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Thread: Would you buy a house without a driveway?

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    Would you buy a house without a driveway?

    I am looking at a little house to buy as a rental near my elderly parents. It's tiny but has great bones. But it doesn't seem to have a driveway. I have to check--maybe it shares a driveway with a neighbor? They are two tiny houses on very narrow lots.

    I can deal with the one bedroom aspect because it's such a cute little cottage and a promising rental. It is in a college town and walkable to everything. But there doesn't seem to be an alley, and on street parking looks annoying.


    Would lack of driveway or shared driveway be a dealbreaker for you?

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    From my experiences with driveways:

    a) The urban parking issue: My son lived in an apartment on the Palisades overlooking the Hudson River. It was amazing. But going to visit him was a real PIA in terms of on-street parking. Does your place look like it's just hard to park, or impossible? At night, do you see most of the street lined with cars? Are there a lot of signs indicating parking violations in "no parking" areas?

    b) The historical parking issue: I got a seasonal rental in Ocean Grove one year and there are VERY few driveways because of its historic landmark status. Very, very few garages. No big deal at all to park on the street, and I'd happily park on the street to maintain the historic integrity of that neighborhood.

    c) The shared parking issue: My MIL's house in White Plains was an old house in an old neighborhood. She shared a driveway with her next-door neighbor. They made it work, but of course every now and then someone would have to ask someone to move the car. If there were more than 3 cars back to back, the other person couldn't get out (the bottom of the driveway widened out for access to a two-car garage, split between neighbors.

    I would see how crowded the streets are, how restrictive on-street parking is in terms of potential violations (do you have to find some place for the car for snow plow clearance?). If everyone parks on the street, that probably won't hurt resale value. If it's a short walk to the house from the street, it probably won't be hard to transport groceries, etc.

    Those are some of the things I'd consider before considering it a deal breaker.
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    thanks, Catherine, these are really good ideas! I will now have much better questions when I talk to the realtor to see if I want to go scope this one out.
    The one thing that might increase the parking "traffic" is that it is a college town. It does look like a quiet little street, though, and I think it is one way. I wonder if that makes it better or worse.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    thanks, Catherine, these are really good ideas! I will now have much better questions when I talk to the realtor to see if I want to go scope this one out.
    The one thing that might increase the parking "traffic" is that it is a college town. It does look like a quiet little street, though, and I think it is one way. I wonder if that makes it better or worse.
    Makes me think of Princeton, then. If you want to park really close to the main street, it's harder to find a parking space, but on the whole, I don't think parking on the side streets is a big issue there.

    Good luck! Sounds like a great opportunity!
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    No. I looked at a house like this, but street parking bans in the winter during snowstorms made it a dealbreaker for me.

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    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    Would lack of driveway or shared driveway be a dealbreaker for you?
    If you're in a area that gets significant snow in the winter, this would be a deal breaker for me. If if on street parking only, you are likely to have parking bans, so where do you put your car? If its a shared driveway, you have to hope they are as ambitious as you in shoveling or that you jointly hire a service to plow, and even then where do you put all the snow?

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    I have lived here for 27 years and have never parked anywhere but on the street. We dont have curb cuts and driveways in our historic district. 99% of the time there is a parking space right in front of our house.

    About a dozen years ao we built a garage in back,with alley access, so DH parks his two vehicles there.

    Now, the downside: crime is a problem in this neighborhood and cars get hit often. Insurance rates go down when there is a garage to park in. Probably the OP wont have this problem of crim, though.

    OP, have you run the numbers on this potential remtal property? I like the basic assessment from the Mr. Money Mustache group:if the property wont bring in 1%-2% per month of the purchase price, walk way from it without doing further analysis.

    So, a $150,000 property should bring in $1,500 per month, for example.

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    Great points about the snow; they do get some snow there, so I will have to ask the agent aboutparking bans. Thanks!!

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    Good thinking IL, that was my next step--you are right, if the basic numbers aren't there, walk way without putting any more energy into it.

    I did this on a possible rental near my son in Indiana and it showed I would be doing all this work for 125 dollars a month. Needless to say, I did not pursue it.

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    someone here (not NYC or Chicago) just paid $450,000 for a renovated townhouse with zero parking. We can get lots of snow and I would not want my car on the busy street.

    Edited to add that I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska and we never ever had a garage. We put a blanket on the windshield, plugged in the car to keep the oil warm and scraped/warmed up the car for at least 20 minutes to get started. My brother finally built a house with a garage. He loves it. Maybe we are all getting soft?
    Last edited by sweetana3; 6-24-17 at 2:06pm.

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