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Author Topic: Is an antenna an "improvement"?  (Read 661 times)
N0JY
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« on: February 02, 2010, 06:08:00 PM »

Our covenants state that "No buildings or improvements of any character shall be erected or placed..."
My searches for a definition of property improvement seem to indicate that it increases the value of the property.
If I put a SteppIR vertical up in the back yard (5 acre lot), is that an "improvement" in the real estate sense?
I doubt many people will be beating a path to my door to pay more money for my home and property because of it.
What do all y'all think?
Thanks for your input.
Jerry
N0JY
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N2EY
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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2010, 06:19:15 PM »

I would say "it depends on how you install it". Here's why:

1) If something has a permanent foundation, it becomes part of the property. If it does not, you can say it's "portable".

For example, a gas grill on wheels isn't an improvement. A built-in one is.

An inflatable kiddie pool isn't an improvement, an in-ground pool is.

So I would argue that if you drive a pipe in the ground and mount the SteppIr to it, that's not an improvement because you can just unbolt it and pull the pipe. But if you dig a hole and install a concrete foundation, that's a different thing.

IANAL - just my opinion.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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WB5JEO
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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2010, 07:11:32 PM »

An "improvement" would normally be something that would covey with the property, where it to be sold. An outbuilding, pool, patio, etc. The house is an improvement, since you actually only convey the land itself. The improvements are just sort of thrown in, the price being higher than land alone, because it's improved. The tax man is interested in improvements but not your movable stuff in setting the property tax value.
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WX7G
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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2010, 08:01:04 PM »

Three words broaden the scope of the sentence considerably:

...of any character...
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WB5JEO
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2010, 07:49:14 AM »

Yeah. That might have been their intent. But if it's interpreted that broadly, it would take in all sorts of temporary objects that are in no way "improvements" in the real estate sense. There's another real estate term, "fixture," that means anything that becomes real estate by attached in a permanent manner. Ceiling fan, for instance. "Improvement" is more narrow:

"A building or appurtenance that is erected or constructed upon the land to release its income-earning potential such as a building, garage or wall." ("Appurtenance" just means it passes with the land title.) or:

"Any additions to raw land, such as buildings, streets, sewers, etc. that will increase the property’s value."

The "value" and "income-earning potential" always refers to what's gained by selling the property. I could see that being of interest to them. It would also follow that a really crappy "improvement," or one that destroys the uniformity of style that is a feature of the subdivision can affect other property values, as well as the value of the property it's on.

While a lot of terminology in these things may be open to interpretation, in a contract relating to real estate, the meaning of "improvement" is well-establish and consistent can't ever mean things that don't convey with the property or affect the evaluation. It seems a simple test of where the value of the thing in question becomes part of the value of the land. Valuation of land never counts everything on the property, only those things that change the value. The swimming pool is an improvement. The very expensive tables and chairs around it are not. Admittedly, there's probably some fog possible. But if you can easily dismount something and walk away with it, it can hardly be an improvement to the land. Doesn't mean it has to be impossible or very difficult to remove an "improvement." It just means it's fixed in place and adds value.
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