So you’re thinking about buying a home and decorating it the way you’ve always dreamed of. The colors, furnishings, and all of the little details have come together perfectly in your mind. What you forgot about in your vision is your wandering toddler, your son’s muddy soccer cleats, your daughter’s tie-dye project with friends, and the neighborhood kids filing in to watch TV together. A separate space for everyone’s needs is sounding pretty good right about now! A finished basement is the perfect place for family and friends to gather that’s less in the spotlight of guests but as useful and aesthetically pleasing as you want it to be!
While the cost can sometimes be significant, a finished basement can double the livable square feet of your home, add extra beds and baths, and increase the overall value of your home.
Having a finished basement offers plenty of benefits to you and your home. Let’s talk about a few of them.
When building a home, the total square footage is not the same as the finished square footage. If you don’t finish the basement, that means you are paying less to the builder since you are only finishing upwards of half your home. Leaving the basement incomplete will save you some money at the time. The other option is to pay a bit more to finish the basement.
Making the decision to finish the basement now is a great investment for the future as it will immediately raise the value of your home should you ever decide to sell it. When buyers come to see your home, it could potentially deter people when they see that the basement has been left unfinished. Imagine having that part already done so that you don’t have to spend time or money down the line getting it ready for potential buyers. Sure, you may have to go without a few things you want but don’t need, and potentially adjust your budget, but in the long run it will absolutely be worth it.
In homes that have unfinished basements, that area usually becomes storage or a makeshift playroom. Things are stuffed in corners and kids are sent down to make a mess because there isn’t anything for them to destroy down there. The basement doesn’t actually become part of the livable space in your home.
When a basement is finished, bedrooms and bathrooms are added. This part of your house immediately becomes part of your home.
A basement is a wonderful place to go when you need some downtime. When you need a moment to relax and get away from everything else going on upstairs, enjoy a quiet moment downstairs. With more living space in the basement, you have the option to create your own ‘getaway’ nook just how you like it. Maybe you make a craft room, a reading corner with a really comfy couch, a theatre room, or a gym to help you blow off steam.
Your living room, dining room, kitchen, and entryway are designed to look good for everyone that comes into your home. Those areas are for other people. The average visitor doesn’t saunter into your basement, which means it doesn’t need to be for anyone but you. That releases you from having to please anyone’s standards about design.
You can put a pillow-lined pit, a huge fireplace, a bar, a theater room, or even a huge ball pit if that’s your fancy. It doesn’t matter because the basement should be about you. When you don’t finish the basement, you are essentially shutting away an area that could become your favorite area of your house.
An unfinished basement is an eyesore. It’s a place where you hide Christmas decorations and your kids when guests are over. A finished basement is your sanctuary and a point of pride in your family.
When you have an unfinished basement, it’s like having something constantly looming over your head, or in this case, under your feet. Every single time you walk down those stairs, you’re reminded of the ongoing unfinished project: the basement. That’s never a great feeling.
Do you remember that sense of satisfaction you felt the last time you completed a project you had been putting off for a while? Imagine feeling that satisfaction all the time when you have a finished basement and you can enjoy living in it. So do yourself a favor and opt for finishing your basement when you build your home.
Another finished basement benefit includes the option to rent out the downstairs. It may have been more expensive to pay upfront for the finished basement, but think of the money you could make back if you were to rent it out.
With options like Airbnb, renting a room has never been easier. It doesn’t take much effort for the upkeep of renting a room or two. It’s a super easy way to make some extra money for very little effort.
Renting out the downstairs could also help encourage you to finish furnishing it so it looks nice and staged for the new guests that come and visit your home. Not only will you have a finished basement, but you’ll have one that’s furnished too. Imagine having a finished furnished basement!
At some point in your life, you’ll probably host a guest in your home such as family or friends. Having them stay a night or two in the basement will allow you and your guests to each have some private space.
There’s something to be said about a person having their own space. When you’re staying with someone in their home, you already feel like you’re invading someone’s space. So having a separate area to hang around in can help the guests feel at ease and avoid feeling like they’re stepping on the host’s (your) toes!
Often, unfinished basements don’t have very good insulation. They’re very spacious and require a lot of air to cool or heat the entire area. Not to mention, unfinished basements contain a ton of air leaks, which costs you more money in your energy bill.
So, while you’ll be spending more money up front for the finished basement, once again you’ll be saving money in the long run with energy costs. It’s great for your wallet and better for the environment. It’s a win-win!
EDGEhome has a great variety of design options to choose from when buying a new home. Peruse through the photo gallery to generate some ideas of how you’d like your basement to look.
Buying a home is a big decision, and you want everything to be perfect before you move in. Make sure you have everything you need, including a finished basement!
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