January 14, 2018

What does it mean to be in a Deed-Restricted Communities

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Category: Information


A deed-restricted community is a neighborhood with a governing homeowner association (HOA) that enforces certain rules and regulations regarding the look of a neighborhood, as well as property uses. The goal of this type of community is to promote a fluid look throughout a neighborhood, which in turn helps maintain home values.

Every deed-restricted HOA community is different in regards to rules and regulations, although many Florida neighborhoods are governed by an HOA. If you are considering buying a home in a deed-restricted community it’s important to collect all of the information regarding what you can and can’t do if you move here. In some cases, the rules may seem favorable to you, in other instances they may not. For instance, some associations ban large dog breeds, which you may already own.

Are Deed-Restricted Communities Popular?

The number of deed-restricted HOA communities in the US has grown tremendously since the 1970’s. In the 70’s approximately 6,000 HOA communities existed all across the States. Today, over 157,000 HOA communities can be found throughout the US. The states with the largest growth in HOA communities include California, Arizona and our very own Florida.

Some people like the stability provided by an HOA, while others would rather risk getting a neighbor that hoards a lot of junk in their front yard than having to deal with painting their mailbox a specific color.

Does Living In A Deed-Restricted Community Cost Money? 

The level of regulation provided by an HOA comes at a cost; this cost is your monthly HOA fee. Monthly fees range anywhere from $100 to $300 plus. It’s important to gather these costs upfront in order to prevent getting excited about a house that may break the budget due to these costs.   

Are HOA Fees Worth It?

The cost of an HOA may be well worth it to you. For one, homes in HOA communities tend to hold their value better over the long term, mainly because the overall maintenance of the neighborhood remains in better condition. Buyers find this appealing because people prefer a well taken care of neighborhood, as opposed to one that appears run down.

The appearance of your neighbor’s house plays a role when it comes time to sell your home. If the house next door is overburdened with junk, painted a funky color or simply falling apart, there’s nothing you can do about it but it will impact your property value. On the other hand, if you live in an HOA community this lack of maintenance is against regulations and it isn’t going to happen. If it does it will be taken care of right away. This prevents you from becoming trapped between neighbors that don’t maintain their houses and therefore negatively impact the value of your home. 

Your monthly HOA fee covers a wide range of things, besides just keeping the overall appearance of the neighborhood in check. Luxury HOA communities often include heated pools, tennis courts, clubhouses and other amenities for you to use.

Do Deed-Restricted Communities Expire?

Yes, they sure can. In fact, certain deed-restricted communities in Pasco County have already expired in past years. All deed-restricted communities expire within 30-years of being put forth into motion according to the 1956 Marketable Record Title Act.

Once the deed meets the 30-year expiration there is nothing an association can do to enforce rules or even collect monthly dues. Some communities continue to pay dues and uphold traditional ways of conducting business, but there’s no way to control that future residents will wish to do the same.

Some neighborhood associations have laws written into place that state the old policies will be reinforced at the end of the expiration period for X amount of years if the majority of homeowners vote for it. These are all things to consider and inquire about before deciding on an HOA community.

What Do HOA Communities Control?

Every neighborhood is different and some HOAs exercise far more control over neighborhoods than others. Some common factors HOA communities control include:

  • The style of architecture used to build a new home on the block or a separate standing structure on your property.
  • Where cars may be parked, which will more than likely NEVER be permitted on lawns and may also include no parking on the street.
  • What type of vehicles can be parked in the neighborhood, many ban RVs, trailers, and other large vehicles of the sort? 
  • The color you can paint your home, mailbox, etc.
  • What type of plants you install, including the height of trees.
  • How often trash needs to be taken out and removed, as well as how long your trash is allowed to sit on your lawn or at your front door, which could very well be 0 seconds. 
  • How many animals and what type of animals live on your property. Some communities restrict large dog breeds but others do not. Either way, if you’re dreaming of getting an unconventional pet, such as a goat or pig, an HOA community may not be your best option.   
  • What type of additions you can complete on your property, including garages, swimming pools, garden sheds, outbuildings, fencing, etc.

Is A Deed-Restricted Community Right For You? 

Before closing the deal on a home in a deed-restricted community you should always obtain a copy of the community restrictions and carefully look them over. You may even want to take it one step further and consult with a real-estate attorney before signing on any dotted lines. 

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