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Ask Will: Purchase Private Parking Place?

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This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A  column is written by Will Wiard, Arlington-based real estate broker, voted one of Washington’s Best Realtors of 2015 by Washingtonian. Please submit your questions via email.

Q: I’ve heard of people buying and selling parking spots in the Arlington and D.C. areas. Is this common? Don’t most homes come with parking?

A: Yes, it is pretty common in the area, but it’s more likely to see a spot on the market in D.C. than in Virginia. Most people acquire a parking space when it’s deeded to them as part of a condo purchase. I’ve often heard of homeowners selling the parking space if the property originally came with more than one spot. Currently, there are about 10 parking spaces listed on the regional multiple listing service, called MRIS, starting at $10,000 going up to $100,000. Whether buying or selling, a licensed real estate professional can assist you throughout the process.

Many condos do come with parking, but it could be owned, assigned, rented or first-come, first-serve. When buying a condo that includes parking, it’s important to find out the details before closing.

If the space is deeded (you own it) it’s a good idea to check the tax records and talk with building management to confirm the space location and existence, and ensure it was not sold by a previous owner. I know of a few cases where a prior owner sold a space and did not update the tax records. When the owner sold the unit, the purchaser was misled to believe it came with a parking space, but found out at closing that the space was previously sold. If the space is deeded, the MRIS listing should include all of the information.

The condo could also include a parking space that is assigned to you, but in this case, it’s most likely owned by the building and part of the common elements. In this case, you would not have the option to sell the space; however, you may have the option to buy a space from the building, which would be a separate transaction from your home purchase.

Lastly, if you are purchasing a condo and there is no space assigned to your unit, it’s most likely you will have open or permit parking. In some buildings, the association or a developer owns the parking area, and the parking is first-come, first-serve or rented for a fee.

If you’re having trouble getting to the bottom of the parking situation, talking to your title company and agent, they can help you better understand whether parking is included with your purchase, and if you will have ownership over the space.

I’m hoping some readers can share any additional advice they have in comments.

Thank you for this week’s question. Please keep them coming to [email protected] This is also a great place to reach me for anyone looking to buy or sell a home in the Arlington area.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

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