Should a Converted Garage Worry the Homebuyer?

empty garage

There are a lot of factors to be considered when one estimates the value of a home. What adds value to a home is a vague question, one without a specific answer. Although the common knowledge is that renovated kitchens and bathrooms add value to a home, the truth is that a home’s value is subjective to the buyer. While generally, modernized kitchens should persuade a buyer to pay more, this is not a foolproof formula for selling a house.

But the main contention when it comes to adding value to a property is the conversion of a garage. Homeowners aren’t only turning their garages into home offices because of the pandemic. They’ve been converting their garage into livable spaces even before the coronavirus upended the world. However, one search on Google will also show you how many naysayers are there about garage conversion. A closer look will tell you that they’re not against garage conversion per se but the quality of such conversions.

Permits and Proper Documents

Instead of worrying about the loss of the garage space, homebuyers are worried about the quality of that conversion. Unfortunately, most homes with a converted garage didn’t even bother to get the right zoning and building permits. Without proper legal avenues, illegal garage conversions will be detrimental to the value of the property. If a seller cannot present the proper documents to a potential buyer, then no matter the quality of the garage conversion, the buyer will not likely pay for the right amount.

Quality of Materials and Design

The quality of the conversion is another factor in its value. What kind of materials were used to convert the garage? To what room was it converted? Is it now a home office or a home gym? Many homeowners don’t put too much consideration on the quality of the materials used in the garage conversion unless it’ll be turned into a bedroom. But if it’s going to be used as storage space, pantry, home office, or home gym, they won’t mind that it’s not properly lit, ventilated, and designed.

That doesn’t mean, however, that they won’t worry about the materials used there. Even if they can renovate the garage, buyers want previous owners to use high-quality materials. Homeowners who intend to convert their garage and sell their homes in the future should install a quality garage door and invest in automated locks, alert warning systems, lights, etc.

renovating garage

Loss of Parking Space

If you don’t have street parking space, then where are you going to park your car? Homebuyers frown upon a garage conversion when there is no available space for their cars. But if there’s street parking, then they want that extra room in the garage, too. Those living in metropolitan areas might have difficulty with street parking because it’s not usually allowed there. The lack of parking space will turn away potential buyers.

Lack of Storage Space

Aside from parking their cars, homeowners use the garage for storing odd items that no longer fit inside the main house. If they intend to use the garage as storage, they might not be open to the idea of paying more for it. After all, they only need it for storage space, so why should they pay thousands of dollars for a well-designed garage? If you really want to convert the garage, a practical idea is to use basic layouts, themes, and colors. You have to give the next owner a chance to renovate, redesign, and repurpose the garage.


What is the likelihood that your neighbors also converted their garages? Most older homes only have two bedrooms, which is why they converted their garages into living spaces. If that is your kind of neighborhood, then it’s likely your neighbors have done the same, too. Buyers would not be against the idea of a converted garage if the rest of the neighborhood did it. In fact, they will be open to paying more for the home in exchange for a well-designed garage.

During the pandemic, homes needed to have extra space where their kids could play and where the adults could work. Many homeowners decided to convert their garages into home offices or playrooms. This is why there will be many properties in the market in the next few years with converted garages. But is this sustainable? Yes, definitely. As long as there is street parking available in your area or as long as you don’t see the need to have a car, a converted garage is a welcome improvement to any home.




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