Best Tip for New Condo Buyers: Demand a Free Parking Space

So, wait... free parking actually IS available in this town?

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    This week UrbanTurf is taking a look back at the best that D.C.'s residential real estate market had to offer in 2009. From the best deals to the best trends to, of course, the best listings, we believe we have sussed out the cream of the crop.

    With all the stories floating around of parking spaces selling for $40,000 or even $50,000 in the District, it might surprise you to learn that there is actually a surplus of parking at a number of new condo projects in the area. Many new projects in 2009 are "over-parked," which means the developer built more spots than were ultimately demanded by buyers, so the building has more parking than it needs. This presents a great opportunity for buyers, as they can push for a parking space to be thrown in with their unit for little -- or even zero -- additional cost. In fact, a free parking space was one of the first techniques developers used to pump buyer demand when the economy soured late last year.

    "Parking is the lowest-hanging fruit in the negotiating process," one developer told UrbanTurf. "Once the building sells out, leftover spaces valued at $30K can't even fetch $10K, and many condo regimes won’t allow you to sell or lease them to non-residents." That means that unsold parking is worth almost nothing to developers, and so they won’t likely push back too hard if they have a buyer on the hook asking for a space.

    So, even if you don’t currently own a car, try and negotiate for a free parking space. When it comes time to sell your unit, the resale value will be much higher if it includes a parking spot than if it doesn’t.

     


    Next Up: The Editor’s Choices for Best Posts of the Year.

    Previous Best of 2009 entries:

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