Should I convert my garage to a master bedroom?

Asked by Portland Joe, Portland, OR Mon Jul 2, 2012

Looking for opinions on converting a 2 car garage to a master bedroom. There is a bathroom connected to our laundry room that we would make our master ensuite. The house has one of the front 2 car garages, meaning the garage sticks out from the house. It is currently a 3 bedroom 2.5 bathroom. If we decided to sell would this be a good thing or would keeping the garage be better? The garage is already heated (was like that when we bought it). Any thoughts? Thanks!

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Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker/Owner ~ Exclusive Buyers Agent ~ ABR, CEBA’s answer
Carla Muss-J…, , Portland, OR
Tue Jul 3, 2012
Go ahead and do what you want, it's your home. And frankly, "If we [you] decided to sell" is the key here. "If" isn't going to do you any good at this point since you're talking future plans. I deal in the here and now. So in the future, who knows . . . maybe in 10 years, if you decide to sell, Portland's shift and trends will be homes with converted areas because cars are so dated and the public transportation system won't require car-dependence.

Houses sell and there is really no absolutes. No matter if a property has a garage, no garage, a converted area -- they sell if they are priced right (for condition, location and market).

Do what you want to do because there is no "IF" about you living there. You do.

But, if you do decide to convert the garage do it right, get it done professionally (because there is nothing like a crappy garage conversion as a buyer's turn off) and pull permits. No buyer is going to want to deal with an unpermitted room or DIY converted garage. You don't want to deal with the city coming in and telling you to pull it down because you didn't get permits, either.
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Lana Lavenba…, Agent, Grants Pass, OR
Mon Jul 2, 2012
I would say you need to keep at least one garage - I know having a large home - esp. a nice master is great but losing a garage in an area like Portland where it is hard to park anyway, does not seem to have any advantages.
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Tom Inglesby, Agent, Portland, OR
Mon Jul 2, 2012
If your house is in the starter price range under $150,000 sellers do this to get more space but if you are in the average price range $235,000 or up I believe it is a mistake to take out the garage since it changes the floor plan. Many buyers don't like the master opening off a laundry or a living room and what are the neighbors homes like? The upper price range also does not have a laundry in the bath room. Has this change been done to others in your neighborhood? . Many times it is better investment in the long run to move and get what you want with interest rates at under 4%. Good Luck, Tom Inglesby
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Kathy Mittel…, Agent, Hixson, TN
Mon Jul 2, 2012
To increase the bedrooms in your home to 4 but not have a garage would be a mistake. So many buyers are happy to look for a 3 bed, 2 bath home so you are already in the pool of most popular no. of beds and baths. I find a garage is usually a must have by buyers or a welcome bonus and would definitely help your house sell. If you yourself would like a master bedroom suite and need more space for your family, then consider adding on from a different part of your home and if that is impossible, look into the pros and cons of selling your current house and moving into a home that will give you the space you desire. Good luck.
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Darrell D. D…, Agent, Schertz, TX
Mon Jul 2, 2012
So, you are considering changing your home froma 3/2.5 with 2 car garage to a 4/2.5 with no garage? Without knowing the square footage compared to your neighbors, the availability of garages in your neighborhood, etc, I would say if you need the additional space, then you should consider moving.

I don't think you will increase the value anywhere near what it will cost, and like my colleague stated, they are usually very personalized in needs. I know I have buyers that will not look at a home without a garage, so it may actually work against you.
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Linda Heinri…, Agent, Lake Oswego, OR
Mon Jul 2, 2012
I would definitely keep the garage. Most people do not like conversions as they are very personalized. Plus, I have never seen anyone get anywhere near what they put into these conversions out of them. If you need more space you would be better served selling your home and buying something larger that will give you the desired living spaces. Sell the great benefits of your home as it is - improvements you will see a return are paint, curb appeal, updated lighting, kitchen & baths. Good luck.
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