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Finished Basements In California

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timindp

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
So, basements in California are pretty rare. I have a dwelling with a finished basement used as a game room, very nice, has a window and is interior only. I think this is the first time I have appraised a dwelling with such a basement. Question; do any of you make adjustments for finished basements?
 

Randolph Kinney

Elite Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2005
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
North Carolina
Basements are rare in southern California. However, we have two story homes built into hillsides where the bedrooms are on the first story (basement with outside exit) and the second story has the garage and main living area of living room, dining room, kitchen, and entrance to the house from the street and garage. This arrangement functions as a normal two story home on flat ground and usually there are similar properties in the neighborhood.

Having the entire basement below grade with no outside entrance has utility but not the same as the main above grade structure. My experience with this is that these kind of basements contributes minimal value. I have made an adjustment however, it is minimal.
 

CANative

Elite Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2003
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
California
Depending on the finish and functionality I might adjust based on depreciated cost and a percentage of the above grade floor area adjustment.
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
I've never seen a finished basement that you couldn't make the case it didn't add some value. On lakeshore lots, often equal to the GLA contribution.
 

gregb

Elite Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2011
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
There are a very limited number of basement residences in Santa Barbara, most built in the 20's to the 40's by East Coasters. One way or another I am able to find market data to support an adjustment, though sometimes it is not with a direct comparable gridded out. A proxy to a basement is usually available, such as a workshop, guest quarters etc. Common sense will tell you that a finished basement contributes value, the question, as always, is how much value.
 

AMF13

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
A proxy to a basement is usually available, such as a workshop, guest quarters etc.

Good idea in the likely event that you got nothing else.
Most of the basements I've seen here are "California basements".
A small unfinished storage space for furnace and water heater.
No additional value. Also, those cob webs do not constitute an infestation. :whistle:
 

miktay

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
I appraised in SoCal full-time for 16 years. I don't remember ever seeing a single basement.
 

Ken Masla

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2006
Professional Status
General Public
State
California
Basements are more common than people think in SoCal where I appraise.

You have to compare. You have to figure out if that finished basement contributes to marketability.

I would just adjust for the same amount as GLA, but report it in the basement section.
If you can't find any with basements then don't make any adjustments and just disclose why you didn't.

If you appraise a house with a California basement, the chances that most homes in the area have the same are pretty high.
 
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