Garage Financing And Loan Options
When it comes to impacting your daily life, adding a garage to your property might be one of the best home improvement projects available. A garage provides extra storage, a staging space for outdoor projects and a secure and reliable parking spot that keeps your vehicle safe from weather damage, saving you the time and effort of keeping up with snow, pollen or whatever else nature might deposit on your car.
But while the convenience and versatility of a garage are undeniable, they come with a significant price tag. The good news is that there are plenty of garage financing options available that can break down your costs and make your home improvement goals attainable. Let’s learn about them now.
Your Garage Loan Options
While you may be able to find dedicated "garage loans," your financing options for a garage, carport or other detached structure are similar to your loan options for other home improvement projects.
Personal loans are likely your best bet for garage financing. They offer a quick turnaround, require no collateral and don't weigh your credit score as heavily as other loan options. Even if your credit score stands as a “work in progress” you might still be able to secure a personal loan and move financially forward if you're willing to accept a higher interest rate.
Home Equity Loans
Home equity loans are a little more complicated. For one, you'll need to have at least 20% equity in your home to qualify, as well as a credit score of 620 or higher. These requirements mean it will take longer and be more difficult to qualify, plus you'll be using your house as collateral and might have to pay higher fees and closing costs than you would with other loan options.
A home equity line of credit (HELOC) usually requires no collateral and can be used for various purchases, including garage financing. Like home equity loans, HELOCs are dependent on the equity you have in your home, so you'll need to have enough built up to finance a significant construction project.
A 203(K) is a loan offered by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) for home improvement projects. It covers a wide variety of renovations, including garage builds.
To qualify, your garage project needs to meet FHA health and safety regulations and match comparable properties in your area. Alternative, garage-like buildings aren't covered by this loan so to get approved, your project must look and act like a traditional garage structure.
Alternative Financing Options
If a loan doesn't feel like the right garage financing method for you, cash and credit cards may also be used.
Paying By Cash
Unless you have the cash readily on hand, saving for a project of this size may take a significant amount of time, and paying up front might drain your account and make it difficult to keep up with other payments. But, if you have a strong financial plan in place, purchasing in cash can be a good option to avoid paying interest. In many cases, however, having enough cash on hand to fully finance a garage build might not be realistic.
Paying By Credit
Credit cards are another option if you want to move forward with your garage project now and pay later. Just remember that you might pay more interest on your card than on a personal loan, and the latter tends to be a better option for major purchases.
Since you'll likely be borrowing a big chunk of change to finance your garage build, you might end up paying more than you can afford with a card, spiraling your debt out of control. Learn more about how personal loans compare to credit cards to figure out what's right for you.
How Much Your Garage Design May Costs
If you're considering your finance options, estimating the actual cost of the project should be one of your top priorities. Depending on the type of structure you want to build, your costs for a garage project can vary significantly. You'll need to do a bit of research to figure out the right balance of how much garage you need and how much you can afford.
A carport is a detached, open-walled structure that provides a sheltered parking space for your vehicle. Since it’s free-standing and doesn't include walls, a carport is one of the more affordable garage-type options on the market.
HomeAdvisor puts the average cost of a carport between $3,000 and $10,000.
Attached And Detached Garages
While detached garages might cost less than an equivalent attached structure, both are significant construction projects, especially if you'd like your new garage to include a living space like an apartment or in-law suite.
While HomeAdvisor estimates the average cost of a garage project between $16,000 and $39,000, a number of factors such as the combination of materials, size and special features can have a huge impact on how much you'll pay.
A shed cannot house a car, but if you're interested in some of a garage's other benefits like storage and extra workspace, a shed is a great option. Sheds are some of the cheapest detached structures – estimated between $1,500 and $4,000 by HomeAdvisor – and they're highly customizable. While many people use sheds to simply store tools and set up workbenches, others turn them into home offices and personal retreats.
Replacing just your garage doors is much more affordable than building a new structure, but depending on the material you choose, the cost can still add up significantly, averaging about $1,000, according to Fixr.
At about $400 each, steel doors are the least expensive option, and they're often a popular choice. If you're looking for a more polished look, you can also find vinyl, aluminum, composite, fiberglass and wood doors. Each of these is about $200 to $500 more than the steel option, so if you're looking at a double wooden door replacement, you could still end up needing a fair amount of financing.
Using a contractor for your garage build? Try asking multiple construction professionals for cost estimates. This can help you find the best deal while also giving you a better idea of the price range for your project and knowing that range will make it easier for you to pick your best financing option.
Finally, it's important to note that cities and towns often require permits for new construction or major renovations. Check your local government's rules and regulations to see whether your project needs a permit and remember to factor in this fee when calculating your overall estimate. Permit fees vary wildly depending on where you live.
A small town might ask only a few hundred dollars, while a city might require thousands of dollars to secure a permit – and the size of your garage will also increase these fees.
Finance Your Garage Build Today
A garage is one of the most versatile additions you can make to your house. If you know what kind of garage or detached structure you're looking for, but don't have the cash on hand, a number of financing options are available:
- Home improvement personal loan
- Home equity loan
- FHA 203(K)
Ready to get started? Rocket Loans offers personal loans for garage financing. Learn more about our home improvement personal loans, or apply online now.
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