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    Thread: Living with a one-car garage as a "car guy"?

    1. Senior Member chucchinchilla's Avatar
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      09-21-2020 02:55 PM #26
      True story I'm literally writing an email to my realtor right now RE: our house search and decided to visit TCL as a break while I regroup my thoughts. I know what you're going through and it's frustrating. I would not do a 1 car garage unless you have the ability to expand that 1 car into a 2. Garages are great for cars and storing stuff but when you only have a 1 car garage it's one or the other but not both. Also if you're not sure of the garage size go to Google Maps satellite view, right click on the garage and "measure distance" corner to corner. I had concerns about the garage of a house we're considering and was able to confirm the dimensions just by using Google Maps which I'm sure isn't 100% accurate but is helpful when you're not able to measure it in person or have a survey.
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    3. Member 4.OMG's Avatar
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      09-21-2020 02:56 PM #27
      I must be missing something because I'm having a hard time seeing where there's room to expand the garage. The lot doesn't look very big to begin with and zoning restrictions might not allow you to build right up to the sidewalk.

      Does the house have a basement? If not, is there enough other storage space to ensure you'll never need the garage for storage? Side note: if you're ever planning on having kids, the answer is no, there's no such thing as enough space to contain all their stuff plus yard tools, lawnmower and seasonal stuff.

      I personally wouldn't buy a house with a 1-car garage because I know how likely it is to become a 0-car garage but I would also advocate buying a house where you'll be happiest living, not where you'll have the most garage space. My first/current house has a smallish, attached 2-car. It can be a pain to work in and sometimes I get pissy about it, but then I remind myself that to get the kind of house I wanted in a place where I could have a big garage would have required a series of compromises I wasn't (at the time) prepared to make.
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      09-21-2020 02:57 PM #28
      Had a one car for about 10 years, glad I have a 3 car now but I wish for a 4 car garage. See where this is going?

    5. Senior Member chucchinchilla's Avatar
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      09-21-2020 02:57 PM #29
      ^Another thought, the house has a driveway/gate...perhaps there's room in the back for a new 2 car garage?
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      09-21-2020 03:02 PM #30
      Will you be putting a roll cage in your garage, seeing as how you seem to put them in all of your automotive-related purchases?

      That might cut space even further.
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    7. Member r_fostoria's Avatar
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      09-21-2020 03:03 PM #31
      I've been dealing with this issue myself. My house has a really weird setup that I want to rectify in next summer. I have a one car garage, but in the back corner of the yard with no driveway ( ) so I can't even really use it for anything but storage. Then there is a big ugly parking pad on the side of the house that goes right up to the porch. The giant oak tree (and the squirrels that live in it) rain acorns down directly on the cars. My original though was to get rid of the bushes and pave a regular straight driveway to the garage and get rid of the parking pad, but then I'd be left with one covered parking space and nothing else. now I'm thinking about maybe shortening the parking pad and putting some sort of detached carport roof over it.


    8. Member 4.OMG's Avatar
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      09-21-2020 03:03 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by chucchinchilla View Post
      ^Another thought, the house has a driveway/gate...perhaps there's room in the back for a new 2 car garage?
      Maybe, although a lot of places also have restrictions on the size of detached structures.

      I'm not saying it's not possible, I'm just not sold on it being in any way "easy".
      Now this was a superior machine. Ten grand worth of gimmicks and high-priced special effects. The rear windows lit up with a touch like frogs in a dynamite pond. The dashboard was full of esoteric lights and dials and meters that I would never understand.

    9. Senior Member VadGTI's Avatar
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      09-21-2020 03:08 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by 4.OMG View Post
      Maybe, although a lot of places also have restrictions on the size of detached structures.

      I'm not saying it's not possible, I'm just not sold on it being in any way "easy".
      Anything over 120 square feet requires permitting, etc. There are also setback rules for building in the rear.
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    10. Senior Member VadGTI's Avatar
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      09-21-2020 03:10 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by chucchinchilla View Post
      ^Another thought, the house has a driveway/gate...perhaps there's room in the back for a new 2 car garage?
      Check out the pics I posted towards the bottom of page 1. Not the widest of driveways.
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    11. Senior Member VadGTI's Avatar
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      09-21-2020 03:15 PM #35
      Here's what it looks like from above:

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      09-21-2020 03:16 PM #36
      Quote Originally Posted by 4.OMG View Post
      I must be missing something because I'm having a hard time seeing where there's room to expand the garage. The lot doesn't look very big to begin with and zoning restrictions might not allow you to build right up to the sidewalk.

      Does the house have a basement? If not, is there enough other storage space to ensure you'll never need the garage for storage? Side note: if you're ever planning on having kids, the answer is no, there's no such thing as enough space to contain all their stuff plus yard tools, lawnmower and seasonal stuff.

      I personally wouldn't buy a house with a 1-car garage because I know how likely it is to become a 0-car garage but I would also advocate buying a house where you'll be happiest living, not where you'll have the most garage space. My first/current house has a smallish, attached 2-car. It can be a pain to work in and sometimes I get pissy about it, but then I remind myself that to get the kind of house I wanted in a place where I could have a big garage would have required a series of compromises I wasn't (at the time) prepared to make.
      You have to be disciplined in how much stuff you collect, for sure.

      Two things:

      1) The homes in the areas Vad is searching are typically of this same era—this isn’t the only house he’s sent me with a 1 car garage. Finding the right combo of location, features, updates, and garage space at a price that isn’t bat**** crazy looks to be tough. We lived through this in Seattle, too. Homes with two car garages are extremely rare and tend to be only found in very specific neighborhoods that command higher prices. A lot of houses here don’t even have garages.

      2) As stated, inventory is quite low and prices are high. Waiting is always an option, of course, but this seems to be a decent deal given the current market (not overpriced).

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      09-21-2020 03:19 PM #37
      Hope you find something to your liking...curious what are you are househunting in (Looks to be in the Valley, since a lot of people who work in the westside are all valley commuters). IIRC, Youtuber Emelia Hartford finally moved out of her apartment in NoHo and bought a house in the same area, with a garage that looks to house two cars as well.

    14. Member vwpiloto's Avatar
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      09-21-2020 03:23 PM #38
      If it's important to you, and it should be (/s), get something with a large(r) garage. We have a two car+driveway, and will be looking for one with a 3-car in the next year or two. You'll want or need storage space as well, so if the property is big enough, you can add a shed which will keep the garage for cars (and car stuff) only. But even then, you'll be limited to that one car, presumably your 993. And anytime you want to work on another car, you'll have the remove that, etc.

      So if it's important to you, and it sounds like it is, otherwise you wouldn't be asking about it, look for one with a two car.

      Nevertheless, if you do get this, it looks like you have room on the side to maybe add a carport or some type of cover and park something out there, but it's no garage.

      YMMV.

      Either way, good luck. It's stressful to buy either way.

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      09-21-2020 03:25 PM #39
      Quote Originally Posted by chucchinchilla View Post
      True story I'm literally writing an email to my realtor right now RE: our house search and decided to visit TCL as a break while I regroup my thoughts. I know what you're going through and it's frustrating. I would not do a 1 car garage unless you have the ability to expand that 1 car into a 2. Garages are great for cars and storing stuff but when you only have a 1 car garage it's one or the other but not both. Also if you're not sure of the garage size go to Google Maps satellite view, right click on the garage and "measure distance" corner to corner. I had concerns about the garage of a house we're considering and was able to confirm the dimensions just by using Google Maps which I'm sure isn't 100% accurate but is helpful when you're not able to measure it in person or have a survey.
      Never heard of that, it’s amazing. Thanks!
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    16. Senior Member chucchinchilla's Avatar
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      09-21-2020 03:25 PM #40
      Quote Originally Posted by VadGTI View Post
      Here's what it looks like from above:
      I wonder if it would be possible to formally connect the garage to the house (fill in that gap between both) thus making a 2 car garage and turning the house into a solid L shape? Basically replicate the garage of the house you missed?
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    17. Senior Member VadGTI's Avatar
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      09-21-2020 03:27 PM #41
      Quote Originally Posted by chucchinchilla View Post
      I wonder if it would be possible to formally connect the garage to the house (fill in that gap between both) thus making a 2 car garage and turning the house into a solid L shape? Basically replicate the garage of the house you missed?
      It would be cutting into the kitchen and laundry area:

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    18. Senior Member chucchinchilla's Avatar
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      09-21-2020 03:35 PM #42
      Ah yeah that wouldn't work. Also can't go up w/lift because the garage would tower over the house. Looks like the only option would be to expand towards the street...is that something budget/building codes/your interest would allow? If not are you okay parking the 993 in the garage and the rest in the driveway/on the street?
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    19. Geriatric Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      09-21-2020 03:44 PM #43
      Quote Originally Posted by chucchinchilla View Post
      Ah yeah that wouldn't work. Also can't go up w/lift because the garage would tower over the house. Looks like the only option would be to expand towards the street...is that something budget/building codes/your interest would allow? If not are you okay parking the 993 in the garage and the rest in your mom's driveway/on the street?
      Fixed.
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      09-21-2020 03:51 PM #44
      Quote Originally Posted by VadGTI View Post
      It's $660k . It also has 1 bathroom, which sucks in a 3 bedroom. We'd be adding a bathroom, so that's another $15-20k on top of the purchase price immediately.
      You're worried about the 1 car garage and the house only has 1 bathroom? I doubt you would be able to do a full bathroom addition(on exterior) for $20k.

      I would wait for something better to come up.
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    21. Member 2 doors's Avatar
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      09-21-2020 03:53 PM #45
      Quote Originally Posted by VadGTI View Post
      It would be cutting into the kitchen and laundry area:

      Move the W/D to that shared closet between the bedrooms and knock out that laundry room wall. Or move them to the dining room. It's the biggest room and no one actually uses their dining room anyway!

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      09-21-2020 03:58 PM #46
      The one-bathroom is another big strike against the house. I feel like you are settling on this house because you feel like you must buy *something*. It's a great way to buy something you will later come to regret.

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      09-21-2020 03:59 PM #47
      Quote Originally Posted by 2 doors View Post
      Move the W/D to that shared closet between the bedrooms and knock out that laundry room wall. Or move them to the dining room. It's the biggest room and no one actually uses their dining room anyway!
      If I were moving walls I'd enlarge the kitchen and move the laundry room a few feet, turning it into a mud room with a back door in it. That would enlarge the garage, mud rooms are awesome, enlarge the kitchen and you could move the wall to enlarge the living room at the same time. Either that or enlarge the kitchen to an eat-in style and make an even bigger/longer living room. The only thing you'd lose is dining room space, and not many people prioritize those any more.

      The downside is it wouldn't be cheap and it'd be a mess for a long time, meaning it'd be easier and cheaper to find another house. :/
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      09-21-2020 04:09 PM #48
      That's a really tough situation. But it always goes back to making the use case. What do you want to do with the garage? Is it just storage or will you have a car in a million pieces several times a year. Will you be doing any work on the car? Do you work on your cars now? Do you have the dimensions of the garage? If you're just changing the oil/fluids/brakes you might be able to make it work. OTOH, I know of someone with a scissor jack basically inside a car port to do work on his car, so there could be some creative ways to get the work space you may want without all of the heavy construction.

      We just bought a house almost a year ago; garage space was a must have. If it didn't have an existing garage that I felt was big enough or enough land to build what I wanted, it was off the list. It took us ~2 yrs to find a house we liked and we looked at older homes, new construction/development houses, and custom homes built on land that we would find ourselves. There were many times that I wondered if it would just be easier if I didn't like cars or have this stupid dream of having a cool garage to work on/break things on the car.

      If you're thinking of expanding your current garage, I would definitely check local codes and speak with builders in the area. I just went through this recently and it wasn't fun. I would think things in CA would be...heavily regulated and expensive.

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      09-21-2020 04:18 PM #49
      Does your mom still have a 2 car garage?
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      09-21-2020 04:23 PM #50
      Quote Originally Posted by r_fostoria View Post
      I've been dealing with this issue myself. My house has a really weird setup that I want to rectify in next summer. I have a one car garage, but in the back corner of the yard with no driveway ( ) so I can't even really use it for anything but storage. Then there is a big ugly parking pad on the side of the house that goes right up to the porch. The giant oak tree (and the squirrels that live in it) rain acorns down directly on the cars. My original though was to get rid of the bushes and pave a regular straight driveway to the garage and get rid of the parking pad, but then I'd be left with one covered parking space and nothing else. now I'm thinking about maybe shortening the parking pad and putting some sort of detached carport roof over it.

      *house pic*
      This thing's got potential, love that window.

      Quote Originally Posted by got-rice View Post
      Hope you find something to your liking...curious what are you are househunting in (Looks to be in the Valley, since a lot of people who work in the westside are all valley commuters). IIRC, Youtuber Emelia Hartford finally moved out of her apartment in NoHo and bought a house in the same area, with a garage that looks to house two cars as well.
      Definitely looks like valley material -- IIRC a previous thread mentioned Reseda.

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