When it’s time to buy your next Barrington home, you’ll likely have an idea about whether you want a finished basement or unfinished. That’s after you’ve decided if you absolutely must have a basement. It’s fair to say that there are more homes in Barrington with basements than without. There are few homes on a slab, often due to proximity to water, older homes in the entire Barrington area might only have partial basements, the newer ones usually all have full sized basements, giving you a lot of extra living space. So what are the advantages and disadvantages?
- The biggest disadvantage of an unfinished basement is that if you want to make the best use of the space, you are going to have to go through the process and cost of having it finished. The flip side to that is it’s a blank canvas and you can decide what you want in your basement and finish it how you want it.
- One advantage is cost. Any home with an unfinished basement has less value than one with a finished basement. I’m not saying you’ll be able to save enough to pay for it to be finished but overall the homes should be less expensive than those with finished basements. You’ll have to consider if you would prefer to pay extra now and have one ready done.
- Insurance premiums should be marginally less for a home with an unfinished basement. Don’t expect big savings though. Again the flip side is once finished, you’ll need to re-visit your insurance policy and coverage.
- Storage space. If you have no other use for an unfinished basement, there’s no doubt it will provide a lot of storage space. The flip side to that is that it’s easy to just drop things in a corner without packing away tidily. Your basement will become full very fast.
- Ready to go living space. In the years I have been selling real estate, it’s fair to say most basements have been finished making good use of the floor-plan. It’s common to say a games area or TV room, even family room, bathrooms and even a guest bedroom are often in basements. The larger luxury homes can have in law arrangements, extra kitchens, exercise rooms and bars. Maybe you’ll have to decorate but that’s not usually a big project.
- Homes with finished basements are going to be more expensive, the question is are you happy with the contents and layout. If not you might have to start over in which case the investment may not be the best choice.
- If you buy a home with a very nice basement, or build one, review your insurance coverage and decide what you need. You may have to pay extra to have better insurance. Basements have a nasty habit of flooding, usually not the fault of Mother Nature but a water appliance of some kind or sump pump failure. Owners often get an insurance shock when it comes to claiming for damages and repairs.
- If you have older kids, teenagers, believe me they suddenly get to the point of wanting their own space and a bedroom doesn’t qualify. A finished basement can provide them the privacy they crave with their friends, for game nights, football hangouts, or just good old teenage chit chat without parents listening in.
- Down the road away, if you decide to sell there’s no doubt most buyers want a finished basement in their new house. So keep it updated, nicely decorated and free of piles of “stuff”, show how it’s being used and the additional living space it provides; it will undoubtedly help your sale.
We are often asked if homes have theaters, in law arrangements or bedroom for a nanny, second kitchens, saunas, in the upper price ranges and this is often something luxury home buyers want. Theaters are commonly found in well designed basements due to the natural dark areas. Although the following homes have theaters, they may or may not be in the basement. We’ve included some other common rooms found in basements. Have fun exploring.