Wednesday, April 23, 2008

First Time Home Buyers Should Know About Restrictive Covenants!

Before purchasing a new or existing home, first time home buyers should ask many questions of their Accredited Buyer Representative……..
  • How much will I pay in annual taxes?
  • What will be the amount of my annual homeowner insurance premium?
  • Is the home serviced by a municipal sewer service or do I pay a separate company for my sewer service? (In Richland County, Palmetto Utilities provides sewer service to several Northeast Columbia communities.)

    Here’s another good question a.k.a. The Question of the Day……….

    Is the home located in a neighborhood that has restrictive covenants?

Residential real estate developers have been known to establish nonnegotiable restrictions and conditions of ownership in residential communities. These restrictions and conditions are listed in the Neighborhood Homeowners Association's (HOA) Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) attached to the title of the property.

By not meeting the terms of the CC&Rs, the HOA could impose penalties that can range from placing a lien on your home to home foreclosure.

HOA CC&Rs commonly impose annual regime fees (that could possibly increase your monthly mortgage payment) and govern neighborhood standards such as acceptable home exterior colors, the maximum height of a fence and the acceptable location(s) to install a satellite dish (a requirement of the Patterson household).

Anyone can ask first time home buyers questions like......How many bedrooms or bathrooms? Do you want brick or vinyl? These are important questions.

However, there are OTHER QUESTIONS that should be answered. Knowing whether you are willing to live in a restricted neighborh0od should be decided BEFORE YOU SHOP for a home.

Postscript -- Here are some real examples of Homeowner Association covenants at these sites:

East Lake Homeowners Association Site --------------------- East Lake Restrictive Covenants

Forest Glen Homeowners Association Site ------------------ Forest Glen Restrictive Covenants

Oak Pointe Homeowners Association Site ------------------- Oak Pointe Restrictive Covenants

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