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What Buyers Are Looking For in Basement Development

Blog by Real Phaneuf, Gary Yip, Ed Weening and Scott Sieppert | April 22nd, 2013

In my 23 years of experience, I have noticed that the majority of potential buyers are looking for similar features in a basement. Here are some points to consider when you are thinking about developing a basement.  Ultimately it will affect your home’s resale value.

1.  Keep it simple. Most people are looking for a simple plan with spacious rooms; a living area, bedroom and bathroom with room for storage under the stairs and in the furnace room is a great, simple plan.
2. Match the new finishings as closely as possible to the existing finishings in the home.
3. Spend a little extra money and bring the furnace vents to the floor as it makes a big difference in the warmth of the basement.
4. In the bedroom, a window to the building code or larger is a must.

Optional items to consider

1. Many people find a fireplace to be a nice option in the basement to provide additional heating.
2. If the existing basement window(s) is (are) on the small side, you may want to consider making the windows larger. This is not as expensive as you would think and it makes a big difference in the lighting in the basement.
3. Consider an electric heating pad under the tile in the bathroom. Basement floors tend to feel colder and this is a nice feature.

More and more buyers are requesting to see permits for work done in the basement.  Remember to have your contractors obtain all the permits required, including the final inspections by the city. Keep these with your home documents as it will be a selling feature when you go to sell your home.