The Real.Est List
The true value of an on-site storage unit
How much value does a storage unit ad to the resale value of an apartment? That's the question over on StreetEasy.com, where a condo owner is debating whether to buy a 5' x 5' storage room for $10,000 or rent a larger one off-site for $150 a month.
Clearly, a storage unit can be a competitive advantage at resale time. But for a sense of how much it adds in greenbacks, we checked in with a couple of our experts.
Even though a storage unit is typically located in the basement and in raw condition, "a good place to start is a value consistent with the price per square foot of your apartment," says Manhattan appraiser Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel, Inc. So if your apartment is worth $1,000 per square foot, that 5 x 5 storage unit arguably adds another $5,000 if not more.
Halstead Property's executive director of development marketing Stephen Kliegerman observes that in new developments, storage units sell from anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000 or more.
"I'd say it adds about $10,000-$20,000 on resale depending on the size of the storage," he says. "In [very high end] buildings like 15 CPW, it would be much more."
On StreetEasy, some commenters argued that resale value is almost completely beside the point:
"Having storage in the building is HUGE," explains one. "To me, it is a different category. If you have a storage room on the west side, you store things you might get once a year, furniture you're not using. You'll save some space in your apartment, but to me that stuff generally ends up being stuff you should be selling, or never use. If it is in the building, you can add a lot more to that. I think of it as another closet. Large broiler pans (sounds weird, but they 'aint small). Big pots. Fans. Coolers. Special occasion clothes. Office supplies (buy a boxes of envelopes and files and things, only keep in the apartment a few of each) Stuff that you'd otherwise have to keep in your apartment for easy access (and that you can't have across town if you really plan on using)."