Contact at least 3 general contractors to get a bid and get it in writing. Chances are the estimates will vary greatly. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Then, get references and really call them. Lastly, make sure that they are licensed. Don't cut corners and don't take chances. You'll be happy you spent the time to check them out. Basements that are finished really help sell a home. It didn't used to always be that way but, more and more, buyers require it. They don't mind a smaller home, as long as they have somewhere to "escape". Living is SLP is an ideal spot, but with it comes smaller homes. Best of luck!
Realtors always think in terms of resale and investment. You really want to "invest" the appropriate amount of money so that the house will bring you the best possible return on your investment. You can always realize incremental savings on individual items, but your overall budget should be based on the caliber & price of the property "above grade."
I think it's important NOT to overbuild the basement compared to the main floors. For an extreme example, you shouldn't put a $75k basement into a $100k house! At the same time, you don't want to skimp on important features -- a nice bathroom is at the top of that list. I like to use a 10% rule: If you have a $250k house, $25k in the basement is appropriate. On a $750k house, a $75k basement is appropriate. Every dollar above that will have diminishing returns. So, just like swimming pools, you can add more but you probably won't get it back when you sell. I also agree with the $30/foot "ballpark", but that varies widely from location to location. Plus, contractors are VERY hungry in certain markets right now and are often willing to work for much less.
Things I think are important to keep in mind:
- Ceiling height around ducts & plumbing
- Making sure you have enough HVAC & electrical
- Natural lighting (i.e. an egress window or two)
- Maybe another bath (depending on how many you have)
Basement remodeling in Potomac MD is a very important step, you need to be very careful, select your contractor base on the referral and references, and do the homework before commitment, read your remodeling contract very carefully and local contractors in Potomac, Rockville, Bethesda, Gaithersburg and Chevy Chase will know that, the expectation and license regulation as well as the other responsibility that goes with that.
The area that will appreciate the most will be; Germantown, Silver Spring, Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Potomac, Derwood, Rockville and Kensington Maryland overall most the area will appreciate too.