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To Basement or Not to Basement…

by Jennifer Kirby on May 21, 2007
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…that is the Question.

If you are thinking about selling or buying a home in the near future in and around Minneapolis, then you might want to think about this one itty-bitty item. The basement.

Does one exist? And if one does, is it finished?

I am seeing alot of homes of the market that have unfinished basements. The problem I see is that they are being listed for the same price as homes with completely finished basements. With the market so saturated with homes, an unfinished basement home should really be priced well under any comparable homes where they are finished. The amazing thing I see is that a finished basement adds more square feet, sometimes around 1000 more, so you would think a home with less sqft would automatically fetch less. Sadly, it is just not the case.

When pricing your home to sell, really put yourself in the buyers shoes. Would you want to pay for a home where the work has been done for you, or pay someone in the next 6 months to spend weeks in your home plumbing and wiring, pounding nails in sheetrock, smelling paint fumes,etc, not to mention the fact you will have to come up with a way to finance it.

When you are buying a home, can you really justify paying more for a home with less square feet? And will you be able to get a Home Equity Line, if any equity exists?

I for one advise my buyers and sellers to take these questions into consideration. Yes, the market has changed and home prices are dropping, a fact some sellers are having a hard time stomaching. But if you really need to sell your home, what matters most is pricing your home around the current competition. If 5 homes are for sale on your block, but you feel yours is the best one, why not price yours as one of the lowest. Buyers will start to compare and when they see your home is superior, yours just might sell like a hot cake!

Oh, and if you are reading this and saying…”but that means pricing mine $10,000 less than my neighbor”, well, think about this. If your home sits on the market because it is overpriced for 5 months, and your mortgage payment is $2000 per month, then you just spent that $10,000 in monthly payments. Wouldn’t you rather get out of the home NOW, instead of agonizing for 5 months, only to end up in the same place financially?

Just a little food for thought. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

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