There are many different home and property types you can choose to add to your portfolio. One of these lovely property types that have a unique appeal are coach houses.
So, what exactly is a coach house?
A coach house is a unique home build that has the living area built above a carport or garage. This property type dates back prior to car usage as it was designed to initially be a home above a horse stable. This was a secure way to ensure that horses and carriages were safe on the home property at night.
Although the days of horses and carriages are gone, this is still a well sought out property to lease out to tenants. Nowadays, it is common for the owner of the garage or carport to use the lower level for their own use and then find a tenant to pay rent to live in the upper level of the property.
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Coach houses offer a variety of benefits as a property added to a portfolio. An initial benefit to this property type is that these can be both affordable and fairly simple to lien out. This allows you as a property owner to both use or live in the property while also renting out the other portion whether that be the living area or garage. Because a coach house is attached to its garage, they are often cheaper all around than a property that has a detached garage or carport of the same size.
As far as tenants go, if you are going to rent from a coach house, there is a great added advantage of not having any next door neighbors. You are simply above another tenant, so there tends to rarely be noise complaints due to the setup of this home type.
Coach houses also, traditionally, tend to have a bit more land that comes with them as a parcel due to not having separate buildings. Although this might not always be the case, being able to add in a property with a little bit of land for gardens or relaxing can be a great appeal point for possible tenants or as a wishlist item if you are looking to be a tenant.
Modern coach houses can be seen as great space savers. More modern designs may be set up to have both levels rented out to the same tenant, so storage and parking is able to be kept close to the main living quarters and allows for a bit more maximisation of free space outside. This means there does not need to be a storage shed or other building on the property to meet the needs of the tenants. As a developer, this option build could allow more livable space on a lot of land. Two coach houses side by side can take up a similar amount of space of one single family living area and then a detached garage next to it.
Depending on the age of the property and if any special modification has been done, a coach house historically has a bad reputation of being difficult to heat and cool. Specifically, this comes down to maintaining a given temperature because of how the living area is set up. So, before jumping head first into buying or renting this property type, it is a good idea to check the garage below and see how well insulated it is.
If you find a coach house and have the intention of reselling it, you may want to be wary of this approach. It will be far easier to rent out than to fully resell the property. This is due to demand simply being a bit lower than stand-alone family homes as far as buyers go, so these properties often sell a little below value.
One last disadvantage, and likely the largest of all of them, is that coach houses are often very difficult to insure. This is because it falls as a combination style building which makes finding comprehensive coverage of the property difficult or much pricer, if you do not go through the right insurance agent, to cover the property as needed. This means you as a property owner will need to do a bit extra research to ensure you have all of your bases covered.
Coach houses are not an extremely popular property type, but their popularity is on the rise. If you are a property investor, this unique home setup does allow you to offer a certain selling point to possible tenants with being able to rent from an accommodation that is not as standard as an apartment or single family home.
With varying degrees of advantages and disadvantages, both tenants and investors need to approach this property type with a slight bit of caution.
In the end though, a coach house can be a great addition to a portfolio so long as you know what features to highlight to possible tenants.