Is a finished basement considered livable square footage?

As a general rule of thumb, listing agents and appraisers don’t count a finished basement toward the overall square footage, especially if the basement is completely below grade—a term that means below ground level. Whether an appraiser includes basement living space ultimately depends on which state you live in.

Why don t finished basements count as square footage?

The entire level must be above grade in order for that space to factor in to the official square footage. This almost always means that if any portion of the basement is below grade, the entire level will typically be excluded from the calculation of the home’s square footage.

What is the ANSI standard for measuring square footage?

“Well, ANSI Z765 is the only recognized standard for calculating square footage in houses. And the ERC was one of the original sponsors in the process of drafting the standard.”

Does walkout basement count square footage?

Walkouts and exposed basements are considered FINISHED BELOW GRADE SQUARE FOOTAGE.

Does Zillow square footage include finished basement?

Garage space is not included in square footage, and many standards do not count basements (even if they’re finished) in overall square footage. Either way, make sure to measure the basement’s square footage for your records — you can still include it in any future property listings.

What qualifies a basement as finished?

So, what constitutes as a finished basement? A basement is finished when the entire level is complete and similar to the upstairs living areas. It generally includes an electrical system, heat, finished floors, an accessible entrance/stairway, level ceilings, and finished walls.

Does a finished basement add value to appraisal?

The appraised value of finished basement space is generally 50% to 60% of the value of the main level square footage. To maximize the cost/value ratio, the market experts recommend keeping the basement budget below 10% of the existing home’s value.

How much value does finishing a basement add?

In the United States, on average, finishing a basement will give you a return of 70 to 75% of your investment. For example, if you spent $1,000 on improvements, it would increase the value of the property by about $700. If you spent $10,000 on improvements, it would increase the value of the property by about $7,000.

Does a basement bathroom count?

The total gross living area does not include finished basement and unfinished attic areas. The measurement techniques used for the subject are the same as the techniques used for comparable sales. The finished and unfinished areas are not included in the room and bath counts.

What is ANSI Z765-2021 standard?

What Is ANSI-Z765-2021? The ANSI-Z765-2021 is the 2021 update to the ANSI-Z765 measurement standard which was originally created in 1996 to provide definitive, industry-wide specifications and parameters to determine square footage with consistency.

Where can I find ANSI standards?

Most ANSI standards are located in the Standards Center (Parks Library, Room 161) in filing cabinets. They are in order by standard number.

Is the lower level of a split level considered a basement?

A split-level home typically has only half of a basement. However, it’s possible to have basement space under the lower level as well. Raising the second level invariably creates room below the bedrooms for a basement or other rooms.

Is a walk out basement considered above grade?

By definition, a walkout basement qualifies as below-grade because most of its sides are partially or fully below ground level. Even so, you will notice that at least one side of the basement is above-grade leading to a patio. The classification is essential in calculating the total square footage of the house.

Is a finished basement considered a story?

Typically a basement is not considered a story. Although, if more than half of the basement is above ground or curb level, appraisers in some areas may count this as a story.

Who is responsible for verifying square footage in a home?

An agent may calculate square footage based on how much living space there is—in other words, areas of the home that are heated such as the kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, and so on. The appraiser, on the other hand, evaluates the total value of a home.

Does an unfinished basement add value?

While it’s true that remodeling an unfinished basement increases your home’s value, it’s also true that you are unlikely to recoup 100 percent of your expenses. As a general rule, the increase in value only covers roughly 70 percent of what you spent on the makeover.

Does an appraiser measure square footage?

Some appraisers will measure square footage with a good old measuring tape, albeit a large one. Others come equipped with those new state-of-the-art laser devices. I have been present when an appraiser will just eyeball a difficult-to-measure space or even do the wide-arm measurement.

What is considered a half finished basement?

A partially finished basement has finished and unfinished areas. For instance, many people will have a fully finished living area and maybe a bedroom or half bathroom in their basement. These areas will have fully finished walls, floors, and ceilings with all utilities done correctly.

What is the difference between a finished and unfinished basement?

There must be a heating and cooling system in the basement in order for it to be considered finished. It should be an HVAC and be like the rest of the house. A window air conditioning unit doesn’t count as part of a “finished” basement nor does a space heater.

Does a finished basement need a ceiling?

The International Residential Code (IRC) says a basement living space must have a clear, floor-to-ceiling height of at least 7 feet (6 feet for bathrooms).

How do appraisers adjust for basement?

Appraisers will generally value finished basement space at 50 to 60 of the value of the above grade square footage. This is why market experts recommend keeping the basement budget below 10 of the existing home’s value. Staying between 5-10 is a great plan.

Do appraisers look in unfinished basement?

But unfinished basements — in all their concrete-and-exposed-pipe glory — aren’t without their own merits. There’s great potential in even the darkest, most cobweb-covered of basements, which means there’s opportunity for real appraisal value.

Do appraisers look at basements?

If you have a functional attic, basement or garage, your appraiser will factor those assets into your overall home value. In most cases, the square footage of these areas won’t count towards your total home’s square footage.

Do walkout basements add value?

Increased Home Value A walkout basement increases the value of your home in several ways. While a walkout basement does not technically increase the square footage of your home, it does up the value when you sell it. A realtor will include the overall square footage of the house.

Do you put insulation in basement walls?

Insulating your basement may seem like a project best suited for another day, but truthfully, insulating your basement walls can help improve comfort and reduce energy and maintenance costs to HVAC systems. It also allows for extra living space within a home, which can be invaluable.

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