Under Ground Basement homes, Good or Bad choice?

I see few homes, like this one, with Under Ground Basement homes.
Is it Good or Bad choice, either for primary living or investment?


I personally love basements. I was told most homes around here don’t have them because of earthquakes so I don’t know about an older home with a basement. I would check the disclosures for foundation/water issues & get a really good inspector.

Seems like newer homes with basements must meet pretty strict earthquake codes. This house has a basement but also the wackiest layout that I have seen on a new build. Except for a tiny office/guest room, all the bedrooms (including the master) are in the basement. https://www.redfin.com/CA/Menlo-Park/631-Harvard-Ave-94025/home/108589863

I heard many cities like Palo Alto has rules against “McMansions”? So to get more square footage people need to go underground, as they don’t count against the limit in some cases. We may see a revival of basements in new houses.

My understanding is the cost of basements here is insane. You need high PSI concrete and steel reenforcement. That’s pretty funny since those old basements are decades old and have survived plenty of earthquakes without meeting the modern requirements.

I think they are nice of full height. Some of them are only 6-7’. I’ve seen where they convert the home into 2 flats and rent the basement.

Actually, anyone look at rental homes around SJSU? There’s a lot of homes with basements around there. It’s shocking how much they rent for per month. Most are subdivided into multiple units, and students sleep 2-3 people a bedroom.

Most of the buildings around SJSU are pretty darn old, easily 100+ years. I think that area only makes sense to buy entire apartment buildings.

Worth buying for rental? Or too late since rent control is coming.

I’m not sure. I’ve never looked at it closely, but the numbers appear pretty good.

I don’t like the basement living area. It is bad for the environment: they dig and pump out all the water. It is bad for maintenance: need to have sump pump, repair and maintenance. It is bad for living: dark; and sometimes feels/smells damp.

In PA, I have seen have single story with basement. If they build 2 stories and used up the max sq ft limit, then build basement makes sense. But not maxing out the sq ft limit and building basement doesn’t make sense to me.

However, you can use it as movie theater then you don’t have to worry about lighting. But that has to be a huge house to be able to allocate room dedicated to theater.

No one prefers basement over above ground building. Basement was a cheap way to get more square feet. PA basement is a way to get around the restrictions, it’s a sad invention. No one prefers it.

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