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Building a new garage or updating an existing one can boost your property's value and give you some added space for your passion projects. But it's not as simple as it seems — there's a lot to consider when creating your dream garage.

Before you choose the size or layout of your future garage, you have to determine what purpose the added space will serve. Will it be primarily for storage, to house your car, or maybe even used as a studio or workspace? Each purpose comes with its own requirements and costs that may or may not prevent the project from getting off the ground.

Building the Garage of Your Dreams

Once you determine the need, you can start planning how to make it a reality. Your idea of a dream garage might mean driving into an expansive indoor parking area, but do you have enough space to accommodate it? If you have an existing garage you want to expand, do you have space on your property to go larger?

Whether or not you can put your plan into motion will be contingent on the zoning laws and land use codes in your neighborhood. Zoning laws put in place by local governments set the standards for the size and placement of structures and the uses for them and will vary from one city to the next. It's vital to determine the zoning rules for your neighborhood before moving forward with your project. You don't want to build a garage only to have to take it down or make modifications.

Calculate Costs Before Proceeding

Before you seek out ways to bankroll your dream garage, you have to figure out how much it's going to cost you. That means obtaining multiple quotes and ensuring you are doing an apples-to-apples comparison. You'll want the estimates to cover bases such as roofing and siding, framing, windows, doors, and electricity. Go with a licensed and insured contractor and make sure to check references. Don't get hung up on price either — "you get what you pay for" can be true in the home improvement market just as much as it applies for any other paid service.

Figure Out Financing

A new or enhanced garage isn't going to be cheap — some may require a loan. The good news is that borrowers have options. For homeowners with equity in their house, they can take out a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or home equity loan. These loans are drawn against the house and typically come with a low-interest rate. With a loan, you borrow a lump sum while with a line of equity you tap it on a need to use basis.

If you don't have enough equity in your home, another option is an personal loan. It's not backed by anything and usually has a fixed interest rate. Expect to pay a higher interest rate on a personal loan compared to a home equity loan or home equity line of credit.

Final Thoughts

The garage of your dreams doesn't have to stay in your dreams. It's within your grasp as long as you prepare ahead of time. Cost is important, but so are zoning laws and accommodations. Knowing exactly what you'll use the garage for, ensuring your plans work with land use rules, and choosing the right financing provider will go a long way in ensuring your dream garage becomes a reality.

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This information and recommendations contained herein is compiled from sources deemed reliable, but is not represented to be accurate or complete. This material is presented for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individual tax or financial advice. KeyBank does not provide legal advice.

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