This seems like a silly question. I know one can buy homes in Columbia, SC with basements or tri-levels that

Asked by Patty Allen, Clemson, SC Fri May 15, 2009

have part basements or totally above ground basements similar to a small garage apartment. I've heard homes in 29203, 29204, 29205, 29210, 29212, and 29201 have basements, but I have never been inside one in South Carolina.
If I found a brick home 1500 sq. ft. in 29201, 29210, or 29169 that I love, could I add a basement to it whether it be almost totally in the ground, 1/2 out of the ground, or outside the ground on property that was flat? People buy property with a rolling surface to add a walk-out basement. I think buying land to build a basement and 1 1/2 story house (attic for bedrooms) would be very expensive. I come from an area of the country 30 years ago where everyone has a basement for rainy days, extra living space, snow/cold days, and for one's children to play in. We would ride our bicycIes inside, our mothers would do laundry there, and dads worked on hobbies with cars/projects for the home down there. Tornado/hurricane areas need basements. Need MANY to respond to this

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Donna Reed, Renter, 29169
Sat May 16, 2009

That's no silly question! I know where you are coming from! In PA, I lived in a 2500 sq ft one story home with a FULL basement! My step father had his workshop and ma had a cannery, and my sisters and I would roller skate all over it. With my entire career being in Columbia SC, I have seen fewer basements, but you are right, we have them.

I can pull a search for you that will narrow down your search to only homes with basements. If I pull for the areas that you mention that the zip codes are in, I pull 224 area homes actively on the market with partial or full basements. If I narrow your search to the specific zip codes you listed, that availability narrows to 174.

Whether or not you can add a basement might require the expert advice of a builder. I have 5 area builders I trust that I can call anytime for advise. I am happy to share my list with you or call one of them for you. I would think that on most homes, adding a basement may be quite costly. You may be better off finding an existing home with a basement or building, but again, I would suggest asking a builder about that.

If you would like to have me work up a search for you, I can send you this list by email. I’m sure there are other things you would like to see in a home. In a market of oversupply, its easy and free to use a realtor to find exactly what you want.

Call me anytime if I may be of further assistance!

-Donna Reed, Realtor
Midlands Realtors
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Page Latham, Agent, Columbia, SC
Sat May 16, 2009

One reason you don't find basements in this area is because it isn't a necessity like it is in colder climates in order to keep pipes from freezing in winter, etc. In this area, basements (in older homes) often have problems with moisture intrusion. Some areas in flood plains, near natural springs or high water tables are not suitable for having a basement. I guess the southern version of the basement is the bonus room over the garage!

I have heard of having a (smaller) home lifted and building a garage or basement underneath, but think this would be quite expensive and risky!

I think building a home with a basement might be less expensive that trying to add one... Check into new home communities where you can start from the beginning. Some builders are more flexible in modifying their plans.

I have seen larger tri-levels that would have a downstairs area suitable for what you want. Seems most also have the master bedroom downstairs as well.

Consult a Realtor, discuss your price range, and he/she can point you in the right direction! Trilevels are easy for Realtors to zero in on in an MLS search!

Page Latham, Realtor
Russell and Jeffcoat Realtors, Inc.
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