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MuskieJunkie- Question for you...


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I bought a house with a basement that was technically considered finished, but in reality it was just paneling glued onto expanded polystyrene which was glued on the cmu wall. The previous owner had also added a cheapo Styrofoam suspended ceiling. I tore that out and framed up the walls with 2x4’s and added R-13 insulation. I brought the electrical up to code and added recessed lighting in the ceiling. In the same room, I added a 3x12 closet that is partial full height and then extends down under the stairs. In the spring, when everything thaws out, I am adding an egress window (to replace the window in the photos) to the room and it will be carpeted. I should mention the room is 11’x17’-6” with a 7’ ceiling.




I have also redone a bathroom that was previously a nightmare. It is a small one at 7’x6’. We removed an old screw together tin can shower and installed a nice one piece fiberglass unit, added a built in linen closet and additional storage as well as a new vanity and sink. The bathroom was also “finished with paneling over expanded polystyrene” and has since been redone with 2x4 framing and sheetrock.

Best thing is that so far, I only have about 1500 tied up into the whole project, and I estimate it will be about another 1500 to do the rest of the basement, which will include a room that measures 11'x24' that will be done in the same fashion.

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Studies show that in the midwest on average basment finish yeilds 68.5% return on money spent, that is if you used a contracor and never lifted a finger. Ex. you spend $30k on your basement and it added $20,550 in value.

This may sound like a cop out but with out knowing anything about your house or market it is tough to say. In the metro area in a modest house I would say $15 - $20 per foot on the bsmt finish, the bathroom alone is worth $3k to $5k, if the lower floor plan works well as a Rec room, and guest bedroom/bathroom then you have something that buyer would really be willing to pay for (especially if it was a 3 BR house and now it is a 4 BR house), in this case the entire deal might add $15 or $20K more than if the bsmt was completely unfinished.

Keep in mind basement finish square footage is not nearly as valuable as above ground footage. I hear people say oh this house is 2,000 sqft so it must be worth a lot more than that 1,000 sqft house. No they are the same house it's just that one has a finished basement and one doesn't.

If you really want to know what your house is worth you could call a local agent and ask them to come out and give you there opinion, it's called a market analysis, they will do it for free becuase they want to list your house for sale with them. In the end it doesn't matter what an appraiser, contractor, study or an agent tells it's worth, it only matters what someone will pay for it.

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Thanks, I know quite a few people in the neighborhood that I moved into, and the majority of the houses with completely finished basements generally appraise and sell for 25k more than those with unfinished. I think I will be right around that range when all is said and done. It should be a pretty good return considering I will have only a fraction of that into it. By the way, it is going from a two to a three bedroom. But thanks again for your help.


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