When looking for a new home, you may come across properties with both finished and unfinished basements. There are several advantages to choosing a house with an unfinished basement.
Get a Great Deal
A house with a finished basement will sell for a higher price than a comparable home with an unfinished basement. If most homes for sale in the area have finished basements, the seller of a property with an unfinished basement may even be willing to accept less than the asking price.
If you buy a house with an unfinished basement, you may be able to get more square footage than you would be able to afford if you focused only on homes with finished basements. You can finish the basement, quickly build equity and pay less overall than you would pay if you bought a similar house with a finished basement. If you sell the house in the future, you may get significantly more money than you paid for it.
Create the House of Your Dreams
If a previous owner finished the basement, the work was done based on what that homeowner wanted, which may not be what you want. The past owner may have installed a home theater, for instance, but you may prefer an additional bedroom if you have a large family.
If you have a specific vision in mind for your future home, you may not be able to find what you’re looking for. An unfinished basement can give you an opportunity to create the house you want, instead of searching for a needle in a haystack. You may be able to convert the basement to a family room, home office, game room or home theater, or turn it into a separate apartment for an elderly parent to live in.
Detect Problems Before You Buy
You should always have a house inspected before you buy it. In a finished basement, it may be difficult for an inspector to detect some problems, such as water damage, mold and worn-out electrical wiring, if they are covered by walls. It will be far easier to spot those problems in an unfinished basement.
Get the Work Done Right
The previous homeowner may have cut corners when finishing the basement. For example, the owner may have hired a friend to perform renovations instead of working with a licensed contractor. The work may not be up to code or it may have been done without permits. If so, that may create problems for you in the future. If you have a basement finished yourself, you can make sure the job is done properly.
Talk to Your Agent
Discuss your goals and preferences with your real estate agent. A house with an unfinished basement may not be as attractive as others, but if you look at it in terms of cost savings and the ability to customize the property to your liking, you may decide that buying a house with an unfinished basement is actually a great idea.