Condominiums and Parking
Condos come with additional considerations. Unit sizes. Views. Dues and assessments. Extra storage. Common amenities. But did you know that one of the largest desirability (and cost!) drivers is the lowly parking space?
Thankfully, Milwaukee’s parking situation is nowhere as ugly as London, New York, or Chicago. However, additional parking spots can carry a greater premium over having additional bathrooms! Why the crunch? Developers earn more profit on units than parking spaces. Their answer building additional units at the expense of parking spaces and then marking up what few spaces they do create. Other developers try to create a special deal with off-site parking lots. Still others simply leave finding parking up to the unit owners.
What does this mean to buyers and sellers and how can they take advantage of parking crunches?
Your goal is to have more parking than your competition. The best way to do this is to have at least one space more than your competition. Is having zero spaces the norm? Have one. If one space is normal, have two. But before writing a check to buy an additional spot, have your real estate broker compare successful sold pricing between units to determine the value of that spot. Yes, you will sell more quickly and at a higher price compared to those with less parking. But there’s no sense buying another spot if you spend $15,000 to gain $10,000 in value!
If there’s absolutely no parking in your project, consider leasing a spot or two in a close parking lot. Ensure the lease is assignable and include the least with your property. Imagine your condo with parking competing against all others without! If the costs can be justified, consider a multi-year lease. That will make your condo even more attractive!
Aside from the convenience of parking, remember that parking means resale value. Speaking frankly, I’d rather see my buyers with a second parking spot over an additional half bath! One full baths for one parking spot may be an even trade, but I’ve seen many condo complexes where a second parking spot is more valuable than a second bathroom. (The record was a complex where an otherwise equal one bath / two parking spot condo was worth more than a 2.5 bath / one parking spot condo!)
Pay attention to location. Developers may advertise having a spot or two, but where are the spots located? Are they guaranteed? Assigned? How far are they from the building entrance? Will you need to shovel your spot? Is the parking area secured? Are there any additional fees for parking? If the parking is off-site, is there a lease? What are the terms of the lease? Remember, if the lease runs out on the developer, it runs out on you too!
The best way to buy is to have at least one space more than your competition. Is having zero spaces the norm? Buy one. If one space is normal, buy two. Have your real estate broker compare successful sold pricing between units to determine the value of additional parking. While you may only need one spot today, you may need that second spot tomorrow! Your condo with additional parking may also increase in value more than the same condo without additional parking.
If you’re looking for a new place to park yourself, please call or email me! I’ll be happy to help you navigate the world of condos!