When Does a Garage Decrease the Value of a Home?

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Right now, the real estate market in the United States is hot. Sellers see their properties snatched up quickly and at a higher price. The strong demand and the limited supply are causing bidding wars among interested buyers who only drive up the value of houses for sale. It is very much a seller’s market, and, until now, many buyers are still on the hunt for their dream homes.

But, signs are suggesting that the real estate market is starting to cool off. After experiencing a bump during the pandemic, home prices have held steady from June to July this year at a median of $385,000. While it is still 10.3 percent higher compared to the same time last year, the growth has been slower.

The cost of owning a house is not about to suddenly and significantly drop. The real estate market is still very hot, just not as hot as it was in 2020. The growth of home prices may accelerate later this year with the rise of the more contagious and deadly Delta variant, which brought back some pandemic restrictions. Economists say that the work from home trend, which many people prefer, will influence buyers to upgrade to bigger houses.

However, every investor wants to get as much as they can from an investment.

Key to Increasing a Home’s Value: Garage

Adding a garage is one of the best renovation projects every homeowner can take on. Most people own a car nowadays. Even if a buyer does not have a car, a garage is still an additional space that can be utilized as storage, office, or gym.

It is not an expensive addition, either. Homeowners can get oak-framed garages built that are functional, increase the property’s aesthetics, and are more affordable than other structures.

Many buyers will walk away from a house without a garage. On the other hand, houses with garages have a higher return on investment. According to a report from 2013, the addition of a basic freestanding garage fetched 63.7 percent ROI on average.

However, owning a garage is not enough. A well-kept garage or one that has been renovated will receive more attention from buyers, but a bad one can make them walk away. Here are some things to avoid to prevent lowering the property’s value.

A Garage is Not Storage

garage clutter

Making the garage a dumping ground for all the things that the household no longer uses is a sure way to lower its value. It is difficult to see the potential of a space if there is clutter around.

Buyers need a little help to realize how they can utilize a space. That is why staging home matters a lot in selling. If you use the garage as storage, move your unused furniture and extra belongings into a storage unit. Better yet, organize all your stuff and install pegboards or shelves. This is an easy and inexpensive renovation project that will make the garage more presentable.

A Garage Is Not a Home Office or Gym

The owner of a house can use their garage any way they want to. The garage is a versatile space that typically has more room than other parts of the house. Many homeowners transform it into an additional living space. During the pandemic, people also used their garage as an office or a gym.

The buyer, however, might not want a home office or gym. Most of the time, they want a garage that they can use to park their cars. Turning the space into something else might lower its value. Homeowners who plan to sell their homes in the future need to reconsider renovations that will transform the garage into another living space.

Any additions should be removable. If, for example, the homeowner needs to use the garage as a work-from-home office, they should refrain from installing furniture that cannot easily be removed. Opt for rugs rather than wall-to-wall carpeting to add warmth and coziness into the space. Buyers would not want to spend money on turning the space back into a garage.

A Garage Still Needs to Look Good

The exterior of the garage matters because it boosts the property’s curb appeal. It is one of the first things they see when they arrive at the property and, therefore, informs their expectations of the house. Moreover, it is a reflection of the care that the previous owner invested into the property. A garage that already looks dilapidated is a red flag for home buyers.

Buyers want a garage, and they are willing to pay more for a house that has it. However, a garage that is not well-maintained can lower the value of the property. Before selling, make sure to keep these tips in mind.

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