An article by Realtor.com explains the rule of thumb when it comes to whether or not a basement should count toward the overall square footage of a home. Typically, a finished basement does not count toward overall square footage. This is especially true if the basement is below grade, meaning that it is below ground level. However, it really depends on the state you live in.

   States that do allow basements to be calculated into the overall square footage have a rule that there must be an egress and ingress. In other words, there must be a door on one side of the basement that you can walk out of onto yard level. This is known as a walk-out basement. The square footage calculations are based on how much of the basement is above ground level.

   So, how does this affect the value of a home? Residential homes are generally not priced based on square footage alone. Therefore, whether or not the basement counts as square footage doesn’t matter as much as the condition the basement is in. A nicely finished basement will add to the value of a home whether the basement is a walk-out or below grade.