May is National Bicycle Month. What is National Bicycle Month? Here’s an explanation from The League of American Cyclists

Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling — and encourage more folks to giving biking a try.

Whether you bike to work or school; ride to save money or time; pump those pedals to preserve your health or the environment; or simply to explore your community, National Bike Month is an opportunity to celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons we ride.

One benefit they left out: major savings on the home. Did you know that homes with a garage cost an average of $115 thousand more than similar homes in the top bicycle commuting metro areas? We crunched the numbers on the top bicycle commuting cities according to The League of American Bicyclists to find out where you can save the most money by buying a home without a garage.

The table below shows following data for the top ten cities for bicycle commuting:

  • Bike Rank: Ranked by the percentage of people who commute by bicycle.
  • % Biking: The percentage of people in the metro area who commute by bicycle, via The League of American Bicyclists
  • Garage: The cost difference between 3-bed, 2-bath houses sold recently with a garage vs. those without, via Redfin.
  • Traffic: The average number of hours spent wasted in traffic over the last year, via INRIX.
Bike Rank City % Biking Garage Traffic
1 Portland, OR 6.1% $30,000 26.5
2 Minneapolis, MN 4.5% $80,050 25.5
3 Washington, DC 4.1% $244,050 40.5
4 Seattle, WA 4.1% $136,250 37.1
5 San Francisco, CA 3.8% $150,000 56.5
6 Denver, CO 2.9% $9,000 24.0
7 Tucson, AZ 2.8% $35,523† 2.3
8 Oakland, CA 2.7% $291,000 56.5*
9 Sacramento, CA 2.6% $56,697† 13.7
10 New Orleans, LA 2.4% $42,585‡ 12.9

Garages are great… when they’re actually serving their purpose of protecting your car from the elements and the unscrupulous. When your garage just ends up being a dumping ground for stuff you haven’t used in years, you’re just spending tens of thousands of dollars to store things that you really don’t actually care about. If you ditch the car entirely and avoid the urge to horde, you can save all that money and put it into other home improvements, instead.

$115,000 would go a long way toward that landscaping project, kitchen remodel, or a new roof!

Getting rid of your car may not be practical in the immediate term, but it never hurts to get out there and cycle. Who knows, you may just get addicted and find yourself searching for something garage-free when you go shopping for your next home.

Top image credit: Flickr user takato marui
*Oakland is part of the San Francisco metro area.
†Estimated based on a percentage of sale prices.
‡Estimated based on a percentage of sale prices via Zillow.com.