Financing in Bridgewater>Question Details

Tree, Home Owner in Bridgewater, MA

I had my basement finished by a contractor.

Asked by Tree, Bridgewater, MA Thu Jan 6, 2011

We had a full bath added, a custom bar built, a theater room area, a separate laundry room and tile floor throughout. Permanent ceilings, not dropped. When I look online at these websites (e.g. zillow) they include the 3rd bathroom but do not included the additional square footage. I believe the building inspector had to sign off on the work and dont understand why they added the bath and not the other area. I want to refinance and as the home has lost value as all homes in Massachusetts have I do not qualify, yet if we could include the additional square footage I'm sure it definitely would. Would an appraiser be able to include it. Again, it is a very professional job. There are windows and a back door that goes out to the yard/pool area also.

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What you should do is go to the town building department and be sure your contractor pulled a permit to do the work. If so it will be on file. If he did not file the proper paper work the space could be considered "illegal" and you could be opening up a can of worms. However, if he did fill out the permits required work and complete the space "legally" I'm sure the assessors office would be happy to come take a look and include the sq ftg on necessary documentation. The down side.......as soon as they do expect your taxes to go up. Higher assessment means more taxes!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
Hello Tree- Yes it should be included in a new appraisal, etc. Generally, the true value of finished basement living area (per an appraiser) might be only 50%- 75% of true Above grade living area. That's just the way people view it.
So, it'll help some but maybe not enough to put you over the hump. Also, there is a point of diminishing value for SF/area of any house. For instance, a 3000 sf house may not be worth that much more than a 2600 sf house, etc.
Good luck
Ken L.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
As long as there is a way in and out of the basement, which you say there is a door, then you can have the additional square footage added. Just know that this will also increase your tax base once your county assessor gets wind of it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
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