Matthew, Home Seller in Haddon Heights, NJ

Help with resale value

Asked by Matthew, Haddon Heights, NJ Thu Feb 4, 2010

I purchased an older home in Haddon Heights in 2007, on a quiet street near Haddon Heights/Audubon Park. It was originally 4 bed 1 bath (3 upstairs bed, 1 downstairs). I have since renovated in the following ways: Small upstairs bed turned into custom full bath (Jacuzzi tub/4'x4' tile shower, double sink vanity granite) remodeled d/s bath. refinished hardwood floors through entire house, remodeled kitchen (cherry cabinets, stainless appliances, granite tops). Gutted entire first floor, insulated, new windows throughout entire house, new front door, brand new roof (complete tear off, new plywood) rewired electric entire house, brand new AC, gas heat, vinyl siding outside. The house is now a 3 bed, 2 full bath, 1500 sqr ft, 2 story, everything is brand new. 2 questions: What would the resale value of the home be now? 2. There is a basement....should I finish it? how much would it increase the resale value if I did?

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Denise Minchin’s answer
Hi Matthew, I live in Haddon Hts., and we raised our kids there too. It sounds like you did some great upgrades to your place. Home buyers today are looking for updated baths and kitchens. It is so hard to give home value without seeing your place. It would only take me 10 minutes to do a walk through and then I could give you a better idea. I know the area well because I live there, work there and my husband (also a Realtor) grew up there. There is no cost to you to have us come out and take a quick look. If you would like that please send me an email or give me a quick call. I wouldn't refinish the basement because it will not really help with the resale of your already lovely home. Thanks a bunch, 609-206-1534 Realtor, Main Street Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 30, 2011
It's not a bad idea to do an inexpensive fix-up to the basement ie. drywall, carpeted/tile floors, etc. but I wouldn't go overboard. Also keep in mind that you should have an area of the basement separate and unfinished for storage. Buyers love a finished basement but they also love storage space and you'll lose that if you finish off the entire area. This way you get the best of both worlds:-)

Linda Misinkavitch
Weichert Realtors
Voorhees, NJ
(609) 280-2807 cell
(856) 784-8750 ext 186
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 5, 2010
Your home sounds very nice! Although a finished basement has a nice return on investment, I would not do anymore to the home unless you were doing it strictly for your own enjoyment. Finishing a basement is a personal thing. You do this because you want to gain more living space. When selling a home with a finished basement it is a nice feature but it is not included in the gross living area. And will not be incl in the gross living area when an appraisal is done on the house when someone buys it. Even though the appraisal will allow some value for the basement it really won;t put enough in the value for what it may cost you to finish the basement "just for selling the home".

There is such a thing as over improvement. A basement is only a selling feature The eye of the buyers will see a benefit or not. What will sell a home is the kitchen #1, Baths and their location(very good idea to have a bath on main floor, at least a 1/2 bath, as you have) and then the rest of the home 2, 3 4 or 5 bedrooms, Family room, Storage space(closets). The basement will be one of the least considerations to most buyers. When selling a home you want to appeal to most buyers. Believe it or not a yard's patio will have more appeal to buyers than the basement unless the basement is a walkout and can be included in the gross living area (GLA). There are always exception to the rule.

Good luck

Larry Sarlo
Weichert Realtors

Searching for Bank Owned Properties no cost no obligations
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 15, 2010
Thank you for all of the responses, they were very helpful. The style of the house, I believe is considered a bungalow. However the upstairs is a lot larger than the other bunglows I have been inside in Haddon Heights and the surrounding area. There is a small foyer at the top of the stairs and gable ceilings, you don't need to duck your head in most area's. There are 3 rooms upstairs, 2 bed, one is the master with a large closet that you can walk in (not necessarily a walk in closet) the other is 2nd bed room, and middle is the full bath with shower, jacuzzi tub. The hardwood floors were just refinished, 100 year old long plank red and yellow pine. The entire house is hardwood flooring with exception to the upstairs bath. There is also a full bath downstairs, and 3rd bed. The house is located right off of Kings Highway, near 13th Ave. I do not want to get a value estimate done just yet, as the house is not complete. I am looking to sell the house soon and really debating on whether or not to finish the basement, it is very large, the entire length of the house, however the ceilings are rather low, maybe a little less than 7". One plus, it never gets any water, always dry no matter how much rain we get. But...there really isn't a family room. The downstairs is an open layout, a front living room, then dining, then kitchen in the back, no walls separating, besides the the walls between the downstairs bath and bedroom.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 15, 2010

Good job! I live in the area. Most folks around love the old charm of the exterior of these homes as well as the well established mature neighborhoods. Renovating inside gives a nice modern flair. Your resale value (net that is money in your pocket) is somewhat tied to what you originally paid and the cost of your renovations. If were able to keep your expenses down by doing the work yourself or with a contractor friend then good. If you are paying market prices then there's the chance of not even seeing a return. This ties in to the basement. If your cost is low by DIY or professional contacts then it may be well worth finishing. To add the style of your home makes a difference. Is it a cape, bungalow, dutch or traditional colonial? Values differ significantly between styles of homes. It is possible to get a market snapshot online. This will provide you with an overview of values in the area. However if you really want to know the current value then having a free evaluation along with a detailed comparative sold report will be in your best interests. It will be my pleasure to assist.

Best Regards,

Jeremy S. Hill, Realtor Associate,
Keller Williams Realty
Office: 856.685.1651
Direct: 609.876.5817
Fax: 609.482.8235
Licensed PA, NJ
"Your Interest 1st Always"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 4, 2010
Sounds nice ! I can do a drive by Broker price opinion for $75 or a full interior for $150. If you ever decide to sell, I'll deduct that from my commission, but it sounds like you'll be staying there for many years to enjoy your renovations. The BPO will include a written report with comparable sales. If you'd prefer some free evaluations, you can try (although I've heard many complaints about inaccurate valuations). or this local bank has a neat home valuation tool you could try… Many Realtors provide free CMAs, comparative market analysis, on the assumption that you want to sell and in hopes that you'll pick them to list the property, but if you don't really want to sell, that seems to be an awkward way to go.

As for the basement question, I'd have to agree with earlier comments and recommend not finishing it if the ceilings are very low, but yes finish it if you don't already have a family room. It's a judgement call that really needs to be addressed in person and within the larger scope of the house and the other renovations planned... as well as your personal preferences and how you plan to use the space. Resale value is less important that your current use and enjoyment of the space... just my two cents.

I hope that's helpful... if so, click the "thumbs up" below,

Joe Montenigro REMAX Home Team
Broker, GRI (856)374-2800 x106
Serving Gloucester Twp & Southern NJ
Read my Blog at
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If you want to search bank owned/ REO properties in South Jersey, my website is updated daily and lists every listing from every Realtor in the South Jersey real estate market.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 4, 2010

If you are lookikng for a preliminary valuation of your home, you can get one from us at and complete the form there. No one will call, the detailed report is completely without any charge, and you are under no additional obligation. You sound like you;ve done quite a lot with your home. But the key question is how does it stack up against your neighbors' homes. After all, if you decide to sell they are going to be your competition.

Terry Iwaniw
REALTOR Associate
ReSales & Investment Realty, LLC
Off: 856-795-3111 x263
Cell: 609-417-1086
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 4, 2010
Matthew, I agree with the both the other agents, you should have a professional come and take a look at your home and provide you with a Comparitive Market Analysis. I have lived in your area my whole life so i know it well. I agree with Larry homes in your area, Haddon Hts., Haddon Twp., Audubon are still selling, your home would definately peek alot of interest and buyers. Thank you for your question and please feel free to call me anytime if you should have any other questions or if you would like a Comparitive Market Analysis.

Roseann Howard
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 4, 2010
Hi Matthew,
Sounds like you did some wonderful upgrades to your home. Finished basements do add value but, in your area, the height isn't usually very good so measure and make sure you have close to 7 feet clearance before moving forward with that project. Finished basements are a huge plus when you do not have a family room on the first floor.
As for value, I would need you address as there are different price levels depending on where you live. In addition, it's tough to give a realistic price without viewing your home. If you would like to contact me, I would be happy to research that for you. Alternatively, you can guestimate the price by looking at recent sold homes in your area.

Elisa Dewees/Re/Max Main St. Realty
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 4, 2010
Honestly if you are looking ot sell I would not finish the basement and not do anymore to the house unless it is to repair ie; new roof, rooted wood, etc. Of course you indicate this is already done...

Without seeing the home there could be other things you may want to do that cost nothing or little to maximize your market sales price.

You should have an experienced sales rep come in and provide honest input of what is needed to sell your home and how they would market your home is most important.

Haddon Heights is a nice desirable area. You certainly sound like you have a terrific home. A nice home in your area will get tons of buyers into your home.

Homes in audubon/ Haddon Heights are selling like your description from $210k-250

If you like some professional advise, I'd be happy to discuss your home with you and what is needed to sell your home in this market. No obligations and no cost....

Contact me

Lawrence Sarlo
Weichert Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 4, 2010
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