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would you buy a house without a garage?

Posted by marjen (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 23, 10 at 8:30

Ok here is the question. Two years ago we were going to build a new house, but got cold feet and backed out (thank god was at height of market) and decided to remodel instead. We had a garage that was 20x20, barely big enough to hold 2 cars if it was clean, and unable to fully open doors to the cars so it was not really a great garage. We decided to turn it into a dining room/sitting room instead since we did not have a dining room and completely remodeled the kitchen as well since it did not need to be a dining room/kitchen any longer. It added about 400 square feet of living space and also allowed us to add a deck off the main level, something we did not have before. (yard is sloped).

So fast forward to now and we are considering making a move and wondering what kind of obstacles we will face trying to sell the house. Most houses have a garage where I live (northeast). So if you wanted to buy a house and loved the other aspects of it, would NOT have a garage keep you from buying?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

It really would depend on what place in life the buyer was in....for example right now, no I would not buy a home without a garage, I just have way too much "stuff" (bikes, lawn care, cars, tools, etc.) that need a place. When I was a first time home buyer I might have if the price was right. When we were purchasing our first home back in the 70's we didn't have a big budget. We found we could either purchase a home with a garage or a home with a basement. Homes with both basements and garages were just out of our reach. We bought the home without a garage because we figured we could add a garage at a later date but we couldnt' add a basement.

Your home might appeal to first time home buyers trying to get into the market, especially if there is room to add a garage later.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

I just did. I live in the northeast, too, so having to dig out our cars was definitely a consideration. But we fell in love with the house and the location. There was a nice big shed in the backyard, so that helped alleviate any anxieties about where we would put the lawn mower, etc...What I realized during our recent home search was that there is a buyer for just about any home. Homes with no back yards that we would not have considered, have new owners living in them. Just price it right!


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

Obviously, lots of people buy houses without garages. In most urban areas, there are no garages. However, if most homes in your area have garages, then not having one will be seen as a minus by most buyers. You'll need to price accordingly.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

Interesting. At the time we figured a beautiful new kitchen plus the extra living space outweighed a small semi useless (except to hold junk) garage, but now it has me worried. I have considered adding one (there is room), but not sure I would actually recoup any of the cost so not sure it would be worth it. I am thinking better to maybe cut our losses now and while the market is down build our "final" house. We built this in 2000 and honestly at the time I never thought I would be here 10 years later. I love lots of what we have done with the place but dont like the yard at all, I hate working outside lol. LOVE building and remodeling but me and weeds/slopes/etc dont mix!


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

Yes, if it had space to build one and it meets all set-backs etc. then not having a garage wouldn't be a big deal.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

I would prefer a garage, especially in the winter.

A house without one would give me pause.
And if it came down to two houses, the house with the garage would win.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

Before we sold our house, we had debated enlarging our single car garage to a two-car, since all of the surrounding houses had 2-car. We never did, and sold it with the one car garage. Oddly enough, the buyers ended up converting the garage into another room. Now the house has no garage.

I wouldn't buy a house without a garage. I live in a northern state and the digging out the car and scraping I would prefer to be a thing of the past!


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

I would not buy a house without a garage, we actually park both our cars in the garage all the time. I would not want to need to store my car outside all the time. I live in Southern California, I can't imagine doing that in snow areas.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

I'd buy your house if there's room to build a garage in a logical location on the lot (near the kitchen would be my preference). If you are on the market at the same time as a comparable house that HAS a good garage, you'd have to price accordingly.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

We recently moved to New England from the Pacific Northwest. There we had a 3 car attached garage. When I was looking at houses on-line, I was amazed at how many here did not have garages particularly considering winters here. Since my parents live with me, not having a garage was a deal breaker. I didn't want my Mom to have to trudge through the snow or halfway across the yard to get to her car. Many homes had detached garages across the yard. That wouldn't work for us. We ended up buying a 230 year old colonial with a newer 3 car attached garage. Eventually we will rebuild the barns that had been on the house and do away with the newer garage!


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

Thanks all. If we put to market its going to be interesting. I dont think there will be anything comparable in the price range. The kitchen is truly stunning and the new dining/sitting room added a lot of space. Downside is the yard and lack of garage. Honestly if the house sat on a different piece of land i would work with it as I really like the inside of the house. We own a lot of land (2.4 acres) but big slope from front to back yard. Not crazy about the backyard being about 10 ft below the walkout basement. Makes for a lot of work.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

What is typical for the area?


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

The OP states:
"Most houses have a garage where I live (northeast). "


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

I think its really all about function. I love my house without a garage. I have a wonderful two car carport with uncovered space for a third car. It is under the house and protected on two sides. I don't have to scrape...my car doesn't even get wet. That said, I also have two "garage" style storage rooms in the basement immediately off of the carport. That's where the lawnmower, bikes etc. live.

It sounds like you're thrilled with the new space and I imagine a buyer would be too. Would it be possible to put in a carport? Is there convenient storage elsewhere for lawnmowers and garagy kind of stuff?

It is really nice to have parking that is at least covered...hailstorms, hot sun.

I'm in the midwest...plenty of snow and weather. I love the carport!


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

What Susanne said "What I realized during our recent home search was that there is a buyer for just about any home."

I'd rather have the nice new kitchen and sitting room than a garage, especially if there is room to eventually add it or some sort of snow shelter. The acreage on your lot is a bonus, even if it is a sloping lot. All our acreage is/was sloping and that's what a dozer does. Many areas of it now are terraced, and I find the different levels "interesting'.

You may have to price it high enough to put on a garage allowance in escrow, to hold that possibility out to an eventual buyer, or price it to reflect no garage now. I don't think it's a deal breaker, though the same issue dissuaded a couple lookers on the last house I sold.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

If there is room for one you could get a couple of estimates for putting a double car garage in. You could show them to anyone who is put off by not having a garage. Maybe it wouldn't be as expensive as people would expect.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

Depends on the code. If someone converts a garage to a living quarters, and your code requires a garage, you have to convert the room back to the garage. That is Los Angeles County.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

If someone wants a garage, it's going to be problematic to even get them to come see the home. The most fantastic amazing kitchen in the world would not convince my husband to go look at a house without a garage. But as was said earlier, there are certainly people that would buy a house without a garage, but it has to be priced accordingly.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

Would we BUY a house without a garage? Never.

Would we LOOK at a house without a garage? Only to see if there was land to build one. And our offer would be about $20,000 less to cover the cost of building.

Having a fantastic kitchen does nothing to enable us to get out and get to work the morning after a huge nighttime snowfall.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

Yes, not having a garage would be a major factor in not buying your house. We wouldn't even look at the house to see what's inside. Having garages is the norm in your area as you stated. I believe it will adversely affect you when you decide to sell. Either by taking longer to sell then the norm houses around you or by people deducting a great deal of money off of your asking price. Not having one is a drawback in my opinion. Do you have room to add one on? You did say your lot was sloping. NancyLouise


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

Not only would i not purchase your home, but if the next door home was for sale, i wouldn't buy it either..I don't like looking out my windows,across my yard, and see cars stacked up on the driveway...If you have a garage, USE it ..My last 2 neighborhoods, every home had a 2-3 car garage, and EVERYONE parked in the garage!!!!..The neighborhoods looked great!!!..i recall my 1st home, an older area,most homes had a detahced 1 car garage or none at all, and there were 3-4 cars stacked along every driveway,thought i was living in a urban area, yet it was the "burbs...


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

Wow, you don't want to see any cars in driveways? I must admit I've driven through those sorts of neighborhoods during my first house hunt and frankly, they give me the creeps. It looks abandoned.

Most people in my area have a one or two car garage and I know one family that parks in it, and they only park one of their cars in it. All the rest are for storage.

We carport people in the neighborhood actually end up with covered parking for the cars...little ironic?

I wouldn't mind a garage, but there's no point if its not a functional garage. How does a garage help you get out in the snow...as opposed to covered parking? You still have to shovel!


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

"The OP states:
"Most houses have a garage where I live (northeast). ""

Pretty fuzzy description.

"Most" usually means something more than 50%.

If 90+% have a garage you will be at a disadvantage.
If it is 50/50 not so much.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

Just a note on the big picture....

You took 1 asset and converted it into a different asset. 400 sq ft of living space + deck + remodeled kitchen is worth more than a garage pretty much anywhere in the country.

Example - In my neighborhood, $200 per sq ft is about average. For 400sq ft at $200 sq ft, that would be $80,000. Add a deck and a kitchen remodel and you are at $100k+. A nice garage might be worth $25k. That means if you spent under $75k on the remodel, you would come out ahead. Your house wouldn't be worth as much as a home with the upgrades and a garage, but it would be worth more than a home without the upgrades.

Of course, all those numbers are location specific. If you live in an area with low cost per sq ft and already had a large home, then the extra footage wouldn't be as valuable. On the flip side, if you live in a more expensive area and had a smaller home to begin with, 400 sq ft could be a huge value.

Either way, a garage is something that many people have on the "must have" list. Your buyer pool will shrink because of that. However, a deck and a nice kitchen is on others "must have" list. The question is what is more valuable in your particular location.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

Well, for me, it depends. Hopefully your garage conversion was done very well so that no one could ever tell that the area was a garage.

I find it to be off-putting when someone just bricks off the garage opening, renovates the space inside, and voila, a new room. It is so obvious from the outside that it used to be a garage, it just doesn't work. I'm not saying yours is like that, but when I think garage conversion, that's what pops in my head.

We don't have a garage because we are in a very urban area and there is just no room. Sure would be nice though...with the ton of snow we have in Cleveland! I would never buy a home again without a garage.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

For me, if the driveway, still came in by the new rooms, I would not buy the house. If the drive has been relocated, and there is room to put a garage, then I would consider it, as long as the price took into consideration the lack of a garage, especially in your area. In my area, the lack of garage is not important, but a carport is very important, just to keep vehicles out of the hot sun.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

If you or a buyer added a garage, how does the house compare with the rest of the neighborhood? Would it be overimproved for the area?


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

I live in an area where the vast majority of houses have a garage. I would venture to say that few if any are built without a garage. So the (maybe 10-15%) of houses that don't have garages are houses that have converted the garage into living space.

And that brings up the comment above:
Hopefully your garage conversion was done very well so that no one could ever tell that the area was a garage.
Very few of the garage conversions I've seen meet that criteria.

I would not buy a house without a garage. We do park our cars in the garage and store stuff in there so no way I'd want to live without one. However, the houses that don't have garages do sell around here. I have no idea how the lack of garage affects the price but I believe the attraction is the additional living space that the house next door or down the street might not have.

So of course it totally depends on the priorities of the buyer. Even with a garage, many people don't bother parking in it so a garage is clearly not that important to some.

There are going to be some people who won't even bother looking at your house with no garage. I'm one of those people.

OTOH, I have an acquaintance who bought a house with no garage and no attic (we don't have basements here either). They fell in love with the layout of the house (which was admittedly very cool) and decided to forgo the storge space they were losing. I think the house was on the market for a long time before they bought it though, and I think they got a good deal on the price. But the buyer WAS out there!!


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

Here in the northeast, there are a fair number of houses without garages (mine among them). There's quite a bit of older housing stock that was built before car ownership was common--in my neighborhood, which was built up between 1920-1930, the houses originally didn't have driveways, let alone garages. There is barely room to fit a driveway between the houses now. And some people have sacrificed half of their tiny backyard to build a garage. (It's a residential area in a large city.)

Someone looking for a new house will probably expect a garage, but might be satisfied if there is room to build one. Someone who is more flexible and is looking at both old and new houses will most likely not be deterred by the lack of a garage.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

marjen: Even if most of the houses in your neighborhood/town have garages, there are plenty of buyers in the northeast who know that a garage isn't standard. A house sans garage but with recent updates may appeal to first-time buyers. Just make sure you're priced accordingly to the comps with garages. I think living space prices better than unfinished garage space, so the added 400sq ft may help your home by being bigger.

We're in the market to buy, and we actually prefer a detached carriage (carriage house) or space to build one. I despise attached garages.

Camlan is right, most housing stock in northeast pre-dates vehicle ownership. In my area (metro boston) most houses don't have them. In my neighborhood, considered "new construction" in town at 30yo, only 10 of 25 houses have garages. And of the 10, 8 are used as storage space and vehicles won't fit.

CMarlin20: Cleaning off a car after a snowstorm is no big deal. After the hour plus it takes to shovel my driveway, brushing off the car is a cool-down. Unless you park indoors all day everywhere you go, you're gonna deal with it anyways, what's once more? [And I'd take a snowstorm over an earthquake or brush fire any day :) ]


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

" In my area (metro boston) most houses don't have them. "

My relatives lived in Boston for many years.

It was a big deal to move from a triple decker in the North End to a double in Belmont and get a garage.

The less urban areas had space for garages, the city? You must be kidding.

It is VERY area specific.

Were else could guarding you shoveled out parking space rise to the attention of the mayor?


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

I inherited my parent's town house. It was built in the 20s. It had a brick paver drive down past the barn (yes it was in the city limits) and under the barn was a stable. LOL. Yes, they were still driving buggies in the twenties.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

Thanks all, lots of good info. I am considering adding a garage but just not sure its worth it. Might talk to a few realtors in town to get some opinions. I have plenty of space to add a garage. UNfortunately the spot I would love to build it does not work due to the slope, the foundation would be like 12 ft deep!. When I say most have a garage that means some older houses dont ALL new houses do. However many builders put small garages that barely fit cars, they mostly end up being used for junk. I am including a link to some pics I took during the remodel. Surprisingly dont seem to have any of it all done. It relly does not look like the room was tacked on, you cant really tell a garage was ever there.

Here is a link that might be useful: remodel


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

Wow, that's gorgeous!! I can't imagine anyone not wanting to buy it. I think it looks much better now than it did with the garage. I'm no expert on markets, but I would imagine an allowance toward a basic garage would up your competitive advantage if there are alot of houses for sale in your area. Then the new owner can decide where and how big they want the garage,...how fancy etc.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

There's no doubt that kitchen is gorgeous. And although I'd be drooling to have it anytime, it looks as if you're in suburbia where a two car garage is the norm. And although from interior shots you can't tell it was a garage, from the exterior you can clearly see that architecturally the space was meant as a garage. It even appears as if the dining room windows face the driveway?

I think talking to a local realtor to get a true perspective of how your lack of garage will impact sale in your area is a wise idea. In my area, even though you have an amazing kitchen, the lack of garage would seriously impact resale value. Good luck !


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

Tremendous kitchen and space you added..That said, i can't believe you removed a 2 car garage to do so...If it were a 1 car garage,i could see why you'd prefer the great kitchen and space,though i likley still wouldn't have done it...But to remove a 2 car garage,WOW!!!! And while you did a good job changing the exterior to hide the fact of it used to be a 2 car garage,it still is got the "structure look" of a 2 car garage,with a side entrance as opposed to straight in...I hope this doesn't come back to haunt you...Best of luck, and FWIW, i would NOT build a new garage,just lower the price


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

The were many reasons for removing the garage. First the space did not work. It was 20x20 exterior dimensions. It was VERY tight. With anything at all in it, you could not get cars in. The doors could not be opened all the way without hitting the walls, it just sucked. The 2nd reason, and a big one was, see that slope heading towards the house? Well when it really rained all the water we head right into the garage. Sometimes it would end up 3/4 of the way into the garage. Never went over the cement lip but still did not like all that water entering the space.
From an interior space standpoint we had no dining room. We had a dining area in the kitchen but that limited the kitchen to basically half the space and we really needed more. Living in the space. I personally love having the extra living space. But yea I hate not having a place for the lawn mower or to spread out my tools and work on woodworking projects. It was a trade off for sure.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

I think you did an amazing job with the kitchen redo. Who wants a front entrance to a kitchen, btw? A side door is fine and the norm. I do not think it gives the outside impression of a garage conversion. How do you handle the drainage issue though since it's now living space? Did you do regrade or drain work?

The last house I sold was a small cottage. The square footage of the house and the fact it had a small eat-in kitchen was a much more limiting factor than a garage.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

Your new kitchen is great but when I first looked at your pictures I didn't notice that the first two pictures were before pictures. I thought they looked nice, too. Your before kitchen was much better looking then many people's before kitchen.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

calliope, i was referring to the LOOK of the garage(now the new kitchen),it LOOKS like it has a side entrnace not a drive in straight entrance..I wasn't referring to the kitchen and any entrance it may have..My 3 car garage has the exact same look from the front..


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

The only problem with saying you will give them an allowance for a garage, is that when they do a search for houses with 2-car garages, yours won't even come up on their list.

Anne


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

I dont think I would offer an allowance. I would price the house less than I think it is worth due to no garage. I may test the waters a little bit if we decide we want to try and make the move. I have a couple friends who are realtors. Maybe we just throw it on the market and see what kind of feedback there is . I looked in the price range I would expect to place it in (400-500k) and every house there has a garage. BUT none have as much sq of living space, dedicated theater space, huge kitchen, multiple stone fireplaces, etc that our place has. Obviously it would be a roadblock but when we had it on the market briefly 2 years ago, the biggest complaint was no dining room, small kitchen, no real wood floors, things that all were addressed. People ALWAYS complain about some aspect of a house and it really amazes me how most people have no ability to look at a structure, its spaces and see what can be done with them. They see a grey wall and go wow its not white, no way I could live in a house with grey paint, lol.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

How does your home compare with others in your neighborhood in terms of size and price?


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

I also wouldn't give an allowance for a garage, since it highlights the fact that there isn't one. People will already know that; no need to rub it in. :) I think you have the right idea: price it based on comps (square footage-wise), then discount a bit for no garage. I suspect you'll end up not too far off where you would have been with no discount but only counting the old square footage. There's not much you can do about the buyers who search for only houses with garages.

I do think this is very location-specific, but where we live (in a medium-sized city), it isn't a given that a house has a garage, and many don't. Some have no off-street parking at all, some have driveways, and some have carports, which is a nice thing to have (especially if you live where it snows---it doesn't here). You could maybe put a carport up relatively cheaply, and then at least you could tick the box for covered parking. A buyer could tear it down and build a garage in its place if they wanted to. It might also be nice to get a shed, since you have the space. Most of our neighbors who don't have garages do have sheds for garden equipment and such.

My neighbor recently asked a local realtor what she thought the "markup" for a garage was around here---she guessed about $50K more for a house that has one (in an area where homes cost $350-$400/sf). And, notably, although most of our neighbors have cars, you don't *need* to have a car here---it's just a nice thing to have. That's quite different from areas where you must have a car to get around.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

LOL, Marjen, that's so funny and ironic. I was just thinking about how irritating some sellers are because they expect buyers to see through their clutter, deferred maintenance, and weird personal effects. I just thought it was ironic you brought that up, right when I was thinking about that from an opposite perspective!

I am NOT saying that's you at all - your home is GORGEOUS, I just thought it's funny I was thinking that right when I read your post! Good luck. If I had 500,000 I'd love that house. That is, by far, the best, most attractive garage conversion I have EVER seen.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

I wouldn't purchase a home with a one car garage, that would require demolition or expansion. I'd rather build a new 2 car garage altogether. But I wouldn't LIVE in a home without a garage.

If the house was priced right and it was feasible to build a garage, maybe. And one of the things I look for on a listing is that it has a two car garage. Three bedroom homes and two car garages are typically standard, I wouldn't consider anything less unless I came across my dream home priced right as stated earlier.

And I agree with the previous poster about parking vehicles on a driveway where all neighbors and passersby can see. I'd worry that when you sold your home, if I'd be stuck looking at new neighbors with a junker vehicle parked there all the time. And where do you put all your garden tools, lawn mower, snow blower, bikes, tools, etc.? My house would be full of junk.

We live on a beautiful tree lined street, with all garages set back behind the homes. Some newer neighbors park at the end of their driveway instead of in their garage (no street parking here), and it looks "ghetto" for lack of a better term, like a rental property, and in my opinion it decreases the value of not only your home, but also the neighborhood.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

We live on a beautiful tree lined street, with all garages set back behind the homes. Some newer neighbors park at the end of their driveway instead of in their garage (no street parking here), and it looks "ghetto" for lack of a better term, like a rental property, and in my opinion it decreases the value of not only your home, but also the neighborhood.

Yikes.
I thought you all lived in the Land of the Free ?

Free as long as you conform to my sense of correct, eh?


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

I grew up in an inner-ring suburb, live in an urban area now (Cleveland), and previously lived in the exurbs. In all those communities, some people parked their cars in their driveways "in front of" their houses...and I have never noted it to be an issue...even the nice, expensive houses, people did it.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

I would want a garage but would be willing to build one if the price was right and there was room.

My thinking about parking in the driveway is if someone can afford a decent home, they wouldn't be driving a 'junk-bucket.' Unless you live in a ghetto, why should it bother anyone if there are cars in the driveway?


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

We live on a beautiful tree lined street, with all garages set back behind the homes. Some newer neighbors park at the end of their driveway instead of in their garage (no street parking here), and it looks "ghetto" for lack of a better term, like a rental property, and in my opinion it decreases the value of not only your home, but also the neighborhood.

To my comments above, Metaxa said:
Yikes.
I thought you all lived in the Land of the Free ?

Free as long as you conform to my sense of correct, eh?

---------Those are two separate thoughts rolled into one sentence. I said to me it looks ghetto. The comment about, "and it decreases the value of not only your home....." came from the fact that you have no garage, and all your neighbors do. The two comments weren't meant to be inclusive of eachother.

And yes, this is the 'land of the free', hence I am entitled to my own opinions when it comes to the appearance of a driveway with cars parked along them. Everyone else in the neighborhood uses their garage. You don't have to agree with me.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

^^^ I agree 100%..

Use your garage!!!! Cars parked along the driveway make a neighborhood look very urban..Even worse is when there are several parked bumper-to-bumper along the driveway..Fortunately,my current home and previous home people USED their garages,so i didn't get that "ghetto" feeling like i did in my 1st home in the 80's


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

You said, "It really does not look like the room was tacked on, you cant really tell a garage was ever there."

Are you KIDDING? Of course you can tell that space used to be a garage. I would not consider buying your house because:

1. You can tell the former garage was made over into a room(s).
2. There's no garage.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

It is a very nice remodel marjen, love the counters and the cabinets. But it does not make up for loosing the garage imo. From the outside view yep, you can tell that there was a garage there once. Do you still have the same driveway leading up to the windows or did you change where you park your cars? NancyLouise


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

I would never buy a home without a garage. Here in Florida it is very common to turn the garage into another bedroom or office. Usually, without permits. Did you pull permits? If not, most likely, you will get caught by the real estate agent with the disclosures. One thing about a garage is protecting your car from the elements and with cars being so expensive these days, a garage is a must. Good luck!


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

No way would I purchase a house without a garage. In fact, like some previous poster, I probably would not purchase a house that was next door to a no-garage house. It just screams CHEAP to me. I really dislike the look of cars parked outside. Luckily, most of our neighbors park in their garages.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

Having lived in apartments all my life, well, one did have underground parking, a garage was my main requirement. No scraping frost in the fall! Yippee!!!


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

So interesting to read the comments here. In my 39 years I have never heard anyone say that cars parked in a driveway looked "ghetto" or that not having a garage was "cheap". I grew up in a quiet upper class neighborhood with huge old victorians and while everyone had a one car garage most used them for storage, not their cars...and I live in the northeast! It never occurred to me I lived in a ghetto! We just bought a 100 year old home without a garage. Some homes on our street have them, some don't, so there are cars parked in driveways. The house directly next door to us just sold for 860k...so I am not sure I live in a "cheap" neighborhood, either. Either way, the letter writer has a beautiful home, and I am sure if he decides to sell, someone will walk in and know they just walked into the home meant for them. Good luck!


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

^^^^^^^^^ Oh Susanna!!! You are comparing apples and oranges...The complaints are based on the fact this home HAD a garage!!!! And furthermore there are many "old" expensive homes that didn't have a garage,and i am certain nobody is referring to them..My assertion of "ghetto" looking is based on the fact many people do indeed have a garage and for one reason or another choose not to use it..Then several cars are stacked in the driveway,creating an eyesore..This is most prevalent in subdivisions built in 50's to early 70's..

I am also certain nobody will argue the fact the OP's kitchen is fabulous,just that to get that 'fab' kitchen,they rid themselves of a TWO car garage!!!! Not so smart,imho


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

I was so astonished by the following statement (made by a poster to this thread) that I took the issue to another forum. No one had ever heard of such a thing - everyone with or without a garage parks their cars in the driveway and doesn't consider that it dimishes their neighbourhoods.

"No way would I purchase a house without a garage. In fact, like some previous poster, I probably would not purchase a house that was next door to a no-garage house. It just screams CHEAP to me. I really dislike the look of cars parked outside. Luckily, most of our neighbors park in their garages."

haha, in fact, I'm thinking it IMPROVES home values, since housing values and sales in my city are still rising ;-)


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

I don't know about anyone else but we had two kids with cars and my husband and I each had a car - that totaled 4 cars. My teenagers (young adults) had to park in the driveway as we had a two-car garage. My neighbor had 4 kids = 6 cars. Two car garage but hubby had a classic Corvette 1970, which was parked alone in the 2-car garage. She had 6 cars parked in her driveway.

We never thought of our neighborhood as ghetto. Houses in the neighborhood sold for 8 - 1.6M. New houses today might have 3-car garage. That still leaves one car in the driveway if the people only have 2 kids.

I would want a house with a garage, but would be willing to build one if the space was present. I think the OP's house looks very nice. I wouldn't have a problem buying it.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

My neighborhood has large child friendly houses as well. Those children grow into teenagers with cars. We have four children and at one time had as many as 5 cars. 2 car garage, you do the math. I have no problem with cars parking in driveways and don't think it makes a neighborhood look cheap. But to each his own.

That being said. If a home in my neighborhood converted their garage to living space, the value of the home would be negatively impacted. Where I grew up, city of Chicago, it was rare to have a garage for off street parking. But where I live now, a garage is expected


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

I live in a community with houses on 1-5 acres. Most everyone has one or more garages (we have two double garages) but not everyone uses them to park cars. I confess that even with the two garages I don't park in the garage....

I would personally buy a house without a garage if there was room to build one if wanted. I do think it is a big negative to most buyers though not to have one.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

Marjen wrote: "I have plenty of space to add a garage. UNfortunately the spot I would love to build it does not work due to the slope, the foundation would be like 12 ft deep."

What about adding a carport?

That would give people some protection from snow and ice for their cars. I'm guessing it wouldn't help with a frost, but if I parked in my drive, I'd probably get a car cover, even if only for the window area.

If you remove the old drive, and pour a new one (Even if it's mostly in the same spot, but shaped differently), it might not look so much like that used to be


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

A carport works for frost too. It slowly falls out of the air and settles on stuff almost like dew. If your in a carport there's no scraping.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

replacing the "missing" garage with a carport would be the worst thing to do..The OP has a high-end kitchen,and is going to add a low-rent carport?..carports have their place, but NOT in this situation...


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

I never fail to be amazed at people that fill their garage with $1500 worth of junk while letting a 40-50k car set outside.

Protecting your car from the elements will greatly increase the life of it.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

WOW ready some of these comments are crazy. I too never realized not using a garage was "ghetto" lol. Yes most houses around here have a garage, most in fact, but MANY people dont always use them. It is VERy common to see a car or two sitting in the driveway. Not sure how that is a bad thing.

With regards to it not looking like a garage. Our town, and whole state for that matter is VERY hilly. Many homes have a garage under the house and guess what they put above it? A room. Very much like mine. So on many houses here in the northeast, no it would not look like it used to be a garage, it just looks like a large room from the front. It could have a garage under it. We will see what happens. I may built one, if we stay I will fo sure. If not I will see what happens if i try and sell.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

I agree with your WOW marjen ... amazing comments ... ghetto, cheap, low-rent ... glad those people don't live near me, but they wouldn't since I live on a farm. LOL!

I also made my 600 sq ft garage (previously was a hunting cabin) into a 600 sq ft family room. Though I have 20 acres, I did not add a garage ... just another building to get taxed on.

And I live in the snowbelt south of Buffalo, NY ... so I brush the snow off my truck every morning in the winter before I go to work. No big deal, just part of my morning rountine after I walk the dogs. I also prefer snow over earthquakes, fires, mud slides, tornadoes, hurricanes and floods.

marjen, there are buyers out there for most properties. Good luck on your sale.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

I wouldn't live in a house without a garage, although I would consider a carport in certain parts of the country.

In fact, we didn't even want to look at houses unless they had a 3 car attached garage, or had a 2 car attached garage that could be added on to.

We do keep 3 cars in our oversized 3 car garage, but still have one in the driveway. I don't think of it as looking low-rent at all--and neither do our neighbors who also have cars in the driveways :-)


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

Of course there are homes when cars are in driveways that don't look "urban", but i think suburbs that look like the link,are what i am referring to

Here is a link that might be useful: Driveways


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

Wow yes! The article attached to that photo says it all. We are harmed by living in "exclusive" neighborhoods full of three car garages and people who don't speak to each other. Our lust for more for ourselves and less for our communities is doing us in.

I like the article's suggestion of turning one house in a suburban neighborhood into a convenience store...maybe the oversized clubhouse? :-) So would you buy a house next to a convenience store? I could imagine all the kids biking over to the store to pick up eggs and milk on Saturday mornings. It sounds lovely to me.

We are very luck that in a year or two my kids will be able to do that right where we live...a 15 minute walk from a major grocery store.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

^^^, we have a small farm behind our home, the neighborhood was built to blend in with it..We go get fresh eggs when the sign is up, the thought of having a small convinience store in place of one of the homes would never happen,ever.

And "not" talking to a neighbor and doing less for one's communties has NOTHING to do with home size or lot size,or things people may own, it has to do with PEOPLE,and their personal selfishness.I know plenty of people with all of life's trappings, and they are the ncies/kindest,most giving people you'd meet..I also know some less fortunate people who walk around with the proverbial "chip on their shoulder" like everyone owes them something


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

I also thought the "before" kitchen was the new kitchen and thought it was VERY nice! The "after" kitchen is spectacular.

Living in snowy Michigan -- I am in the "never buy a house without a garage" camp. Our cars are in the always in the garage when we are home. They stay much cleaner and warmer that way.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

The farm fresh eggs sound wonderful. I was being facetious qdwag. The article you posted a link to actually said just that, that our social behavior is directly affected by our community structure, size, and isolation. I have no idea if that's really true but its an interesting concept.


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

Neighborhoods are comprised of "neighbors", and some neighborhoods have great interaction,and others have none...Sometimes it takes one's self to "start" the interaction ;)


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

In some communities HOA's prohibit parking vehicles outside overnight. Why? Because it is less attractive. It IS! These are typically new developments where homes are built with large garages. The HOA's expect the garages to be used to house cars.

Them's the facts. But all real estate is 'local', subject to what's acceptable there.

I have *never* seen a garage conversion that didn't look like a garage conversion from the exterior -- and often from the interior. OP, have you removed the driveway and landscaped? Is overnight street parking permitted?


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

I grew up in NYC. No one had cars (no where to park), you walked to everything or took the subway or bus. It was great. Lots of public parks, and people and things to do.

But...rarely did you know your neighbors. Live in apartments for years and never really get to know who lives next-door to you.

Being a 'baby-boomer' I loved the idea of communal living in the 60's. But it never really became a reality. People wanted their own space were not really 'community spirited.'

Jane


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RE: would you buy a house without a garage?

narjen - although the house and the old garage has been integrated nicely - the drive way is a dead give away that it used to be a garage as nobody would put a drive way straight up to the house unless it used to have a garage there. Now if you removed some of the driveway then yours might not be so obvious.


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