I'm targeting a property that has an unfinished basement. I would be purchasing the property as a rental and it is not in my rehab/clean up budget to finish the basement.
Is there a general rule of thumb, positive or negatives that can be shared about leasing a property that has an unfinished basement? Would it make the property more or less attractive to potential tenants?
If I think of myself as a tenant, I would appreciate the extra space, but would probably appreciate it it finished even more. Still, I can't think that I would see it as a negative, as long as it was clean.
I have a duplex and a house with unfinished basements. Tenants could possibly use the space as storage. I have heard painting the walls white will create a "wow factor" for the space.
I have never had an issue with tenants caring if the basement is finished or not. As long as it is clean and mostly dry, I doubt it'll be an issue for you.
Thanks- I'll keep the painted walls idea in mind.
All of mine have unfinished basements. I think having a basement at all is a huge plus. Whenever prospective tenants ask if there is a basement, I always tell them yes, it is not finished but it is clean and great for storage. The usual response I get is "awesome."
Like Kyle said, paint the walls white. Also paint the floor grey and it will look great. It is odd, but it almost gives it a feeling like a finished basement instead of plain ugly concrete.
I would add to the lease that the basement is not living area, and that it could be prone to flooding. You dont want them subleasing space down there to some other family or coming after you when their stuff they've been storing gets ruined down there.
I would jump on that on a heartbeat. Basement space is always a plus, even if it's unfinished.
I would make sure that there are no pets in the basement. I have seen fellow landlords have the darnest time getting rid of the smell of dog/cat pee on concrete floors in unfinished basements.
Basements are a big plus IMO. Has the space ever taken on water? Just make it clear to your tenants that it is NOT living space and not to be used as such so you are covered.
There are strict laws in the municipality where I live about using basements as living space. You get into the whole issueof Egress and zoning etc....
FOr a rental IMO unfinihsed is probably better as they have the ability to use as storage or maybe laundry but not the ability to try and live down there are sublet to someone.
All basements are prone to water so just make it clear any storage should be stored at their own risk and to maybe put a pallet down or some 2x4s.
I love having a finished basement in my primary residence b/c I basically double my living space but for a rental unfinihsed is better IMO.
make double sure there is a huge slope away from foundation on outside,,,most need dirt added to create that slope.
Also make sure gutters and downspouts are clean and functioning as perfectly as possible. Make a special trip there during a big rain to personally verify that. Goes a long way to keeping it dry.
If it is occasionally wet in spite of above measures,,,check drain tile,,,and if it doesnt have any,,,install some and a sump pump.
Painting bare block or poured crete will require lots of paint,,,it will soak in 3 times what you think it will.
In a rental finishing any is a bad idea,,sewers back up,,need I say more. If you do address egress issues. Makes a great place for storm shelter in a tornado!!!
i am in michigan and i can go on an on about houses with and without basements. i have one without a basement.
the other 3 have basements ranging from unfinished to partially finished. it's a plus to have it finished, but you can have a leak in the wall that creates mildew and mold and not even know it (if it's a tiny leak). also, you can't charge MUCH more for a finished basement. some people just like to store stuff, others to hang out there.
basements are just dungy and not very attractive. unless done like in a magazine, it still feels like a basement.
let me know if you have any other questions about my experience.
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