Market Insights: The all important garage |

Market Insights: The all important garage

How much is a garage worth?

Darn good question and one I hear often, especially from out-of-state buyers. People who already own property in Colorado, and especially within Summit County, know if you want to be comfortable during the +/- six months of the year we have snow, a garage is mandatory. A garage is in the same category as those MasterCard ads that indicate some things in life are beyond value; they are “priceless.”

You are expecting a better answer than that aren’t you? Plus, the editor won’t put up with a one-paragraph article. So the place to start is with the actual construction cost. I spoke with Chris Renner from Pinnacle Mountain Homes, who told me a stand-alone, two-car garage, with most of the bells and whistles (ie.,heat…), will cost $25,000 to $30,000.

Warning: If you are looking to buy a duplex or single family home in Summit County that does not already have a garage, you’d best be asking – why? There is usually a reason why properties of this type don’t have a garage. Most times it not feasible. My advice, in three words, don’t buy it. Here is what I am saying: Buyers want garages.

Now that this is clear, let’s move on to how important an attached garage is. Today I conducted a very technical survey. I asked 14 people who live in Summit County, “If you had a choice, which would you prefer – an attached or a detached garage?” Without pausing, 100 percent of my survey group responded, “Attached.” And this brings up the basic difference between condos and townhomes.

Every single buyer I have represented over the years who has bought a townhome loves the fact that the garage is attached. A great example of this is 519 Primrose Path (Chimney Ridge Townhomes), Breckenridge. This two-bedroom, three-bathroom property with 1,389 sq. ft. is worth a whole lot more than an equivalent condo where the owner has to schlep back and forth, plus up and down, an elevator to a garage.

How much more? Five to10 percent of the property value is a good ‘rule of thumb.’

Market insights for the week: If you can afford a property with an attached garage, buy it.

Daniel Webster Johnson is a broker associate at Resort Brokers Real Estate in Breckenridge. He can be reached at (970) 393-3300 and

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