For many potential homeowners, having a garage is a non-negotiable. But just because a home doesn’t have a garage doesn’t mean you should immediately write it off, even if a garage is on your “must have” list. You have the option to buy a home and build a garage on your own, but before you go down that route, there are a few questions you’ll want to ask.
A recent article from realtor.com outlined things to consider if you’re thinking about buying a home without a garage and building one later, including:
- Am I allowed to build a garage? The home you’re considering might not have a garage for a reason. For example, local zoning laws might prohibit building a garage on the land, or it might be against HOA rules. Make sure to ask the seller if you’re allowed to build a garage on the property; if they say yes, make sure to follow up with the local municipality (and HOA, when applicable) to confirm and get more information.
- What size garage can I build? Once you confirm you can build a garage on the property, the next order of business is figuring out how big of a garage you can build. Zoning laws typically have size requirements for garages (including height, width, and foundation requirements) as well as property setbacks, which dictate how far the garage needs to be from property lines and other boundaries. Do your research to figure out what size garage you can build, and then make sure that size fits with your needs.
- How much will it cost? If you get the green light to build the garage of your dreams, the next thing you’ll want to consider is cost. According to HomeAdvisor, costs for building a free-standing garage typically range between $16,452 to $40,267. So, before you purchase the property, make sure the cost of building a garage fits into your overall housing budget. (You might even have a contractor come look at the property and give you an estimate to get a better idea of how much the project will cost before committing to the purchase.)