Will refinishing a basement in Brookline add value to my condominium upon resale? How are finished basements viewed by potential Brookline buyers?

Asked by Brookline Resident, Brookline, MA Thu May 12, 2011

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Giti Saeidian’s answer
Giti Saeidian, , Brookline, MA
Mon Jun 6, 2011
Dear Brookline residence,

It all depends if are allowed by town's zoning regulations to add the basement to your living area or not.
If permitted and you can added to your public record and eventually to your deed, then you have a golden egg here to hatch. In the other hand if by zoning law you are not allowed to do it, then you may have an finished space which may appeal to some buyers, as bonus, but not willing to pay a much higher price for it, and you would not be able to listed on your marketing material as extra square feet of space.
I don't know the size of your basement and the level of finish you are planing to do, but do not over spend.

I suggest you consult an attorney regarding the zoning regulations, you may be able to get variance.
Please let me know if i can help.

My regards,
Giti Saeidian
Giti Saeidian
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Anna Glebova, , Newton, MA
Sat Jun 4, 2011
It also depends when are you planning to sell. If you are going to live in this condo for few more years and find the finished space will be useful to you - it might be worthwhile dong this. As for resale value, as others pointed out, finished basement square footage is assessed differently from actual living space (because it costs you less to finish a basement). How high are the ceilings int he basement, can you put a proper game room / family room /laundry room, etc? Can it be used only for storage?
If you are planning to sell rather soon you really need to compare your unit to others on the market and recently sold statistics, and estimate what your listing price (and potential sold price) might be with or without finished basement. It is rather a case by case basis that is dictated by current market conditions.
I would be happy to do a free Comparative market analyses (CMA) for you.

Anna Glebova
0 votes
Susanna Stie…, , 02445
Fri May 13, 2011
Be aware that finished basement space is not counted in an appraiser's report so that even if a buyer likes it, they may not get financing to cover it.

Even to a buyer, "Finished" space in the basement will not be worth as much as the equivalent space above ground. It is always good to make basement space clean and light - perhaps painted in light colors instead of industrial gray, but don't spend too much money that you won't get a return for.

It also makes a difference whether the space has direct access out side and how much natural light it gets.

For a basement space to count as a bedroom, according to the building department, it must have a window within 4' of the floor that is unobstructed and large enough for a person to get out in case of fire.

In short - some basement spaces are more appealing and desirable than others and use a very conservative estimate of what it will add to your condo's value.
0 votes
Zelda Kohn, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Thu May 12, 2011
It really depends on the space and what, exactly, you do to it! When I advise my Interior Design clients who want to sell their houses I focus on suggesting renovations with the best ROI and avoid giving generic answers as in some instances they may not be applicable. For example, in one instance a customer decided to refinish the basement space to clean/cover up prior water damage and he put wood flooring which was a wrong material for that space where it was, so it did not add value for the buyer. In another instance, a customer decided to 'wow' with a finished basement media room and spent way too much to appreciate a decent return on his investment, the family who bought it just wanted a play room there...

It is always best to have a professional look at the place before doing anything (or not)! If you need assistance with your space specific suggestion, don't hesitate to contact me at hello_zelda@hotmail.com. I'm also a Brookline resident.
Web Reference:  http://boc-re.com
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Heidi Zizza, Agent, Framingham, MA
Thu May 12, 2011
All buyers view things differently, however I think added finished space is Always appealing! As far as exact value it will depend on when you sell and what the market is doing
0 votes
Kenzo Tatsuno, Agent, Waltham, MA
Thu May 12, 2011
Short answer: Adding increased living square footage will increase the value of your home. Long answer: It all depends on several questions. 1) what is the amount of additional space? Will the ceiling height be a problem? Have there been water problems in the past? Summp Pump?

I am here to help, and would love to assist you with marketing of your home. PLease contact me with questions.

Sincerely yours,

Kenzo P. Tatsuno
Sales Associate
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
617-233-9651 (Cell)
781-893-0808 (Office)
781-893-8229 (Fax)
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