Housing has become so expensive. Monthly mortgage payments are high, leaving some people “house poor” and unable to put any money away in a savings account. Renting out part of your home is a great way to earn some extra cash to help pay your mortgage or to deposit into a savings account. Some people choose to rent out their basement or a bedroom in their home, but renting out an apartment above a detached garage is the ideal option. This puts the renter away from the main home, giving both your family and the renter more privacy. Read on to learn more about how you can get garage plans with apartment options and transform the area into a money-making investment!   

Check Local Zoning Rules

 First and foremost, before building a detached garage on your property with an upstairs apartment, check with your local zoning department. Some areas have strict rules about renters living on property, so it is important that you understand these rules before starting construction. Your planning department will provide you with a permit and then you are ready to begin constructing the garage of your dreams.

Purchase Garage Plans & Build Your Garage

At Behm Design, we make getting garage plans easy.  Save time and money by purchasing your plans through our website. We have a wide variety of plans available in many different sizes and styles. One popular option is our many designs that offer apartment space layout, an extra Floor Plan for building the second floor above the garage. Homeowners often use this space as a rental unit that allows them to bring in some extra cash each month. Once the plans are ordered, you will receive both hard and digital copies. Your contractor can get to work right away building your brand new detached garage with an upstairs apartment. 

Finish the Space 

Once the garage is built, you will want to finish the space so that it is a comfortable, attractive home for a renter to live in. Here are some things to think about when working on the interior of the apartment:

  • Flooring decisions (ex: hardwood, carpet, tile, etc.)
  • Paint color – a nice paint job can make a space very inviting
  • Furnished or empty? You decide if you want to provide your tenant with furniture or if you would like them to bring their own
  • Kitchen finishes (ex: cabinet colors, material of countertops, type of appliances, etc.)
  • Bathroom finishes (ex: type of tile, design of toilet and shower, storage space, etc.)
  • Built-in storage 

These are some examples of work that will need to be done to make the space livable for your future tenant. Remember, any investment you make in this space will be worth it once you start receiving those monthly rental payments. 

Figure Out What to Charge in Rent 

The next step is determining what you will charge your tenant for rent. Start by researching similar rental properties in your area and see what they are charging. Also, talking to a realtor can be very helpful as they can run comps on rentals in the area to help you decide what amount makes sense. It is a happy medium of not making rent too cheap that you aren’t seeing a return on your investment, but also not making it too expensive so that you are not attracting tenants. Once you have decided on your rental number, have a lawyer or a realtor help you draft up a lease. Leases contain a lot of important legal language, so it is very important to work with a professional when creating the lease. 

Advertise Your Property 

Once the apartment is built and the lease is ready, it is time to advertise your property! Putting your property up on popular websites like Zillow, Redfin, and Craigslist are helpful ways to make sure people are able to find your property. You will soon start to see the request for tours pouring in thanks to your advertising efforts. As you begin to give tours of your apartment and receive rental applications, be sure to thoroughly screen each candidate. Remember, this person will be living on your property so it is important that you feel they are someone who you can trust. 

Determine What You Will Do with the Extra Income 

Last but not least, figure out what you will do with this extra monthly income. People who have financial plans will end up being more responsible with incoming money rather than just immediately spending it. Will you use the money to help pay your monthly mortgage? Do you need the extra funds to do crucial renovations on your home? Will the money go to savings? It is important to look over your budget and figure out how to use this money to truly help your financial situation. It can also be a good idea to hire a financial advisor to help you look over your finances and figure out a plan. 

Looking for some extra income? Interested in making an investment on your property that will have a high return? Consider building a detached garage on your property with an apartment above it. This apartment can be finished and made into a space that can be filled by a tenant. At Behm Design, we make this process easier by providing you with premade garage plans with “U” occupancy for the second floor and also a suggested layout plan for building apartment space instead. You will probably need to  get approval from your local planning department and building department to convert the second floor space to residential  “R3” occupancy and get started with planning your construction. You will be bringing in monthly rental income in no time! For more information about available garage plans with apartment included and the process of building a detached garage on your property, contact Behm Design today.