How will a finished basement increase my home value in Michigan?

There are a lot of upgrades that can increase your home value. One of the most popular: finishing the basement. It’s a great hang out place for the kids, a place to have a home office, bar, or a storage space. Thinking about upgrading your primary residence? Or maybe you have an investment property you plan on renting or flipping? Here we examine what upgrading your basement will do for your Michigan home value.

Different types of Basements

Walkout basements tend to be the most attractive to Michigan homebuyers because it lets in the most natural light. Often, these lead to an outdoors area like a patio or walkway. This can yield the highest return on investment because it is the most desirable due to the natural light and connection to an outside gathering area.

Standard basement: It is probably the most common type of basement here in Michigan. These basements are underground with little natural light and concrete walls. Windows tent to be small and higher on the walls. Though this less desirable than the other two listed, though this can still have a major return on investment.

Garden level basement: It is more in between a walk out basement and a standard basement. With walkout basements, the windows are much larger than the traditional basement. However, with a garden basement, there are a mix of both due to the landscape of the area. Garden basements tend not to have a walk out basement.

Michigan basement: So popular in Michigan it was named after it, synonymous with our Michigan left turns and pointing to your hand when you want to show someone where you are from. But what is it? A Michigan basement is a crawl space that has been excavated to the depth of a basement. This was very popular in the 20s. Americans would pay for the trending home improvement, allowing them to have extra storage room. Skip to the end if you are thinking about refinishing a Michigan Basement.

Return on investment


According to the MLS, a finished basement offers a great return of 70-75% of your investment. For example, if you invest $1000 into your basement then it would increase your value by $700-750. It’s a great upgrade! Not only will you get use out of this, but you’ll recoup most of the money back. The possibilities for a finished basement are endless, this can be a great place to entertain guests, home theater, or extra bedroom, which is what makes this upgrade so desirable. This is also why many Michigan house flippers classify the basement upgrade as a must.

How much does it cost?

According to Home Advisor, finishing a basement can cost between $7-$23 per square foot with the average being $25 per square foot. This price includes permits, labor, and material costs.  

Things to consider

Even though your basement looks like the upstairs living area, it will not count towards your livable square footage. Also, if you are doing reconstruction on your basement and extending the property, some cities in Michigan will not allow it. Be sure to check in with your local municipality for permits and what is allowable.

Can I refinish my Michigan Basement?

According to the state of Michigan glossary, a Michigan basement is generally 5-7 feet tall, which causes some issues both in the size and the how it was formed. When finishing and area that creates a livable space, you want to make sure you have room, including head room. Though you may have some leeway with a seven-foot-tall ceiling, most Michigan basements require you to crouch as you walk through so you don’t bang your head on the duct work. Additionally, common problems with Michigan Basements include unpleasant smells, mold, mildew, humidity, leaks, and flooding. Not the most ideal when environmental factors could remodel your basement in their own way.

So, can you remodel your Michigan Basement? It’s your home and you can do what you would like, but I wouldn’t recommend refinishing a Michigan basement for any sort of resale value. Do you agree? Leave a comment or email me directly at .

Are you trying to sell your home? Haven’t had luck with a realtor or maybe your have massive repairs that you don’t want the hassle of dealing with yourself. Well at Anderson Home Paths we buy houses in any condition and offer %100 no obligation cash offers. Give us a call at 586-991-1875. Thanks!

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