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On Over-Finishing Your Basement

Posted by Rachel R. Vanderveen on Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 at 8:17pm.

I get it; your basement is the place where all your dreams come true. It’s the place that was blank when you bought it, so you want to make it everything that your upstairs never could be. You want a wet bar, NO, a second kitchen! You want 8 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, golden floors and a heated toilet seat. You want a drawer and a cabinet for every children’s shoe you have tripped over in your entire life. I know. I’ve been there with you. It’s hard not to over-finish your basement, but unless you plan to live there for the next 20 years, don’t do it. It’s not worth it, and it never pays.

The resale value of any improvement you do in your home is substantially less when it’s done in the basement. Which means hardwood floors will actually add value in the upstairs, but in the basement, you’d be lucky to get what you paid. Heated floors in the upstairs would get a lot of buyers excited, but in the basement, they’re kind of ho-hum.

If you want to make luxury improvements, do it to the upstairs, but for the basement, keep it simple and in line with the people in your league. If you live in Aspen Woods, and you have a home in the 900s, yah, wet bars and heated floors are kind of par for the course. But if you just bought your first home in Copperfield this year, forget about ordering Italian slate!

Build a basement you enjoy, and count the costs of your lifestyle vs. when you plan to move on to the next house, because, believe me, if you think you’re staying put for the next 20 years, statistics say you’re not.  Always keep a mind to sell.  


Rachel Vanderveen

The Vanderveen Team
Maxwell South Star Realty
Phone: 403.253.5678 Fax: 403.592.6736

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