real estate

6 best home fixes for the money

No. 1: Basement remodel
No. 1: Basement remodel © Breadmaker/Shutterstock.com

No. 1: Basement remodel

The resale value of a finished basement depends largely on your neighborhood, area and region, Combs says.

In much of Michigan, finished basements aren't a big addition to home value, she says. So the question of "finished or unfinished" is more a matter of personal preference than home value, says Combs.

In other areas, it can add value or even sway the sale, Morrel says. His own professional basement remodel to a vacation home finished off 600 square feet of living space and added a picture window with copious amounts of natural light.

While it wasn't cheap -- especially since adding the window meant having professionals cut through concrete -- it "created something out of nothing," says Morrel. And, "it's something that people definitely appreciate."

Still, spending more on renovations doesn't translate to more money at resale, he says.

One down-and-dirty formula Morrel recommends to calculate how much completing unfinished space adds to home value: Divide your home value by finished square footage. Now multiply the result (dollar value per finished square foot) by the number of square feet you're having finished.

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