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Side-Entry Garages: Worth the Investment?


Jun 21, 2020 by Barbara Zito

According to the 2017 American Housing Survey that counts over 121 million homes, nearly 80 million of them (about 66%) have garages or carports. Suffice it to say, garages are a desirable feature for a home. A side-entry garage is an even better option, as it increases the curb appeal of larger homes that have room on their properties for such an upgrade.

Let's take a look at why garages are often a must-have on homebuyers' wish lists.

Function

A garage's main function is storage, whether for a vehicle or overflow items that don't fit in the home. Some are neat and tidy while others are best kept behind a closed garage door. Garages are an especially desirable feature in regions with rough winters, where some homeowners would argue they're downright priceless.

Most garages are front-facing, meaning the garage is fully visible when looking at the front of the house. Some homeowners will opt for a higher-end garage door to enhance curb appeal. Even better than a snazzy overhead garage door? A side-entry garage that you can't see at all from the front of the house. When a garage is tucked away on the side -- or even at the back of the house, if your property is large enough -- you see more of the house, which makes it look bigger and more attractive.

Cost

If you don't have a garage but you have the space to build one, a garage could cost upwards of $27,000 to build. On the other hand, if you have an existing garage, a new garage door can make a huge improvement. According to HomeAdvisor (NASDAQ: ANGI), a single garage door with installation can range from $600 to $1,500, with double garage doors starting at $800.

Side-entry garages are often features of luxury homes on larger pieces of property. These homes have premium price tags, but where homeowners can save a bit of money is on the garage doors themselves. As the garage entrance won't be visible from the front of the house, lower-priced options that are more utilitarian than attractive are an option.

But keep in mind that it will cost more to pave the long driveway or path connecting the garage to the home's entrance. If the garage is attached to the house, residents may choose to enter the home directly through the garage, but this can make for a lackluster welcome for guests, so an accessible walkway to the front entrance is a nice inclusion. Also keep in mind that longer driveways and paths will require more shoveling in colder regions that get a lot of snow, so be sure to make room in that garage for a snowblower.

Value

According to Kiplinger, about 85% of house hunters are hoping to purchase a home with garage space. And according to Pocket Sense, the return on investment (ROI) of adding a garage could be as high as 81%, so this is a viable option for increasing your home's value.

Simply having a garage is enough to increase the value of the home, no matter if it's used to house a vehicle or as a workshop/hobby space. Detached garages especially have value, as there is an option to convert them into additional living space, whether as a unit above the garage or within the garage itself.

While garages are a desired feature for any home, side-entry garages take it to the next level. If you are a real estate developer or a homebuyer in the market for a custom home, a side-entry garage will increase a home's value.

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bz829 has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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