This post, the first of a series that looks at ways to increase your home’s resale value, focuses on the basement. Wise use of the basement makes a home easier to sell. Certain changes can make a big difference in both value and demand.
Keep the basement in compliance with local regulations. Obtain permits whenever needed to upgrade plumbing, heating and wiring, and show that you pay attention to safety by installing egress windows that meet or exceed minimum requirements. Provide adequate lighting for all areas of the basement, paying special attention to stairways. One way to add natural light to any basement is by simply adding a window well. Window wells brighten up any basement and adding an egress window well further adds style to your basement.
Easy access to the basement adds value and makes a home more marketable. The stairway from the main part of the house to the basement needs to be wide enough for furniture to be carried up and down the steps. Step height and depth also are important considerations. Low individual step height and a depth that will accommodate a bit more than the full length of a person’s foot are preferred by most prospective buyers. Buyers also look for strong railings or adjacent walls that prevent injury from a sideways fall.
If a regular staircase takes up too much space, consider installing a spiral staircase and adding an exterior entrance to your basement. Although adding such an entrance requires careful planning and construction, the convenience it provides makes it well worth the investment. The ability to move furniture to and from the basement with ease, combined with the fact that a person can choose whether to use the staircase or the exterior entrance at any point in time, makes a properly designed exterior entrance a feature that attracts buyers.
Whether you use the basement for storage or living, devise ways to keep the entire area looking tidy. Organize your stored belongings so that they are not easily noticed, and provide adequate room heat and humidity control. When prospective buyers view your basement, you want them to realize that the basement is dry, comfortable and full of light. Prospective home buyers quickly realize that the home’s basement is a bonus that holds great potential.