Your Parking Spot Could Be Worth Thousands – How To Sell or Rent It
Thinking about selling your parking spot? In 2016, a parking spot in Boston’s 70 Brimmer Street garage sold for $390,000. Three years earlier, two spots in the city’s Back Bay neighborhood sold at auction for $560,000. In June 2017, a businessman paid the equivalent of $664,000 for a parking space in a Hong Kong apartment complex – considered the most ever paid for a parking space.
In each of these sales, the parking spot was the only real estate involved. If you own a parking space (or driveway) in a premium location, you can likely sell or rent it; and though your parking spot might not command six figures, it could have the potential to earn thousands of dollars.
Our parking spot selling advice includes:
- How much is your parking spot worth?
- Should you sell or rent your parking spot?
- Is it legal to sell parking spots?
- Where to sell your parking spot
How much is your parking spot worth?The value of a given parking space is heavily driven by supply and demand. If there is great demand and short supply, your parking spot can be extremely valuable. Think New York City, where drivers spend an average of 107 hours per year searching for parking spots – the national average is 17 hours per driver, per year. Of course, if there is little demand and ample supply, your parking spot is essentially worthless.
|Example parking rates
You can get an idea of your parking spot’s value by checking local real estate listings and completed sales to see what spaces in similar locations are selling for. If you want to rent your parking spot, various apps and services (see below) can give you an idea of its value. In addition, you can ask neighbors who rent their spots how much they’re getting. Ultimately, your parking spot is worth what someone will pay for it; and the best way to find that out is to put it on the market and see what offers you get.
Should you sell or rent your parking spot?Though the term “sell” is loosely applied in both cases, there is a distinct difference between selling and renting your parking space. When you sell your parking space, you transfer the actual real estate to the buyer – effectively giving up all rights to it. You receive a one-time payout and walk away. When you rent your parking space, you grant someone the right to use it for a predefined time – and retain all rights to the property.
|Real estate is transferred You relinquish rights One-time payment
|No real estate is transferred You retain rights Time-limited rental payments Option to sell at a later date
There are pros and cons to both. If you sell, you could get a large upfront cash payment. If you rent, you’ll be paid less, but you still own the spot and could sell it in the future. Your options might be dictated by demand.
If you live near a baseball stadium, for example, you might be limited to renting your driveway on gamedays. Conversely, selling could be your only option if you own a spot in a downtown apartment garage.
Is it legal to sell parking spots?There is a third way to make money from selling parking spots: charge others to hold premium public spaces, sold via auction format. The legality of this strategy is dubious.
In 2014, the city of San Francisco ordered MonkeyParking to shut down over the practice. The company changed its business model soon after, and now works with parking networks and businesses.
Legal issues could also hamper your ability to sell or rent parking spaces you own. For example, homeowners in Portland, Oregon’s residential zones are forbidden to offer commercial parking by city ordinance; and many parking spots are tied to other real estate, like apartments and condos, and cannot be independently sold.
In addition, some homeowner associations forbid the practice. Before you commit to selling or renting your parking spot, be sure to check local laws, HOA rules, and any real estate contracts to ensure you’re within your rights.
Where to sell your parking spotIf you want to sell your parking spot as real estate, you can consult a real estate agent or go the FSBO (For Sale By Owner) route, just as with any other type of real estate. If you want to rent your parking spot, getting customers could be as simple as holding up a sign on gameday – especially if you’re located near a major attraction, downtown business district, or event.
Don’t want to wait in the street for customers? Try these parking spot selling apps and services.
Spot Hero claims it has rented more than eight million parking spots. To rent yours, fill out the online form. The site will confirm your spot within 48 hours and add you to its database, searchable online and via mobile app. When someone rents your spot, Spot Hero takes a cut and pays the remainder to you via monthly check or direct deposit.
Though UK-based, JustPark rents plenty of parking spots in the United States. Register for an account, set the times and dates your parking spot or driveway is available, and get paid via direct deposit or PayPal. JustPark charges a 3% fee on short-term bookings; long-term bookings are 20% for the first month then 3% thereafter.
ParkingSpotter lets you list your parking space for free – to rent, sell, or for event parking – and does not charge a commission on sales. Instead, buyers are given your contact information and you work out the deal privately.
List your space, set available times, and choose to rent by the hour or by flat rate. Users can find your listing online and via the mobile app. Citifyd charges a minimal processing fee, then deposits the remainder into your bank account. Alternatively, you can direct your earnings to your preferred charity.
Parkzilla connects you with renters via its website and mobile app. You can set short-term, long-term, and event parking rates. Earnings are deposited into your account after Parkzilla charges a 30% fee, with a minimum of 50 cents per booking.
Serving Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Seattle, Miami, and Washington, D.C, Spot lets you list your parking space on its iPhone app. The service takes a 20% commission, and pays monthly or bi-weekly via Venmo, PayPal, or direct deposit. You can check out Spot’s owner guide here.
Parking For Me
Parking For Me lets you list your parking spot on its mobile app (iOS and Android versions are available). The site does not charge a commission; rather, it charges a service fee to the renter, so the price you list is what you get paid. Payments are administered via direct deposit or check.
You can list your parking spot on the Parqex app, available in Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, and other cities where parking is a premium. Parqex charges a 15% commission and deposits your earnings into your bank account each week.
Known as the “Airbnb of storage,” Neighbor.com lets you list your garage, parking spot or other space for rent. Set your monthly price and select the “vehicle storage” option to connect with renters. There are no listing fees; rather, Neighbor charges a 4.9% + $0.30 monthly fee based on your price. Neighbor’s Host Guarantee offers up to $1 million in free personal liability coverage in case your renter trips and gets injured.
Local peer-to-peer parking exchanges
Search online to find local options, from Craigslist listings to city-centric apps like Chicago-based Parking Broker and San Francisco’s SpotOn.
Compare your parking spot selling options to determine which provides the best value. One service might charge a higher commission than another, but be able to fill your parking spot more often and therefore result in greater overall earnings. Whichever option provides consistent renters at the lowest commission will yield the most money.
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