North TacomaTacoma Real Estate December 4, 2013

The Value of a Garage in Tacoma’s Coveted North End

Homeowners in Tacoma’s coveted North End really like their garages, whether they’re attached or detached, one car or two.  Some people use their garages as workshops.  Others use them for overflow storage.  Some people actually use them the old fashioned way – for parking cars.  Regardless of how it’s used, the presence of a garage in Tacoma’s North End definitely adds value to a property.  People love the North End of Tacoma for its character Victorian and Craftsman homes and its quaint tree-lined streets, but many of the older homes weren't built with a useable garage.  Some of the garages that were built are narrow, single car structures.  Others offer tandem parking in the basement, while some of the grander homes built at the turn of century have garages that were originally carriage houses. 


If a home has no off-street parking whatsoever, it can be a deal-breaker for a lot of buyers, regardless of their price range.  A carport may be acceptable, but that really depends on the design and security that the structure offers.  The bottom line is that off-street parking seems to be the bare minimum that many buyers will accept, whether it's a garage, a carport, a driveway or just a parking pad.  If it's a garage, the bigger and better it is, the greater the added value.  Several of our listings have sold quickly in large part because they’ve had a good sturdy two-car garage.  Other listings have languished if they’ve lacked a garage. 

If you're buying or selling a home in the North End of Tacoma, you should evaluate the garage (or lack thereof) and make sure that the parking accomodations are factored into the purchase price.  If you plan to make home improvements that have a good rate of return and you don’t already have a garage, consider adding one.  We’ve seen appraisers add as much $30,000 for a garage if a comparable sale doesn't have one, depending on the size and useability of the structure.   There are obviously guidelines and requirements that you’ll need to follow, but much of the investment that you make in a new garage will come back to you at the time of sale.  For additional information about adding a garage in Tacoma’s North End, visit the city’s Planning and Development Services Department website.  

Mark Pinto is a top producing realtor with Windermere specializing in historic and luxury homes located in Tacoma, Lakewood and Gig Harbor.  For further information contact Mark at