Is garage more valuable than third bedroom? It depends
Q: I'm very frustrated with my wife. She wants to make our double garage a bedroom for our twin sons so she can use the small bedroom for her crafts business. Our one-bath house is small - just two bedrooms - yet I think it's important not to lose the garage. I want to sell the house and move. She wants to stay because we are close to her family and to my brother with kids the same age as our sons. How do I tell her a garage is more important than three bedrooms for resale value?
A: You are both right that a garage or three bedrooms make a house more valuable when it's time to sell. But it really depends on the big picture. You simply can't price a home based on a checklist of features such as bathrooms, bedrooms, or garage.
You are trying to balance resale value with your family's needs. I really think a converted garage is a great idea for growing boys, but it will need to be done right. Be sure to rework the exterior, too, to make it look as if it was never a garage. A poorly executed conversion will likely decrease your home's value.
Another option may be to create a new master suite for you and your wife in the garage by adding a bath, too. Your boys can take over your bedroom, freeing the other for your wife.
That said, there might be some other options to sensibly add on to your house without sacrificing the garage. Please talk with a builder, architect, or designer for ideas and potential issues and legal requirements.
You could also just clean up the garage so your wife's crafts have a place there and replace the door with an insulated one. Have a builder finish the walls and ceiling, and when it's time to sell, you'll have the nicest garage on the block. However, that approach would not make a very comfortable bedroom without heat, proper flooring, electrical outlets, and good lighting.
Get some estimates, and compare the price to other houses for sale nearby that might suit your needs better. Keep the conversations going with your wife, and let me know how it goes.
Jennifer Adams is a designer, author, and TV personality. To contact her: