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Boat in a HOA...creative solutions?

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Boat in a HOA...creative solutions?

Old 12-12-2019, 07:48 AM
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Default Boat in a HOA...creative solutions?

Relocating to San Antonio and trying to find a home that checks all of the boxes for us has proven to be difficult because of these pesky HOA covenants and restrictions. Lots of them have language about boats being either a) in an enclosed structure or b) screened from public view. Most city codes don't permit privacy fences to be over 6' tall. Most HOAs don't permit carports.

Boat is a World Cat 280 -- approximately 12-13' tall with GPS antennas and spotlight.

Wondering if anybody has a creative and preferably cheap solution to keep the boat in the backyard and in compliance. I despise HOAs but we haven't found the home we need not in an HOA and dont have time for a full custom build-on-your lot.

Right now I'm thinking an artificial vine lattice attached to the fence to screen from view might work best. Builders have offered to construct a detached garage but they want about 15k and that doesn't include electric. I'd vote carport with modifications but it has to meet the ARCs review and I'm certain those douchers won't approve.

My Google-fu is weak and can't find much on image search...most seem to just not live in HOA (my preference) or have an RV garage attached to their standard car garages.

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12-12-2019, 07:56 AM
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If You find a creative way to store it,HOA may find a creative way to make You remove it !
Old 12-12-2019, 07:51 AM
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Given any thought to just storing the thing closer to the coast. 2 hours with a cat in tow to the nearest saltwater is a long time, especially if permitting and time restrictions come into play. Doesn't appear to be much in terms of lakes where a boat of that size would be usable any close to your home.
Old 12-12-2019, 07:56 AM
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I have a lot that's an acre and a half in a very highly restricted place. Once upon a time I was going to build a too expensive house on it, but came to my senses. it required the boat to be in a structure that match the construction of the house, so I had planned to build a boat garage made out of the same materials of the house.

Yeah it was pretty expensive, but when you look at the cost amortized over 20 years, and the fact that it actually had value and added it to your property... It really wasn't going to be an issue. Honestly, it was a no-brainer compared to off-site storage.

But like I said, I didn't build that house even though I still own the lot. problem was I realized I don't even like taking care of the smaller house and smaller lot I have today... That alone consumes too much time.

I have a boat in my driveway today. I am not supposed to. I've had one there for 25 years. I have another two in my backyard as well. Actually nobody is supposed to have a vehicle within 35 feet of the street, but everyone does. quite a few people have outbuildings in their backyards that are beneath power lines as well as too close to property lines. No shed or structure should be closer than 10 feet to a property line. And everybody puts there's right on the property line...who wants a shed in the middle of their freaking yard.

What I'm saying is, most people break rules. Either being aware of it or not being aware of it. if anyone gives you some crap, start bringing up all everybody else's violations and they'll probably drop it. There's people leasing homes that don't have single families in it, they sublet them to multiple people and roommates. Houses being leased that don't meet rental codes, metal doors etc. Most people don't want to rock the boat, but there is the occasional HOA Nazi with nothing better to do.

Last edited by mbb; 12-12-2019 at 08:03 AM.
Old 12-12-2019, 07:56 AM
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If You find a creative way to store it,HOA may find a creative way to make You remove it !
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Old 12-12-2019, 08:00 AM
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I currently trailer 6 hours each way to the TX Gulf so I certainly won't mind the 2.5 hr trip. Canyon Lake (N-NE of SATX) is actually quite a large and well resourced lake which I've boated before...plenty of room for the cat!

Offsite storage has also been mentioned but after having our boat on property at current home...I'll never go back to paid storage unless it's a very temporary (less than 1 mo) ordeal.
Old 12-12-2019, 08:04 AM
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Some HOAs are weak and you can get away w/ stuff, for a while anyway. Store it elsewhere or get a smaller vessel that you can store at the house legally. Had the same issue as you when I bought a bigger boat. Almost bought a condo warehouse, ended up in a drystack. Very happy.
Old 12-12-2019, 08:08 AM
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Ghillie cover?
Old 12-12-2019, 08:09 AM
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One of the best ways to get ideas (and to understand what will fly in each of the neighborhoods you're looking at) would be to drive them to see what other residents have done. Not sure if that is possible, but it is definitely where I would start. Are the lots generally wide enough that you can back the boat into the backyard?
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Old 12-12-2019, 08:10 AM
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In Florida, screened from public view for zoning / city purposes usually means stored behind a 6' fence. That's not to say that would fly with your HOA, just offering that comment.

However, if you could get a detached garage big enough to hold your cat for $15k that sounds like a no-brainer. I'm somewhat skeptical that those would be HOA complaint but ??
Old 12-12-2019, 08:18 AM
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Don't mess with HOA. A lot of neighbor hoods you can get away with a lot but there is always that chance of that 1 neighbor that stick to the rules and your screwed. Have you looked into land in the area to just build a structure on? I hate storing my boat away from my home. I am lucky enough to have a guy a block over with a pole barn that he rents me for cheap. My unincorporated block is surrounded by HOA neighborhoods that REALLY stick to the rules. A friend got a ticket for leaving a towel on the drive way after washing his car. I always have one of my boats, jetskis or rv at my house and sometimes several at once.
Old 12-12-2019, 08:24 AM
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15K TO make a grab a for a 28ft Boat? Hello? Sounds like a no brainer to me. If you keep the boat inside you want have to wash it other than hosing off the salt water. Any storage place will be $250-$300/month. I'm actually thinking about building a steel building on a piece of land just so I can have something I own and will go up in value over 20 years (hopefully)
Old 12-12-2019, 08:40 AM
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I am in the exact situation and have been kicking ideas around for five years...

The idea I keep coming back to is pouring a loading dock style driveway to the back yard. If it had a five foot depth it would put my boat under my fence line. However, drainage scared me with that idea. Resale for the house would suffer as well... which is why I haven’t undertaken it yet.

Anyone have an opinion on my idea?
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Old 12-12-2019, 08:59 AM
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For your boat I imagine the garage will need to be 14ft wide, 40ft long, and 14ft tall at the lowest point. $15k for that much space seems too good to be true! Are you sure it wasn't $50k?

But either way, I'd keep looking. There are good homes without HOA. Worst case, rent for a while. You can probably find a storage place for the boat in the mean time.

I don't get how HOAs even exists in the land of the free and home of the brave. Other countries get bombed into pieces for having less restrictive rules than a typical HOA.
Old 12-12-2019, 09:02 AM
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That's what I was going to suggest although mostly as a joke If the one behind the grocery store by me that is not used and is probably able to stock some fish in it by now... yeah drainage would be a concern.
Old 12-12-2019, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by lscboater View Post
that's what i was going to suggest although mostly as a joke if the one behind the grocery store by me that is not used and is probably able to stock some fish in it by now... Yeah drainage would be a concern.
🤣
Old 12-12-2019, 09:20 AM
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$15K is a no-brainer. Have em build it big enough for the next boat, though, and maybe the one after that.

I spent many times that on a 3 car detached garage that was 4 sided brick and otherwise compliant with my HOA and county rules....
Old 12-12-2019, 09:51 AM
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I went through the same issue. I just looked at google maps in the neighborhood and you can see boats, car ports, etc. Then drove around and saw what everyone else was doing. Some neighborhoods every single person had the same exact set up. For example one neighborhood allowed "car ports" but they could not be made of metal and had to be "decorative". Another one you could not see the boat from the road, everyone there had 13ft high hedges. Theres a neighborhood thats full of boats somewhere, find it.
Old 12-12-2019, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by 6104696 View Post
$15K is a no-brainer. Have em build it big enough for the next boat, though, and maybe the one after that.

I spent many times that on a 3 car detached garage that was 4 sided brick and otherwise compliant with my HOA and county rules....

I'd expect more like 40K.

And hell while you're at it, might as well put some air conditioners in it. Keep it comfortable to work on things.



Old 12-12-2019, 10:19 AM
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Glad to know $15k is a bargain. Not sure if it's because the architect/custom builder of the home would complete or sub the work but nonetheless feel better about the pricing. Homes for sale with a RV garage in San Antonio have been EXTREMELY uncommon...usually only found in HOA communities with average list price over 1mil or homes on ranchland well outside city limits.
Old 12-12-2019, 10:31 AM
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HOA's are real PIA's. In my case, and I'm sure it's the same just about everywhere else, they usually enforce boat and vehicle restrictions pretty aggressively. I can get away with parking my 23T in my driveway for maybe two days. After that it has to go back to the storage shed.
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