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matt.william…, Real Estate Pro in Darien, CT

Basement renovation return and home appraisal in Darien, CT

Asked by matt.williams.darien, Darien, CT Thu Feb 20, 2014

My home is located at West Avenue, Darien, CT walking distance to train station plus excellent Darien public school district. We are planning to finish the basement with a bathroom in it. I think that will add approximately 450 sqft to my current home sqft and that finish basement can be used as a family room office room. Let us assume that I will spend approximately $25K to finish it so will spend $55.55 ($25K/450) per sqft. I am just wondering, what will be return for the basement renovation project? So am I going to get return back for my investment if I sell my home? When I purchased this house, I paid $345 per sqft (total $730K) for this house. If I add the basement bathroom, what should be the current appraisal home value? I am just worried that I am not overspending money in this house which located on little busy street like West Avenue, Darien.

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Hi Matt:
The addition of a finished basement including heat to make it legal additional square footage, certainly raises the value of any home. However the amount you spend on that improvement returns only about 55%-65% on your investment... and the range deals with the location of your home. Many other variables will contribute to the "how much" value factor and some of those have been mentioned in the other answers. But for example, if the basement becomes a 3rd BR you have increased the market for your house by a significant factor due to demand for 3 BR homes vs. 2 BR homes. Also, as cautioned, don't spend money if the improvement will price your home out of your neighborhood. As a general rule of thumb, buyers will not pay more for features or size in a neighborhood comprised of homes appraised at a relatively low price. However if the neighborhood is a high priced one, and your house is the "black sheep", buyers will be more likely to slightly overpay recognizing the return on investment the house can eventually bring when improvements are made.
Best of luck with your decision.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 20, 2014
Matt, basements do not add as much value as above grade living space, I would really have to see the home, condition and basement specs to answer such a question. If you like I can do a CMA for you and see where the best place to put your money for return value. Take a look at this link, Cost vs. Value home improvement report, 2014 for Ct.
I too on West Ave...if you like to talk call me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 20, 2014
Tired of hearing from me, Matt? Finishing the basement will certainly add value, especially for the buyer who needs the extra room/space. But you're smart to be cautious about overspending on West Ave, because the house won't appreciate as quickly as other locations. And remember, finishing the basement doesn't add sqft to your above grade living area, which is what people use to compare against other homes. I'd have to see the house and basement to really provide a professional opinion, and ask other questions about how much you've already improved the house, etc. If you'd like to speak offline and arrange a meeting, I am at jefff.turner@cbmoves.com or 203-981-6398. Jeff
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 20, 2014
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