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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-05-2006, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
 
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Any real estate gurus here?

Just curious, which is more valuable to the sale of a home - a garage or an additional bedroom/office?

I live in a ranch and due to the size of my family (and lack of a bundle of cash) we remodeled and converted a little over half of the garage into an additional living space. The front of the garage is still in place and the living space can be converted back to a garage with a little demolition.

I am thinking of selling and obviously I want to make the most of what we have here.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 01:21 PM
 
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Re: Any real estate gurus here?

i forwarded your thread along to my fiance, who is a broker here in NY. I'll let you know what she says.

~K
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 02:37 PM
 
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Re: Any real estate gurus here?

there are a few variables here...How many bedrooms will there be if you have a garage vs. if you leave it? Having 3 vs. 2 bedrooms is more marketable than 2br plus a garage...but if you have 5 brs and you'll be down to 4+ a garage, you'ld probably want to keep the garage.

Also, I'd guess that people in Northern climates would like use of a garage for their car during the c-c-c-cold winter months, so that may come into play as well.

You really should ask a local broker this question, as they'll know your market better than we will in NY. I don't know how it is in MI, but here in NY you can't swing a cat by the tail without hitting a RE Broker.

hope this helps.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 02:45 PM
 
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Re: Any real estate gurus here?

It really comes down to location, location, location...If you get snow a lot, leave the garage. When I lived in florida, a lot of people didn't have garages or had converted them, In fact my bedroom where I lived was in 1/2 the garage, and the other half was just a work area.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 02:50 PM
 
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Re: Any real estate gurus here?

Is it a single-car garage, with the garage door intact? If so, I would tend to think that any value-increase from expanded living area would be negated by garage door still being there, since it's neither useable as a garage and a garage door hardly passes as a wall. In that case, you may have to decide between either converting it all the way to living space (and replace the door with a wall) or back to a garage. If it's a two-car garage, you could always convert on car port to living space and have one full garage available.

Of course, property value itself and perceived value by a buyer are very much different. It's a buyer's market and mortgage rates are high- any penny a buyer sees, they'll try to pinch. I tried selling property recently (to no avail- too many condos in my city and not enough buyers) and my realtor had a good point: anything that the prospective buyer sees that's wrong or that they'll have to fix, they'll be more comfortable low-balling you. Even if it's a $5 repair, they'll cast a judgment on the quality of the property and devalue it in their eyes (actual value nonwithstanding). If a prospective buyer comes in and sees a garage door, but no real garage, and living space jury-rigged into half the space, they might feel kind of turned off (since they'll feel like they'd need to spend their money to convert it all the way to a room or back to a garage).

That's just my .02, though I'm sure kennydoe's fiance will know better
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 02:57 PM
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Re: Any real estate gurus here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirk View Post
Just curious, which is more valuable to the sale of a home - a garage or an additional bedroom/office?

I live in a ranch and due to the size of my family (and lack of a bundle of cash) we remodeled and converted a little over half of the garage into an additional living space. The front of the garage is still in place and the living space can be converted back to a garage with a little demolition.

I am thinking of selling and obviously I want to make the most of what we have here.
assuming you have proper permits, etc... bedroom or family room would usually fetch more $$$ than a 1-car garage. that assumes it's finished with good curb appeal.

now if you're talking 2 car attached garage that is a different story with electric/remote openings.

could the next owner add a garage next to the current garage - that is popular to bump out the side (adding a bedroom/family room where the old garage was.

as posted above there are alot of variables (can you park a car in the garage and have a second in the driveway, and drive the car in garage out without moving the car in driveway.... does the LOCATION (most important thing ever) lend itself towards larger families in smaller homes, etc... glen
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Any real estate gurus here?

K, more details:

Take away the additional room converted from garage and you have a three bedroom, 1.5 bath house with a 1 car garage.

As it sits now, we have 4 bedrooms, plus the additional room in the garage which can be used as a fifth bedroom/study/bonus room/playroom.

There was a wall built and a closet added in the garage. The area which is still technically a garage is storage space now - mowers, garden stuff, tools etc. If you added an additional 10 feet to the front of the garage, you could fit a single car in the garage and still have the additional living space. However, there is the problem - I think the math is $100 per square foot for an addition. It would cost me $16k to add 10x16 to the garage.

Local brokers & appraisers have given me different opinions of the situation. Some say the garage is a benefit that outweighs the additional room, while others say the contrary.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 04:59 PM
 
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Re: Any real estate gurus here?

3 bedrooms and 1.5 is damn good and it's balanced. Usually people looking for more bedrooms are looking for a bigger house than a ranch. I think that maybe it's a good idea to open up the garage space again.

Sometimes it's good to leave certain possibilities open to buyers, too. If they want to use the garage for non-car things, they have the option that way, and I'm not sure you'd be getting an appropriate return on $16k on adding on- better to spend less on updating the kitchen and the bathroom (which offer the best return on upgrades).
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 05:13 PM
 
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Re: Any real estate gurus here?

I believe the math is 1 full bath per every 2 bedrooms, so by adding a 4th bedroom all of a sudden the house is a bit 'unbalanced', like Demiurge was saying. Do you have a basement? If its unfinished, it may pan out in the long run that finishing that instead would prove to add a bigger return when selling it, then to just add a bedroom.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Any real estate gurus here?

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Originally Posted by Demiurge View Post
3 bedrooms and 1.5 is damn good and it's balanced. Usually people looking for more bedrooms are looking for a bigger house than a ranch. I think that maybe it's a good idea to open up the garage space again.
That's a good thought. I hadn't thought about "balance." It makes sense.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 06:13 PM
 
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Re: Any real estate gurus here?

I'm not 100% clear if there is indeed a garage door in place already - If there is, i had a similar situation in a rental i once had...

My .02 is that if it's fairly easily convertible back to garage space, let the buyer have the option to do it themselves...you can use the flexibilty as a selling point.

~Kenny
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Any real estate gurus here?

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Originally Posted by kennydoe View Post
I'm not 100% clear if there is indeed a garage door in place already - If there is, i had a similar situation in a rental i once had...

My .02 is that if it's fairly easily convertible back to garage space, let the buyer have the option to do it themselves...you can use the flexibilty as a selling point.

~Kenny
Yes the door and opener is all still functional and in place. Kenny, this was another option that was introduced as well. Leave it up to the buyer.
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