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Does a Finished Basement Increase the Value of a House?

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Tony in Des Moines has got a question about a townhouse. What can we do for you?

    TONY: I have a townhome that I am living in right now and we are – my wife and I are moving into our first home together. And we were considering finishing off the basement to my townhouse and renting it out.

    And I was just curious if it would be worth it to finish the basement, because I don’t know how much more it would add to the monthly rent the people would be willing to pay for the – for that finished basement. It’s going to cost me, I’m estimating, six to eight grand to finish the basement with carpet and drywall and everything. I was just thinking that maybe I should leave it unfinished or if I should actually finish it off. I’m pretty handy, so I could probably do most of it myself.

    TOM: But Tony, you are missing a very important opportunity here, my friend. And that is that eventually, you’re going to want to turn that into your man-cave.

    TONY: My man-cave? No, I’m going to have my own man-cave in my house.

    LESLIE: Alright.

    TOM: Oh, the entire house is going to be the man-cave. Well, what’s your wife going to say about that?

    TONY: Yeah but (inaudible at 0:04:27) this old property that I own or it’s going to be sold.

    TOM: Alright. OK. Well, I’ll tell you this: a finished basement does add significantly to the amount of usable space. And so, it will be more attractive if you have the finished basement. If you can do it yourself and keep the costs in line, I think it probably is a very good idea for you to do it. Are there any moisture issues with the basement, in terms of dryness or flooding or anything like that?

    TONY: Not at all. I live in Des Moines, so we don’t have a lot of flooding issues.

    TOM: OK.

    TONY: I do have a dehumidifier down there that runs straight into my pump; my added pump that runs it into my tank. So, I haven’t had any problems, as far as moisture goes, at all.

    TOM: Well, what I would suggest is just make sure you do it right, in terms of the heating and cooling and make sure you extend it to that space properly. And then make sure you have plenty of wiring down there. Just do it like you would do any other room in the house; don’t cut corners. You can do this without spending a whole lot of money, I think, if you do it yourself.

    And I think it would add to the value to – of the place and make it more competitive, too, in a tight market, that you have a finished basement like that where folks can create a rec room or a family room, a place for the kids to hang out.

    LESLIE: Anything. Extra office.

    TOM: Mm-hmm. Yeah. It’s a good idea to have it.

    TONY: OK. Absolutely. Then I appreciate your input, guys. I listen to you guys all the time.

    TOM: Alright? Alright.

    TONY: I really appreciate it.

    TOM: You’re welcome, Tony. Good luck with that project and call us back if you get stuck at any point.

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