Adding Value to Your Home Starts at the Bottom

Real Estate Agent with The Marla Schneider Team

Basement RemodelIf you are looking to raise the resale value of your Glenview home, look no further than under your feet! Finishing an unfinished basement, or remodeling one that just needs updating, can add a lot of resale value to your home.

According to The Wall Street Journal and a poll of the Appraisal Institute, a basement finish equals a kitchen remodel as the best financial return of all home renovations, but only if the quality matches the rest of the house.

Quality of design and construction is the single biggest factor in determining the value of a basement finish. From a resale standpoint, a basement finish that is poorly designed and constructed will detract from a home's value. A potential buyer may see it as a neutral feature for storage or will have to factor in the price of a remodel of the basement and reflect that in the counter offer.

A basement should feel like another level of your home. It should be as light and airy as the rest of your living space. If your basement is as comfortable and enjoyable to be in as your main living space, then you will add value both in terms of quality of life and also as a return on investment at the time of resale.

Some rules of thumb to help you not overextend yourself on a basement refinish are:

  • Plan on investing 12-25% of the cost of your home on your basement finish. Try to stay in the parameters of the home values in your neighborhood. 
  • If your home is already at the top end of the neighborhood comparables, it will be tough getting your full investment out of a basement finish. 

Remember not all basements are created equal! They typically have lower ceilings, structural posts, pipes and valves, and random duct work. Instead of fretting, turn these challenges into unique design features. A good general contractor can go a long way in making your basement an asset to your Glenview home.

Have fun with the design of your basement finish but think about resale. A rock climbing wall may not excite the next buyer but a modern theater room or adult game room will go a long way in enticing your potential buyer.  

Once your basement refinish is complete, contact The Marla Schneider Team to sell your home and make the most of that gain in resale value to find your new dream home!


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ERA Key Realty~Worcester County Realty Group - Worcester, MA
'Helping You Make the Best Move"


Great post, but I usually tell homebuyers to wait a full year before finishing their basement. You want to make sure all water problems are resolved before renovating.

Aug 17, 2010 12:39 AM #1
Gordon Sloan
Group1 Real Estate, selling houses in Salt Lake City Utah - Salt Lake City, UT
Salt Lake Homes For Sale, Salt Lake Real Estate

Marla, timely article for me as I am just finishing my basement.


Aug 17, 2010 12:50 AM #2
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Marla, that sure is a georgeous basemet, unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at  it) we don't have too many basements here in Florida.  But the idea is sound for us about adding value to a home.

Aug 17, 2010 12:54 AM #3
Kathy Torline
ERA Herman Group Real Estate - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Real Estate Blog 719-287-1049

Basements are very important in Colorado; but I always tell people to think about resale when they are doing home improvement projects.    You are so right about the "rock wall".

Aug 17, 2010 02:58 AM #4
Marla Schneider
The Marla Schneider Team - Glenview, IL
Move with Marla

Thanks for all your comments.

Michelle -that's a good point especially n new homes. But any home is new to the buyer so making sure there are no problems before investing in a basement remodel is a good idea.

Corie - I'm sure that will be nice.

Gabe  - The prevalence of basements varies by area. I'm sure in FL there are other key remodeling projects.

Kathy - People always ave to balance what they want to do for themselves & what they hope to reclaim when selling.

Aug 23, 2010 01:04 AM #5
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