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Four-car Garage: Home Seekers Turn Thumbs Down

It’s not scientific, but most Dallas-Fort Worth area buyers are seeking additional living space, other amenities, over four-car garages. But larger homes and very expensive properties sometimes feature spaces for specialty uses such as golf carts and RVs.

Have three or more drivers in your family? Own bicycles, skis, other sporting gear, camping equipment, a lawnmower, or pool toys? Dreaming about workshop space or perhaps a potting bench?

If the answer to any of the above is “yes,” then you might be a candidate for a four-car garage. Even though popular myth proclaims that everything is bigger in Texas, you could pay a pretty penny for a home with more than three garage spaces in Dallas. In truth, the market for such homes appears limited.

Parking for Two Deemed Best Option

Interestingly, results of an informal poll on optimal parking spaces were mixed, but most respondents seemed less than keen on additional garage space. Half of those asked – buyers with different lifestyles and from different locations looking at a variety of price ranges and areas – said that they would not want more than three spaces for vehicles. In fact, two was the preferred number. Asked about more spaces, the common answer was “no need.”

One 30-something entrepreneur who participated in the poll unequivocally responded in the negative, saying that extra garage spaces “would just collect junk.” Several respondents thought money would be better spent on other amenities, and several suggested garden sheds or portable storage buildings in the backyard as alternatives for additional storage space. Even car lovers thought that a four-car garage space might encourage them to buy another collector’s car, which was viewed as a negative for a lot of reasons, domestic harmony included!

Some participants thought that the look of two 16-foot-wide garage doors would be too ostentatious, would eat up potential yard space, and require more driveway maintenance. Without advocating a four-car garage, several men did prefer oversize spaces to accommodate work benches and storage. Texas homes, lacking basements and finished attics, are notoriously short on storage.

For those whose third driver is a teenager, considering the relatively short time they will have a car at home, one father said, “They can park in the driveway.”

Women Cite Convenience, Safety, Aesthetics

Women, believe it or not, are the prime advocates for additional garage space. Many spoke of the ease of loading and unloading family vehicles, protection from the elements – hot sun, driving rains, and sometimes damaging hailstorms – in addition to the security and aesthetic benefits of having vehicles tucked away out of sight.

Living space, however, particularly a media room or a game room, trumped the desire for a four-car garage with both men and women.

Homes currently available in the Metroplex generally have two garage spaces, with off-street parking for two or more vehicles. That popular formula meets zoning codes and conforms to buyer profiles. Three-car garages are common, as are golf cart spaces in many planned communities. Relatively few homes currently under construction feature four, or more, garage spaces. Those kinds of spaces are commonly designed by architects for individual clients and are intended to meet specific needs that account for a tiny slice of the market.

In fact, of almost 29,000 Dallas-area MLS results, only 30 listings had a four-car garage, somewhat surprising in this city of rambling residences and pleasing home amenities. Some multimillion-dollar showplaces boast multiple spaces and even separate “carriage houses,” but they are certainly not the norm.

The homes on the market that do have four or more garage spaces are surprising. They range from seven spaces in a $29 million, 29,000 square-foot residence to a garage sized to accommodate four vehicles in a foreclosure property listed at just over $100,000.

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