How will they affect how I can use my property?
When you find the perfect home or perhaps a lot to build on, you’re done right? Just move in and begin to make those changes that will really give the place your personal flair.
But NOT SO FAST!
Did you read the fine print? Those pesky details called conditions, restrictions, and covenants may change how you can use your property and they are REQUIRED READING when you look over the deed for a property. They may also be in a HOA document if you are moving to a planned community which has established rules as part of the development.
Now most of these restrictions are put in place to protect the value of the property in the neighborhood-to keep it looking nice and well-maintained. Some restrictions, however, may put limits on your building or decorating plans, right down to the color you may paint your house.
Most restrictive covenants “run with the land”. That means that it was placed in the deed at the time of sale as a permanent restriction that applies to ALL future buyers of the property. Sometimes a developer places these restrictions, sometimes a neighborhood group get together and voluntarily signs on to abide by the agreed-on rules.
“I can’t do what?”
Want to build a fence? Put up a big backyard workshop or pool? Do your plans involve cutting down some trees? Maybe paint your home orange? Want to start a home business? Have an unusual pet? How about putting in security lighting or a basketball hoop or maybe you want to park your boat or camper in the driveway? Better check the fine print.
If you're buying a property in a planned development, you must receive a copy of these Conditions, Covenants, and Restrictions (CC&R) AND agree to them as part of the settlement process. If you are buying a house or lot in a regular neighborhood, better check the deed just in case. It is better to find out before you commit to buying a property that you may not be able to use the way you like.
Your Real Estate Agent is a valuable asset.
In searching out the details of the property you have set your heart on make good use of your REALTOR. They can work with other professionals to protect your interests. Ask them questions about your dream property. Communicate your wishes to them so they can find what you are looking for. With their training and experience they can help you do your homework to find that perfect home.