If you are hoping to buy a home to be your castle, check the fine print to make sure that you will rule the Kingdom. Before you buy, make sure your new home is not governed by restrictions that you won’t be able to live with. A Deed Restriction, the legal name for community rules, are common in planned subdivisions and condominiums. A restriction can include making sure your hedges don’t grow over a certain height, limiting the number of pets or restricting the addition of a swimming pool. There might be some type of authority, such as a homeowners’ association (HOA), that oversees the restrictions for the whole community. The benefit of the owner rules ensures the ambiance of the community isn’t degraded. This is done to maintain and enhance property values for all.

What Things Are Limited?

Ask your real estate agent if the home you’re considering buying is overseen by a HOA.  Every HOA has its own unique list, so check the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions commonly referred to as CC&R’s ( type of deed restriction) before you buy. There may be limits regarding what you are allowed to do with the property.  Examples may include not operating a business in your home nor parking your work vehicles on site. Limits to types of pets, breeding animals, use of blue tarps, house color, permitted parking areas or parking oversized vehicles are common. Before you buy and dream of adding a casita in the back yard for your mother-in-law, make sure it is permitted. If you ignore the CC&R’s your life, as well as your homeowners’ association, will be miserable.

Don’t Be Surprised

Home owner violations are typically enforced by the Homeowner Association. Fines may be levied, vehicles towed, and, worst case scenario, a lien can be put on your property if you don’t pay the fines.

If you are thorough in your research, you won’t have surprises. Many excited first-time buyers forget to ask for a copy of the CC&R’s before buying. Another strategy to make sure this is a community you want to live in, is to ask to see a year’s worth of homeowner association meeting minutes. It will give you an idea of the type of issues this community faces and how or if fines are levied. These deed restrictions and CC&R’s are in place to ensure the property you purchased holds its value. In the long run, all of these rules are really a good thing.

Let Us Help

Your employer offers you the Advantage Home Plus Home Ownership program as part of your benefits package. One service is The Preferred Real Estate Network, composed of thoroughly screened real estate agents and will refer them to you upon request. Give us a call and we will match you with an agent who serves your area and is experienced in knowing which properties may have deed restrictions. Just dial 1-800-376-4603 or contact us at info@advantagehomeplus.com to be matched with an agent and begin your search!