Friday, May 13, 2005

1038 Storage space, is there ever enough?

My husband was in California last week to attend his father's funeral and spend time with his brother and sister (the three didn't grow up together but have become close as adults). Flying over Orange County he noticed all the swimming pools which seem to be a fact of real estate there just as basements are here. In California, I haven't met anyone in a metropolitan area who had a home with a basement. . . slab on grade seems pretty natural to our warm weather sibs.

But in Ohio, we have $100,000 basements. At least that's what you're led to believe if you sell a house without one. For 34 years we lived in a lovely neighborhood of more expensive homes because our two-story, colonial house was slab on grade. When we put it on the market in 2001 we were always told how much it could have sold for if only we had a basement. Never mind that in the big flood of the 1970s, ours was the only home for blocks that wasn't flooded. One of our neighbors had a wine cellar in the basement. All the labels came off in the flood.

We thought we'd left basement woes behind us, but the other night my husband took a phone call from someone interested in buying that house (it has been on the market because the new owners are divorcing). Would you believe the guy wanted to know if he could jack up the house and put a basement under it? I guess he'd heard the previous owner was an architect and apparently thought he'd designed it (my husband was born the year that house was drawn up). Asked him why he hadn't built it with a basement. My advice: throw out some junk or rent a storage facility. It's a heck of a lot cheaper than a $100,000 basement.


Susan said...

After years of living in apartments without a basements, I promised myself, I would one day live in a house with a basement. Well, it is a good thing I trust God more these days and my fear of tornadoes has lessened a bit. I'm living in a big, beautiful home (that needs lots of work) in the country without a basement!!! My husband said he could build me a storm shelter someday, but that is not a high priority.

Anonymous said...

If someone asks you where the basement is, tell them you keep it in the basement.

Or better yet, tell them the house was originally a one-story with a basement, but you raised it.

Norma said...

Sometimes we'd get calls from basement-waterproof companies, and we'd tell them we had no basement. "Are you sure?" was often the response.