Car Parking at a premium The days of only looking for a property through the paper have changed, with the majority of people these days starting their search online and loving the flexibility of being able to set up alerts and notifications so they get told when a property that meets their search criteria becomes available in the marketplace.

Purchasers can first narrow down the number of potential properties they’re interested in through use of criteria such as: location, price, property type, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, land size, car parking, etc.

They’ll then look at the results that have been returned by the search engine they’re using and narrow it down further. They’ll do so according to the first impression they get from the photo, heading or first sentence. They’ll only open some of the listings to actually read the description in full and see all the photos.

So my question is this… If you’re going to put in parking into your investment property, which is going to give the best returns? Does having a garage add more value then a carport? And what about a shade sail? Or just a driveway with an uncovered parking space? Are potential buyers or tenants even going to care too much about what type of parking it is, as long as it has some?

The majority will argue that a garage will bring in the highest returns (how much it adds to the value of the property compared to how much it costs to put in), especially if the garage is needed for more reasons than just parking the car.

It’s often perceived as a space with multiple uses. There’s the potential to use the garage as an additional storage space or as a handyman’s workroom. It also provides additional security for the occupier’s vehicles and other belongings.

For some people it can also be an additional living space, like a rumpus room where they might have a pool table, bar, etc.

On the other hand building a garage also costs the most and involves getting plans approved by the council which can introduce additional delays for the project. All in all a new double garage costs somewhere around $40,000 these days inclusive of all costs. And it tends to add somewhere between $50,000 and $70,000 to the bottom line of a property investing deal, depending on the location of the home.

So is it really worth it? If you have that much extra in the budget for your renovation, then it probably is. But not everyone does.

A carport does cost less to construct and still provides undercover parking for cars, however it also requires getting a permit from the council which may cause delays and introduce additional costs. So what does that leave us with?

The shade sail. In some councils having a cover which isn’t 100 per cent solid which is under three metres in height may not require council approval. They still protect your vehicle from UV rays and the higher quality ones can be fairly weather resilient.

They can also look very modern in appearance and are quite often used in new developments and display homes. You can get them for around $1500 to $3400 (3m x 6m) including poles and fittings. Surprisingly they tend to increase the bottom line of a renovation deal more than a standard carport. They tend to increase the value of the home by about $5000 to $15,000.

Interestingly having uncovered parking doesn’t add as much value to the renovation deal as you’d think. Although most people would be happy that a property has some parking they won’t value it as much as any of the other options.

There are exceptions as always and central business districts of most big cities fall into that category where any parking at all is considered a blessing.


Ana Stankovic is well known as one of Australia’s leading renovating-for-profit specialists and is regularly featured in prominent industry publications, expos and continually educates investors.