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Clydethedog, Home Buyer in Old Hickory, TN

Basement Square footage??

Asked by Clydethedog, Old Hickory, TN Thu May 21, 2009

How is basement square footage counted in living space? For instance, if a master b/r and bath is on lower level but finished out like upper level with windows, etc. would square footage be counted the same as main level?

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Those are all great answers, but I'd like to add that if the finishing of the basement was done with or without a permit can affect how an appraiser looks at it. Sometimes things done without a permit can lead to a deal falling through in the inspection contingency phase because things may not be up to code. Sure, it's heated and cooled, but the duct work was done improperly, etc.

Also, "in-law suites" in the basement can widen your buyer pool. Not necessarily that everyone has an in-law moving in, but some view it as a great space for a teen or adult child and some view it as an opportunity to rent the space out. I currently have all bedrooms on one floor, which worked for me at the time because I had a baby on the way, but these days I'd probably prefer my master in the basement! One caveat here - losing the garage will minimize your buyer pool!

If you'll get good use out of it, you should do it. As long as you don't go crazy on your budget, you should recoup your investment easily (although that sq. footage probably won't bring the same dollars as the upper floors). I make all my improvements based upon what will work for me first, while keeping in mind effects on resale since I know I won't live in or keep any property forever.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 12, 2009
Of course I'm not an appraiser and am not trying to act as such. However when determining the value of a home for listing, or when working with a buyer, I keep things in line with what I've learned from meeting with appraisers, since in most transactions, they end up being the decision maker or breaker.

In MOST cases, a basement would not exceed half. In other words, whatever per-foot price is determined for the main floor and all above ground floors, the basement would be 50% of that value. In RARE instances, I've seen basements that are finished out VERY nicely, with standard height ceilings, no random support columns obstructing an otherwise open room, etc., that might bring 75-80%
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 11, 2009
Dena and I are thinking along the same lines. The value can swing quite bit. Having seen appraisers and potential homebuyers respond to basement square footage in number of different ways, I'd suggest that 1) there is value there, and 2) it will likely be a fraction of the main level value. Depending on the level of finish (ex: similar to main level, or indoor outdoor carpet) you can expect 0-30% from the market for rough space, maybe 50-75% for nice basements, and 75% to full 100% for finely finished lower levels.

If the master bedroom in this house feel like the rest of the house, it my be very close to equal value (as master bedrooms are huge attractions for all of us in choosing the right house). That being said, its difficult to achieve as the market EXPECTS the master not to be in the basement. Would you find yourself regretting that the master is down there, or loving the use of space?

Does this help to answer your question Clyde?

kevin pellatiro (615)714-7918
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 21, 2009
In terms of being counted in the square footage it will be included in the square footage if it's heated and cooled, just like the rest. As for the "value", even with windows, it still may not be valued as much as the upper floors, if that's what you mean. Some say it's about 3/4 of the value of the upper levels.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 21, 2009
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