Basement Remodeling

Investing from the Bottom Up: Finishing Your Home's Basement

by Joe Cooper

As real estate prices continue to decline in many areas of the country, homeowners are searching for ways to strategically update their homes to increase the value. Finishing a basement can be the answer--take advantage of existing space in your home to add square footage and storage space.

In over 200 metropolitan areas in the country, home prices fell again this past year. They are declining at a slower pace, but many homeowners are still struggling with home prices and the future of their investment. Single family homes are still the most sought after residential properties in most suburban areas of the country. Homes with basements can be rarer, and can offer added square footage, storage space, and value to any home.

Many homeowners have basements in their homes, but they're unfinished, which represents overlooked value. More homeowners are looking at finishing their basements as a way to combat declining home prices.

Sitting on New Value for Your Home
Over 1 million homeowners remodel their basements each year--a finishing project that can be substantial, but generally causes less family stress than remodeling a kitchen or a bathroom. In some areas, basements only count toward square footage (and therefore the value of a home) if they're finished. Homeowners are especially motivated to finish their basements as they realize they're sitting on potential value.

Enjoying the Returns
Realtor Magazine ran a report at the end of 2006 that estimated the return on investment of basement refinishing projects at around 73 percent. While not as high a return as kitchen remodels, this is still strong value and comes at less interruption to your family's lifestyle.

Finishing your basement can provide unseen benefits. Sellers are more often attracted to homes with finished basements than without, so a remodeled basement can make your home more competitive in today's real estate market.

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About the Author
Joe Cooper writes home services and design articles and manages corporate communications. He holds a bachelor's in American Literature from UCLA.

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