Seadart: My house is on a such a steep downhill lot that the basement door in the rear opens out on grade despite the ceiling being 9’ high, AKA “walk-out basement”. It’s very easy to carry a kayak straight out, but the problem once out there, below the 8’ x 16’ second floor back porch, is that I have to thread the 15’ to 18’ kayaks back and forth around large pillars which is a pain. Then I have to carry the boat up the side yard and then up a 6-step concrete stairs to the sidewalk and across the street to load on my car. Or drag the boats down the 120’ back yard slope to the alley where I can load them on the trailer.
These headaches are one reason why I bought a second property a few blocks away last year, also with a large walk-out basement, but one I could drive up to via the driveway to the back yard and can bring the boats straight out. I may eventually move into that house and sell the one I am in, but the newer place needs some updates first, mostly aesthetic (it was built in 1890 but has had a complete exterior, interior and mechanical update in the past decade.) It also has a large flat back yard where I am planning to build a 2 car garage and boat house this Summer and Fall. I rent out the 3 bedroom, 2 bath house on the lot but reserve access to the back yard for myself and am now storing my trailers over there. The garage will be built to also serve as a workshop – I would like to build a skin on frame myself before I get too decrepit. That rental house also has a massive two level deck and the lower level in the back yard is tucked under the upper deck and offers a good location to suspend kayaks. Seems odd to buy a house just to store kayaks, but there is literally no place on my primary residence site to place a driveway, let alone a garage. Besides, the rental pays the mortgage and then some. And I have enough equity in the first house that I could sell it, pay off both loans and live in the other house for just the cost of taxes.
My present “armada” only has two rigid boats – the two green ones seen on the floor in the photo (which are both now hanging in the rafters). The red boat and 4 others are all folding kayaks which spend the winter in their duffel bags. I am probably going to sell 2 or 3 of the folders in the near future.
I would have trouble living anywhere without a basement. For one thing, I like having a couple of friendly cats around and having the litter boxes tucked away on another level is a must. I also have too many large toys and hundreds of tools (and projects). I also would never own a house without one or more large covered front porches. This house has three of them, two of which function as my Summer living room and Summer kitchen/dining room (see pics, the barbecue grill is on the rear second floor screen porch. out of the frame to the left) Sometimes I just stash the kayaks on the front porch temporarily.