When done for the sake of resale, improvements should be considered only if they are necessary to bring a property up to the competitive standard for the area or to replace badly worn or damaged features. They add far less value than the cost.
Improvements for the sake of personal enjoyment are another matter--as long as you remember the caveat about added value.... more
When working with buyers, one of the most frequent requests I receive is for a home with a finished basement. If you have a walkout basement or daylight windows that is even more of a plus. Buyers are looking for additional living and entertaining space. They not only want carpet and drywall, but if you have the funds, finish a bathroom and if possible a separate area that could serve as a theater room, workout area, or playroom. Having two separate defined spaces will add value at a minimal cost. At your price point, a finished basement is going to be expected. Even at the $500,000 price point buyers are choosey and there are plenty shortage of lots available. If they cannot find what they are looking for in a resale property, they will build it.... more