Garages, although usually used as parking and storage areas, can be transformed into something the owner will find more useful, such as an added room or a workshop.
Converting a garage into something else, however, greatly affects the overall value of the property. Depending on certain factors, a converted garage can either add to the property’s value at resale, or subtract from it.
While many realtors say a garage conversion doesn’t automatically add value to a property, many of them also say that it’s on a case to case basis. Some conversions add great value, and some don’t.
Here are some factors that will help you understand how a garage conversion affects your property’s resale value.
Permits and Building Codes
Before converting your garage, you will need to contact your city’s Zoning Department for information regarding your planned conversion.
You will need to secure a garage conversion permit before starting the work. What’s more, your converted space must be built according to building codes and local ordinances.
Failure to secure permits, and non-compliance with building codes, will almost always lead to a decreased value. Make sure to secure permits and work according to code.
Parking and storage space
Your garage serves as both parking spaces for your car and storage space for some items that you can’t store anywhere else in the home, like air compressors and other equipment. This changes when you convert your garage.
Generally, buyers will look for a parking space for their car, as well as ample storage space for their belongings. You will need to come up with a plan to address these things before converting your garage.
While your garage-worthy items can be stored in an outdoor storage shed, your car will need another parking space. Unless your garage is wide enough to accommodate both your car and your planned converted space, it might not be a good idea to convert it.
What’s more, if you aren’t allowed to park on the street, or have no other convenient place to park a vehicle, you’ll lose precious parking space both you and your future buyers will need.
The effect your garage conversion has on your property’s value also depends on the neighborhood where your home is located.
Homes in lower-priced neighborhoods can benefit from the added space a converted garage brings. Done properly, converted garages can help increase the overall value of homes in these locations, and will make the house more attractive to buyers.
Homes in higher-end neighborhoods, on the other hand, might not benefit from a converted garage. While the current owner, who converted it, might benefit from it, most buyers in general won’t benefit in the same way.
Most buyers in the higher end home category do not look at the square footage added by a converted garage. They would, however, look at the home’s overall condition, which includes checking the quality of the converted space.
Speaking of quality, garage conversions with a more seamless look and feel are better than those that look like makeshift rooms or additions. How a garage conversion is done dictates the value it adds to your home.
Converting a garage into an added room, for example, involves more than just taking out that garage door and replacing it with a wall. Homeowners will need to update the converted space’s features to match the main house.
The floor will need to be raised and new flooring must be installed; walls must be decorated to match the look and feel of the main home’s interior; heating and cooling systems must be installed to provide seamless comfort; and so on.
Homeowners will also need to update the exteriors to match the existing home exteriors. They will need to replace garage door panel with new siding to make for a seamless look. Driveways also have to be demolished and replaced with landscaping.
As mentioned, the value a converted garage adds to a home depends on a case to case basis. While some might not want a home with a converted garage, there are some buyers who will be willing to pay more for it.
Simply put, your converted garage will be very attractive to the right buyer. Some buyers will not want a home where they will have to spend for a new garage door installation. Some, on the other hand, will love the features your converted garage has.
A final note
As a homeowner, you must keep in mind that you are converting the garage for you and your family’s needs. While it’s great to think of getting a higher resale value, remember that your home is not just about how much you can sell it.
It’s also about how you can benefit from it while you’re there. Happy converting!