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HOMEOWNERS To BE or NOT to BE: RESTRICTED

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HOMEOWNERS
To BE or NOT to BE: RESTRICTED

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I have worked with so many buyers who told me they wanted “unrestricted” property. That is, until we drove past the undesirable junk cars laced all over the lawns on the way to their potential home. The buyer would say, “I don’t want to drive past “that” to get to my home”. In other words, the buyer wants to live in a bubble where their property is unrestricted, but everyone around them has restrictions. Maybe what one homeowner wants to do “unrestricted” is different than what another homeowner wants to do. Some people just don’t want other people telling them what they can and can’t do on the property they’re paying for. Understandable. But, the only way to really get this reality is to make sure you buy a home on enough property so you have distance between your home and where the neighbor may love their washing machine on the front porch.

If you do decide to purchase a home in a subdivision, there will be some type of restrictive covenants to tell you what is allowed and not allowed in this area. Don’t move into an area with restrictions and decide the restrictions don’t fall into line with what you want to do. If you purchased the home, you should have received a copy of the restricted covenants, and by purchasing the home, you agreed to abide by these covenants.

Restrictions are there for your benefit, as well as, your neighbors to enhance property values. If you purchase a $300,000 home in a subdivision and a neighbor decides to have chickens, guess what? Your $300,000 home just lost its value. A buyer who wants to live in a restricted subdivision isn’t going to buy a home where there’s a potpourri of unrestricted uses in the neighborhood. And, if buyers are not buying, prices start falling. There's nothing wrong with having chickens or any other farm animal, but if you want to have a farm, buy a farm. I love the idea of gathering my own eggs. I’ve kind of always wanted a cow too. But, if that’s what I want, I know to purchase a home where there are no restrictions on having those farm animals.

By allowing one neighbor to own chickens, you are setting the precedent that the restrictions in place are not enforced, so other homeowners will follow suit and do whatever they deem reasonable on their property. Then, you might as well have a block party bonfire to burn the restrictive covenants and plan on living in your home forever, because you will never get the best value out of your home.

But, look on the bright side; you’ll have plenty of eggs.

A Covenant is a type of contractual arrangement. A restrictive covenant is a clause in a deed or lease to real property that limits what the owner of the land or lease can do with the property. Restrictive covenants allow surrounding property owners, who have similar covenants in their deeds, to enforce the terms of the covenants in a court of law. They are intended to enhance property values by controlling development.

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