The Orange County (Calif.) Register staffer Marilyn Kalfus reports on how homeowners are "digging down," creating unique subterranean spaces that make their homes more livable and increase resale values.

But these aren't your grandparents' basements; more akin to a boutique hotel, the trend is toward home theaters, full gyms, bathrooms and showers: 

Subterranean levels are an emerging trend to the south of Binder’s neighborhood, in Cameo Shores, where excavation below terraced streets is picking up steam. Builders there believe the new configurations – a garage entry on the street below the home and underground spaces for amenities such as theaters, bars, massage rooms and deep outdoor courtyards – will increasingly catch on and transform the neighborhood.

At the very least. It’s also a way to build a bigger house without violating height restrictions or blocking the neighbors’ views, and, real estate agents say, it’s a way to command a higher selling price later on.
Read more >