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Do you need a basement? - Page 2

post #21 of 45
I lived in colorado my whole life and most homes there have basements. We had one growing up as did DH. He was a bit annoyed when we were looking for homes in NM and realized pretty much no one here has a basement. For us, it was going to be a place to soundproof and let him play his drums. For a lot of families the extra storage would be nice but we have a 3 car garage and at this point don't have near enough furniture to fill our house anyway.

After asking around it seems like basements are not common here because it's so sandy/dirt everywhere and it rarely snows.
post #22 of 45
Originally Posted by SAHDS View Post
I don't understand the point of basements. We've never had one and would never want one.

Sorry, that's not much help.
We live in tornado valley and we love ours.
post #23 of 45
Have you checked on how much home owners insurance and land taxes would increase if you added the basement, even if it were unfinished.

Something to consider if you add the basement is to add both an inside and outside entrance to it. When we looked at houses a couple got crossed off the list because the only way down there was through the house, not as usable in my hubby's opinion.
post #24 of 45
Originally Posted by AngelBee View Post
We live in tornado valley and we love ours.
Nothing like spending half your day in a corner listening to all the sirens. Good family time.
post #25 of 45
I hate my basement and it's finished (rec room, sewing room, spare bedroom, workshop, laundry, storage). We have 900 sq ft on the main and 900 in the basement. Nobody goes down there. If I was building, I'd have a single story house 1400-1500 sq ft. That's for the 4 that we are and the two more that I want.

I just find it a hassle to go down there with the kids when the kitchen and bathroom are upstairs. Plus since moving in to a place with a basement I've grown really paranoid that the top floor is going to cave in (stupid I know). The fact that the floors are so noisy doesn't help this.

Nobody needs a basement, it's just square footage and organization/storage that is needed. That can be had on one floor.

If you only have living room and no other rec space could you have the kids sleep in one room and play in the other? With 4 bedrooms you could have your bedroom, kids sleep room, kids playroom, guest bedroom (or another sleep room).
post #26 of 45
We have a basement because of tornadoes. I wouldn't get a house without a basement in Kansas.

We really don't store anything there. Dd doesn't play there.
We have closets, attic, and garage for storage. Dd plays in the main living space or her bedroom. The laundry is in the basement and the cats hang out there. That is pretty much it.

At our previous home part of the basement was finished. Dd did play there. We didn't have a garage and attic and had minimal closets for storage. We used it quite a lot.
post #27 of 45
Originally Posted by ellee View Post
A big concern for me would be resale value without the basement. It depends on the area you live in; are basements common or uncommon? If it's the latter, I owuldn't worry so much about resale.
Yep. In my region, nearly every house has a basement. I worked in RE appraisal and asssement for many years and houses without basements were much less desirable than ones with basements. Finished or not really didn't impact the house value but the lack of one in general did.

Placement of the mechanical systems should be considered. Will the HVAC, water heater and such take away usable space on the first floor?
post #28 of 45
Originally Posted by tayndrewsmama View Post
Nothing like spending half your day in a corner listening to all the sirens. Good family time.
Yep! The very first week we owned our home we had a terrible storm come through. The sirens were going off all night. We slept in the basement with the weather radio on. I couldn't imagine not having a safe place to go during storms.
post #29 of 45
Originally Posted by Caneel View Post
Placement of the mechanical systems should be considered. Will the HVAC, water heater and such take away usable space on the first floor?
Yes, that's another good point to consider.
post #30 of 45
Thread Starter 
All good points. I live in southern saskatchewan (canada) and there has been tornados in the area before so it would be important to have a basement in case of that. The HVAC and water heater don't take up much room really - they fit in a closet in the utility room.
post #31 of 45
Originally Posted by AngelBee View Post
We live in tornado valley and we love ours.
Totally understandable. The only thing we have here are earthquakes and I don't think the basement is the safest area for that, LOL.
post #32 of 45
I live in Florida and they don't exist here so you can definitely live without a basement!
post #33 of 45
I'm in my mid 40s and I've never lived in or even been in a house with a basement.
post #34 of 45
I haven't read the other posts. I am guessing it depends on where you live.

Where we have always lived, tornadoes are an issue. We NEED a basement.

I feel safer with a basement.

No there are no guarantees you won't get trapped in your basement or the whole house won't fall in on you, but I'd still rather have a basement!

We had three apartments and then three houses before we finally got a basement in our fourth, fifth and now sixth house. When we had no basement I just always was a bit more nervous about tornado season...I knew where we should go in each place, but it was scary huddling in the hallway or in a closet under some stairs or in the bathtub in the bathroom with no window or no skylight...

If we lived someplace where tornadoes never came, then I'd be happy to be without a basement.
post #35 of 45
Are you in an area where you could rent it and would you be willing to deal with a renter? Finish up a 1 bedroom, 1 bath, with a small kitchen-eating-living area. Could either help pay your morgage, or maybe find someone who wanted to trade work around your property for living there, or a comboination.
post #36 of 45
We have a finished basement and I wish we didn't have it. It's square footage that we have to decorate, clean, take care of. Right now my DHs office is down there (he works from home), a guest room, and a laundry room. If we didn't have it, we'd have to scrunch up a little more, but I see that as a good thing. Right now we spread out more than we need to. And in my next house I won't be having a guest room - we rarely have overnight guests.

And to make matters worse, it flooded last year and we had to spend $4000 getting it fixed up.
post #37 of 45
I can't imagine not having a basement. The basement is the playroom/mancave/home theatre. Home to the hot water heater/furnace and storage areas. The basement playroom is the best thing during the cold winter months.
post #38 of 45
I'm glad people mentioned tornados. That was my first thought.
My basement is where the messy projects happen. We don't have a garage so all the power tools and the workbench are in the basement. My DH's buckets of homebrew bubble away down there. We intended to build a mini-kitchen down there so he could brew but never got around to it. One corner has all my sewing stuff. I've made glass beads and done pewter casting down there.
I wish my basement went the entire length of my house. The addition only has a crawl space. In my sister's shiny new McMansion the only thing I envy is the basement with 10 foot high ceilings. My DH has to duck to avoid ducts in our basement.
post #39 of 45
You all are making me nostalgic for basements. We have a bi-level house, so we have a lower level that is like half underground, but it isn't really a basement. It is totally finished down there.

How much extra is it to put in the basement? If you want to maximize your resale value I would suggest putting it in, AND rough in the plumbing for a bathroom. You don't have to finish it at all, but it makes it a lot easier to do later if you change your mind.

Basements are placing to hide from your parents when you are 15 and your friends are over, play ball hockey when the weather is yucky, have weight machines, air out stinky hockey equipment (that is two hockey references... any guess that I am Canadian?), store Christmas decorations, etc. etc.

If you plan on being in your house long term, I would choose the insurance policy of knowing you can expand your living space without having to move. My house has three bedrooms upstairs, and two downstairs (but one is really small). When we moved here it was just me and DF, I wasn't pregnant yet, and we figured we could have a tonne of kids before we grew out of our house. Well, a year and a half later and those five rooms have become our master bedroom, baby room, guest room, play room, and office. Doesn't seem so big anymore!
post #40 of 45
Originally Posted by elsie View Post
I think it is best to go with the norm for the area. I know people who don't have a basement where it is common to have one and they had the hardest time selling their home because of it. The basement doesn't even need to be finished. I would strongly suggest getting the basement built with the drainage system installed or don't bother with a basement at all. A wet basement is pretty useless.
That's what I was thinking. When dh & I lived In CA, we didn't think of this...but in MA, it's standard.

Resale is also important.

Do whatever is standard for your area.

Aside-- I hated not havng a basement in CA, and I love having one here in MA. It's a regional thing that will play into resale.
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