There is currently an evolution going on in real estate. In the same way that residential condominiums grew from the traditional apartment, garage condominiums have evolved from the traditional multi-bay rental storage facilities. Storage space can now be an investment.
A garage condo, or storage condo (the terms are synonymous), is your own personal warehouse located on common property. They are quite different from a storage rental because they are a real estate purchase. They are a real estate purchase that will build equity. Just like any other real estate investment, at closing you receive title insurance and a deed.
The garage condo concept is taking off especially quick in metropolitan areas where real estate space is at a premium. A garage condo seems perfect for those who reside in housing developments with tight CC&R regulations, who reside in apartments or residential condos, or who just don’t have space to expand at their current location. Garage condo owners now have a space for their hobbies, projects and even businesses.
While I don’t own a garage condo, nor do I own stock in a condo development, I can’t help but get a little excited about the prospect of these. If you own a business, you can use the space to store records, inventory, stock and so forth. With this, you gain business equity from ownership, and don’t have the costs associated with a rented “storefront.” Internet businesses, especially those that carry and ship inventory, can store inventory and ship directly from, the condo is they desired.
As with a residential condo, a garage condo can be available in many qualities, configurations and prices. Some garage condo facilities offer a clubhouse, swimming pool and other common amenities. Your garage condo can be customized almost any way you want.
I have seen customizations that consist of nothing but simple shelves. I have also seen customizations that include a custom lounge, entertainment center (it’s pretty cool to watch Sunday’s NFL games sitting next to your project car), a wet bar, security systems, hydraulic lifts, custom cabinetry and epoxy floors. In reality, you can pretty much do what you want with it (as long as it falls into your CC&Rs, and doesn’t affect structural integrity). An owner can potentially recoup the costs of these upgrades when they sell.
USA Garage Condo has a pretty informative chart on the benefits of owning a garage condo versus renting a storage unit. The chart is based on a 10 year period. The details are on the website, but the 10 year results boil down to this:
- Renting: $154,911.77 paid out in rent (you OWN nothing in ten years)
- Owning: $139,619.54 (you OWE nothing in ten years – and own the real estate, which you can recoup if you sell)
Score another victory for owning over renting. Yes, we all know the benefits, but what most probably did not know was that we now have the option to own when it comes to storage space.
For more information, visit USA Garage Condo, the website for a garage condo development in Tempe, Arizona. This website has further information on investment potential, uses and amenities.