The realtor calls it a walk-out basement....

alisonnAugust 16, 2013

Quick survey: Our basement open into the garage, the only way out on that level is through the garage doors.

Our realtor is calling this a "walk-out" basement.

Your thoughts?

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DLM2000

I think it's a stretch and would feel a bit of bait and switch if I were house hunting and looking for what I consider a walk out. I have no idea what the technically accepted definition is because we don't have walk outs here, but I think of it as a basement with an entrance/exit directly to the outside with no stairs.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 2:39PM
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alisonn

My feeling exactly. The realtor is very experienced, so I thought I shouldn't question her definition of what constitutes a "walk-out basement," even though I had my doubts. Sure enough, she just reported that the latest potential buyer "wanted more of a walk-out basement."

Thanks for the feedback. I'm going to ask her to remove that bit from the ad.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 3:08PM
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marti8a

Does your basement room have regular windows?

My dd's house was listed as a walk out also. The only entrance now is only through the garage, but the back wall of the house is exposed and there is a large window in the wall, so it could be replaced with a door. They like the security of not having a door there though.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 3:34PM
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alisonn

No, it has two small windows, high on one wall, like you see in most traditional basements. They lead to the underside of the deck, so there's really no daylight or egress to speak of from these windows.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 3:38PM
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artemis78

We have a similar setup and ours is called a walk-out basement. However, it originally *was* a walk-out (garage was added after the house was built, so the door originally went to the backyard). Our garage has both a standard garage door and an actual door that goes to our backyard, so maybe that changes things? Either way, our basement ceiling is not high enough that someone could legally convert it to living space without digging it out first, and I'm never sure if that's what people are thinking about when they want a walk-out basement. They'd be out of luck with ours if so. Curious to hear what others think, but I agree to remove it if you don't need to include it in the description. No sense borrowing trouble.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 4:17PM
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violetwest

would a buyer potentially be able to convert the basement or basement plus garage into a useable apartment? If so, then it would be justified, I think.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 4:25PM
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dees_1

A walk out basement indicates there is a door leading out of the basement; an exit outside the house via the basement, if you will.

I know it sounds confusing and some people consider a walk out basement to be a door in the basement that opens directly into the yard. Usually patio type doors. I think that's what most people think of.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 4:30PM
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nosoccermom

Wikipedia:

"Daylight basement

A daylight basement or a "walk-out basement" is contained in a house situated on a slope, so that part of the floor is above ground, with a doorway to the outside. The part of the floor lower than the ground can be considered the true basement area. From the street, some daylight basement homes appear to be one story. Others appear to be a conventional two story home from the street (with the buried, or basement, portion in the back). Occupants can walk out at that point without having to use stairs. For example, if the ground slopes downwards towards the back of the house, the basement is at or above grade (ground level) at the back of the house. It is a modern design because of the added complexity of uneven foundations; where the basement is above grade, the foundation is deeper at that point and must still be below the frostline.

Full-size windows can be installed in a daylight basement. These can provide exits for bedrooms (building bedrooms in basements is usually illegal without an outside escape). Ventilation is improved over fully buried basement homes, with less dampness and mold problems.

Daylight basements can be used for several purposes - as a garage, as maintenance rooms, or as living space. The buried portion is often used for storage, laundry room, hot water tanks, and HVAC.

Daylight basement homes typically appraise higher than standard-basement homes, since they include more viable living spaces. In some parts of the U.S. however the appraisal for daylight basement space is half that of ground and above ground level square footage. Designs accommodated include split-foyer and split-level homes. Garages on both levels are sometimes possible. As with any multi-level home, there are savings on roofing and foundations.[2][3]"

Here is a link that might be useful: Daylight or walk-out basement

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 7:20PM
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egbar

i'd change the wording in the ad if possible, just to avoid
such disappointed expectations as the realtor pointed out.
Even if the description is technically correct it still brings something to mind besides egress into the garage. best wishes.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 7:30AM
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palimpsest

How about "walk out of basement through garage"?.
Here, it generally means that you do not have to go to an upper floor or up steps to get out of the basement.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 11:11AM
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rwiegand

If you don't have to go up and down a flight of stairs to access it, it's a walk out.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 2:07PM
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LuAnn_in_PA

If you cannot walk out of the basement without steps, it is NOT a walk-out basement.

Walking out of garage doors... not the same thing.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 3:18PM
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ncrealestateguy

Walkout basement here means that three sides of the house are underground and the other, usually the very back wall is above grade with doors for exit/entry.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 6:26AM
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sharon68

Here if you can walk out without going up interior stairs it's a walk out basement, so yours would qualify. Ask you realtor what local standard regarding use of the term "walk out basement" in the listing blurb are. We had a similar situation with regards to how our basement sq footage was being described. Our realtor said local standard was to not include basement footage in the total sq footage and to just note that we did have a basement. However, lots of other realtors were including basement sq footage in total sq footage or at least in the narrative. Thus, our house seemed smaller than it was if you compared it to other homes for sale in the price range and area. We made her change the narrative to reflect the basement sq footage. Ultimately, it's your listing so if you are uncomfortable with the language make your realtor take it out.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 8:21AM
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Mmmbeeer

I would definitely have that particular phrase removed. People have certain expectations when they hear the phrase "walk out". The best strategy I've found is to "under promise and over deliver" when selling a home. Good pics and an accurate description, along with location and price are what draw serious buyers in. I'd rather that potential buyers leave my home pleasantly surprised by the extras they find visiting the home rather than leaving disappointed, feeling the home didnt live up to the hyped expectations.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 7:57PM
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Mmmbeeer

I would definitely have that particular phrase removed. People have certain expectations when they hear the phrase "walk out". The best strategy I've found is to "under promise and over deliver" when selling a home. Good pics and an accurate description, along with location and price are what draw serious buyers in. I'd rather that potential buyers leave my home pleasantly surprised by the extras they find visiting the home rather than leaving disappointed, feeling the home didnt live up to the hyped expectations.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 7:58PM
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trilobite

The best strategy I've found is to "under promise and over deliver" when selling a home.

Yes, I couldn't agree with this more. And, count me as another who would view "walk out basement" as implying a separate entrance allowing you direct access to the yard.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 9:27AM
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lizzie_nh

I always see "daylight basement" and "walkout basement" used as interchangeable terms. Because of this, I think the expectation by most people will be that there is a normal-sized door to the outside, and larger-than-typical windows in the basement. This is how my walkout basement is set up, and it creates a number of possibilities which would be appealing to buyers. We can finish off a bedroom, we can finish off other rooms which will have a lot of natural light, we can create a patio directly outside the basement door, etc.. Right now we use the basement entrance all the time to directly access the back yard.

MAYBE your realtor can technically call it a walkout basement, but as others have mentioned, it won't meet the expectations of most people. My realtor wanted to overstate features in my house and it was something I absolutely didn't want to get into.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 11:49AM
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nancylouise_gw

I would tell the agent to remove it also. What you describe with an opening inside the garage is not a walk out basement. As you can see from the buyer that already has come to view your home, the agent is stretching the truth. Don't give buyers a reason to get pissed off about your home. Keep the listing truthful. Tell the agent to be truthful too. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 8:04AM
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