Monday, January 13, 2014

A Finished Basement is Great – But Does it Make “Cents”?

If you really think about it for a moment an unfinished basement seems a bit silly. Having as much as 1/3 of your home being used as little more than a huge closet is a terrible waste of space. Surely there is something better that can be done with so much square footage but the question remains, is it worth the investment to remodel?

There’s no doubt that the benefits of having a finished basement are considerable to any homeowner and the choices are almost endless. A spare bedroom, a big family room, a media room, billiards, hobby room, even a private suite for family or visitors are all great possibilities. In addition, it is certainly less expensive to finish your lower level versus adding on to your home but is it a wise investment? Can you recoup the amount of money that you spend if and when you decide to sell your home?

Well, the simple answer is a definite no. The national average to finish a basement is just under $70,000 and when all is said and done only 2/3 of that amount is recovered when the home is sold. Does that mean that this is a bad idea? That depends. Even though the average homeowner can expect to “lose” 1/3 of their investment the truth remains that a finished basement is a great selling point and may help you to sell more quickly. Judging strictly “by the numbers” that means that you will spend about $21,000 of your hard earned money that you will not see again but is that really so bad? Depending upon your needs it may be well worth the time and effort.

Not everything is about money, right? If you really need an extra bedroom or 2 and the added convenience, privacy and peace of mind gained would be considerable, than it’s worth it! What about that quiet home office that you keep dreaming of? Would it enhance your productivity? Could it even lead to more business or better performance on the job? Such decisions could actually equate to more income under the right circumstances.

I think one of the biggest factors to consider is how long you intend to stay in your home. Clearly it is a bad idea to finish the basement if you intend to sell within the foreseeable future; the financial return just isn’t there. But if you intend to stay for a long time chances are that it will be worth it to you in the long run. There is no such thing as too much space in a home and surely there is something you would really enjoy using all of that extra space for. It’s all up to you but one thing is certain, if you are considering remodeling your basement for the sheer investment value, don’t. If you could really use the extra space for that dream room you’ve never had, than go for it! After all, isn’t that the point of being a homeowner? It’s yours, do what makes you happy!

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