What makes the difference between a lower level and a basement, makes the difference in your price point when selling your property. So, what is the difference?
Short answer: Finish.
When selling your property, a key factor in determining its pricepoint is determined upon its total finished square footage. A clean basement with painted floor and cinderblock walls and with electricity, but no ceiling, is not a finished space and therefore cannot be included in the square footage. The components that actually define finished include ALL of the following,
Floor Covering with Finished Walls and Ceilings (simply painting the surfaces doesn't count!), Heat and Electricity.
If you want to get more value out of the sale of your property, consider turning your basement into a lower level and don't forget to pull the proper permits!!