Guest Post courtesy of Warren Clarke.
Most homebuyers consider the same basic things when shopping for real estate. They often take a close look at the economic health of the town in which the real estate is located, since a region’s economic growth or decline will impact future property values. They consider a home’s size and whether it’s big enough to accommodate both present and future needs. And those who are parents know the importance of choosing a home in a favorable school district.
However, there’s one amenity that doesn’t always get the attention it deserves from homebuyers: the garage. If you consider all the facts, you’ll see a garage shouldn’t be merely an afterthought when it comes to your real estate purchase. It’s an essential feature for a host of key reasons. Here are 10 of them.
1. Protects your car’s value
Your car represents a big investment, and damage of any kind can cause the value of that investment to plummet. Parking outdoors makes your car’s paint susceptible to premature fading caused by the sun’s harsh rays and blemishes caused by bird droppings and tree sap. A garage gives your car shelter from the elements, and this will help it maintain a pristine paint finish that supports value retention.
2. Adds convenience
Have you ever had to walk half a block or more with armfuls of groceries? It’s not fun, especially when it’s raining or snowing outside. Street parking means you’ll have to spend time trying to find a parking space every time you arrive at your residence, and it also means you’ll have to deal with a possibly lengthy walk from your vehicle to your home. A garage saves you from the hassles associated with hunting down a parking spot on the street. Even a walk from the driveway to the front door can seem like miles when you have bags or kids to get inside in bad weather.
3. Keeps your car safe
Street or driveway parking leaves your car vulnerable to theft, vandalism and collision. A garage protects your car from collision damage and provides a secure space that shields your vital source of transportation from thieves and vandals.
4. Lowers your car insurance premiums
Garages offer safe vehicle storage, and this fact isn’t lost on car insurance companies. Many offer discounts for those who park their cars in garages. Purchasing a home that has a garage can save you money on car insurance.
5. Provides extra storage space
It’s all too easy for us to become overwhelmed by our possessions. Self-storage is one solution, but it means having to deal with an additional monthly expense, as well as keeping your belongings at another location. A garage provides you with no-cost storage space for your belongings.
6. Gives you a useful spare room
Having a dedicated workspace makes a world of difference in business and creative endeavors. A garage can serve as an extra room you can transform into an office for tackling work-related projects. You can fuel your creativity by turning your garage into a space used for pursuing a hobby such as writing or painting.
7. Provides a space for car maintenance
If you’re a car enthusiast, you know the pleasure that comes with tackling vehicle repairs or rebuilding a classic car. You need the right space to facilitate this pursuit, and your neighbors probably won’t appreciate it if you stage your efforts in an open driveway. Also, without a covered spot available, rain and snow have the power throw a monkey wrench in your plans. A garage gives you a private space you can use for vehicle maintenance come rain or shine.
8. Keeps your windshield clear
Cooler weather can cause condensation that leaves you with a dewy windshield. Things get much worse if you live in a region that experiences extreme winter precipitation. Snow and ice can gather on your windshield, and this means the arduous task of scraping ice before heading to work in the morning. A garage keeps your car out of the snow and on your way.
9. Facilitates quicker cabin cooling and warming
Waiting for your car’s cabin to warm up on a frigid day or cool down on a hot day can be an uncomfortable experience. A garage gives you a head start by keeping your car in more moderate temperatures than those it would be exposed to if it were parked outdoors. This shortens the time it takes for your car’s cabin to achieve a comfortable temperature when you crank the air conditioner in the summer or blast the heater in the winter. Just be sure to never turn on your engine to “warm up the car” while your garage doors are closed due to the dangerous risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
10. Adds value to your home
For the very same reasons listed here, the next buyer of your home likely will be looking for a home with a garage. A garage adds square footage to the home, so it also ups its value. Keep the value of your home in mind when shopping — not just as a buyer, but as an eventual seller as well.
About the Author
Warren Clarke is an automotive expert and consumer advocate. Writing for CARFAX allows him to share his extensive car knowledge.