Patty Smith, Team Gardiner
On the one hand, you would be making your home more functional--and a 3 bed/2 bath is far more desirable than a 2/1.
On the other hand, your home will always have the same square footage. And whether you can legally call it a 3 bedroom/2 bath depends on size of the rooms, size of emergency exit, presence of closets, and so on.
If I had to guess--and it's only a guess--the value of the property probably would be between that of a 2/1 and a 3/2. For example, if 2/1s are selling for $180,000 and 3/2s are selling for $230,000, then yours might end up being worth about $205,000-$210,000. Now, if my numbers are correct and you could do the conversion for $20,000 or so, then you'd recover your expenses. But what you really need is for a Realtor familiar with the area to come in and give you solid numbers on both 2/1s and 3/2s, as well as an educated guess about what adding a bedroom and bath to your townhouse would do for its value.
Hope that helps.
The current issue of REALTOR magazine has a report: 2009 Cost vs. Value of Re-Modeling Projects. You can cut and paste this link: http://www.realtor.org/rmohome_and_design/Articles/1001_cost to read.
The data in the report comes from Remodeling Magazine. If you want to send me your email, I can email the Report to you.
In general, as the Report will show you, you do not get all your money back on a remodeling project. The percentage varies according to the location and scope of the project.
If I can be of further assistance, please give me a call or drop me an email. Be happy to come look at your home through an appraiser's eyes if that would be helpful in determining your value.
I would like to take a look at your townhouse to give you some ideas. I think most buyers would prefer a finished rec room in the basement. It really depends who would be purchasing your home. It could be a first time homebuyer or a single person they may not need the additional space for a bedroom.
Please email or call me with your address. I can send you a copy of what homes are selling for in your neighborhood. I live and work in Mt. Airy and was the top selling agent in my office. I'm also one of the few agents that have ads on Realtor.com in Frederick and Carroll County for Mt. Airy.
Tammy Durbin, e-PRO, GRI
Executive, Directors and President's Sales Awards
Long and Foster Real Estate Inc.
Adding a full bath and bedroom will always improve your value and encrease the number of potential buyers for your property. I would caution you though that an extravent master suite may not pay off in the end. Any basement "bedrooms" should have adequate emergency exits and are typically best left in walk outs. I suggest that if you want to put the master bedroom in the basement you finish it in a way that will allow future owners to use it as a rec room too.
It will always be a "2 bedroom" house in the eyes of buyers but in Mt.Airy townhouse demand is sypically high.