Remodel & Renovate in 62269>Question Details

Melanie Hirs…, Other/Just Looking in Oak Grove, VA

Does a finished basement add any value. If so, how much? I live in O'fallon, IL zip:62269)

Asked by Melanie Hirselj, Oak Grove, VA Wed Sep 3, 2008

We are debating finishing approximately 3/5 of our basement (20x27). Will it add any value?

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Stephen Ellerbrake’s answer
A finished basement definitely adds value to homes in O’Fallon. The amount of value added varies depending on a number of factors including the amenities included and the level of finishes. For example, a basement with a finished bathroom, a home theater, a fireplace, a bar, or other amenities will be valued differently from a basement without those amenities. And a basement with newer, high-end finishes will be valued differently from a basement with older finishes. There is no typical square-foot dollar value that can be called accurate because these variables are fairly wide-ranging and are dependent upon subjective opinion. In other words, what might the buyer pay for the basement may define what the market will bear and therefore, the value is defined in part by individual buyer sentiment. Appraisers use formulas based on comparative market analysis to establish value for finished basements as well. However, the square-foot dollar value is almost always considerably less than above-ground square footage. Sellers should also keep in mind that storage space is important to many consumers, so a balance of finished to unfinished space should be considered.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 28, 2013
Having a finished basement in O'Fallon will definitely add value to your house. However, your house will only sell for so much. Before you finish your basement, you need to find out what houses are selling for around you. I would be happy to provide with a FREE Comparative Market Analysis (similar to an appraisal). Email me at if your interested. You can also visit our website at
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 28, 2013
In order for the finished basement space to meet FNMA appraisal guidelines for added square footage value, the space needs to have egress to the outside (i.e.: it must be a walkout basement or have above grade windows minimum of 30x30 inches), must have a minimum of 1/3 natural light, and the finish must be of the same quality of finish as the upper level (no dropped ceiling tile or inferior carpeting). Additionally, the finished area must be contiguous to the upper level finished area, meaning that you can't walk through the furnace room or unfinished storage to access the finished area. Hope this helps in your planning.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 3, 2008
In most cases what you spend adds only that much value back into the home. Such as if you spend $10000 it adds $10000. There are alot of howevers though, a walkout basement adds more than a basement without windows, a bedroom is more valuable in some cases than a wide open family room, value is also most important and given by the person using the home, if it fits there needs. Also the quality of the materials adds more value than just $1 for $1. Good luck Melanie
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 3, 2008

Yes, a finished basement will add value to your home. It is really hard to give you a dollar amount. There are a lot of variables. The quality of the finish, a full bath, and additional bedroom (with egress window) all make a difference in the value added. I would be happy to help you determine the current value and help you determine the value after completion. Just email me the specifics and we'll see where you come out.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 3, 2008
Hi, Melanie. Yes, it should add value to the house by increasing the square footage total of your living space. And in O'Fallon you are competing with many homes that have nicely finished lower levels. When you're selling a house, two of the most important things to consider are its location and its size. (Also, it's very smart to leave a portion unfinished for storage. I find a lot of homes that have no storage space left after the lower level is re-done and that can be a real turn-off for buyers. As for how much the finish will add to your home's value, it's hard to say without looking at the comps. Give me a call or send an e-mail if you'd like me to look at sales figures in your area to see what comparable homes are going for per square foot. Are you planning to move in the near future or are you finishing the space for your family's enjoyment?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 3, 2008
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