Home Buying in 94306>Question Details

Garrett Ilg, Renter in Menlo Park, CA

is finished basement square footage considered equal to above grade square footage in price calculations in palo alto?

Asked by Garrett Ilg, Menlo Park, CA Tue Nov 5, 2013

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No, especially if there is no outside access from the basement.

J.R. Thrasher
http://www.SanDiegoRealEstateVeterans.com
619-929-0105
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 6, 2013
No, it's not equal to the main living area of the home. The actual value will greatly depend on the property size/configuration/finishes/etc.
Web Reference: http://talisrealestate.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 5, 2013
The square foot value of basement space will tend to be lower than the value of above grade living space. There isn't a good dollar per square foot estimate to use for the basement because the value can vary dramatically. Most often when a basement is built locally it is only done to allow a bigger house than would otherwise be allowed on the lot. The desire for more living space seems to be growing faster than the desire for a spacious yard in Palo Alto.

A comparison would be how much value will adding a bathroom add to a house? I've shown that adding a second bathroom to a 3 bed/ 1 bath home can be worth $50k for specific homes and neighborhoods. I definitely wouldn't say adding a bathroom to any home will increase its value by $50k or even what an average value is. It depends on the house.

Even though the property isn't in a special flood hazard zone, a basement can still be a source of flooding and moisture problems. In our mild winter area, people generally prefer having views of their gardens (consider Eichlers - windows cost more than walls, the big windows weren't a cost savings).

Home values for zip code 94306 can be viewed at http://julianalee.com/zip-code/94306-statistics.htm

Juliana Lee
Top 2 agent nationwide at Keller Williams Realty, the nations largest
Cell 650.857.1000

Over 20 years experience
Over 1,000 homes sold in Santa Clara County and San Mateo County
Web Reference: http://julianalee.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 5, 2013
Garrett,
Basement square footage is not considered living space when the city of Palo Alto determines how much allowable square footage can go on a given lot. However, buyers often do take that in consideration when deciding what they feel the house is worth.

Marcy Moyer
Keller Williams Realty Palo Alto
marcy@marcymoyer.com
Cal BRE 01191194
650-619-9285
Web Reference: http://www.marcymoyer.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 5, 2013
A buyer will determine the value to them when writing an offer. An appraiser uses their own formula in determining value per square footage. Ingress, egress, lighting, etc. will all be taking into account. Specifically permitted space.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 5, 2013
It is equal if the amount of natural light coming in from the light wells and the access to outdoor space such as some stairs to the backyard give it a look and feel of a normal level of the home. Otherwise there might be a slight discount to the square footage price per foot calculations.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 5, 2013
the light is good coming in from the light wells and the space is finished with the same materials - in all areas - as the above grade floors. just wanted to make sure that the property wasn't marketed incorrectly as they listed the total space including the basement
Flag Tue Nov 5, 2013
the light is good coming in from the light wells (three of them) and the space is finished with the same materials - in all areas - as the above grade floors
Flag Tue Nov 5, 2013
If the basement space is legal space vs unwarranted, most likely yes. If it is unwarranted (unpermitted) space, no.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 5, 2013
The reason permitting matters: we had a client who had legal space in his basement but the appraiser wrongly thought it wasn't. The result: $525 per sq ft upstairs, $125 per sq ft in the basement. You need to know which it is.
Flag Tue Nov 5, 2013
Thank you and I appreciate all of your your replies -
Flag Tue Nov 5, 2013
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