garage vs. square footage

Hi everyone…could sure use your 2c on this one…We are ready to close on a property in 2 days…the garage was converted to a 4th room 30 some-odd years ago, adding approx 480 square feet to the living area (for a total of 1470). Here’s the dilemna…we have been going back and forth about whether to convert the 4th room BACK to a garage (heard so much about how you HAVE to have a garage) or upgrage the 4th room. If we put the garage back in, the square footage drops to just under 1000 square feet, and we are concerned that we will not be able to get the $ out of it that we want if the square footage is so small.

I would really like to hear back from you all on what you would do in this situation.

Thanks, ;D

Have you spoken with any experts on the subject of

(heard so much about how you HAVE to have a garage)


I’m with Mark on this one…where are you that you HAVE to have a garage? None of my rentals have garages…carports are much more prevalent here, especially on the older homes. I just picked up a property where they actually added a pad and a second carport right next to the original one. People here LOVE having 2 covered spaces (it’s freakin’ hot here!)…

I have owned property all over the country on and off (20 years military) and never HAD to have a grarage.


Haven’t talked to “experts”, just heard from REI Seminars/Gurus/casual conversations that Garages add value to the house for resale (which is what I plan to do with it). As a footnote, the houses in the area with the same design, some have been converted to a room, others not.

PS>Keith, I am in San Diego.

It is very common here that the garage/carport was, at some point, turned into a bedroom…if this is to be used as a rental, I personally would leave it. In this area, 4 bedroom homes command a premium, much more so than a 3 bedroom with a garage.

…and do we really NEED a bedroom for our car?


I guess it depends on what kind of car 8)

…mine is a BMW SUV and hasn’t always had a bedroom…it does now but it “came with the place”…



If there’s both kind in the hood can you get comps on both and compare? I would lean towards leaving it myself, especially if yours is not the only one. You have the expense and time of doing it, then a possible unknown change in value.

480 square feet is a freaking huge bedroom. It’s also the size of a 2 car garage which, at least here, would be strange on a 1000 square feet home.

Going just off of appeal, a freaking huge bedroom is going to command a much higher resale/rental than a 2 car garage.

Going by the numbers (for here, fill in your area’s values if different):

Garage bay = $5000 per bay on resale, so 2 = $10K
Basic cost of heated square feet to build = $85/sqft, so 480 x 85 = $40800 to value.

$40K - $10K = $30K of increased value. Stay with the bedroom.


I’m with Raj; stay with the bedroom. At that size house, buyers will want every sq ft they can for living space. Morover, since they is other houses in the neighborhood with the same thing it does not make yours something too strange.

Well, that’s it then…we’ve decided to go with the bedroom, and since its so big, (and my husbands a plumber) we’ll likely add a 1/2 bath as well. We are also considering if there will be room to squeeze in a small den/office…but we’ll have to take a good look at that.

Thanks so much for all your feedback/advice…I truly appreciate it. It’s a relief to have a place to go and ask questions of others who are in the business.

I’ll let you know how the sale goes (hopefully end of Oct)