Would you buy a house without a garage?

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DarthSage
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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by DarthSage » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:51 am

Both items you describe would be deal-breakers for me.

We've always had garages. Until our current house, we always used them for the cars. Typically, we'd park the cars on the driveway in warmer weather, then use the garage in winter. We now live in the South, and park our vehicles outside 99% of the time. The garage does have a lot of stuff in it (mostly junk, etc.), but it really came in handy when we had a hurricane come through last year--I had a new minivan with ~300 miles on it, and was grateful to be able to put it in there. Most of our neighbors seem to use the garage for storage. There are no basements here.

The bathroom thing would annoy me--if not at first, then eventually. It's just inconvenient. And I agree with a PP who mentioned that I wouldn't want young children sleeping on a different floor than I do.

If there are other factors about this house that you really love, you might want to get estimates for how much it would cost to make the garage usable (wither adding back the driveway, or turning it "sideways", as previously suggested), and make the bath back into a full bath. Include that in your mental house cost. If the numbers compute, for you, go ahead with an offer.

Dottie57
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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:56 am

davebo wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:23 am
No, I wouldn't buy a house without a garage or a basement.
Agree. Cars go in a garage. Keeps them clean and better inside temperature.

JediMisty
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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by JediMisty » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:57 am

I consider my two-garage a must and will want one wherever I live. I keep two cars and quite a few tools on shelves in it.

If I were looking at this place, I'd only buy it if the two "quirky" things could be fixed within the budget of adding the extra $$ to the asking price AND I expected to be there long enough to pay for and live through the renovations. In other words, is it priced low enough to houses within these issues to pay to have them done?

The length of time on the market indicates it will be hard to re-sell as-is. Buyer are incredibly picky - even in a good market.

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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by THY4373 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:59 am

My preference is to have a garage because I keep my cars a long time usually until they are 15-18 years old. Keeping the car garaged keeps the paint, trim, inside and plastic lenses in much better shape. I also like that have to wash my car less. That said whether or not I bought a place with a garage would come down to what premium I was paying for it and what other trade-offs there were.

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Shackleton
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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by Shackleton » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:14 pm

Well, since we are in the process of buying a house with a HUGE garage (1080 sq ft!!! And heated!) and that was a major selling point for us, my answer is No. but we live in the high mountains, and aside from our two cars we have 10+ bicycles and 8 pairs of skis and need space to work on them...
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dm200
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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by dm200 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:27 pm

Can you (and/or would you) correct these two "issues" over time if you buy the house?

If so, and can be done very well, then why not buy the house? Especially if you get a better price. I would also make 100% sure that these are the only reasons the house is not selling.

I would, though, fully research the feasibility and cost of doing them.

I think I would (if not already done so) point out to the seller and real estate agent that the house should be listed as "no garage" and the type of bathroom.

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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by junior » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:37 pm

I don't see the big deal of not having a garage and occasionally having to dig yourself out in the snow. I'd be more concerned about whether there's enough street parking.

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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by TheOscarGuy » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:40 pm

Pepe.Silvia wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:37 pm
My wife an I are looking to move to a NYC suburb. My wife likes a house that has been sitting on the market for over a year with multiple price reductions. There are a good number of quirks to this house that (I think) have caused it to sit. The two biggest issues are the garage and the bathrooms. The house has a two car garage but it opens to the back of the house. The previous owner had a wrap around driveway to the backyard to access the garage but the current owner got rid of half the driveway (the part that wrapped around) so that cars cannot access the garage. I am guessing he did that to turn a smallish backyard into a bigger yard but now, for all intents and purposes, the house does not have a usable garage. The second issue is that the bedrooms that we would use for our children previously had a full bathroom in the hall on the same floor as those bedrooms (they are on the first floor). The current owner turned that hall bathroom into a half bathroom (no bathroom or shower). There are full bathrooms in the basement and on the top floor but its a weird setup.

That long winded summary leads to the question, would the garage issue be a deal breaker for anyone here? I could probably live without the garage but am I setting myself up for a situation where I won't be able to resell the house? The current owner is pretty set on the price he is asking so there doesn't look like there's the possibility of a big discount to make the garage issue more palatable.
You get snow there, yes I would not buy a house with garage (I live in Northeast as well).

Hockey10
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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by Hockey10 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:14 pm

When I was young, single, and living in an apartment, I never thought about a garage. Now after owning homes for 30 years with a garage, I could not see buying a house without one.

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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by Glockenspiel » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:25 pm

TLDR. Short answer is NO!

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dm200
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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by dm200 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:17 pm

We do not currently have a garage - would be nice, but not a necessity for us.

A great many folks we know with wonderful garages - have filled them with lots of "stuff" and park their cars outside.

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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by protagonist » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:19 pm

I already did. No regrets.
A house without a garage is like a fish without a bicycle.

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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by andypanda » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:33 pm

I'm 68 and have never had a garage, but I've always had a full basement.

I got married last fall and she came with a 3-car garage. My boat is in one bay, her late husband's restored '64 2-door Olds convertible is in the 2nd bay, and my workshop and 2 riding mowers takes up much of the rest. There is a walk-up attic too for all the stuff that won't fit in the house.

Cars are fine outside. We don't get more than a couple of feet of snow in the central Virginia area most years. I may need to get a plow for the John Deere so she can get out. Her Avalon has a little trouble on the packed snow and ice on the 125-foot driveway. I'm okay with a part-time 4WD 4Runner.

I'll tell you one thing, if I ever build a garage the single doors will be at least 10' wide and 10' or 12' high. Cars, trucks and boats have gotten wider and higher with big mirrors, racks, etc.

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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by Church Lady » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:53 pm

I actually considered a house that had a detached garage.

The very narrow driveway ran directly past the furnace room. A former owner added a door to the furnace room that opened ... onto the driveway. That would be OK, but the step they added to reach the threshold blocks the driveway, making it too narrow to pass a car. You were paying taxes as if you had a driveway and garage .. but you didn't. Just a glorified shed at the end of a gravel footpath.

I would beware paying for a feature I couldn't use.
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furnace
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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by furnace » Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:12 pm

In NYC and other expensive areas, many people would consider buying a garage without the house. Because that's all they can afford. So I think you're fine. Just don't yell at your wife/husband when it rains.

Jags4186
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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:16 pm

I grew up in the northeast. My parents had a 1 car garage. They never parked in it. I have a 1 car garage. I never park in it.

Garage holds our garbage cans, recycling, bicycles, yard equipment, and outdoor furniture gets put in there in the winter.

ohai
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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by ohai » Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:18 pm

If this was somewhere like California with consistently good weather, I'd consider a garageless house. In NY area though, I would strongly prefer a garage. Your car will get exposed to all sorts of elements, you'll have to clean snow off the car so it won't be a visibility hazard, and you'd have to go outside to access the car. Anyway, it seems that a vast majority of houses here have at least one accessible garage space, and it is more of a buyers' market. So I don't see what is so great about this house that you'd have to compromise.

JackoC
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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by JackoC » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:13 pm

Pepe.Silvia wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:37 pm
My wife an I are looking to move to a NYC suburb.
The house has a two car garage but it opens to the back of the house. The previous owner had a wrap around driveway to the backyard to access the garage but the current owner got rid of half the driveway (the part that wrapped around) so that cars cannot access the garage.
Having a garage *you can't use for cars* is weird, can't say if it's a deal breaker without knowing the value the house represents at the offered price otherwise. Also I missed if it was mentioned whether spending any reasonable amount of money could make it usable.

I live in a small city in the NY area you might call a 'suburb' though it's extremely densely populated and nowadays more and more considered an extension of the City. Very few houses, per se, have garages (or even driveways). A few of the classic flat roof stone/brick row houses have had the semi-basement floor given over to being a garage (but subject to zoning board approval you might not get now, and I wouldn't do it anyway) and some older buildings were torn down and replaced in the 1950's-60's by now pretty horrible looking peak roof townhouses. Although a few of those have been renovated (virtually rebuilt) into decent houses. 90% overall I'd estimate, no garage. New-build condo's must provide at least a space per unit now by local ordinance, but that's a different market. The house standard here is no garage and we've gotten by OK with it for a long time.

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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by epilnk » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:11 pm

I got to park in a garage for the first time ever in my mid 50s. Our fourth owned house; I've lived on both coasts, in snowy climates, a mild climate, and (currently) a hot climate. I didn't know what I was missing - it's surprisingly awesome to get into a cool car on a hot day and bring the groceries in dry on a rainy day. Nevertheless it's a luxury, not a need. I've never found the house that was 100% of what we were looking for so there are always tradeoffs. We did just fine without a garage, even in the snow. You've got to shovel the driveway anyway.

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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by nisiprius » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:14 pm

We bought a house without a garage. Perhaps about a third of the houses in my neighborhoods lack them. It has a driveway. In many ways it's a nuisance, particularly in winter, and a little tough on the car. Shrug. We live with it.
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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by FourWallsofFIRE » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:26 pm

I live in the Baltimore / DC Region and loads of houses don't have garages. We live in a townhouse, which are super common in this area.

I think the higher cost of living area that you're in, the more common it is to not have a garage. I wouldn't worry so much about it as long as you have plenty of parking.
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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:29 pm

dm200 wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:17 pm
We do not currently have a garage - would be nice, but not a necessity for us.

A great many folks we know with wonderful garages - have filled them with lots of "stuff" and park their cars outside.
These are people we will see on an episode of “Hoarders”.

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celia
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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by celia » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:39 pm

The garage issue would depend on the part of the country and if most people there use public transportation (or not).

The bathroom is a bigger issue, in my opinion.

I would always consider how a future buyer would like the house when buying from me. Are you willing to have your house sit for a year when you sell?
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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by ResearchMed » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:43 pm

celia wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:39 pm
The garage issue would depend on the part of the country and if most people there use public transportation (or not).

The bathroom is a bigger issue, in my opinion.

I would always consider how a future buyer would like the house when buying from me. Are you willing to have your house sit for a year when you sell?
OR reduce it significantly if you need to sell more quickly?

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invest4
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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by invest4 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:43 pm

Sounds no bueno. If you like it enough, offer a price that makes sense to you and force them to take it or leave it. If they don’t budge... walk away.

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mlebuf
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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by mlebuf » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:49 pm

If you are one who likes to buy a car and keep it a long time, a garage or some type of indoor parking will help keep your car in good physical shape.
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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by Goal33 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:00 pm

I live in CA and previously had a garage. Now I don’t and I miss it.
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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by baconavocado » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:50 pm

sschoe2 wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:05 am
. . . A garage costs what $20-$30k to build. . . . .
I don't know what area of the country you're from, but on the west coast, $20-30K will get you a concrete foundation for a garage.

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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by jcchen » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:54 pm

real estate is pretty local. If having a garage is common in your area, then I would NOT buy as this home will be hard to sell. If having a full bath on the same floor as the bedrooms is common, I would NOT buy. Homes are pricey around NYC so good to think of resale value and ease of selling.

If you like the house and can deal with contractors, then consider the cost of adding driveway and tub. Is the home price after renovations competitive with other area homes? And also, consider would future buyers want a smaller yard?

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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by HereToLearn » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:09 pm

It seems to me there are a few strikes against this house, and I would not purchase it.

A garage is very useful in the NYC suburbs. Everyone else has already listed all of the reasons why you do not want to have to shovel off your car, or struggle with an umbrella entering or exiting the house and car. Think about transporting groceries or anything else you ferry in and out of the house.

Half bath near two bedrooms, and the fact that the children's bedrooms are on the ground floor are both minuses. I am guessing your bedroom is on the second floor? That may cause problems for resale as parents of young children will not want the children's bedrooms a floor away from the parents' bedroom

Having a bathroom in the basement is a plus, but its absence would not be a negative, whereas not having a full bath on the same floor with two bedrooms is a negative.

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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by fru-gal » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:27 am

dodecahedron wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:30 am

Meanwhile could you construct a carport to help with the digging out of snow issue? (Possibly even a carport with solar on top?)
No. The snow will drift right in there, so a carport is useless for that.

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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:42 am

Yes.

We bought our house while looking for a house with a big garage (DH) and a big kitchen (DW). Our house had neither but had a good spot to build a garage. That's what we did. I am very much a "The cars go in the garage, not the crap" kind of guy. So we did build a detached garage 200 feet away from the house. Worked well when I was doing something excessively noisy or making smoke welding. We bought a Reed's Ferry shed that (from memory) is about 12' x 20' to put bikes, tires and wheels, lawn mower and such. The garage is 24 x 36 with a 4 post lift to do mechanical work. Initially, I bought it to store a car out of the way during the winter.

Can you build a garage? Personally, that's what I would do......plus I'd uncover the driveway that went behind the house so I could use the existing garage too.
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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by Nowizard » Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:43 pm

Not in a million years unless it was an upgrade from a current home, even with the questions. It makes little difference what others would do, but what you do makes a huge difference. Apparently, the owner has the ability to wait until someone accepting of his quirks shows up.

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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by JBTX » Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:38 pm

mmmodem wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:53 am
CurlyDave wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:02 am
For most of my life I had no idea why anyone would waste a perfectly good garage by parking a car in it.
Interesting. I've always wondered why people store mostly worthless junk in their secured garage and park expensive vehicles out on the street. :P

I recently moved from CA to NH and what I've found is very few people park their cars in the garage. I thought maybe heavy snow in New England would change their minds. But nope. My assessment is based on the amount of condensation still left on exterior of cars at any given parking lot or in the case of NH: snow.

Not having an attached garage was a deal breaker for me in CA as well as in NH. Homes that I passed on were snapped up by others. So the answer to OP is yes to me but it apparently doesn't make it difficult to sell.
This is always how I looked at it. A $40k car sitting outside, and probably a few thousand market value of junk in the garage that mostly is not used.

I would be hard pressed to have a house with no garage, especially in snow.

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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by barnaclebob » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:49 pm

JBTX wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:38 pm
mmmodem wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:53 am
CurlyDave wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:02 am
For most of my life I had no idea why anyone would waste a perfectly good garage by parking a car in it.
Interesting. I've always wondered why people store mostly worthless junk in their secured garage and park expensive vehicles out on the street. :P

I recently moved from CA to NH and what I've found is very few people park their cars in the garage. I thought maybe heavy snow in New England would change their minds. But nope. My assessment is based on the amount of condensation still left on exterior of cars at any given parking lot or in the case of NH: snow.

Not having an attached garage was a deal breaker for me in CA as well as in NH. Homes that I passed on were snapped up by others. So the answer to OP is yes to me but it apparently doesn't make it difficult to sell.
This is always how I looked at it. A $40k car sitting outside, and probably a few thousand market value of junk in the garage that mostly is not used.

I would be hard pressed to have a house with no garage, especially in snow.
Cars are for the most part waterproof, stuff in side of garages is probably not and would be an eyesore sitting under a tarp in the driveway. I do agree that too many people store too much junk in their garages.

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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by strafe » Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:04 pm

Unless I were car-less, I would never buy a house without a garage (or the potential to build one, with the construction cost reflected appropriately in the purchase price)

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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by quantAndHold » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:13 pm

baconavocado wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:50 pm
sschoe2 wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:05 am
. . . A garage costs what $20-$30k to build. . . . .
I don't know what area of the country you're from, but on the west coast, $20-30K will get you a concrete foundation for a garage.
Don’t exaggerate...For $20-30k, you can get a concrete foundation, AND a pedestal with electric power in the right place. The walls and roof cost more, though.

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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by Dandy » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:54 am

I bought one that converted the one car garage into a den. Have lived in it for 45 years with wife and 2 kids. We use the den a lot. It is a pain in the winter cleaning snow off the car(s) and it would be nice to store some tools in a garage instead of the shed.

From what I see about 1/2 the garages end up being used as a shed not for the car(s). Neighbors with a one car garage that use it, often have 2 cars so I see them out clearing snow off the one left outside.

Funny story -- for decades I shoveled the driveway and wished I had a snow blower like my neighbor. I mentioned that he was lucky to be able to keep a snowblower in his garage. He said "I keep the snowblower in the back yard shed." I said "you have to drag the snowblower through the snow covered yard to the front driveway?" No he said "I listen to the weather report and if it says it's going to snow I bring it out front" :oops: I bought a snowblower immediately and couldn't believe how dumb I had been.

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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by JuniorBH » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:35 am

Without skimming through the replies, as someone who currently lives in an NYC suburb, no chance I'd buy a house without a garage. It's a personal decision; I would say >50% of our neighbors have a garage but don't use it for cars. We put both cars in the garage which is great when it's hot/cold/snowing/raining, etc, especially with two small kids.

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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by rascott » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:44 am

Both of these issues seem like they are fairly easily fixed to return the property to it's original function.

Sounds like you would be getting a deal. I would go for it if you like everything else about it. Just do your DD that the driveway can be put back in place as it was designed to do. Make an aggressive offer. This is how one makes money in RE, forcing equity. Most people want turn-key properties and have very limited vision. Sounds like you could remedy both these issues fairly easily. A driveway and a small bath reno is not that much money, particularly in such a high priced market that you are in.

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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by ThankYouJack » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:55 am

Never say never, but my ideal house would be 2,000 sqft with a 2,000 sqft garage :)

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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by 22twain » Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:13 am

In my neighborhood in a small town in the South, fully enclosed garages are not common. We have a carport, not a cheap pre-fab one that is basically a fiberglass roof on poles, but a substantial one with brick columns, a wood-and-shingles roof, and a storage shed attached to the rear. Ours is separate from the house. Many are attached to the house or an integral part of the house's structure. Based on a walk around the neighborhood yesterday, I would say about 60% have carports of this kind, with the rest divided between completely enclosed garages and nothing at all (just a "naked" driveway).

Most of the houses in this neighborhood probably date from the 1960s, with some from the 1970s. Maybe newer neighborhoods in or near nearby cities are different. This town has very few new houses.
Last edited by 22twain on Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by Summit111 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:37 am

We have 2 NFL players plus a coach living in our gated community....they live here during the season and elsewhere offseason. All of them park their cars in the driveway! Funny to see those expensive vehicles in the weather and who knows what junk in the garages....

DW and I always park in our garage...Cars look better, are cooler in summer and warmer in winter....

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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by JGoneRiding » Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:46 am

Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:56 am
davebo wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:23 am
No, I wouldn't buy a house without a garage or a basement.
Agree. Cars go in a garage. Keeps them clean and better inside temperature.
I agree about a garage but in many locals basement is rare. I can't even think of a house in my whole county I have seen with a real basement or even a walk out. For sure there are no new houses with one. Maybe the houses in the 50 and 60 have them and or root cellars

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Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:31 pm

JGoneRiding wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:46 am
Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:56 am
davebo wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:23 am
No, I wouldn't buy a house without a garage or a basement.
Agree. Cars go in a garage. Keeps them clean and better inside temperature.
I agree about a garage but in many locals basement is rare. I can't even think of a house in my whole county I have seen with a real basement or even a walk out. For sure there are no new houses with one. Maybe the houses in the 50 and 60 have them and or root cellars
I think basements are more common in northern states where plumbing does much better in the winter with a basement.

Minnesota Resident.

marie17
Posts: 398
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 3:26 pm

Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Post by marie17 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:59 pm

I have bought three houses so far, all without garages.

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