Good Access for Cars

High on the list for many people buying a period home is the need for a garage or carport.

Fair enough, we need our cars for everyday life to get around and most people who buy properties over $1m often have expensive cars, and it is a good idea to protect them.

This can be sometimes hard to achieve, as when these homes were built home owners didn’t have cars!

Parking to the side of the house is OK, but there needs to be adequate room for this to be practical (i.e. you need room not only for the car but also enough room for the doors to open open so that you can get out).

The mirror-to-mirror dimension for cars width ranges from 1.9m to 2.2m, therefore a bare minimum to drive past should be 2.4m and to park stationary about 3.0m is needed.

If looking to build a carport, take note of window placement to side walls of the subject house and also adjoining windows to the neighbouring house as it may not be permissible to block these.

Building a garage or carport to the front of the house is a good idea and can solve many problems (yet it can detract from the street presence of the façade), but council approval will be needed and this can be an expensive and uncertain exercise.

Tips for buyers when looking at homes with no covered parking

  • Take a tape measure to measure the side setback of the house to the fence;
  • If you really love the house but need covered car-parking, don’t talk yourself in to things being OK if there is is not sufficient room to the side of the house – 3.0m is a minimum;
  • Look for precedent in the street for ‘front of house’ carports – this may show you what could be possible, from a council planning perspective.

I personally don’t think people value covered car-parking enough when buying a home.

It can affect capital growth if you don’t have a property with it, as you can rule out so many buyers who will not look at your home when it comes time to sell, particularly in a ‘down’ market.