Many of the houses for sale in Bella Vista may be on sloped lots and have a walk-out style basement, or at least they might have a nice storage area under the house that you can access from outside.
Bella Vista Houses on Sloped Lots
Houses in Bella Vista can be a little bit more unique than other NW Arkansas real estate markets, in that the houses here in Bella Vista tend to be built on a lot of hilly terrain. This gives these houses the key feature of ‘walk out basements’, something that I personally love but also something that I know from experience that a lot of people don’t like. They don’t care for it because a walk out basement style house usually means one thing : that the lot you built on is sloped, sometimes significantly.
Here is why I like our house in Bella Vista : at the time that I found our lot to build on, my wife and kids thought I was absolutely crazy. The lot itself could only be reached by driving out 4 wheel drive Jeep back through a slew of fallen trees, through the washed out areas and cess-pool puddles of a long forgotten dirt road. I pretty sure that the first time I took them all to see it they thought we were all done for. But the price was right. I got the lot for $500 back in 2002. It was a 1/3 acre beauty (in my mind), gradually sloped, complete with deer and a totally untouched scenery.
Fun With Walk-Out Basements in Bella Vista
Once the lot was cleared and the electric company cut their swathes of trees out from both sides of the road, the place really took on a new look. We built the house with a walk out basement with full 8′ ceilings — something a lot of flatland communities never see in their basements — and of course, a walk out set of French doors. We put windows all along the daylight side of the basement; we added two storage areas, a game room, a full bathroom, a corner gas logs fireplace, and a small office. The funny thing is that the entire idea of the walk out basement was sort of forced up on when our builder explained the whole concept to us that the type of building lot we selected was much more suited for a walk-out style basement than we’d thought.
Why waste all that space under the house with just fill-dirt? I mean, if you are going to build on a sloped lot, and you have to build up the sides and rear of the house with the cinder blocks anyway, you might as well not spend $1500 per load of fill dirt and instead, take that same money (and a bit more we found out) and finish out the basement. I was once told by a prodigious builder here in Bella Vista (I think he has built over 300 homes here) that it was costing him around $60 per foot to finish out an upstairs area (because of kitchens, bathrooms, walls, roof, etc) and only $9 per foot to finish a walk-out basement area, because he already had the walls and ceilings. Okay, it cost us a wee bit more than that $9 per foot to finish our basement out because of our add-ons (hello, full bathroom which cost me $3800) but it was so worth it. Now the funny thing is that we spend most all of our time where? Yep, in the basement. And we didn’t even plan on having one.
So if you are thinking about buying a house in Bella Vista, or if you are thinking about building and are looking for a vacant lot, then don’t shy away from the sloped lots. You can usually get the lots for cheaper and get a whole lot more house out of the deal. And after all, 90% of the lots in Bella Vista are sloped, so consider putting that 90% to work for you.
And if you are looking for a Bella Vista lot or if you have one to sell, then please visit my Bella Vista lots blog for assistance.