Home Buying in 50312>Question Details

Mrs.smith, Home Buyer in Des Moines, IA

Does no garage mean resale will be impossible?

Asked by Mrs.smith, Des Moines, IA Wed May 6, 2009

My husband and I are relocating to Des Moines. We recently saw a house we love. It's perfect (great neighborhood, beautiful 3 story house, etc.) except that it doesn't currently have a functioning garage. The home was built in 1923 and originally had a 1 car garage tucked under the kitchen however, it is now used as basement/storage and the original garage opening has been shrunk.

Our real estate agent hasn't been helpful in helping us figure out the resale implications of the current lack of garage (no good comps, etc.), so it's tough to figure out 1) whether the lack of a current garage should be a deal-breaker for us or 2) what we should offer. We're currently thinking of shaping an offer with some contingency regarding converting the garage back (cost estimates, permits required, etc.) So, the bottom line is we love the house but don't know how much a gamble this would be.

Help the community by answering this question:


There are several factors to this question. If there is an alley access to the home and possibly an area to build a garage in the future, then I would say no it doesn't hurt the resale if you buy it correctly. Look at the comps in this area that are similar in square footage, style, year built etc. If they have a garage, possibly not attached then your agent should be able to ajust the price or the value of the home you want to put an offer on. Usually for a two car garage I would adjust $10,000. to the price if it is not already adjusted by the listing agent. In the future if you do decide to buy I would strongly try and put a garage on. If there is no way to do so, then adjust the price for no garage, but once again it could already be adjusted compaired to other homes in the area. I hope this helps. It may take longer to sell in the future, but there is a buyer for every home if it is priced correctly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 22, 2009
Not having a garage WILL affect your resale. Depending on how long the place has been on the market, chances are the sellers are already aware of the fact. If you love the house, buy it but make adjustment in the offer price for the lack of the garage so you can add one before you sell. Would be helpful to attach an estimate for a 2 stall to be built with your offer. It's concerning that you haven't seen good comps for the area because how will you know if adding the garage will price you out of the market for the area? By possibly contacting some recently prurchased property owners in the neighborhood, you may find out where their appraisals came in or call local appraisors to find out what their adjustment would be for a garage in the area. Good Luck!-John
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 9, 2009
YES!. having a garage in our central Iowa market is a huge plus. Not only does it bring about a 10K increase in value, it also makes it much more desirable to the buyers when you go to sell it. If you found a hous ethat you love with out a garage. You could get a 2 car garage built for around 12k.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 1, 2009
I'm "just" another home buyer in Des Moines (not an agent), but just to give you another buyer's perspective, we're not even considering properties that don't have a 2 car garage. With all the snow that Des Moines gets in the winter, even detached garages would be a real hassle -- I imagine how much of a pain it would be to be going back and forth with groceries in the snow, particularly with 2 kids. We've dismissed a few houses that even had a 1-car attached garage, or 2-car detached but removed from the house with no breezeway. Although buyers have to expect "garage issues" (tuck-unders, 1 car, detached) when looking in the older areas of town, there seem to be plenty that DO have 2-car attached garages, even among the older homes. If you consider the home, I would strongly suggest budgeting to build a 2-car garage with covered breezeway into the house -- I would think you'd see that money back in resale.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 25, 2009
No! There's a buyer for every home - you're considering it - so someone else will as well. I do, however, believe it would make it a little easier to resell that home someday if you built a garage if there's room - which it sounds like there is. Your agent should find comparable properties With garages - and then you structure your offer accordingly... Hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 13, 2009
It doesn't mean it will be impossible but you can rest assured that it will impact the saleability of the property. There are trade off's with some properties that help potential buyers to overlook a home's limitations. If this home has appeal and features that will help future buyers to see beyond this flaw it may not be considered a major concern.

Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 13, 2009
I think that this is a neighborhood specific question. In doing comps I usually put a figure of
$5,000 for a garage however in some neighborhoods there is money avaliable through a private non-profit organization for doing improvements like either building a new garage or
fixing the old tuck under. For me, if everything else fits, lack of a garage should not be a deal breaker for you it's a realitively easy fix. There are also loans specific to making home
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 13, 2009
Hello Mrs. Smith,

It really depends on the buyers needs when re-selling the house. With that said most buyers place a medium to high importance on having that space to park their vehicles or for the additional storage. I have had estimates done before for a two car datached garage for $20,000 to $30,000 given materials. I would reccomend having a contractor come estimate that cost for you.

I am not familar with the nieghboorhood or house but will say it would be a wise investment for future re-sale.

Best regards,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 6, 2009
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