Home Buying in Marietta>Question Details

Dave, Home Buyer in Atlanta, GA

Slab basement

Asked by Dave, Atlanta, GA Tue Feb 19, 2008

Could you please lay down some details about full basement and slab.
What's the difference and what are the pros and cons in buying and reselling house with either of these here in the south?



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A lot of homes are built on slabs in the greater metro Atlanta area. Newer homes do not usually have concerns, however homes built in the 70's may have galvinized pipes, which means they can cause problems down the road. After a slab you have a crawl space, which means the house is raised off the ground by 3ft to 5ft normally. This gives you access to all the plubing and sometimes heating unit and/or hotwater heater. Then comes the basement which will usually have 8ft to 10ft ceilings. They can have interior/exterior entrances and also be daylight (windows). Normally you will pay $25 to $35 per sqft more for a basement. Basements and crawls are normally one of two things, poured walls or block. The preference is poured walls and that they have been waterproofed. Anything else feel free to give me a call. 404-405-6713 Curtis
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 19, 2008
Your options are slab, crawl space or basement. Historically, homes built on level lots were built on crawl spaces, which consisted of a short foundation wall with framing used to create the floor of the home. The crawl space allowed access to plumbing, ductwork,etc, below the house.

The slabs, which are simply poured concrete, came along as an alternative to the crawl space. It's a simpler process for the builder.

The basement provides the best solution in that it provides you with another floor to your home for storage or living space. Homes with basements typically resale better as the homes attract a larger buyer pool. One of the complaints I've heard from people with slab homes is that they don't have enough storage or they don't have a place for a game room or a media room.

I've had lots of buyers specifically say they want a home with a basement, but I've never had a buyer say they only wanted to look at slab homes. So from that alone, you should be able to see the difference in terms of resale. But there is no stigma against slab homes and they resell just fine. So ultimately it comes down to finding the home that best meets your needs and getting a good price for it.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 20, 2008

Basement VS Slab.

One of the pros of having a basement is plain and simple. Extra Space. You can always finish out a basement to add value to your home and by having a basement you double the footprint of your main level. In addition the main foundation of your home will be below the frostline. Here in the south this does not make much difference but in colder climates it can make an impact.

Many people say that a slab home stays colder than a home with a basement or a crawl space. For the most part I can agree with this statement because I have had a home on a slab before and the floor tends to be colder in the winter where there are hard floor coverings such as tile. Also a factor many consider are plumbing issues. If you have a basement plumbing pipes are easier to access from the basement level from under the floor.

Cons of a basement would be mold and flooding. Make sure you get an inspection and check on the history of the home for flooding. If you own a basement it's a good idea keep a de-humidifier running to keep moisture and mold problems at bay.

As for resale once again the issue of space comes in. Even if people buying the home don't need it now it gives room for expansion. Basements make great rec. rooms or home theaters. Let's face it we all like to have our man room!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 19, 2008

A slab has no basement, It is just a cement foundation that the house sits on. A full basement is another full level below the main floor of the home. There are different terms that you may see such as daylight, full, or terrace level. They are all basements.

As far as resale goes, I would rather see my clients get a basement, but sometimes price matters and you are going to pay about $ 25,000 to $ 30,000 more for a basement than a slab.

I have clients that just do not care and some have to have the basement.

Hope this helps!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 19, 2008

As the name implies a slab is a slab of concrete. There is no basement. The con is that if there is anything wrong with the plumbing you'll have to go through that concrete. Some people complain that slabs are harder on your joints as well. The pro of a slab is that often (not always), it is a level lot from front to back.

As for a basement - the only con here would be that there is potential for the lot to be sloped. Everything else is pretty good about a basement. Basements always increase the value, always.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 19, 2008
Joshua Jarvis, Real Estate Pro in Duluth, GA

Slab essentialy is a concrete block that a home is built on, there are a few propblems that can come along with this depending on the area the home is located. If when the home ws built they put pluming pipe's in the slab they can be very difficult to repair.

Most peopl prefer a Full basement in my opinion but it is after all a personal choice and If you have never had one then you will never miss it. but here a a few perks additional storge space, possible famliy space, if it is set up legally and above grade some home will allow for additional living space or income. but there can be some draw back if you are close to the water in most case you may not have one but if you have a full basement then you might get water issue, as well if finished off improperly you can get mold or mildew very easly in the event that there is a problem above with leaky pluming. but in the case you will be able to get to the pipe with easy and not have to break cement to do so. hope this helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 19, 2008
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