Some residential areas grow organically, one house or street at a time. Others are planned developments and those usually come with a homeowners association (HOA) or another governing entity that enforces certain rules for the people who live there.
Those rules are known as “covenants, conditions and restrictions,” or CC&Rs.
What’s the goal of CC&Rs?
Covenants, conditions and restrictions are designed to create and preserve a certain atmosphere within an area and a specific quality of life. They often help preserve property values by making sure that all homes in the neighborhood are carefully maintained.
What’s the problem with CC&Rs?
The problem with these covenants, conditions and restrictions is that people often have no idea how suffocating they can be unless they’ve lived under them before.
CC&Rs commonly place rules on things like what color you can paint your house, how high your backyard fence can be and where you can park your car.
That may all sound fairly reasonable or easy to manage, but what about restrictions that get very specific? For example, CC&Rs can dictate what type of holiday decorations you’re allowed to put on your porch, what type of yard ornaments or plants you can have and even whether or not you’re allowed to have a pet.
Those kinds of restrictions can be difficult to bear when you’ve paid a lot of money for the privilege of your own home, so it’s important to fully understand the terms of a CC&R agreement before you buy. Getting your agreement legally reviewed is often a good idea before purchasing the property.