Home Rules: Understanding Deed Restrictions

Posted on: 29 July 2018

If you are in the market for a new home, you will likely encounter deed-restricted communities. There are both negative and positive points to be considered in these types of communities, and it's vital that you understand the restrictions before you get too carried away with your dream home search. Deed restrictions exist for various reasons; sometimes it's part of the homeowner's association rules, or it might be part of a special urban renewal zone or historic district. Whatever the reason, you might want to carefully consider some of the most common deed restrictions listed below before you sign an offer to purchase.

Vehicle Restrictions

You might encounter rules about how many cars you can park, where they can park and what type of vehicles they are. It's not uncommon for neighborhoods to have rules prohibiting street parking on narrow thoroughfares, but in some places, you can only park up to three vehicles at a time in your own driveway.

If you are a multi-generational family with several drivers, you may need to rethink your plans. Another issue is the type of vehicle allowed. If you drive a commercial vehicle of some sort home, there may be restrictions against that. Many deed restricted communities don't allow boats or recreational vesicles to be parked anywhere on the property. You may also be prevented from doing anything mechanical to your vehicle, so shade tree mechanics beware.

Adding Structures

If you have dreams of a backyard gardening shed, you might want to double-check the deed restrictions. Things like sheds, garages, pool houses, gazebos, workshops and more may be either blocked or curtailed due to deed restrictions. For example, you may be able to build or place a shed in your yard, but only if it's below a certain size. Know about these rules ahead of time, or you might risk disappointing your child who longs for a backyard tree house.

Livestock and Pets

It's become trendy to keep exotic chickens and exotic pets in general, but some communities restrict having certain types of animals on the property. It's not uncommon for deed restrictions to address the number of traditional pets as well and the type and whether or not the pet can be kept outside the home.

Home Appearance

You might be surprised at how detailed some deed restrictions can be that deal with the outward appearance of a home. Everything from paint and trim colors to the style of the garage door might be specified. Many rules restrict and control yard signs, flags, fences, landscaping, and more. If you wish to add a second floor or build on to the present structure, you may face rules about everything from the size and the style to building materials used.

Deed restrictions can help promote a neighborhood that is free of problems that decrease a home's value but speak to your real estate agent about the rules so that they can factor your wishes into the home search. For more information on real estate for sale, contact your local realtor.