When making improvements to your home, it is always a good idea to consider not only how those changes will make your life easier, but also how they will affect the value of your property. Even if you are not planning on moving and selling your house anytime soon, you may need to refinance and building equity on your home should stay on top of your mind. Adding a garage is one of these improvements that are on the pricier side (usually around $20,000, depending on where you are located) and may cause pose to homeowners considering it.
Although you can never recoup 100% of the cost of an improvement, a garage can make your life extremely convenient. But does it add to your home value?
The short answer is yes. Garage additions have a cost to value return flirting around 65% depending on the years. If you are planning to put your property on the market shortly, you may want to think twice. However, if you are planning on living in your house for several years, you will be able to benefit from the added square footage, the possibility to store excess possession, and, of course, park your vehicle(s) indoor to help reduce wear and tear.
Although adding a garage may not bump up the value of your property to the same amount, there is another thing to consider: not having a garage when most of the comparable properties have one may decrease the value of your home by more than it would cost to add one. When appraisers determine the value of the house, they use similar dwellings in the same neighborhood that sold recently and add or decrease a particular amount depending on the features of each comparable. If you live in an area where most houses have a garage, and it is considered a very desirable feature, potential buyers may be reluctant to purchase it and end up leaning towards a different property.
Besides, if you live in a region where the climate can be harsh, or where having a car is necessary like a suburb or a rural area, potential buyers may not consider your home entirely. It is also true if your house has a garage, but the feature might be too small compared to others. Older homes for example often have garages that are too small to store an average sized modern vehicle, because they are too short, or the opening door might be too low. If other properties in the area you live in have two or three-car garages, but your property only has room for one, you may want to consider upgrading to a larger one.
A good rule of thumb when deciding on whether or not investing in any improvement for your property is to keep in mind which homes a potential buyer would look at. Consider what would their priorities be: for example, putting marble countertops in a house located in a lower-end neighborhood would not add value, no matter how much the homeowners paid for it. On the other hand, if comparable homes have a garage but yours does not, adding one would be an excellent investment.