Home values depends on a number of factors including location (school district and shopping would be factors here), the value of comparable homes in the area that have recently sold, the overall condition on the house, any upgrades/amenities in your home compared to upgrades/amenities in comparable homes, and even the specific neighborhood in which your home is located (for example, whether the neighborhood has a home owners association and how well it helps to maintain the quality of the neighborhood plays a role in the overall value of a home). So the short answer is that yes, school district and shopping do help to maintain value and demand, but many other factors also play a role in determining the value of a home.
Usually, when only one figure is provided regarding the square footage of a home, it does include finished basement area, but does not include any areas of a basement that are not finished. In other words, square footage usually includes all square footage of finished living area regardless of which level of the home the living area is located, the keyword being FINISHED.
Hope this helps to answer your questions!