Is Basement Remodeling Counted in Square Footage for Selling?

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Whether or not a remodeled basement counts toward your home's total square footage depends on multiple factors, including whether similar homes in your neighborhood have counted their basements, the extent of the remodeling and even the phrasing of the real estate listing.

ANSI Regulations

  • According to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), a basement cannot be included in the raw calculation of a home's square footage, no matter what has been done to the space. These regulations apply when determining a home's value for the purpose of obtaining a mortgage.

Gross Livable Space

  • Gross livable space is one method of calculating square footage. It includes any areas of the home that are fully livable, so if your basement remodel includes a bedroom, restroom and full heating/plumbing/cooling, it can be counted.

"Living Area Includes ..."

  • Some real estate listing services allow you to specify exactly what areas of the house you are including in your square footage calculations. If you have a fully remodeled basement, you can count it in your square footage if you include "basement" in your "Living Area Includes ..." list.

With and Without the Basement

  • You can always include two square footage numbers: one including the basement, and one specifically noted as not including the basement.

Principle of Conformity

  • Even if you ultimately cannot count your remodeled basement in the home's total square footage, if many other homes on the market also include remodeled basements and yours does not, your home may have trouble selling. A remodeled basement can be a good investment in this situation, even if its square footage cannot be counted.

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  • Photo Credit living room image by AGITA LEIMANE from Fotolia.com
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