When looking at selling your home, you'll want to increase its value. One way to do this is by creating more livable space, if possible, such as by finishing the basement. But do finished basements increase a property's value enough to make a difference and return the investment put into them? Yes and no, because the value of your home is based on many factors. Before you renovate your basement consider the following tips, and also consult an experienced real estate professional in your area.
First, you need to determine what you will you use the extra livable space for: office, family room, extra bedroom, game room, playroom, or other purpose? Once you determine that, there are several factors to consider when finishing your basement that will give you the biggest return on your investment.
How livable will your basement be once it's finished? Can you add heat? Can you put in daylight windows for natural light, possibly using window wells to allow a larger window and create another means of exiting the basement, if necessary? Will the finished basement's look and feel flow with the rest of your home, such as with higher ceilings and fixtures and finishes that jibe with the upper floors?
Being able to add a walkout door to the yard adds a lot of value too, but your ability to do this depends on how your lot is situated. A slope toward the back of the lot works the best to create a walkout situation. Remember that a means of egress from the basement is necessary to meet many housing codes.
You also want to consider how much you can spend on a renovation and how much you are looking to get back. The cost of a basement renovation can run a huge range, depending on factors such as materials, labor, size of the space, and who is doing the work.
The best way to figure out the scope of the project is to map out your vision for turning your basement into livable space. Figure out what materials you'll need and what their quality should be, and then decide whether finishing your basement is a do-it-yourself project or if it's time to call in the professionals. Generally speaking, investing in professional installation provides the highest return. All of this will help determine the total cost of the project (barring the inevitable surprises) and whether it's worth doing to get back the return you're looking for when selling your home.