Home Buying in 06405>Question Details

Rowena Feliz, Home Buyer in 06525

Is it a significant disadvantage to buy a house without a basement? Is there anything that can be done to address this issue?

Asked by Rowena Feliz, 06525 Wed Apr 21, 2010

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Not all houses built on a slab are built right. Some did not take into account slope for drainage and splash from the roof. Some houses built on a slab have rotted off from the bottom as a result. Not always an issue, but something to look for.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 21, 2010
Hey, Dan, thx. I'm considering a home built on a slab that sits at the bottom of 30 degree sloped yard that measures 1/2 acre. How do I check to see that the drainage slope and roof splash will not cause water build-up? I'm not certain if the house is in a designated flood plain, but as noted, there is every reason to believe that it has the potential for gravity run-off from huge, downward sloped front yard.
Flag Mon Mar 7, 2016
In CT most homes have basements, so buying a house on a slab is not the usual situation and therefore you would expect to pay less for it. The only exception would be a raised ranch style home. If you are considering this style home which typically has a lower level that is finished, that would not be the case. I am assuming you are talking about a ranch or colonial that does not have a basement. I had one of these in Clinton for sale a few years ago and it was difficult to sell. At the right price, it can be a good deal. But you have to compensate for the lack of a basement in the price.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 1, 2011
I would point out that in addition to the functional disadvantages (as expressed in the) responses below, you sould also consider if there are market disadvantages. Depending on the area and the style of home, the marketability of a home may be significantly effected, if it has no basement.
On he whole, we New Englanders like our basements. As you go further south or near a city (where people don't hang aroung long enough to accumulate a lot of stuff), basements are far less important.
Likewise, a basement tends to be a more important feature in a single family detached home than it is in a condo.
This is a question best addressed with your agent, as to what is acceptable, considering who a likely buyer of the home would be and what needs that buyer may have.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 27, 2010
Basements add value, but after all, they're just basements. Homes have sold with and without basements since the first street-level cave sold with below-grade living space.

I'm wondering, what issue do you see? There's a lot of land that really isn't suitable for digging out basements.

Often, the furnace and water heater will be in a utility room at grade, and the water supply and ductwork will go over the ceiling, which isn't a terrible idea.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 21, 2010
A house built on a slab will always remain on a slab. It lacks the bottom needed to put it on a foundation.

The problem is lack of space for the furnace, water pump and so on that would normally be in the cellar.

The other issue could be annoying and expensive. All of the water pipes are under the slab. If they leak or break you may have to rip the slab up to do a repair. There is no easy access like in a house with a foundation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 21, 2010
Unless you were planning to use it for storage or convert it into living space, in my opinion you really don't need a basement.

To add a basement you would have to have the house lifted, which would not only be very expensive but also tricky because the slab depends on the earth beneath it for support. Plus you would have to deal with the house resettling which could mean cracked walls, etc.

Could you add on to the home instead?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 21, 2010
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