Home Selling in 45245>Question Details

Bill615, Home Seller in 45245

Question regarding the value of walkout basements:

Asked by Bill615, 45245 Tue Oct 20, 2009

What is the difference in value of a finished, in ground basement with no windows, finished in lower quality than the rest of the house, and a walkout basement finished with the same quality as the upper levels of a house. Assume identical houses, 3000 sq ft on the main and second floors, with basements each about 2000 sq ft. One house has a walkout basement with an in-law suite and 2 bedrooms, high quality finish, and the other house has an in ground basement no windows and one "bedroom" with lower quality basement like finishes . Any input would be appreciated. Thank You

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An appraiser would make adjustments for the walkout and the quality of the basements. The utility in the basement is not as much a factor. So the fact that one has 2 bedrooms vs. 1 bedroom would not get much credit on an appraisal. Anything below grade is not considered living space. Quality from a home seller’s perspective and an appraiser’s perspective are going to be different. There is usually a pretty standard adjustment for a walkout. You’re looking at $3,000 adjustment for the walkout on the high end. The quality is going to be the tricky part, because we can't see the quality. If you ordered an appraisal it will cost you around $350.00. However, with that appraisal, you can price your home so it will sell faster. Plus, you will have another opinion that will help you justify price to potential homebuyers. The appraisal will pay for itself, especially in the price range that you’re probably in. My advice would be to order an appraisal from an appraiser that has an office in your area. Also, leave the appraisal out on counter when there is a showing, that way homebuyers know that you did your homework. Good luck.
Web Reference: http://www.LRES.info
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 21, 2009
Bill the home with the in-law suite would add more value.
Legal bedrooms and a full bath with a kitchenette area with a high finish would bring more money than a rough finished basement.
To give some perspective I have a home pending in North College Hill with a buyer. The property has an in-law suite with kitchen area that was added to the second floor, a finished lower level of average grade. The property should close about 8,000.00 more than properties in area that do not have these upgrades.

If you are thinking about doing these upgrades you will never get back what you spend on them so do what you want to do and enjoy it while you live there.
Web Reference: http://www.Find1Home.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 21, 2009

It is hard to give a specific dollar amount for the value of a basement on a particular house without knowing other factors that could affect the value like location, condition, comparable properties, current market conditions, etc. But to use your example of identical houses (which we both know doen't exist) here is my opinion:

With that being said, a walkout basement is much more desirable and carries greater value than a non-walkout. You cannot "technically" have a bedroom in a non-walkout basement if it doesn't have a window or door that leads to grade for safety reasons. With a walkout basement, if the bedrooms you describe have a window/door leading to grade and a closet you can technically market these as bedrooms which obviously add value to the home. Additionally walkout basements usually offer better natural light, have additional points of access and lead to exterior common space which all make the home more appealing.

The value of a finished walkout basement can also greatly vary across price points. Whereas, a finished basement in a house between $250,000 and $500,000 could add $40,000 to the value of the house... this could double on a house between $500,000 and $1,00,000.

According to Remodeling Magazine (2008-2009), the average cost of a Basement Remodel is $61,000 and the Resale Value is $44,000 so you would recoup about 72% of the cost.

To clarify, since there really are no two homes that are identical you must truly understand the Comparable Properties in your neighborhood when trying to figure out the true value of the basement.

Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 20, 2009
It is difficult to give an accurate value without seeing the home and checking comps, but obviously the walkout adds value, the better finishes adds value and the extra rooms add value. The bedroom with no windows is not a 'legal' bedroom, you must have egress. The difference in the finishes, finished square footage, price ramge of the home and location would all make a difference.

If you are planning to add the finished basement, this would be helpful to know. If you already have a finished basement and are selling, you just need to know the market value of your home. Have your Realtor determine that for you and make any necessary adjustments to the comps. If you don't have a Realtor, you can choose one from the group that will answer this question ...including me ;~)

Jim Basquette
Web Reference: http://JimSellsHomes.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 20, 2009

You gave some great info here but it takes much more than that to really give you an answer... I am sure others will try but you HAVE to knwo what other homes in the area have sold for and then match up what each had and/or did not have and determine the difference between the two...

To make it easier... Say you have 10 houses all about the same except 5 have 4 bedrooms and 5 have 3 bedrooms... all else being equal the difference in selling price would tell you what the "average buyer" places as a value of the extra bedroom...

I know that does not give you the number you wanted but that is the "answer"

If you would like help finding a great agent in your area I would be happy to help. I am a broker in the Dayton area but we are in the process of opening up a new office in Cincinnati and would be happy to put you in touch with a great agent... Let me know if you would like that.

Thanks and good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 20, 2009
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