Tandem Garage Conundrum

The Conundrum of Arbitrability of Landlord-Tenant Dispute in the Indian Context – Indian Commercial Law Review and Practice BlogA question that comes up quite often on the forums is what to do about garages that have tandem spaces, what to do about two car garages that can really keep three cars inside. Check out garage doors Coquitlam check Titan Garage Doors. How does this look on an appraisal? Is that a two car garage or a three car?

Tandem garages are fairly common, especially from garage services like https://silverlinesystems.com.  From the street you see two doors and what looks like a two car garage from the outside opens up to a space large enough for more than two cars.  Well the answer is, it depends.

Let’s look at the UAD, the field specific standardization requirements. Appendix D says “If the subject property has a driveway, garage, and/or carport, the appraiser must enter the number of spaces for each type of car storage” (pg 18).  So you have to enter the number of spaces, regardless of the functionality of the space.  It doesn’t matter if you’d have to move one car to get another out, the UAD says the appraiser must enter the number of spaces.

However, here’s the caveat, you don’t have to give that a value.  This is why it depends.  If you’re using UAD, you have to put a three car garage but there is nothing wrong with explaining why you didn’t make an adjustment between a comp.

Is there any difference in the value of a tandem garage? Again, it depends. This time your market might change the answer.  Where I am, I’ve not been able to find support for the difference. According to the UAD I have to put down a three car garage but, from what I see, I don’t have to give an adjustment between a two car garage and a three car tandem garage. It’s up to you.  You have to be the local expert.  Know your market.In addition, proper maintenance and repair are important to stay alive in the market. Arlington Heights area has experts who can help you with this.

For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode: 472

14 thoughts on “Tandem Garage Conundrum”

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  2. So if you have a 30′ x 40′ detached outbuilding/garage/shop with a one car wide roll-up door but will fit four cars on the interior, according to UAD that is a four car garage (4gd1dw)? That’s just stupid….. This has become a point of contention several times upon reconsideration’s of value. The UAD label guidelines lack of regard to the functional utility of these car storage spaces leaves much to be desired. I could probably count the number of times I have seen a “tandem garage” actually used for additional car parking on two hands in my entire career. It is almost always used for toy storage, man cave, workout room or just a mess. I guess the point is consistency and clarity. For years and until recently, I have been calling these tandem garages, two-car garages 2ga2dw and making an additional adjustment (if needed) on an additional line marked “tandem or shop area”. I know this does not comport with UAD, but to me it is more accurate. After a recent contentious reconsideration, I have started labeling them 3ga2dw which is probably the UAD correct label and then making the adjustments for any identifiable market reaction to function when compared to 3ga3dw garages (with additional addendum commentary). 3ga2dw may be the correct label per UAD for a 2 car wide tandem garage, but in my opinion, if it has a two car door and a two car driveway, it is a 2 car garage.

    1. Great point, Greg. I’ve been doing this in my market (which has a large number of these) for 30 years and I honestly only recall one occasion where I saw a vehicle other than a golf cart parked in the additional space. And…it was something along the size of a “Smart” car, and not anything even close to a typical size auto.

  3. FHA guidelines offer an explanation under Common Questions, #15 in the FHA 4000.1 Handbook, 09/14/2015 version.

    “Local market conditions and research will indicate the desirability of the feature. The appraiser must provide an explanation of the feature, the level or market acceptance or preference, and the Contributory Value of the combined space.”

  4. How does this affect the Cost Approach? Would that create a variance to be explained in the sales comparison approach. Asking for a friend! Ha!

  5. Scott Thomas Baczkiewicz

    Define “Space” Is a parking space the space where a car can fit or is a space where a car can park and be moved without moving another car? UAD may state to put the number of spaces, but then they do not define the parameters for what qualifies as a parking space. Would a parking lot with 6 tandem spots for customer parking be considered to have 12 spaces? Is a 400 ft long driveway that is a single car wide considered to have 20 spaces, because it can fit 20 cars? In the end as always “It Depends” is a good way to start and explain, explain, explain.

    1. Have you ever noticed Scott that the sales comparison approach grid only states Garage/Carport and does not indicate spaces? For that reason (not being specifically asked), and the confusion regarding the numbers of potential spaces, most appraisers in my area block the transfer / carryover from page one (spaces). Make a general comment if you wish regarding spaces, but relating to the difficulties if finding the truth, and adjusting, I’ve found it better to remove the carryover, but comment.

      Seek the truth.

  6. Considering most builders offer an additional room (typically a bedroom) instead of the tandem portion of the garage at the time of original sale, any lack of current utility is often offset by the potential and ease (you already have 3 walls) to add additional GLA down the road. As always this is market specific, but considering in my market you may have a 3,000 sf home on a 4,000 to 5,000 sf lot, options are limited.

    Seek the truth.

  7. I recently appraised a property that was originally built with a 20 x 24 two car attached garage. At some point half of the garage depth was converted to finished living area (laundry room and office). As such, the space originally used as a garage no longer functions as a garage as it could reasonably only accommodate an 11 foot long vehicle. I provided a thorough explanation with accompanying photos in the report as to why I was no longer classifying that area as a garage and instead identifying and and adjusting it as storage area. The underwriter insisted that I classified it as a garage which I refused to do.

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