Apartment Hunting

08.09.2018 | 1 Minute Read | By Timothy Harris

As rental costs increase in cities across the nation, homeowners and renters alike are getting creative in their efforts for affordable housing.

One tactic that many homeowners are implementing is the conversion of garage space into an income-generating apartment. It’s a mutually-beneficial solution.

Homeowners are able to offset some of their mortgage costs and renters have an affordable place to stay.

What is living in a garage apartment actually like?

As with any living situation, some parts of the garage apartment renting experience will likely be less-than-ideal.

Here are a few pros and cons of living in a converted garage apartment that you should consider before making your housing decision.

Pros of living in a garage apartment

Rental rates in many parts of the country are getting seriously out of hand. A recent Apartment Guide report found rental rates have increased by at least 10 percent in seven of the 100 largest cities in the country over the past year.

One of the biggest pros of living in a garage apartment is being able to forego this trend. Garage apartments were not created with the intention of profitability. In fact, they could even possibly decrease home value for the homeowner in the long run.

Most garage apartments were created simply to offset the cost of a homeowner’s mortgage. Because of this, rental rates for garage apartments will likely remain within reason for your given market.

Another positive aspect of living in a garage apartment is the privacy you’ll benefit from. Whereas apartment complexes have multiple units side-by-side, a garage apartment will likely not. Since the unit is likely attached to or near a single-family home, the only neighbors you’ll have will be your landlord.

Cons of living in a garage apartment

There are a few reasons you’d choose to live in a garage apartment, but you must also think of the drawbacks.

For example, you should think about your entrance situation. Every garage apartment conversion will be different. Some will have a separate entrance for you and your guests and some may not. If a private entrance is something you’re expecting, you’d be unhappy to find out that you must enter your apartment through someone else’s home.

Another consideration you should make is for renter’s insurance. Depending on the insurance company, you may not be able to insure a garage apartment and some companies will likely require additional documentation – a hassle that might not be worth your time.

Lastly, garage apartments, though often affordable, can be hard to come across. Since they are more discrete and inconspicuous, searching online for a garage apartment is your best bet.