Parking Spaces That Could Make You Rich

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Betty Jones dabbles in real estate, and her portfolio includes a handful of rental properties in San Francisco, New York and Washington, D.C. Some are spacious apartments with lovely views, but the rentals that give her the greatest return on investment are small, dark and have no view — unless you count the parallel white lines that separate them.

They are three parking spaces below a residential building in Washington’s Dupont Circle. As is increasingly the case these days, the building’s spaces are sold “unbundled,” or separate, from the apartment units, which are far greater in number.

Ms. Jones, a trial consultant in Houston, last year paid around $37,000 each for the spaces, which combined, net about $700 a month after property taxes and a garage fee. “It’s a lot less hassle than an apartment,” she said.

No worries about slovenly tenants, leaky toilets or broken appliances. And if a tenant decides not to renew a lease, she said, she just has her son, who lives nearby, tack up a sign in the building’s laundry room and the space is rented out in less than three days.

“I don’t have to hire a Realtor to show it, I don’t have to meet the tenant — boom, it’s done,” she said. “It only takes one winter of looking for a parking space in the snow for people to realize they never want to do it again.”

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