Imagine having a dedicated space to showcase your collection of prized cars or motorcycles, surrounded by enthusiasts who share your passion.
That, in a nutshell, is what a car condo is.
In this article, I’ll explain what a car condo or a garage condo is. We’ll cover their features and how they can be the perfect solution for your storage and lifestyle needs.
If you want a dedicated space that you’ll be proud to show off, you’ll want to stick around.
What is a Garage Condo or Car Condo?
The idea of garage condos is pretty new. So you’ll probably hear the terms ‘car condo’ and ‘garage condo’ used frequently.
For the purposes of this article, we’ll use them interchangeably.
A garage condo is a unique, upscale storage location designed for car and motorcycle enthusiasts looking for more than just a place to park their prized possessions. Each individual, privately-owned unit is located within a secure, well-maintained facility that provides the perfect environment to store, protect, and showcase your vehicles. Most car condos try to foster a sense of community with their owners by hosting events or track days.
Car condos are typically found in urban and suburban areas with a strong car enthusiast community. They’re often strategically located near major cities, highways, racetracks, or automotive event venues to provide convenient access for owners.
In recent years, car condos have gained popularity across the United States. Some of the best garage condos are in states like Florida, California, Texas, and Colorado. They have also started appearing in Canadian cities and other countries with enough demand for luxury vehicle storage.
Car condos give you the space to create a personalized showroom for your car collection. Owners can customize their unit’s interiors to build their dream garage.
The goal is for each owner to turn their garage condo into a true “man-cave” or “she-shed,” a space to relax, work on their vehicles and entertain friends.
At the heart of the garage condo concept is the sense of community to make the ownership experience more enjoyable.
Many facilities also offer additional amenities, such as vehicle maintenance services and concierge assistance. They often include shared amenities like clubhouses, lounges, and event spaces.
On weekends, owners can mingle and network with fellow enthusiasts at members-only gatherings, car shows, and other social events.
This makes garage condos more than just glorified storage units. They become a lifestyle destination for those who share a passion for automobiles and appreciate the finer things in life.
Garage Condo vs. Garage Apartment
At this point, it’s important to note the distinction between a garage condo and a garage apartment.
While both can serve as storage for vehicles, they’re very different in terms of purpose, amenities, and ownership structure.
A garage condo is a privately-owned storage unit within a larger, upscale facility designed for car and motorcycle enthusiasts. They provide a luxurious, customizable space for showcasing your favorite exotic or classic vehicles. They often come with additional amenities like clubhouses, lounges, and event spaces to help foster a sense of community among owners.
On the other hand, a garage apartment is a living space built above or adjacent to a garage, typically on residential properties. Its primary purpose is to provide additional living space.
What Amenities & Features Are Included?
Don’t think of car condos are just storage units. They’re primarily lifestyle destinations for car enthusiasts.
Depending on the location and developer, car condos may include various amenities and features, such as:
- Performance tracks where owners can test and enjoy their vehicles
- Clubhouses where owners can socialize and network with other car lovers
- Events such as car shows, auctions, rallies, and parties
- Security systems such as cameras, alarms, gates, and guards
- Customization options such as flooring, lighting, insulation, ventilation, and plumbing
- Services such as car washes, detailing, maintenance, and repairs
Car condos are designed to offer a premium experience for owners who want to store, display, and enjoy their vehicles.
If you’re like me, you’re probably salivating at having your own racetrack right outside your garage.
Here are some examples of performance tracks found at car condos:
- Tampa’s Motor Enclave in Florida is a $100 million development building garage condominiums and a 1.5-mile performance track near Tampa Executive Airport. The track will allow owners and guests to drive their vehicles at high speeds and experience different terrains and elevations1. It will also host racing, drifting, and autocross events.
- The Thermal Club in California is a private motorsports country club with three racetracks totaling 5.1 miles, a kart track, and an autocross skid pad. Tracks are designed by professional drivers and engineers to challenge and thrill drivers of all skill levels.
- M1 Concourse in Michigan is an automotive enthusiast destination with a 1.5-mile performance track with 11 turns and a 2,600-foot straightaway. The track is open to the public for special events and is designed to accommodate a variety of driving styles.
- Sebring International Raceway in Florida has a nearby luxury car condo development called Apex Motor Garages. The garages are designed for racers and are less than a mile from the raceway.
- Circuit of the Americas in Texas has a planned car condo project called The Reserve at COTA that will feature units with climate control, mezzanines, and balconies overlooking the track. The project will also include a clubhouse, a pool, a fitness center, and private track access.
- Watkins Glen International in New York has an adjacent car condo community called The Glen Club that offers units with heating, cooling, plumbing, and internet access. The community also has a clubhouse, a pool, a tennis court, and a shuttle service to the track.
Some events that happen for members at car condos are:
- Car shows where owners can display their vehicles and admire other owners’ collections. Car shows may have themes, categories, or awards for the best cars. They’re a great way for owners to showcase their cars and meet new people.
- Auctions where owners can buy or sell their vehicles or accessories.
- Rallies where owners can drive their cars on scenic routes or challenging courses. They often have different objectives like speed, distance, or navigation.
- Parties where owners can celebrate special occasions or milestones with their friends and family.
How Much are Garage Condos?
Prices of garage condos vary depending on the location, size, features, and amenities of the units and the communities.
Here are some examples of garage condo prices from different places:
- Tampa’s Motor Enclave in Florida is a $100 million development building garage condominiums and a 1.5-mile performance track near Tampa Executive Airport. Units range in price from $255,000 to $345,000, and owners would pay fees between $85 to $125 monthly.
- Iron Gate Motor Condos in Illinois is a luxury car condo community that offers units with AC, bathrooms, lofts, and balconies overlooking the track. Units range in price from $165,000 to $500,000, and owners would pay fees between $150 and $300 monthly.
- The Garage at The Grove in Texas is a car condo development that features units with climate control, mezzanines, and individual plumbing. Units range in price from $99,000 to $299,000, and owners would pay fees between $75 to $150 monthly.
- The Thermal Club in California is a private motorsports country club with three racetracks totaling 5.1 miles, a kart track, and an autocross skid pad. The club also offers garage condos ranging from 1,200 to 10,000 square feet and can accommodate up to 20 cars. The garage condos start at $600,000 and require a $85,000 membership fee and a $600 monthly fee.
- Garage Ultimate in Texas is a car condo development with garage condos ranging from 800 to 2,400 square feet and accommodating up to eight cars. The development also has community amenities such as a clubhouse, a lounge, a kitchen, a car wash station, and a dump station. The garage condos start at $228,000 and require a monthly fee between $85 to $125.
- GarageCondos in Colorado is a storage facility that offers garage condos that range in size from 400 to 1,600 square feet and can accommodate up to six cars. The facility also has site amenities such as wide drive aisles, security cameras, gated entry, and restrooms. The garage condos start at $99,000 and require a monthly fee between $75 to $150.
- Vehicle Vault is a car condo community that offers units with climate control, security, and 24/7 access. The community also has a museum, a gallery, and a clubhouse. The units range from 1,200 to 1,800 square feet and can accommodate up to nine cars. The units start at $300,000 and require a monthly fee of $250.
- Titan Car Condos is a car condo development with a clubhouse and rooftop lounge area. The units range from 800 to 2,400 square feet and can accommodate up to eight cars. The units start at $150,000 and require a monthly fee of $100.
Are Garage Condos a Good Investment?
Garage condos offer a unique opportunity for car enthusiasts and collectors to have a dedicated space for their passion.
However, whether they are a good investment or not depends on several factors, such as the location, demand, supply, and maintenance of the units and the communities.
Here’s a quick breakdown of some potential advantages and disadvantages of garage condo investments:
1. Garage condos can appreciate in value due to the low supply and high demand, especially in areas where land is scarce or expensive.
2. Garage condos can generate income by renting them out to other car enthusiasts or businesses who need storage space.
3. Garage condos can save money by avoiding the costs and hassles of renting or building a traditional garage or storage unit.
1. Garage condos can be expensive to buy and maintain, depending on the size, features, amenities, and fees of the units and the communities.
2. Garage condos can be subject to regulations such as zoning, taxes, insurance, and legal requirements that may limit your use or ownership of the units.
3. Garage condos can be affected by market fluctuations that may reduce their value or demand in the future.
4. Garage condos can be risky if you encounter issues or challenges with your unit, such as repairs, disputes, or emergencies.
Considering these factors, it’s essential to thoroughly research and weigh the pros and cons before deciding to invest in a garage condo.
Can You Live in a Garage Condo?
Garage condos are typically designed for vehicle storage and hobby use, not for residential living. However, each community may have its own rules and regulations. It’s important to check the specific guidelines of the garage condo you’re interested in.
Do You Need a Realtor to Buy a Garage Condo?
Most car condos are sold directly through the developer, so you don’t typically need a real estate agent. However, once the initial allotment has been purchased, you will need a realtor to buy a garage condo on the secondary market.
Are There Limitations on What I Can Store in a Garage Condo?
Depending on the rules and regulations the community or local authorities set, there may be limitations on what you can store in a garage condo.
For example, some garage condos may not allow you to store commercial vehicles, flammable materials, hazardous waste, or illegal substances. You may also need to follow specific zoning or code restrictions that apply to your area.
How Secure are Garage Condos?
Garage condos are typically extremely secure and for a good reason. Their owners have vehicles worth hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars.
Most car condo locations have features including gated access, surveillance cameras, and on-site management.
However, the specific security measures will vary between communities, so it’s important to inquire about the security protocols at the garage condo you’re considering.
You will typically need to purchase your own insurance to cover your vehicles and belongings. The location may have a master insurance policy that covers the exterior and common areas of the complex but not the individual units.
Can I Customize the Interior of My Garage Condo?
Yes. In most cases, your garage condo comes as an empty shell, so you can customize the interior to suit your preferences. This could include adding custom cabinets, lighting, or vehicle lifts. You can even select a top rated garage floor coating and have it installed for you.
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