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."
Calculating bang for buck
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.