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Hey everyone. I just wanted to get some opinions on my current dilemma. I have a decent sized 2 car garage (wood) that is getting pretty decrepit and is leaning one way. The roof is really old and sagging and leaks. The garage door will not open and the whole thing is really just a big storage area for me. My house is a duplex and I'm thinking about knocking down the garage to make space for 2 usable parking spots. The garage backs onto an alley and there is currently one parking spot next to the garage (that I plan to make a garden out of, or just put up a shed). The street parking in front of the house is usually pretty limited.

I'm wondering, what are your opinions regarding this dilemma? How is my home value going to be impacted by this? What is the better draw for tenants: a garage or good parking (will be well lit)?

I'm currently planning on tearing down the garage as part of my longer term strategy of limiting the amount of maintenance and repairs that are going to be required once I move out of the investment property and into my new home.

Thanks everyone!
 

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Sneeker, if the garage is an eye sore, and it sounds like it is, it might be best for the property value to tear it down. Not unless you wanted to put the money in and bring it back up to par.
 

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That's what I've been thinking. It's going to cost me approx. $500 to tear it down, while repairing the roof, the siding, the support, the garage door, etc... will cost me hundreds if not thousands more.

But, you think that would actually INCREASE the property value? I guess the loss of the eyesore and general cleanup would really lend itself to the property.

Now that I think about it, if I really wanted a garage on the property I would probably be better off to build from scratch after demo.

Thanks!
 

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I've seen some properties where the houses are snug together that have done that and rather than simply paving the whole area, they have paved enough for the two cars and done some very nice landscaping... the extra open space/greenery was a lovely contrast to some of the other homes, so in that case I think it probably would have increased the property value... but I'm sure they paid a fair bit for the new ashphalt and landscaping.
 

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A two car garage adds about $15,000 to the value of a property versus an uncovered parking area. If the garage can be repaired for under $5,000; I'd probably go that route.
 

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A two car garage adds about $15,000 to the value of a property versus an uncovered parking area.
That would be dependant on the market area. Here, in a stable market, a garage will add in value roughly half the cost of building it.

Is it hard to find tenants? If not, unless the tenant will pay quite a bit extra for parking in a garage versus uncovered parking - tear the old one down.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ya, I think in my area (updated on my user profile to Windsor, ON) it wouldn't add that much. The house value is around 125K, so an extra 15K would be quite a bit. I do have renters next door to me that are mechanics that said a garage would be a deal-breaker for them, but in my 5 years of renting history not 1 tenant made it a deal-breaker whatsoever. And, I think I've decided that I would be better off building from scratch anyway for long term stability (I don't know that the repairs I could do would hold up as long as a new build would, and would probably have similar costs).

So, if I find in the future that a garage would add value to renters, then I will decide to build later. Thanks for the opinions. I definitely feel more comfortable with my decision now.
 

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Personally, if you think you need a garage I'd tear down that one and build a 1 car garage - should provide 1 more spot of parking and still give you the garage to have for tenents or storage.

Having an unsafe building on your property is an accident waiting to happen.
 

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what part of the country do you live? if you live in one of the snowier parts then the benefits of a garage are obvious...who wants to scrape their car off in the morning? :)
 

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Have you considered not just fixing it up, but actually renovating the upper part into a rental apartment? It's called a 'coach house', needs a double garage to do, which you have. Because it's a separate self-contained unit, they usually fetch a decent rent, compared to something like a basement apartment.

Plus, if your current renters don't care about the garage, you could rent that part out as well, for storage space.

If you're looking to invest money somewhere, I'd say your long term return on that should be pretty decent. It is Windsor, though, which I've heard is depressed, and I'm not familiar with the rental market. Might be worth running the numbers on, though.
 
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