home gatherings.

Remodeling your basement can be worth the investment if it meets the needs of a potential homebuyer. Some people are more excited about a basement that is unfinished as it allows them to customize the space based on their style and preferences. Others do not like the idea of starting from scratch and would rather spend their money on a finished basement. There are certain improvements or additions in a basement that are worthwhile and can guarantee high returns.  However, it is important to talk with your agent about the benefits and costs of each option since not all basement additions or renovations may increase the value of your home.

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