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The Pros and Cons of Unfinished Basements in Real Estate Investing

If you’ve been investing in real estate for any amount of time, there’s a good chance you’ve found yourself thinking about the benefits and downfalls of unfinished basements. If you’ve had the unfinished basement inspected by someone you trust and you’re trying to decide whether to go through with finishing it, the information below can help. 

Is an Unfinished Basement Even Functional?

Whether or not you should leave a basement unfinished when you sell an investment property is really dependent on factors like the area and the families who live in that area. In average middle-class neighborhoods, unfinished basements are actually quite common, and these families tend to use them for their children’s playrooms, utility and laundry rooms, or for simple storage – as long as they’re sealed and safe, that is. 

On the other hand, in a more affluent neighborhood, an unfinished basement may actually reduce property values. When people spend a lot of money buying nicer, more luxurious homes, they don’t want to buy a dungeon for a basement, so some refinishing is recommended or even necessitated. 

What Are Some Good Ideas for Refinishing a Basement?

If you find yourself in a situation where it’s ultimately up to you to determine whether to finish a basement before selling a property, you’ll need to think about the finished space’s function. For example, if you use quality materials and turn the basement space into two separate, private bedrooms with a common bathroom, this can add a great deal of value. You can also choose to turn the space into its own separate living space just like an apartment. This is fantastic for couples caring for elderly parents or adult children still living at home. 

On the other hand, doing the bare minimum and leaving the entire basement one wide-open space will certainly make it look better, but it won’t do much to give a potential buyer a vision. It’s important to finish the basement in such a way that it will be valuable to the buyer, and what’s considered valuable can vary from one buyer and location to the next. 

The Best Way to Make the Basement Profitable for You

If you’re going to finish a home’s basement before you sell the property, there are two different things you can do to make it profitable in almost any situation. First, you can consider turning the basement into another level of the home by dividing the space into at least two private bedrooms and a bath.  Otherwise, the most profitable option is to convert the basement into a fully-functional living space that is separate from the home. This is perfect for families who are caring for elderly or sick parents as well as those who have adult children living at home. 

The cost involved in such a project is definitely higher than putting up insulation, adding some drywall and paint, and laying down flooring, but the potential for profit is much greater, too. 

There are several home renovations you should never skimp on, but basements are a bit different because they aren’t considered part of the main living space unless they’re completely finished and modernized. When you’re dealing with an unfinished basement and you aren’t sure which route you should take, the tips above will help. 

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