Author Topic: Living in garage apartment?  (Read 931 times)

Kroaler

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Living in garage apartment?
« on: June 30, 2020, 09:46:35 AM »
Seems hard to find a small affordable place.  I've noticed the the apartments above some free standing garages are about the size I'm looking for.

I've also noticed that it appears someone could buy the main property, rent that out and live in the guest house / loft apartment above the second garage if you didn't want / need the space and the rent would pretty much cover the cost of the whole property.

Experience? Thoughts?

Has anyone else looked into this?  I think Waltworks had an apartment built above his garage? (But lives in main house)


Wrenchturner

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Re: Living in garage apartment?
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2020, 09:52:36 AM »
Seems hard to find a small affordable place.  I've noticed the the apartments above some free standing garages are about the size I'm looking for.

I've also noticed that it appears someone could buy the main property, rent that out and live in the guest house / loft apartment above the second garage if you didn't want / need the space and the rent would pretty much cover the cost of the whole property.

Experience? Thoughts?

Has anyone else looked into this?  I think Waltworks had an apartment built above his garage? (But lives in main house)

Go for it, if the price to rent ratio in your area makes it favorable.  I think it's a great way for people to subsidize their income if their zoning allows the construction of one.  Less shared walls = happier residents.

SunnyDays

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Re: Living in garage apartment?
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2020, 10:46:06 AM »
If the garage is actually used to park cars, there's no way I would live above it, especially in a cold climate.  You would be breathing in carbon monoxide every day.  I don't think a place could be so tightly sealed that it wouldn't seep in.

Fishindude

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Re: Living in garage apartment?
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2020, 11:24:07 AM »
If the garage is actually used to park cars, there's no way I would live above it, especially in a cold climate.  You would be breathing in carbon monoxide every day.  I don't think a place could be so tightly sealed that it wouldn't seep in.

I probably wouldn't live there either, but this reason is nonsense.
It is very common to park cars below living areas of a house without fear of getting asphyxiated.   There are literally thousands of homes like this, and yes things have to be properly sealed off and insulated.

Kroaler

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Re: Living in garage apartment?
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2020, 01:25:44 PM »
Seems like a carbon monoxide alarm would help.

Also not parking an 84 Chevy 3500 in there.

I do far far worse things to myself daily to the extent this concern wouldn't even....well concern me really.

Also in my theoretical.  The garage space would be mine also.  They can use the one on the main house as rent included but the standalone one isn't. 

bacchi

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Re: Living in garage apartment?
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2020, 09:51:42 AM »
I live in a detached garage apartment and rent out the front. The rent covers all of the expenses and we've built up a decent repair fund too.

If we built/bought one again, I'd look for a property with an alley, which provides more privacy to both parties. Currently, we walk up the driveway to get to our place.

Kroaler

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Re: Living in garage apartment?
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2020, 10:09:31 AM »
I live in a detached garage apartment and rent out the front. The rent covers all of the expenses and we've built up a decent repair fund too.

If we built/bought one again, I'd look for a property with an alley, which provides more privacy to both parties. Currently, we walk up the driveway to get to our place.

Perfect comment!   Yes I've noticed some garages are further away. Bonus points if it's almost like a separate driveway to get to them.

I'll keep my eye on the local market.

waltworks

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Re: Living in garage apartment?
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2020, 08:16:00 PM »
We did a basement apartment, not a garage one. But basically the same principle - put a space to work to house someone/make money, instead of letting it sit empty.

I would probably not have really wanted to live in our basement (we since moved) because the sound insulation in the ceiling/floor wasn't fantastic so you could hear people walking around upstairs pretty easily. Then again, I don't spend a ton of time at home so maybe it wouldn't have bothered me.

We're doing an addition to our house now (to house my mother in law) that will eventually either be rented out or else lived in (after kids are all out of the house, so like, jeez, 18 years) by us. But I'd guess we'll just move to a smaller place and sell the house entirely at that point.

Using extra space for income is always a good idea if it's legal and you do it right. Living in that sort of space can also be awesome if you don't need big/fancy digs and you want to save $ on housing. Win-win.

-W

Milspecstache

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Re: Living in garage apartment?
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2020, 12:43:00 PM »
Love your idea and would recommend if numbers support.

I have been looking for a similar deal for a while.  However, garages seem to be hard to find in my price range.

Kroaler

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Re: Living in garage apartment?
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2020, 01:16:13 PM »
We did a basement apartment, not a garage one. But basically the same principle - put a space to work to house someone/make money, instead of letting it sit empty.

I would probably not have really wanted to live in our basement (we since moved) because the sound insulation in the ceiling/floor wasn't fantastic so you could hear people walking around upstairs pretty easily. Then again, I don't spend a ton of time at home so maybe it wouldn't have bothered me.

We're doing an addition to our house now (to house my mother in law) that will eventually either be rented out or else lived in (after kids are all out of the house, so like, jeez, 18 years) by us. But I'd guess we'll just move to a smaller place and sell the house entirely at that point.

Using extra space for income is always a good idea if it's legal and you do it right. Living in that sort of space can also be awesome if you don't need big/fancy digs and you want to save $ on housing. Win-win.

-W

Ironically I prefer small space.  I have a 1 bedroom apartment now.   I don't see many 1 bedroom houses -except above garages.

spartana

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Re: Living in garage apartment?
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2020, 12:47:10 PM »
Depending on your local zoning code laws you could just convert an existing  garage into a seperate dwelling (called ADUs or accessory dwelling units here in Calif) fairly inexpensively.  My Mom bought a house when we were kids where a garage conversion had already been done legally with a permit by the previous owners and she rented that space out as a seperate apt for extra income. I bought that house from her when she downsized but I converted it back to a garage. If I had kept it as a legal ADU the rent would now be about $1200/month. Or I could have lived in it and rented the house instead for a much higher price. But I lazy and not the landlord type. However it was a really nice little rental space and would be ideal for a single.person or couple to live in.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2020, 12:50:31 PM by spartana »

v8rx7guy

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Re: Living in garage apartment?
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2020, 12:52:56 PM »
Would buying a duplex and renting one side and living on the other pencil out?  That may be a more traditional way of doing the same idea, and you end up with 2 rental doors later in life and not a house with an ADU.  I like your idea, and I would totally do it... but in the long run, I think a duplex may be the better option.

Kroaler

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Re: Living in garage apartment?
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2020, 01:34:46 PM »
I love the duplex idea more. In my area they command a hefty premium.  Guess everyone has the fantasy.

v8rx7guy

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Re: Living in garage apartment?
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2020, 02:46:31 PM »
I love the duplex idea more. In my area they command a hefty premium.  Guess everyone has the fantasy.

Gotcha.  So sounds like it would not pencil out in the current market.  I got really lucky in my early 20's and pulled this off with a fixer upper duplex that I got for around $200K in 2008.  I lived in half for almost a decade, but now I have a house but still have the duplex and rent it out.

tips^up

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Re: Living in garage apartment?
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2020, 03:37:06 PM »
We did exactly this.  2013, at the trough of our local market, my wife and I (not even engaged at the time but we knew it was good) bought a property in a nice area.  The main house is 2 levels plus an unfinished basement, 3 bed/2.5 bath.  There is a detached 3-car garage, accessed by an alley, with a 1 bed/1 bath "carriage house" above.

We moved into the carriage house and rented the front.  Without this setup, it would be a major financial stretch for us to have gotten into homeownership in this area.  Initially, our net cost was about $100/mo, much lower than what we'd been paying in rent.  It allowed us to save up rapidly.

We used those savings to buy a 2nd property across town, this one with a lock-off basement apartment.  The original house and carriage house are both rented out.  Rents have increased 66% for the front house - the property cash flows handsomely.  I self-manage all 3 rentals now.  It has allowed our wealth to explode, as we have significant retirement savings now, and savings ready to go into the next rental (or primary residence, likely with some type of lock-off), plus the home value is nearly double 2013 purchase price.

Appreciation and rent increases are not guaranteed.  Make sure there is rental demand in your area (jobs, desirable place to be) and the numbers work, but I cannot recommend this enough.

Kroaler

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Re: Living in garage apartment?
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2020, 07:22:49 PM »
Carriage house!  I've been trying all kinds of search terms in Zillow.  This is another one I can use.

I usually check , apartment, inlaw, in-law and detached.