HOA Garage Shop Usage

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Forum topic by agallant posted 10-01-2014 07:15 PM 2841 views 0 times favorited 35 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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551 posts in 2912 days

10-01-2014 07:15 PM

Sadly every development in the Raleigh area has a HOA. They all have something in HOA agreement that states garage is only for parking cars. I drive around and see shops, storage and everything else besides cars parked in garages. Anyone ever have an issue from the HOA for having a shop in their garage?

35 replies so far

View mds2's profile


310 posts in 1970 days

#1 posted 10-01-2014 07:24 PM

If its cleary stated in the by-laws then you are risking litigation. I avoid HOAs when looking for houses. I don’t need a busy-body, stay at home, wanna be fascist, telling me what I can and can’t do on my own property in free America.

View Ripthorn's profile


1458 posts in 3011 days

#2 posted 10-01-2014 07:24 PM

Every HOA is different. Both of my cars are parked out front and I use the entirety of the garage for my shop. I have not yet had a problem or complaint, but we’ve only been here less than a year. Before moving, however, we found a facebook page for the HOA and asked about having a shop. Someone piped in and said her husband used their garage as a shop for a good while with never any problems. However, this is highly dependent on the HOA. Some of them are more lax in enforcing the rules, while others are more strict. It also depends on the neighbors. We have very nice neighbors and I have helped them a couple times with stuff. I also make sure not to run anything noisy after 9 PM or before 10 AM, so there hasn’t been any unrest in our area.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View bigblockyeti's profile (online now)


5140 posts in 1746 days

#3 posted 10-01-2014 07:30 PM

I want to move somewhere with more land so I can build a bigger shop and if it’s an area or development with an HOA, it’s simply something I would consider, mostly for reasons explained in the first response.

View GregD's profile


788 posts in 3162 days

#4 posted 10-01-2014 07:47 PM

If you are willing lay it on thick to the sales staff that you won’t ever consider buying in a development with such obtrusive deed restrictions, that such restrictions would make you feel like you didn’t even own your own home. Even better if you can have such conversations within earshot of other prospective buyers. Maybe even a letter to the editor.

As far as I can tell deed restrictions are predominantly created by large developers to make life either easier or more profitable for them. It is, in my opinion, completely false that deed restrictions “protect property values” to any significant extent. If more buyers rejected developments because of overbearing deed restrictions the developers may change their practices. But once you buy you have almost no influence.

My house has deed restrictions and an HOA that is quite attentive toward enforcing restrictions and requirements. They even change these at their whim. Fortunately no restrictions on garage use so my shop is safe provided I keep the noise down.

-- Greg D.

View jmartel's profile


7955 posts in 2176 days

#5 posted 10-01-2014 08:00 PM

Avoid buying in an HOA. One of the main reasons for buying a house is so that you can do whatever you want to your own property. HOA’s don’t allow that.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Rayne's profile


912 posts in 1565 days

#6 posted 10-01-2014 08:05 PM

My HOA is actually quite awesome. I have yet to run into any issues with what I wanted to do to my house. I just fill out a form, they approve it, and it’s done. And I’ve had no issues with running my shop in my 2 car garage along a quiet street, but I also insulated my garage door and that has reduced the noise down to 50-60 dB when using a Planer or Jointer which are the loudest tools. It really is dependent upon what your HOA is like.

View exelectrician's profile


2327 posts in 2453 days

#7 posted 10-01-2014 08:07 PM

What! next thing they will tell you – ” You cannot have a toothbrush in your bedroom – It must stay in the bathroom”

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

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Richard H

489 posts in 1706 days

#8 posted 10-01-2014 08:15 PM

The number of homes in HOA’s in Raleigh is one of the main reasons we didn’t end up buying there. There are non HOA homes or homes in HOA’s that are either expired or much more lenient but they are older homes build before the mid 80’s when HOA’s really took off. It’s worse as you move into the big communities in the suburbs and some towns like Cary are horrible. Durham seemed to have a lot more non HOA homes if that’s a option but it’s still older communities.

The risk with a HOA is even if they allow it today if they have the ability to mandate it in the future they always might. You may never have a issue but than again you might, it’s really a crap shoot. For use I needed a house with enough land to build a stand alone shop and if it did have one a HOA that not only would allow us to build but also allow me to use it for Woodworking non business use. Very few active HOA’s are going to be happy about you running a business out of your house.

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Fred Hargis

4999 posts in 2519 days

#9 posted 10-01-2014 09:36 PM

I’m guessing you are already there, so the advice of avoiding an HOA isn’t going to help at the moment? The first response spelled it out. Spending money on tools that you may have to dispose of in a fire sale doesn’t seem prudent. It may only take a complaint from an irritated neighbor to start the trouble. Maybe getting the HOA to relax (ha-ha) their rules a little? If I guessed wrong, and you don’t yet belong to an HOA take steps to avoid doing so as mentioned.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View jtmek's profile


65 posts in 2862 days

#10 posted 10-01-2014 09:51 PM

The HOA in my neighborhood, does a fair and equitable job of maintaining my property values. I was very thorough in my pre- purchase research to see what I can and cant do in my home. I live in the deep south where some areas are ridiculously run down in some very expensive neighborhoods.

I feel like they are a necessary evil here in Alabama. If I wanted to run my saws or planer at early or very late hours I would have bought a home with some acreage, without an. HOA here you might count on seeing your very biggest investment being degraded by some of your neigbors.

-- a good woodworker can fix his mistakes, agreat w/w can fix them before anybody see's them

View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 1450 days

#11 posted 10-01-2014 10:07 PM

HOA’s are a good thing. Most just take for granted their role in keeping the neighborhood up to a certain standard.

Without them, people would be parking their boats and trailers in the front yard and burning trash in 55 gallon drums. The lawns would be out of control and cars would be on jack stands for most of the year.

Some are better than others, but they do serve an important purpose.

-- Brad, Texas,

View jmartel's profile


7955 posts in 2176 days

#12 posted 10-02-2014 12:14 AM

HOA s are a good thing. Most just take for granted their role in keeping the neighborhood up to a certain standard.

Without them, people would be parking their boats and trailers in the front yard and burning trash in 55 gallon drums. The lawns would be out of control and cars would be on jack stands for most of the year.

- timbertailor

People give that argument all the time, and yet it rarely happens. As in, I’d have to drive a long time to find something like that. So, as far as I’ve seen, that argument has no merit.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3165 posts in 3135 days

#13 posted 10-02-2014 01:25 AM

I have a really lax HOA, which I’m actually happy about. They keep the common property- the two pools, tennis court, 1/2 basketball court, large playground and clubhouse (none of which I have personally used) in nice condition. While it would be nice not to see weeds in the neighbors front yard, I believe that it is up to them, not some control freak on the board to fine them until they clean it up. There are people running their businesses out of their garages here. As long as they don’t interfere with me, I’m fine with it.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View Rayne's profile


912 posts in 1565 days

#14 posted 10-02-2014 02:08 AM

I agree with Dark_Lightning. My HOA is the same way. Majority of the properties are in good shape because of the HOA. They are reasonable, will work with you to bring your issue up to par and will also make arrangements to help pay for the HOA based upon your situation. From my perspective, HOA’s are great. Oh and the 24/7 Guarded security, and tons and tons of fun events they hold doesn’t hurt either.

View sawdust703's profile


270 posts in 1446 days

#15 posted 10-02-2014 02:10 AM

My brother in law lives in an HOA in Colorado. The home they bought is FANCY!!! They seem to have awesome neighbors! But, The damn prairie dogs have taken over the empty lots around the houses in the HOA, and they are havin’ a tough time getting anything done about them. He also says it doesn’t seem to matter what goes on at his house, there is ALWAYS one of the HOA hotshots showing up telling them they didn’t get permission for whatever it is they’re doing! He is a wood worker as well, as well as an antique car buff. And gets guff constantly from the HOA about Both. And he has a two car garage, concrete driveway, all that, but don’t do much outside. He works in his garage, just to keep from havin’ issues, & still has problems!

-- Sawdust703

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