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April Is National Fair Housing Month
Subdivision homes - “restrictions may apply” and you may take it to the
bank that there will be some kind of restrictions. Some will be to your liking ...others will not.
A subdivision living brings many appeals like a swimming pool and tennis court at your disposal but HOA is responsible for the up keeping of these common use areas.
On the economic side, houses will have similarities and therefore home value will be more uniform. Please click here to see my page “Location”
On the other hand, it does require homeowners to maintain that sense of cohesiveness at all times and it can [and most certainly will] put some restriction on what you can and what you cannot do to your home.
It has to be understood that a subdivision CC&Rs can impose restriction as long as it does not conflict with current laws and it does not discriminate.
Some of the restrictions make sense but others are a bit off the charts: Sometimes even the color of your grass can prompt a call from the HOA.
How It Comes To be?
CC&Rs - covenant, condition & restriction will regulate the use of properties held under the subdivision homes.
It all starts with the dividers but more likely will be the developers who improve the land and starts gathering the known “public restrictions” in the way of “zoning ordinances.”
Zoning is imposed and regulated by the county or municipality.
The developers will then add their own “private restrictions” by means of the - covenants, conditions & restrictions (CC&Rs).
In this sense, CCRs can take the zoning code and go beyond it by imposing a much stricter uses of the property and it will be legal. Unless they discriminate against the conveyance to or the use by individual or families of a specified race, sex, religion, handicap, familial status, marital status or ancestry.
Declaration Of Restrictions
It is a document stating all covenants, conditions and restrictions the developers think the subdivision should abide by: It is called “declaration of restrictions” or simply declaration.
The CCRs will be recorded along all other important documents that will form that subdivision and, once recorded, these covenants, conditions and restrictions “will run with the land” – it is a term that means that it will bind all future subdivision home owners until it exceeds the time established in such documents or voted out by the home owners.
The developer will run the home owner’s association – HOA – until 75% of the homes are sold.
At this point a board of directors should be in place. Usually the board is elected for a period of one year.
The board for its turn will select the officers and this combined body will run the affair of the subdivision.
It Can Be The Main Attraction
A subdivision will always have its own CCRs – and they can be a looser set of rules and/or loosely imposed or it can be stricter and/or more strictly imposed.
CCRs when well-thought and put together while run by a competent board, they do have the tendency to have a positive impact in the value of the homes, as owners will have a blue print what they can expect from the neighboring properties.
In many instances that is the main appeal for buyers who seek a certain life style, specially high end subdivision homes like gated subdivisions homes, golf club communities and the likes.
Many people feel most comfortable in neighborhoods with homes in pretty much the same price range as their own.
Owners of those subdivision homes want conformity and stability for their life style and investment.
Examples Of Restrictions
You will not find every restriction in one subdivision home CC&Rs but here are some for you to think about when looking around for your new home: Architecture, fence heights – or even if there can be a fence in the first place, lot size, in-home businesses, home rentals, limit tree-cutting, reduce clutter on lots, such as prohibiting owners from storing a vehicle that doesn't run within view of others, or parking a recreational vehicle on the property, paint colors that can be used on a home's exterior
In areas where wildfires are a problem, covenants might require you to use only fire retardant building materials.
For sale signs can be a sticky point as well.
CCRs almost certainly will stipulate the minimum size residence allowed, how many homes may be built on one lot, and what type of construction the subdivision homes must (or must not) be.
They may include numerous other restrictions …and up to having a say in the color of your front yard grass.
Many of these items already are in the zoning regulation, subdivisions just add another layer of dos and don’ts that I would recommend you get informed before putting your signature on the dotted line.
Keeping Up With The “Up Keeping”
Living in a subdivision home requires a great degree of discipline with the up keeping of the home.
Repair of the exterior of the house cannot be postponed for long. Paint cannot be fading. Roof cannot be decaying. Grass cannot go two weeks without a good cut. Winter calls for bagging those leaves often. Your mailbox must comply with the standard and it better look new.
You either do it yourself or you must have someone to do it for you.
Some subdivision homeowners are more patient than other. "First time offenders” may have some reprieve but I would not push my luck too far.
Lastly but not the least, neighborhood associations can, at times, be restrictive as well.
They usually are remnant of an HOA whose tenure has expired.
They are kind of proactive to bring enforcement to the zoning codes.
Sometimes these forms of vigilantes are formed in long established neighborhoods that have outlived the initial HOA.
I have a friend who lives in one of such neighborhood. Prior to moving there, he had a green house in the back yard of his previous home. He had some wonderful plants that he used to keep in there during the winter months, including a “monster” cactus of some twenty-five years old.
He wanted to continue to have his plants that were obviously too many to have inside the house. Due to the sloped terrain of the new home, he could not place the green house out of sight from the street…
Well, the neighbors did not like that and they made sure that he did not get a permit.
I love all the amenities and the staying power subdivision homes offers to your investment, however I always caution bout the “HOA powers” – please click to read more before you buy
Of course the natural alternative would be the "Non-subdivision Home" - please click here to visit my page about it
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:
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JC Fagundes, Head Broker
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