I have an older garage that is unusable for a car due to size. Will adding it to my yard space add value? All garages in my area are small and unused

Asked by Murpht71, Long Beach, CA Sat Feb 18, 2012

The garage is one stall and needs a new roof. We are thinking of removing the driveway and enclosing it within our yard to give more space, then converting the garage into a sitting area of sorts. Most folks in our neighborhood park on the street as garages are small or absent.

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Amiee L Gray’s answer
Amiee L Gray, Agent, Portland, OR
Sat Feb 18, 2012
It would depend on where you live and how big your backyard is currently A very important criteria in home searches for many Buyers is a garage. In many cases, homes w/out them are overlooked simply because they lack a garage...period. By removing it, you will not be able to replace it as current code will more than likely not allow it. My recommendation is do not tear it down as it adds more future market value to your home by keeping it than the value from the additional square footage to your yard.

Amiee L Gray
Principal Broker
Re/Max Equity Group
Web Reference:  http://www.enjoylifehere.com
1 vote
Murphy Team, Agent, Portland, ME
Wed Sep 17, 2014
A garage will add value to your property and the fact that others in your neighborhood do not have one makes it even more important for you to keep it. I would put my money into the new roof and structure of the garage, keep the curb cut and have my property stand out from the rest.
0 votes
O. Kheir, Agent, Daytona Beach Shores, FL
Thu Mar 1, 2012
Your garage as tiny as it may be could provide valuable storage space for your buyer. Even a small storage unit which is offsite may cost $100 per month, not counting the time and gas to get back and forth to the storage unit. I would keep it as is. If you want an additional revenue stream, consider renting it out to one of your trusted neighbors as a storage unit for all their junk. It could offset your taxes or yard maintenance expenses.
0 votes
Terry Bell, Agent, Santa Rosa, CA
Sun Feb 19, 2012
Before you remove something that is probably on your property tax records, I would check what the permit fees would be to rebuild a new garage from scratch! If you decide to sell in the future that's a question that the buyers are going to be looking at. While a bigger yard may be more useful to you now, the question is, if you do sell the house in the future, will you be making it more difficult to sell, or lowering it's value as mentioned by others here. I would think you can accomplish both by thinking of creative ways of turning your garage into a sitting area, by opening one side with french doors and making a patio area, might greatly increase the value of the house!
0 votes
Carla Muss-J…, , Portland, OR
Sun Feb 19, 2012
While some folks think that having a garage will add value and removing it will detract, that's not entirely true. If the COMPARABLE properties have no garage, or are useless as "garages" then the comparable market value will be reflective. You can spend money on the garage and get a new roof or . . . what's the condition of the bathrooms / kitchen in your home? Updating those rooms are proven to add value. The toss up: get the roof fixed on a garage that is basically not being used other than storage . . . OR . . . use the same money and update the interior AND update the yard space. Hmmmm . . . .

Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker/Owner
EBA Portland, LLC
0 votes
The Stephen…, Agent, Portland, OR
Sun Feb 19, 2012
Anyway to fix it up into a nice shed or "raise the roof" and create a full fledged garage? Garages still matter these days, even if people don't use it for their car they do want them to keep their stuff. People need the space. Best of luck.
0 votes
Lana Lavenba…, Agent, Grants Pass, OR
Sun Feb 19, 2012
Since that is the norm for Portland that should be a good idea! Make sure the space gets totally cleaned up and reused as you mentioned or at least looking really nice so it does add to the curb appeal and not make people wonder why you took it away. You may want to add a storage shed some where though for people to store items that would notmally be stored in the garage.
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Kelly Gebler, Agent, Portland, OR
Sun Feb 19, 2012
An appraiser will add between $2500 - $5000 to your homes value for a single car garage....even if it's small. They also value the lot size based on the total acreage - which won't change if you remove the garage. You'd actually be reducing your value by removing the garage. Even if the garage isn't big enough to park a vehicle, I'm guessing you've got it full of things like lawnmowevers, bikes, tools, Christmas decorations, etc. A new home homeowner will want that space for all the same reasons. It makes for great storage. I would definitely recommend replacing the roof, however. Sounds like the condition would not pass an inspection or appraisal.

Kelly Gebler, Principal Broker
Cornerstone Group NW @ Keller Williams Realty
0 votes
Dave Sutton, Agent, Portland, OR
Sat Feb 18, 2012
Hold on. Cars are getting smaller - Mini coopers, Smartcars and more...
0 votes
Marge Bare, Agent, Portland, OR
Sat Feb 18, 2012
Are you sure they're not being used at all? Bikes, storage? I find buyers many times that want a garage or basement for many reasons other than a car. I would agree with everything Tom said, but just wondered if you had other options for storage? Something to consider...
best to you
Web Reference:  http://www.betterhomesnw.com
0 votes
Tom Inglesby, Agent, Portland, OR
Sat Feb 18, 2012
Appraisers don't value them since they are not attached to the house. You can always jack up and rebuild in the same location but if you take down you will have to relocate further in off the property line of you want to rebuild later. Your choice but it would fence and leave off street parking along house. The idea to use as a sitting area is popular and a good choice. There are blocks that you can put in ground and plant grass in and drive over them if you want to maintain a hard driving service in the future and it still is green. Good luck to you. Tom inglesby, broker
Web Reference:  http://www.equitygroup.com
0 votes
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