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Old 06-05-2012, 09:52 PM   #1
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Finish basement?

Wondering if anyone has gotten a good return on their investment by finishing their basement? By that I mean, increasing the value of their home when they go to sell it.

I am very back and forth on mine. I have a large walkout basement but don't know if it's worth laying out the cash to finish it. Not planning on staying in my house forever.. Thoughts?
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Old 06-06-2012, 03:21 AM   #2
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All my research has said that if you and your family need more space and will enjoy it, then do it. Best you can expect is an 80% return, and that's still a 20% LOSS!!!
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:02 AM   #3
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Just think of it this way. If you have the ability to do the work yourself, you can take your time with it and do a little here and there. Over time you get it done, and you will have more living space. You don't really have to go all out at one time. Stand a wall up here and there every couple weeks/weekends. You will be glad you did. My father did his basement (after I moved out), took his time with it, now he has a sick extra bedroom, another "living room" with a bar, walk in wine closet, big screen tv and wood burning stove. I go THERE for vacation now lol.
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:36 AM   #4
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A finished basement will add value no question, IF you do it right.
You have to be neutral when choosing how to finish it. Putting in a bar wall aquariums and crazy room layouts is a turnoff for alot of people. Fireplaces are also hit and miss.
Finish it so that you will enjoy it and your new buyers can see potential in living there too.
We move every 2-3 years and always finish as much on the homes we live in for resale. Have made over $100K this way.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuckinoh View Post
Wondering if anyone has gotten a good return on their investment by finishing their basement? By that I mean, increasing the value of their home when they go to sell it.

I am very back and forth on mine. I have a large walkout basement but don't know if it's worth laying out the cash to finish it. Not planning on staying in my house forever.. Thoughts?
It may not increase your appraised value if a lot of other homes have done it as well but it might make it sell faster. It depends on what similar homes in your area have done.

We had ours appraised last month. The appraiser picked a sample of comparable homes sales and listings in our area and our home fell in that range. If you have a lot of upgrades compared with your neighbors, you'll tend to appraise at the higher end of the range. So find out what comparable home sales in your area are, and determine what the typical range is. That will tell you what the maximum possible return would be (range from the bottom seller and the top seller of comparable size). Remember that this is only one portion of the house so in no way will it take your home from the least valuable to the most valuable. So for example lets say your range in comparable home sales is about $35K ($200K-$235K). That means your home is probably going to sell somewhere in between that. Just a SWAG (silly wild-assed guess) but maybe your upgrade will get you 5-10% boost inside that range. That would mean $1750-$3500 boost in value. So if you're spending $5K (maybe you hired a contractor), you'll lose money. If you're spending $500 (you did it yourself), you'll likely see a return on your investment.

As was stated earlier, if you can do the work yourself, you can save a lot of money and still make it look good.

My wife and I redid our bathroom and it made it look much better for not much money. We painted, replaced the cabinet and layed down some new tile flooring (looks like wood wood flooring, but it's a floating floor self-sticking tile). Total cost was about $70 for the flooring, $300 for the sink/cabinet/mirror, $60 for some fixtures and some paint which we already had. I also cut some 4 1/2" baseboard trim (about $30).

Just keep it simple. Keep in mind too that color can be a turn-off as well. Our neighbors were selling their condo (identical size and layout) and sold first to a lady who looked at both of ours. She preferred the white walls over our colorful walls. She's looking to paint it to her liking and could see it easier with white walls than with ours.
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holyfield19 View Post
Do you plan on doing the work yourself OP, or contract it out?
Thats the million dollar question. If you do it yourself you will save a bundle. But do it yourself and do a shitty job and you'll wish you had paid someone to do it.
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:44 PM   #8
stuckinoh [OP] stuckinoh is offline
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Planning on doing it myself, or probably at least everything up to electrical/wiring. I don't mess with that stuff. I've tried the "do it a little at a time" strategy and it just don't work for me. I can always find something else to spend the money on I guess. Got a small inheritance right now and may be getting more. With the all at once approach I think I'm more likely to actually do the work. Most of the research I've done online agrees with what some of you have said. In most cases it won't add appraised value (that's ok, just means higher taxes) but may help it sell.. Of course it would be great to make a profit from the sale of our home, but I don't foresee that happening where I live and how the market it.. Pretty impoverished/rural area. I appreciate everyone's input and feel free to keep it coming!
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:00 AM   #9
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Some things to consider contracting out:
Electrical (most of us will have some portion of it done by a pro)
Drywall mudding (yeah anyone can do it, but honestly worth every penny for a good finish and quick job by the pros)

Anything else guys?
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