Should I Buy a Home With a Basement?


Basements are a common occurrence in Idaho homes. Many people might not be used to the idea of having a basement if they have come from other states with harder soil. Idaho’s softer soil makes it easy to build down instead of up and it can be quite a benefit to homeowners when it comes to space, electricity conservation, and so forth. But, should you buy a home that comes with a basement or should you opt for something else? To answer that question, let’s review all the benefits and advantages to having a basement, as well as some disadvantages, and then some of the things you can do with a basement.


Extra Space

This one is pretty obvious. With a basement beneath your main level you can easily double, if not triple your home’s square footage (something that can’t be done as easily if you build up instead of down).

Most people don’t want to have a towering home, especially if all the surrounding homes are smaller in size, but they need the extra space. Luckily, basements take height out of the equation.

Lower Electric Bill

One of the great things about a basement is that the soil that surrounds three of its four walls acts as an insulator and natural icebox is some instances. It is this awesome configuration that allows homeowners to save money. As the soil cools the basement in the summer, less power needs to be allocated to cool it. The same comes to the winter. It takes a lot less time to heat up a basement since there are fewer windows and openings to the outside where heat can escape. Thus, no matter what time of the year it is, you can be sure that your electric bill will be a bit -lower than if you lived in a two story above-ground home.

Cozier Rooms

For a lot of people, the enclosed feeling that comes with basement rooms makes them feel cozier. So, if you are looking to have more cozy rooms, then a basement is the way to go.

Sound Proofing

Another benefit of having a section of your home surrounded by dirt is that it helps to soundproof it. Not completely, and definitely not from the rest of the house, but from those outside the house. Sometimes, loud music or sounds that come from a house will resonate throughout the neighborhood, but, if they are underground, then the sounds will be stopped by the earth that surrounds it.



Lighting is definitely a battle for almost all basements. A lot of people prefer above ground floors as they can easily add a few windows and increase the light in a room with ease. Basements are underground and therefore need to rely on electric lights. This can get hard for people as a lack of sunlight can be detrimental to many people’s mental health. However, there are several solutions:

You can put in fire escape windows (which are wise to have for the purpose of safety as well). These nifty devices will allow you to channel light into your basement.

Another idea is to invest in tube lights. These things are like skylights, but they can, using mirrors, transport sunlight down a tube into a basement. They are quite useful and are very reliable even if the sun is about to set (which is something that even normal skylights struggle with).


Another problem that can arise with basements is flooding. Since a basement is essentially a pit, if there is any flooding in your house, or even in your neighborhood as a whole, your basement will most likely take on water. This is not guaranteed, though.

Ideas for Your Basement

Now for the fun part: basement ideas. There are so many great ideas that you can do with your basement and the possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Here we will cover three different ideas that you can use for your basement, but don’t stop here, look up more ideas until you find the one that fits your needs the best.


If you personally don’t need the space of a basement though would like a little more money in your wallet each month, then maybe you should convert your basement into an apartment. Depending on what kind of apartment you want to make it, the basement may need some extra work. For instance, an apartment should have its own full bathroom as well as running water and strong enough electrical connection to run any appliances they need to use.

These kinds of modifications will add value to your home and make the room more desirable to tenants. However, they can be quite costly, so if you don’t have the money, you may want to go with one of these other options.

Home Theater

Home theater systems are very popular and are quite affordable here in the Boise area. All you will need to do is to install a TV or projector and all the video playing devices and gaming consoles you want. It also doesn’t hurt to add a surround sound system and other additions like that.

As far as seating is concerned, the only requirement for a home theater room is that it be comfortable, so don’t be afraid to be picky. Find the best couch, recliner, or beanbag chairs and have fun.

Hobby Room

This is more of a broad idea because people’s hobbies can be quite diverse from person to person. However, if you have a hobby that needs its own space, or at least would be nice to have its own space, then you will love your basement. So, if you are into crafts you can build yourself the ultimate craft room, if you like reading, make it a library, and so on and so forth. Be sure that your hobby can be done indoors first before trying to convert the room to anything specific, however.

As we said earlier, the possibilities are endless. Keep looking around for new basement ideas if these didn’t tickle your fancy.

If you want more information about Boise homes, call the Hughes Group today! Our agents are trained professionals that will help you make your home buying dreams a reality.

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