You finally did it. It took years of talking about it and more than a few cases of beverages, but you actually did it. You convinced all your buddies to meet at your house for a long weekend of framing walls, running wire and hanging drywall. With the help of your friends, you turned that big storage locker, more commonly known as a garage, into the ultimate “Man Cave”.
And, what a Man Cave it is. Two big screen TVs mounted at just the right height, each equipped with external speakers loud enough to shake the neighbor’s bed. A bar top made of the finest teak wood and long enough to seat even your widest of buds. But, what really turns that musty and drab garage into sports heaven are those awesome reclining stadium chairs equipped with drink holders and nacho trays.
That’s the good news. The bad news is, your wife just told you she accepted a transfer for work and now you are forced to put your house and that most awesome Man Cave up for sale. No problem, with that new Man Cave your house should sell quickly and at a premium price – right? Don’t bank on it.
While Man Caves are definitely the in-thing for sports junkies, not every house hunter holds the same attitude. Especially when it comes to the woman of the house.
Garage: a building or shed for housing a motor vehicle.
Imagine the excitement during the first weekend that your house hits the real estate market. Prospective home buyers lined along the curb that outlines your freshly manicured lawn. Couples eagerly walking through the front door to size up and scrutinize every little detail of your home. As they complete their respective tours what is the last question almost every wife will ask is…where is the garage? And right on cue, the smart husband will chime in with, yes, where does my wife park her car when it’s freezing outside? What you want to say is, hey buddy, let’s go to my awesome Man Cave and pop the top off a few ice cold beverages and watch some football, but what you actually stumble through is how easy it is to convert that extra room back into a “heated garage” perfect your wife on those cold winter days. Nice save!
Is it up to code or just a weekend overhaul.
I know, all my friends are weekend carpenters and electricians too, but that doesn’t mean they know absolutely anything about local building codes. However, you can bet that framed autograph picture of Bret Favre, that any buyer’s home appraiser knows a thing or two about building codes. Especially, appraisers that are hired and paid for by a lender. Appraisers are trained to detect jobs done by the weekend warriors so, if your city, township, county, etc. requires a permit, best to pull one and pay to have the proper inspections along the way.
Added square feet does not always add up to more square feet.
One of the ancillary benefits of turning that garage into the coolest of home sports bar venue is that it will add value to your house because, when it hits the MLS it will show all that added finished square feet. Not so fast. There are strict guidelines on what can be included in the GLA (Gross Living Area) of your home. In general, converted garages do not meet the GLA guidelines, unless you pull that building permit (remember that discussion above) and are lucky enough to get an appraiser that happens to have a Man Cave of his own.
An ENERGY STAR window AC unit should be fine for most Man Caves north of the 31st parallel. For those of us below that line of heat and stagnant humidity, we are used to dripping in sweat almost year around. But, if you prefer to keep your sweat hog buddies cool and dry, don’t make the mistake of trying to cool the cave by simply rigging supply side duct work from an adjacent room in your main house. Your HVAC system’s airflow is supposed to be balanced so the conditioned air (supply side) that flows into your total living space equals the amount of stale air drawn out (return side). Decreasing the amount of supply air in your main house by diverting some to your Man Cave can cause a slight negative pressure in your home. That means air will need to come inside your house from somewhere, which is usually from under doors, around windows and possibly gas vents.
Impressive Man Caves will certainly excite your sports enthusiast friends during all seasons of the year – baseball, football, basketball, hockey (ok, we can include soccer for diehard sports fans). But, it may not be so impressive when it comes time to sell your home. So, be prepared to spend the time and money to convert that sports sanctuary back into a drab garage before you put your home on the market (albeit with nice colorful walls). Or, you can take a chance your cave won’t deter a buyer and perhaps you can settle with your buyer at closing. Which option is right for you depends a lot on what’s going on around your neighborhood. Your local professional real estate agent will be able to discuss the trends with the current home seller market and how best to show off your cave, err, garage and save you money.
After all, your ultimate goal when selling your home is to sell it fast and maximize the number of dollars in your pocket. As a home seller, it’s important to understand your real estate market and the potential buyers that may be interested in your home, especially with the varying inventory of homes currently on the market. Thankfully, you can take a lot of the guesswork out of selling your home when you choose a local professional real estate agent from Great Percent. Great Percent provides home sellers with the ability to anonymously choose a local real estate agent based on their qualifications and experience. The Great Percent agent offers expertise real estate service with lower commission fees, which could save you thousands of dollars and improve your overall selling experience. Saving you dollars at closing means more dollars for you to build that new Man Cave. This time, with upgraded crimson shag carpeting and maybe a professional sized foosball table (aka European Table Soccer) for all your soccer loving buddies.