Many of our Calgary home buyers often ask..  

Finished or unfinished basement in Calgary

Should I Buy a home in Calgary with a finished or unfinished basement? 

To begin this breakdown, we're going to look at some of the benefits of having a developed basement in Calgary and surrounding areas. 

Benefits of having a developed basement in Calgary

While the size of your basement will not be reflected on the MLS® in terms of displaying the properties square footage, due to measurement standards only reflecting floor area that is above grade, it still will reflect the total 'livable space' often seen in write ups and marketing of a property. Your 2,000 sq ft home could be advertised as "With 3,000 Sq Ft of developed living space" this provides value when you're entering the market to sell your property.

Additional bedrooms! Unlike square footage, bedrooms up or down are counted, when you add a bedroom(s) in your basement, you will be able to advertise these new additions when your home is up for sale. 

Income property - Depending on how your property is zoned, a developed (suited) basement can become a great income generator, especially if you do not utilize your basement space. For example, if you purchase around the  $400,000 price point and find a property that is already suited, with 20% down and a 25 year amortization, your mortgage would be roughly between $1300 - $ 1500 | In our experience, basement suites can typically pull an average monthly rental income of $800 - $1200 monthly. This means you could effectively have a bulk of your mortgage covered! 

Entertainment space, work out area, bar, theater, the options are really endless. We've seen everything from full on Yoga Studios to high end hosting spaces outfitted with custom bars, pool tables, glass enclosed office spaces and so much more, the options are really endless when it comes to utilizing your basement space. 

Unfinished Basement in Calgary

What are the costs of renovating your basement in Calgary? 

The costs of renovating done by a professional contractor usually begins around $30,000 to $40,000 for your standard finishes, a 1 bedroom, bathroom, and storage setup. When you start to tack on extras like gyms, pot lights, fireplaces, etc you're typically looking towards the $50,000 - $100,000 mark. This can be costly, and doesn't always result in seeing a ROI in your basement development. 

Not having a finished basement could hurt your resale value, buyers whether they do it through a builder, contractor, or themselves who have finished basements will have distinct advantages in the resale market over homes that are without. While some buyers may not care about the basement, it is important for a large demographic of buyers out there. With more limited lighting, exposed walls, duct work, and piping, the appearance of an unfinished basement and the thought of 'more work' can be quite unappealing for some. 

An upside to an unfinished basement is that you will typically obtain the home for a better price, and the basement will be a canvas for you to develop! This isn't just limited to finishes though, it could be changes to your HVAC systems, lighting and more. 

Should you buy a home with a finished basement?

This is a great question, with lots of layers to unravel. It really will depend on a number of factors, these include your willingness to do the work, or have it done, how much space you need, what your long term goals are with your basement, and can also depend on the style of home you buy. Those who are looking to purchase a bungalow in the 1,100 sq ft territory may need that extra space in the basement, while buyers who are looking at 2,500 sq ft two story homes with undeveloped basements may not require or need the space. 

Call the Real Estate Partners team with Re/Max First for all of your Calgary and surrounding area real estate needs 587-578-7653

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Posted by Cody Tritter on
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