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Non-Subdivision Home:
Enjoy your home with less regulations

Non-subdivision home - It means less control from your neighbors and



ways more freedom on how and what to do to your home.

I have worked with countless home buying folks that would rather by pass the subdivision living in lieu of what they would be able to do with their homes without having the rigid structure of a subdivision.

You have to consider your personality type before you make the decision to sign up to buy a home in a strict rule subdivision.

If you are more of the free spirit type you would be happier in a setting where you will not get a letter from the HOA for not cutting the grass last week when you were on vacation.

As anything else in life, it is only perfect if it is perfect for your taste and personality. On my own humble experience, although I do well in a condo setting, when it comes to detached homes, non-subdivision home is my cup a tea - I have never lived in a subdivision home.


Non-Subdivision Home

It means less control from your neighbors and ways more freedom on how and what to do to your home.

I have worked with countless home buying folks that would rather by pass the subdivision living in lieu of what they would be able to do with their homes without having the rigid structure of a subdivision.

You have to consider your personality type before you make the decision to sign up to buy a home in a strict rule subdivision.

If you more of the free spirit type you would be happier in a setting where you will not get a letter from the HOA for not cutting the grass last week when you were on vacation.

As anything else in life, it is only perfect if it is perfect for your taste and personality. On my own humble experience, although I do well in a condo setting, when it comes to detached homes, non-subdivision home is my cup a tea - I have never lived in a subdivision home.



Flexibility

In a non-subdivision home setting is about what will give you the most flexibility on what to do and how to use you house.

Even your dog will face fewer restrictions. It will have free reign of your back yard and seldom a neighbor will call you to complain.

A city dwelling will have to obey zoning code like height of construction by all in all there is less inference from the neighbors to contend with. It is where you can exercise your ownership rights more freely.

I once owned a non-subdivision home in a “transition area” where we the majority of the homes had been built in the 1950’s and 60’s. However, at that point in time, a great number of the houses had been bought, demolished and replaced with new construction.

Many of my neighbors sold their homes to developers. It was at the peak of the housing bubble, it is a highly sought after area of town and they walked way with a good stash of dough.

The lots were fairly large and, due to the zoning, could be subdivided into two and each of those now they have much larger and more modern.

It was only possible if you are talking about a non-subdivision home. Subdivisions are much more strict and you would not have such things happening.



Uniformity (or lack of)

I have been very forthcoming that I never owned a home in a “subdivision setting.” I prefer the “additional layer of freedom” afforded by a non-subdivision home that I do not to have to comply with the CCRs (Covenant, Conditions & Regulations)

However even great as I think a non-subdivision home can be, it is not without its own set of situations that you should be aware of, here are some of the things that come to my head:

There is nobody to enforce “uniformity:” You can buy a nice home but a little more than shackle can be your next door neighbor and you have less recourse to change or stop it than what you have in a subdivision.

A lot of the times people will buy the property with the intention of demolishing it to clear the lot for new construction. In some instances this is a “good thing.”

However sometimes transformation comes with such force that it causes the destruction - some will argue “the renovation” - of entire neighborhood in the way it used to be know.

In the early 2000’s I witnessed one of such “transformations.”

It was in a very well sought after neighborhood in North Atlanta called Chastain Park. It is close by where I live and I drive through it fairly often.

There was a house with a strange shape – I recall it like being either round or an octagon format - that came up for sale. Just out of my curiosity, I stopped by to take a look but it already was under contract.

The lot faces the park. Beautiful views, with waking trail across the street. This are has a lot going for it: a public golf club, little league baseball fields and open air concerts are held near-by, during the summer months.

Strange shape notwithstanding, it seemed to be a house in good condition…

The buyer was certainly a builder – they torn down that – seemly good house and build a sizable “mansion” in its place.

Well, that spurred a big wave of tear down “old” homes to build big houses in a transformation that is still going on up to this day (2011). Albeit it there has been a noticeable slowdown since the economic down turn.

Now many of the original owners now find themselves in between those big homes.

A lot of folks who live in this neighborhoods for years, and, in many case, for decades, do not like that kind of transformation because as the value of the houses go up and so do taxes.

The taxman also notices that and next appraisal will go up as well – what in turn means that your property tax will go up as well.

You probably will not like that much either… Things to think about.



Eminent Domain

The other thing is “Eminent domain:” a lot of what I call non-subdivision homes are along of major streets or thoroughfares and as cities grow there may be a need to widen those roads.

It is relatively easy to find sections of a city where blocks upon blocks of homes have been torn down for the purposes of a more freely flow of traffic.

Eminent domain is a legal tool that the government has at its disposal to enact the government’s right to take private property for what might be deemed in the interest of the general population. And if they come to that conclusion, there precious little that a home owner can do above receiving what authorities judge to be a “just compensation” and moving on with your live.

Again I have witnessed a lot of it around Atlanta in 25+ years I have lived in this great city.


Zoning

Buying in a non-subdivision home sure give you a lot more latitude then any other setting.

However no matter where you go, you will still to have to comply with the zoning regulations

In Atlanta we are very proud to be home to one of the most exciting architect the country has ever produced: John C. Portman - in fact he is renowned the world over. [Please do a Google search on his name; I am quite sure you will be impressed]

Mr. Portman owns (or used to own) what I think has to be an outstanding 12 acres a land in one of the most sought after neighborhoods in the North side of Atlanta.

In 2007 he applied for a permit to build a home that would be 80 feet tall. However the maximum height for area is 40 ft. The petition was denied.

To read more details please click here


I did not follow it to the last details but in researching for this page, I found this link which leads me to believe that Mr. Portman did not appeal that zoning board’s decision:

(…) “John Portman decided not to appeal the local zoning board’s unanimous decision denying him permission to construct an 80-foot-tall, 27,000-square-foot McMansion in the Sandy Springs suburb of Atlanta. The architect, known for his hotel atriums, allowed a 30-day appeals period to expire, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote on May 16. Neighbors had objected that his house was too big and violated height limits. The board agreed. ‘I do not think the applicant’s proved our city fathers intended to have homes built more than 40 feet,’ its chairman told the paper at the time.”


Good Sense Rules

Non-subdivision ownership: enjoy your home with less neighborhood regulation.

If you think that a non-subdivision home is your cup of tea, I am quite sure you will enjoy the freedom it brings to your ownership.

As for me, I may be biased: I have already confessed above that it is my preference
; -)

Good sense still has to prevail ...And you can count that your neighbors will be watching.

…But – alleluia! No HOA fees!

I am always quick to point out that non-subdivision homes lack many of the amenities a subdivision offers – Please click here to have a look on my “Subdivision Homes” page



Home types seem to be so intuitive …and that’s maybe why you already have your mind set on what type you home you would like to buy. However, before you make the definite plunge, do a final reading on these pages …just to be sure: 

Home Types
Subdivision Homes

Town House
Condominium
Co-ops


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JC Fagundes, Associate Broker
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