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Author Topic: Two Kinds of CC&Rs?  (Read 4441 times)

Posts: 20

« on: February 27, 2003, 10:48:53 AM »

Hopefully, some legal beagle or realtor can confirm or correct this, but my understanding is that CC&Rs on residential property can show up in two formats:

First are the "overt" CC&Rs generated by homeowners' association rules.  Hopefully, all amateurs contemplating a purchase involving a homeowners
association will check carefully and require FULL disclosure of CC&Rs and "rules" before making a purchase offer.

Second are what I call the "covert" type of CC&R:  deed
restrictions placed in the property's legal description along with easement rights, etc.  My understanding is that these can occur even with properties NOT involving homeowners associations and typically result because developers, anxious to obtain their permits, agree to add such language (at the behest of overzealous local municipality planning
boards) when the original subdivisions are made. (Presumably, enforcement of such CC&Rs falls to local municipalities?).

I have heard stories that the only time such restrictions are "disclosed" to the buyer is when he/she sits down with a two-inch stack of paperwork
to sign the final closing, and it is buried somewhere in the middle.

If one cannot be sure that all such restrictions are known prior to making a purchase offer (developers, realtors and seller will LIE!), perhaps the answer is to write conditions into the purchase offer requiring that ALL CC&Rs on the property must be disclosed in writing within X days of the date of offer and giving one the right to withdraw the offer if such restrictions are objectionable.


Posts: 3206


« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2003, 08:21:59 AM »


The only way to protect yourself is to make your offer contingent on disclosure.  Also, make sure that the title insurance company is aware of your contingency.

Dennis - KG4RUL

Posts: 1

« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2003, 02:13:12 PM »

It all comes down to what they talk about in their
little secret meetings!
I would suggest before putting up anything or even
approaching the management, or even before you move, plan an "intellegence" plan and attend meetings.
In the mean time I am trying to get hams with (severe) cc&rs together.
Keep an eye on posts here and
Also many management companies have web sites.
Keep an eye on the minutes and homeowners comments,complaints and anouncements.

Posts: 1

« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2003, 02:20:49 PM »

Oh! I forgot,, if you rent a home you can check out an area then sign a contract for six months, instead
of what might turn out to be a lifetime!
Use caution when renting, many homeowners frown upon it, and you could be black listed for the entire
six months, this is what has happened to me and my mom
many times ,although we have no choice due to economy.
One time I confronted the management about the homeowners association president singled us out,,,their answer was "as a renter you have no rights!"
I have a plan though!!

Posts: 3206


« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2003, 06:09:43 AM »

Actually, what you as a renter have, are ALL the RIGHTS of the homeowner.  Unfortunately, you also have ALL the RESPONSIBILITIES and RESTRICTIONS of the homeowner.  In rare cases, the restrictions may have certain clauses specific to renters.

In other words, if the homeowner is in any way prohibited from erecting antennas, those prohibitions convey in their entirety to you as a renter.

Dennis - KG4RUL

Posts: 21764

« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2003, 02:43:45 PM »

The right to rescind at no penalty if stipulated conditions are not specifically met is always present in all real estate contracts.  It is up to the buyer to stipulate the conditions and list them in the offer contract.

I always stipulate, "There shall be no covenants, conditions or restrictions prohibiting use of said property in any manner the buyer sees fit.  The disclosure of any CC&R by either party during the term of this contract, up to and including escrow closure, is cause for immediate cancellation of this contract at no cost to buyer, and any and all deposits in support of purchase shall be returned to the buyer through escrow within five working days of such cancellation."

If the seller doesn't want to sign it, keep on looking.


Posts: 1003

« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2003, 08:25:46 PM »

One thing I always do when buyin', and
highly recommend, is hire an attorney that
does Real Estate work to search the
property that you wanna buy.  This will
turn up what ever deed restrictions
that are on the property.   I always buy
in the country because here in NC you have to
pay county and city taxes if you live in
a city.  Also, less chance of problems
with neighbors, etc.  Also, you get more land for
the antenna farm for less money.

Lotsa stuff expires by its own terms as
the lawyers say.  Some are unenforceable
(no Jews, no coloreds except servants, etc).

The property I'm on now only has one enforceable
condition that I can't have
swine and even though I was a law man before I retired
no one said anything about it.  :-)

73 de Ronnie


« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2003, 12:02:13 PM »

This is a very dangerous subject and the answers given are stupid AND simplistic.  People who are buying real estate have to know the following:

1.  If you think you don't need a lawyer when you buy property for the kind of money involved to protect your interests, then when do you need a lawyer?

2.  There are no legal "tricks" that will universally protect you.  LEARN THIS -----WHEN YOU SIGN AN AGREEMENT YOU  ARE BOUND BY THAT AGREEMENT. PERIOD. PERIOD. PERIOD.  WHEN ARE YOU PEOPLE GOING TO LEARN THIS?HuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuh??

Posts: 21764

« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2003, 02:47:55 PM »

WA8KJP, perhaps we can chat about this outside the forum, but I'm not sure what incited your previous post.

I've bought and sold real estate for 30 years now, and live in the fifteenth home that I've owned, all very successful transactions with all parties, especially me, fully satisfied.  All transacted without any involvement from an attorney.

Of course, actually reading papers prior to signing them is of great benefit.


Posts: 8

« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2003, 08:44:46 AM »

Steve, I think Rick is talking about the vast majority of us who only rarely go through the process of buying a home. When you don't know much about a process that involves tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, it's only prudent to involve an expert. A competent attorney knows where to look and what to look for. I'd have to take several months to read every paper, top to bottom, front and back, and still wouldn't know for sure that I'd covered my backside.

Since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, if you absolutely, positively must put up a tower (or even a whip from the peak of your roof), be sure to ask every expert involved in the transaction about covenant restrictions. This means, at least, the title company and your lawyer, if you have one. If you still get pegged by one of these so-called "hidden" covenants, (as much as I hate our society's tendancies to sue) you've got a case for malpractice.



Posts: 628

« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2003, 09:48:30 AM »

While buying and selling homes is not easy, its also not rocket science. If you have a good realtor, it helps.  What also helps, is sitting down and reading the papers in a quiet environment (without sellers, realtors, and title people present) and making a list of questions to ask.  Just because somebody slides some papers in front of you to sign doesn't mean it has to occur right then. Ask for time to review them and meet with your realtor to have all your questions answered before going into the title/escrow office to sign. Spell it out in detail what you want in the purchase contract, just as Steve has done. Just remember, if something doesn't feel right, or your getting fuzzy answers or pressure to sign now, time to walk.


Posts: 55

« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2003, 04:32:07 PM »

As a real-estate professional, and veteran of several years service on a bi-county Planning Commission, I've read a lot of subdivision plans over the years.  What I have to say is based on Pennsylvania experience.

Initial covenants are typically established by the developer.  The developer wants an attractive subdivision which will sell out rapidly at the best price.  So, he puts in conditions which he (or his attorney, or engineer, or accountant) thinks will help.  These can include: no RV or commercial vehicle parking, no farm animals, no above-ground pools, no antennas, etc. The developer wants the neighborhood to have good “curb-appeal”  (look pretty).   Enforcement of these conditions is usually the responsibility of the developer.  The developer’s covenants may be for a term of years, or forever.  After the developer sells out the development, he usually has little interest in enforcement, but your neighbors may still take action against you in court.

If the development is a condominium or PRD (Planned community) the developer’s declaration (in accordance with state law) will create some kind of homeowners association with elected representatives from among the home owners.  These associations are sometimes casual Beer & Bar-b-Que groups, sometimes "house police" which establish regulations about what color curtains you must have and how many minutes your garage door may remain open.  (No kidding!)  The property owners’ association will enforce their own rules.  If you don’t follow the association’s rules you can be subjected to peer pressure, fined or even hauled into (civil) court for breaking a contract.  

The developer’s covenants, once recorded, can't be waived or exempted except by force of law. (i.e. Civil Rights legislation, Court order) The association covenants can be waived or repealed, by a vote of the board.  However, if the "house police" like their own rules, how likely are they to change them just for you?

Here are some suggestions for Ham house hunting--especially if a BIG tower is in your plans:
1.  Find a good REAL-ESTATE lawyer who works in your area and confirm exactly what local laws say.  Not all lawyers are real-estate specialists.  If you're lucky enough to find an real-estate attorney who is also a HAM with big towers, you have found someone special.  Become a client and a friend!  
2.  Spend some time looking through government land records where subdivision plans are recorded and confirm how things are done in your area.  Developers’ covenants are not uniform and often vary significantly among developments, municipalities and states.
3.  BUY a copy of the zoning ordinance for each municipality where you may want to live.  One municipality may allow 75' towers, the one across the road may limit you to 35'.  Read these yourself and then ask your attorney to confirm what you read.  If you ask the local zoning officer you are likely to get incorrect information or may precipitate a hurried ordinance.
4. Try to find a Ham-REALTOR who understands the importance of high ground, big lots, no (or reasonable) covenants, etc, and will really look for property like this.  If you find the right REALTOR and your state laws allow, retain him/her as a “Buyer’s Agent”  (Traditionally brokers/salespeople are Seller’s agents, working for the property owner and owing their loyalty to the home seller.  Buyer’s agents owe loyalty to the buyer.)
5.Consider buying in an older neighborhood with fewer covenants, and established trees.  Many older homes are in excellent school districts, close to employment centers, etc.  Big trees can be wonderful antenna supports and provide screening  from neighbors.   Some 65’ high Sycamore trees at my last house nicely supported my inverted-L; the neighbors never knew it was there!
6.Find out where the local BIG-Gun stations are located.  These guys & gals have “walked the walk” and have identified neighborhoods where hams are welcome.  Sometimes an inquiry will lead you to an older ham looking to relocate or downsize—and willing to leave a tower or two behind.
7.Look for houses adjacent to wooded green spaces which are likely to stay wooded.  I heard of a fellow who put several “half-squares” and a Sterba-curtain in the trees of a township park next to his house and rolled up big contest scores for several years from a townhouse on a 20’X 70’ lot!
8.Try to find homes which are not in condos or PRD’s.  You’re buying into an extra set of rules and regulations, in effect a neighborhood government, in this type of development.
9.Don’t sign any contract if you don’t understand what you’re agreeing to, or if it lacks a clause to give you an “out” if full title research discloses un-acceptable conditions.  Here’s where the attorney in #1 is invaluable in drafting the right language.

If you transfer frequently and buy a house every 18-months after 6 hours of house hunting, you won't have time to apply many of these ideas.  (Maybe you should be over in the Mobile Forum.)  However if you are planning for a MEGA-contest or DX station, you'll probably spend 6-12 months house hunting.  Then you can use some of these ideas.

Posts: 9

« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2003, 02:39:27 PM »

I am buying a house is a small subdivision.  My attorney did some research and it turns out that the Association is defunct.  They haven't paid their dues in years and there haven't been any meetings for the last 4yrs.  Previous rules stated no antennas or pools.  But 3 of the homes have pools and 2 have exposed antennas.  The association previously only had about 9 homeowners.  I've been told by my attorney that the CC&R's are now null & void and the county regulations take presidence (no antenna restrictions at all).

Looks like the homeowners are now just doing their own thing.

I hope this is true, closing is in August...


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