Deed restrictions are limitations written into a deed to restrict the control, occupancy or use of a property. Because these restrictions are written into the deed, they transfer with the property from the previous owner to the new owner when the home is sold.
Many subdivisions, especially newer ones, have deed restrictions to control the look and appeal of the neighborhood. The deed restrictions are recorded.
There are also typically a set of by-laws for the association, which set up the rules for running the homeowners association. These usually cover definition of who are members, how voting will be done, rules for meetings, Board of Directors defined, powers and duties of Board of Directors members, rules for fiscal management of the association, parliamentary rules for meetings and rules for how amendments can be made to the deed restrictions.
Back to the deed restrictions. These contain the rules and regulations for land use and property standards for the homes in the community.
Typical restrictions would include how the property can be used. Here are some common items covered by HOA deed restrictions: what changes you can make to the exterior or your home, if you can put sheds in your back yard, fencing, what types of vehicles you can park on your property (boats and RVs are often forbidden) and rental restrictions.
These homeowner associations will also charge dues or fees on an annual, quarterly or monthly basis to maintain the common grounds and run the business of the HOA.
Some people hate deed restrictions, they feel they restrict what they can do with their property. Others like deed restrictions because they do give an overall standard for the subdivision that all homeowners must maintain, thereby keeping up the property values as a whole. Homes in deed restricted communities tend to sell for higher prices than homes in neighborhoods without deed restrictions.
Some people want to park their boat or RV on the side of their home, or their work van on the drive, hang their laundry on a line behind their home or park cars in their front lawn. Others find those things an eyesore and don't want to look at them on a daily basis.
The bottom line is, if you are looking at homes in a subdivision with a mandatory homeowner's association, be sure to get and read a copy of the deed restrictions and by-laws before you write an offer so you know what you will required to comply with should you purchase there. I'd also recommend getting a copy of the most recent budget and at least the past 3 months minutes of the Board of Director meetings so you can find out what issues they are discussing.
Diane Christner, Realtor, GRI, SFR, CNE
Tell you when your Garage Door is open too much.
When you have weeds in your yard.
What color you may paint your house.
When your friends park illegally on the street.
When you can use your fireplace.
Whether you can have a screen on your front door.
If you can have family stay overnight.
Whether you can have a dog or a cat.
Whether you can park in your driveway.
When you put out your garbage cans for pick-up.
That I cannot put a FOR SALE sign on your lawn.
Don't even get me started on having a Party!
Oh, you said ADVANTAGES!