Do You Need a Shed, or a Garage?

When talking with homebuyers about needs and wants in a home, I’m often met with requests for a garage, one or two car capacity, mostly.

Before I even kick off that home search I always ask: What do you want the garage for?

Now I know this opens up the possibility of someone saying, “Um, to park my car, obviously,” to which I’ll say, “Great, then a garage it is!” But occasionally I’ll have clients say that they plan to use it for storage.

If you’re working within a specific budget, and you’re requesting a garage simply for storage, then let’s consider the option of using a shed as an alternative and instead putting that garage budget back into the living areas.

Here’s something to think about: For a $400,000 home in New Jersey, the garage, on average, will account for nearly $8-10k of that home’s value. So, if you don’t plan to park your cars in the garage, would you rather spend $8,000 on a garage storage unit, or perhaps consider a $1,000- $1500 investment for a shed installation in the backyard?

A recent survey by the Otteau Group stated that 36% of millennial buyers list “garage storage” as an essential/must have item in their homebuying process, while 44% list it as “desirable.” That means that nearly 8 out of every 10 millennial buyers look at the garage not just for their car’s safekeeping, but specifically for storing away overflow items.

An attic, crawl space or otherwise, can serve just as much a purpose for storage as a garage. The same can be said of a basement. While I don’t anticipate you hauling a lawnmower or snow shovel up to the attic every season, consider the cost of a shed vs. a garage when it comes to budgeting for your home.