The Value of a Garage

What is the value of a garage?

As we enter the season that brings torrents of falling pine straw or snow, you might notice people using their garages more than past months. For me, this brought a lot of random, but connected thoughts — what is the value of a garage? Is it better to have one garage door or two? How much is the value difference for homes with one car garages or two? How much value do you lose or add to a home if you convert the garage into a living space? Is it cheaper to pay for a storage unit or use your garage… if you have a storage unit you can keep your car protected from weather and that might reduce maintenance costs but by how much? Which is a better value: having an attached garage or a detached one? How about homes that have carports and then a storage shed… what is the value difference?

So, I did some research, poured over blog posts, professional opinions, and even skimmed home ads from my local area. I found that the value of a garage is based on 1) personal preference and 2) the location. Below are some of the facts and opinions I found:

For the most part, car and homeowners agree that garages or carports are almost a necessity. As far as the monetary value, dependent on your location, garages tend to add between $5,000-$15,000. The cost of building a detached garage, however, can easily be greater than a year’s worth of education at a private college. Which lead me to the conclusion that most buyers or renters look for homes already equipped with protection for their car.

According to blog posts, open forums, and social media, I found that many people will use half of a two car garage for storage, are content with a two car garage even if they have 3 or 4 vehicles, and that if the garage is used to protect vehicles, people prefer one large door because it lessens the possibility of garage accidents.

The one question I had but couldn’t find an easy answer to was how much value you can add to a home by converting the garage into an apartment or if the added value would outweigh the value lost by altering the space if you decided to sell.

Overall, it seems homeowners and/or renters expect garage units and if looking at homes will often prefer the attached garage over detached, and that while a garage may increase the monetary value of a house, the intrinsic or emotional value is equal, if not more.