How to turn your basement into a cash machine

Ginger Dean

September 15, 2014

By: Ginger Dean, Home Finance Specialist

In: Finance and LegalBasement Remodeling

You may know that buying real estate is a good investment, but what if your home has more money in it than just the market value? The best way to get the most money out of your investment is to maximize its assets - and you may not even have to look further than your staircase. Believe it or not, the basement is a great place to turn for extra income

Though many people think to turn their basement into a living room, family room, or play room, there are several ways you can turn your basement into a cash machine that don't involve a sofa and big screen TV.

Here are 6 ways to get more value of out your basement:

Renovate it. Turning your unfinished basement into a livable space increases the value of your home. If your basement is finished it may be a good idea to give it a facelift with a fresh coat of paint as well as new carpet or flooring.

Add a kitchenette. If you are going to undertake basement renovations you may want to change the way you use the space. People love a good space to entertain guests and where better to do that than in a kitchen. According to U.S. News the average cost of a kitchen remodel is $18,856 but "savvy shoppers can do it for less."

Install a small bathroom. Adding an additional bathroom to your home will help increase the value. Keep in mind this type of renovation may cost a little bit more if extra plumbing and electrical work is required. MSN Money says that renovating bathrooms can be a long process while waiting for materials, so order your fixtures and supplies as soon as possible.

Sublet it. You may want to renovate your basement into a complete apartment and sublet it out to make some extra monthly cash. If this is the case, be sure to add defined space for a bed, a kitchen, and a bathroom. This will most likely be an expensive renovation, but it could end up having a big pay off.

Rent it out. If having a personal tenant is not your cup of tea you may want to rent out your space to a small business. However, keep in mind that this may mean people are coming and going from your home at various times throughout the day.

Sell nights on Air BnB. Having a long term tenant living in your space may not be your thing. Selling nights on Air BnB is a great way to make some extra cash whenever you need it without making a long term commitment.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to making more money with your sub-terrain. But before you make any changes to the structure or usability of your home check with your local zoning laws as well as your homeowner's insurance requirements to ensure that all modifications are legal.

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