Home buyers like off-road parking and in particular garages. It's hard to get away from the fact that a garage is a must on many homebuyers' lists. Sometimes that even means a double garage or internal garage.
Not all is lost, however, if there is no garage at your dream home. It is possible to add them. For some people that means excavating to add an internal garage under the home.
Or you can add an internal access garage, usually at the front of the home. Even a standalone garage can do the trick.
In terms of value, you're unlikely to make a financial profit by adding a agarage before you sell, says valuer Rene McLean of Property InDepth. The garage may add to the saleability, but you are unlikely to make money.
McLean says: "If there is no garage the next person has the option to do what they want with (the space), which might not be to put a garage on it."
Buyers may not be able to afford the increased purchase price if you stump up the cash for a garage to be built.
Sometimes the hardest decision is how to use your building coverage between your dwelling sleepouts, garaging or other ancillary buildings, says planning consultant James Hook of Envivo. A garage isn't always the most efficient use of the space.
Hook says adding a garage can come with a number of considerations that the general public may not expect. That starts with building consent.
"The key consideration is building coverage on the site," says Hook.
The Auckland Unitary Plan restricts coverage to 40 per cent or 45 per cent of the site, depending on which zone the property is in. If the site coverage exceeds the unitary plan rules there may be a need for resource consent as well.
"There are other planning considerations for the placement and positioning of your garage," says Hook. "Planning considerations (around) accessing the garage and manoeuvring in and out of the garage."
For example if there are four or more on-site parking spaces or the garage is more than 30 metres distance from a road there is a requirement for a turning space.
There are rules around the slope of that turning area, which means that manoeuvring space can be gently sloping, but not steep. In some cases it's necessary to build retaining walls, which comes with additional engineering requirements if the wall is more than 1.5m high or supporting a load.
Add to that the turning space combined with the roof area of the garage may result in the need for drainage/storm water work to be done, says Hook.
"Council sets a maximum limit on the amount of the roof and paved area on a site. In the instance where you exceed that limit you may need to involve an engineer to design a storm water management system."
In some instances that might mean the need for onsite storm water management.
Hook says two thirds to three quarters of new garages in Auckland are unlikely to need additional design. But it's worth consulting early on to ensure what you want to do can be done.