Multi-Family Extra Parking Question

7 Replies

Hi-

As a first time poster, I would first just like to give a huge thank you to the Biggerpockets community. I came across Biggerpockets a few months ago and as I begin to get into managing multi-family properties I can’t emphasize enough how helpful the content and user contribution to this site is.

My question is on a two family (5 bd) my parents own. A tree took down the garage recently after a big storm. Rather than put the insurance to a new garage we are planning on taking up the foundation and laying asphalt. At this point there’s an opportunity to increase the parking from 2 car wide 2 car deep to 3 car wide 3 car deep. This extension was quoted as costing an extra $1K. This would also mean cutting into about 5 ft. of the backyard, however it is already small to begin with. Where the house is located there is good street parking, however it is in Massachusetts where that parking become tough in the winter months.

My question to this community is do you think the extra parking in the driveway is worth the investment in terms of appealing to renters as well as overall value of the house should we sell?

Thanks again all for the great information provided on these forums!

I would say it is worth it.  I have been giving my tenants free parking but i wish i had added a garage parking fee.  Will definitely do that in the future.  I live in Rochester, NY so i understand the winters can be brutal.

If im reading this forum correctly this is a two family which your loking to have a total of 6 parking spaces? So each unit would have a total of three vehicles?

Thing to think about: 

Is there a demand for additional parking, Will anyone pay for it? You say street parking is good so I would doubt it, but I dont live in the heavy snow areas.  

What CAN you rent the spaces for?

What will it cost you additionally in snow removal?

What additional costs could come from the parking lot long term. (resealing, painting, Pot hole repair?

Is there any zoning/ permit issues with adding this?

At some point, tenants and future buyers will want more yard, rather than more parking. "Pave paradise, put up a parking lot..."?  If the parking is adequate, don't expand. If garages are the norm in the neighborhood, replace the garage. Many tenants prefer garages, not only to keep vehicles protected from the weather, but also for the extra storage potential.

If I were a tenant with children the idea of trying to get them in the car, sweep snow/ice off the windshield and maybe have to shovel snow if I have to leave before the plow gets there, that would be a big negative.  A garage where the car stays free of ice and snow and is sheltered from the wind is just so much easier.  And with kids having more yard also helps.  

@Steven Hayes Welcome

I believe it's worth it to pave. You can buy these interlocking pavers that allow grass to grow through them. (Sometimes communities will require a certain amount of yard per SF of House footprint.)

You could check on Craig's List to see what the difference in rental rates are Parking/no parking.

By the way, how close are you to public transportation?

Thank you all for the great feedback. As someone new to managing properties, these perspectives are extremely helpful. One clarification on my original post, I would be increasing from 4 spaces to 6, not 9. However in the area where the house is located I would not be able to charge for the extra spaces, it would simply be a convenience factor for the tenants, partially in the Winter months when parking bans on the street come into effect.

Where the house is located there is not much for public transportation and I would expect all tenants of working age would have their own automobile for commuting. Also, given the location and comparable multies in the area, I think the cost savings justify not going forward with a new garage.