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Does A Finished Basement Count Towards My Square Footage? | BARRIER of TN

SYNOPSIS: Generally, listing agents and appraisers only include a finished basement in the overall square footage, especially if the basement is below grade. That is, below ground level.

Does A Finished Basement Add To My Square Footage?

BY: JOHN TRUSA, BARRIER WATERPROOFING SYSTEMS

This is the story of two basements in two otherwise identical houses. The first is a completed basement with a den, bedroom, and full bathroom. You may find sheetrock, an uncovered toilet, and a painted floor in the second basement.

The basement and number of bedrooms, including the one in the basement space, are reflected in the first house’s overall square footage and price.

The square footage of the second house is only made up of the main floors and does not include a 200-square-foot bedroom in the basement. So, which listing accurately depicts basement square footage? The quick answer is yes to both, but we will explain.

Is A Basement Included In The Total Square Footage?

Generally, listing agents and appraisers only include a finished basement in the overall square footage, especially if the basement is below grade. That is, below ground level.

Which state you live in ultimately determines whether an appraiser considers a basement as part of your living space or not. The county assessor’s office determines whether appraisers can consider completed or unfinished square footage as part of the “gross living area.”

Basements With Walk-Outs And Square Footage

There must be both an egress and an ingress window in the states that allow listings to include a basement in the square footage of the overall living area. One reason for this restriction is that a legal bedroom in a basement section requires separate fire evacuation access from the rest of the home. If the above-ground floor is on fire, the basement room must have at least one window that opens to the outdoors.

The square footage of a walk-out basement is estimated depending on how much of the basement is above grade.

How Your Mortgage Is Affected By Square Footage

The total square footage of real estate is used in appraisals and, as a result, mortgage financing. For the lender to supply the money, your appraiser must usually evaluate the house for the sales price.

Only finished above-grade spaces can be utilized to calculate and report an above-grade living room count and square footage.

The Impact Of Completed Basement Square Footage On Property Value

Unlike commercial real estate, residences are not often valued based only on square footage. Whether or not a basement is included in square footage, a tastefully completed basement often increases the value of a property.

While the price per square foot for a swanky basement isn’t usually as high as main-level modifications, an assessor or possible buyer will almost surely value the property as higher with the added living area of a basement. This is true whether the basement is above ground or a walk-out.

Essentially, the price may rise if the property with the completed basement impresses a buyer.

Concentrate on the amount of usable area and the value you will derive from it. Include an appraisal contingency in the offer as well. If the appraiser assigns a lesser value to the house than you anticipated, you may back out.

When Is A Basement Not Considered Square Footage?

As defined, a basement is not included in square footage if it is: 

• Unfinished 

• Unheated 

• Completely or even partially underground

While these criteria appear clear, there are complexities and variances in how they are used in practice. It’s sometimes simpler to examine scenarios in which basements are included in square footage to see if yours also counts.

When Does A Basement Count As Square Footage?

The legal criteria for adding a basement in the square footage of a listing vary by state. They follow certain broad guidelines yet vary from agent to agent.

It’s a frustrating waste of time if you’re looking for a 2,000-square-foot property only to come in and realize that the house has 1,200 square feet above ground and 800 in the basement. It also has a significant impact on resale. Before you begin house hunting, educate yourself on basement square footage. This can save you plenty of time in the long run.

Should Your Offer Include The Completed Basement?

Even if your basement does not increase your square footage, it may be valuable to both your family and prospective homebuyers. A wide, open area may be ideal for a playroom, keeping children’s toys out of the main house, for example. The extra basement space might house your fitness equipment or provide a good home office. A completed basement that supports the lifestyle you see living in that property is important.

Remember, other homebuyers might make the same difference while making offers. If you don’t include the basement in your offer price, you may miss out on a property you want — but be careful about how much you believe the basement is worth, so you don’t end up with an assessment problem.

Is Your Completed Basement Truly Completed? 

When it comes to basements, putting up drywall, painting the walls, and decorating the space doesn’t mean the same as they might on the main and upper floors of the home. That is because the basement is surrounded by foundation soil. That soil collects any moisture from the surrounding environment, especially when it rains or snow is melting.

As the soil absorbs this water, it increases the amount of pressure that is placed on the foundation walls. Water will find the path of least resistance into the home, whether it causes a leak or bows the walls in until they eventually collapse!

How BARRIER Waterproofing Systems Can Help

Our team of professionals can install an effective waterproofing system, whether inside or outside your basement, to keep it safe from moisture. This step is most ideal to perform before the basement is finished; however, it is possible to work around a wonderfully constructed basement living space to install the system. 

Give us a call today at (615) 257-1060  |  (931) 536-1168 for more information about the professional services we provide and to schedule a FREE foundation evaluation.

 

“Best Crawl Space Repair in Nashville, TN”

Top Rated Local Crawl Space Repair & Cleaning Service Company

Davidson County: Nashville, Franklin, Brentwood, Murfreesboro, Clarksville, TN

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“Best Crawl Space Repair in Nashville, TN”

Top Rated Local Crawl Space Repair & Cleaning Service Company

Davidson County: Nashville, Franklin, Brentwood, Murfreesboro, Clarksville, TN

CityScoop is the top ranked local business news network in the United States. Established in 2008, CityScoop has been providing local communities with high quality news about local businesses and their most recent projects.

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JOHN TRUSA

BARRIER WATERPROOFING SYSTEMS

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337 Philadelphia Road,
Lebanon, TN 37087, USA

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

BIO: BARRIER WATERPROOFING SYSTEMS is a top rated full service custom crawl space and basement repair service & cleaning company serving the greater Nashville, TN area.

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Does A Finished Basement Count Towards My Square Footage? | BARRIER of TN