Fellow New Jersey BPers. What renovation do I do to flip?

10 Replies

Hello all you NJ BPers. I have a property that I can either add a lg. oversized 1 car attached garage 16wx32l or I can at the same price finish the basement in this already 4 br 2 full bath cape style home that already has a small family room addition. The basement reno would include another bath (making it a full 3 bath), family room and bed-room (making it a 5br) with an egress window. In checking my area it appears that the resale price of the home with either reno would be about the same. If that is true which reno would attract the most buyers for a quicker sale in your opinion and why.(again remember we are in Jersey) Thanks...

The basement... good luck with your renovation.

Another way to figure out what renovations to do would be to talk to an appraiser and/or look up other comps as you've done. There are also documenation online that show the value of renvating a property.

@Steffi Paskow

. thanks for the reply. I have done exactly what you said and they are a wash the comps are almost identical. That is why I am looking for opinions as to what your borrowers would prefer. I am leaning for garage as there is plenty of bedrooms and baths for the area's demographics. I am thinking a lot of Jerseyans want garages to park their "ever so precious cars" due to weather and such. But then again I could be swayed if there is a good enough reason.

Without knowing all of the details I would be remiss to give you a solid answer. Feel free to private message me and I would be happy to discuss your dilemma.

I would almost say a basement hands down. Sure a garage is nice but a finished basement with another bath and additional rooms is adding living space and more value in my opinion.

My question is from a tax assement how much more will the taxes increase with this additional living space?



PS. With a full egress window there this will add tremendous value because it will most likely be a legal bedroom so I would think you can ask that much more for the property.



Thanks Chris,

I just reached out to the tax assessors office this morning and I should be getting a call back later today. I agree adding a bedroom and 3rd bath is not a bad idea. But I am just getting this gut feeling that a garage is the better choice... ugh I am going to see what my additional cost would be for a two story garage (same dimensions as above maybe a little shorter) with addl MBR and on suite bath at the second floor. There is so much work that would have to be done in the basement (moving and framing for so much mechanicals, reworking plumbing and etc) it just might be easier to add 2 story garage. All the mechanicals electrical box, sewer lines, water lines and gas lines are right next to where the garage would go.

@Ana Nomys

It would be valuable for you to know what % of the houses in the immediate area (block, surrounding streets, & town) have a garage? Without knowing that info, if you're selling the place, I would guess that the basement project you've outlined above has greater potential to "wow" prospective buyers than your oversized garage alternative. And yes, NJers do like their garages!

Keep doing your homework looking at comps; the type of client your looking to sell to, recent sales, the costs to do each option, rate of return for each option, how quick you can sell it now vs. when your renovations are complete, cost and headache to do each option etc. Then you will know what to do.

Also why do anything at all ? You may not get 100% of your money back and you could sell it now and move on to your next deal.


This home serves many purposes for me so to sell it right now is not an option. "Mixed use" lot to which I use part of the land for my business. I am looking to sell it in 3-5 years. I have an in-law coming that would use the Bsmt if I finished it or another bedroom if I should build garage with suite above. The property is currently rented by family (that are truly treated like tenants, except Sunday between 1-3 dinners). The property is in an area that has about 30% with garages and the homes now that are being purchased are having garages installed almost immediately.

@Mark Langdon

As a contractor I have priced out doing both jobs to include the headache part and because of that I am leaning towards the garage. All my mechanicals are adjacent to where the garage would go so again ease and non aggravation is a factor. With the in-law moving in the extra income ($900) will in 2-3 years cover the cost of either project.

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