Basement tips are sprinkled through many pages on this site, but let's focus on the 80/20 rule for a moment here. What tips might you implement that would cover, say, 20% of your time, but give you an 80% increase in satisfaction and return on investment?
Begin by asking yourself what most frustrates you about your current living situation in regards to space and functionality. This will give you a strong clue as to where you might start to plan your 20% transformation!
For instance, let's suppose that you are planning to build a new home, and you're thinking about whether or not to finish that basement. You know you could use the space, but what about the cost?
Important Basement Tip:
Ask several builders ahead of time to give you an idea of what they charge to finish off a basement during the process of building the house. It's not unusual for them to cut you a great deal since they'll have supplies and materials, labor and manpower working on your home anyway. You may be able to have that extra fun or functional space you've often dreamed about.
And, if you decide to begin a home business, that portion of your home and the accompanying expenses may be a tax-deductible expense!
For example, my basement has 4 distinct rooms, and 3 of those are business space - a waiting area, a studio, and a small bath. In addition, the foyer area has been finished off to be separate from the laundry room (so dirty clothes do not greet my students when they walk through the door).
These spaces are used for business, and are considered tax deductible - in other words, I can calculate the % of business space and then deduct that percentage of costs from my home insurance, mortgage payments, and repair and maintenance costs.
If you have never taken advantage of this incentive for home based business owners, you'll want to look into it! See irs.gov for more info, and talk to your accountant about your options.
More Basement Tips
Go back to your biggest frustration, and start right there when choosing your 20% of potentially high-impact changes.
Whether it is a bedroom for your teen, or a workshop or home office for you, or an entertainment area for the family, your dream may cost less in terms of time and money than you imagined. Especially if you can write some of that off come tax time!
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