if you are thinking of finishing an unfinished basement, be careful about the costs. It is possible that the cost may not support the added value for the area. By that I mean if houses are getting $25,000 more for a finished basement, but you spend $50,000 on it, you may not be able to add the $50,000 to the current house value and recoup the costs.
A Finished Basement CAN definitely add value to a house as long as it is a well thought out design and as Patrick suggest below completed within a budget that doesn't push the house's value over comparable properties in your neighborhood.
We recently had an experience with a House where its' Finished Basement was actually a deterent because the Home Owner took an open layout and transformed it into a lot of little, boxy rooms which really made it feel small, choppy and somewhat dark. Finished Basements should be designed to be as open as possible, have plenty of storage, well lit and not specific like Barbara mentions below. If you plan on living in the house the rest of your life, then by all means you can do whatever you wish; however, if you plan on selling in the future then your design should appeal to the masses.
Before you consider finishing the Basement, have a local Realtor perform a Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) for you to determine your Home's Value which will also help you set a Budget for the renovation. Likewise, either have an Architect or Interior Designer review your plan to make sure it is a well thought out design.
Love and Peace,
Francesca Patrizio, ePro, SRES
RE/MAX Platinum Group, Sparta
"Unwavering Commitment to Service"
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