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Author Topic: No HOA but neighborhood has covenants  (Read 12386 times)
K7CB
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« on: June 23, 2010, 03:40:05 PM »

My wife and I are looking to getting back in to a house after living in a tiny town house for a year and a half.  We moved here to Colorado Springs for her job and I still haven't found what I call real work...just low paying contract jobs.  Anyway, we found out we can qualify for a home loan on her income alone.  I'm looking for a house with no restrictions...which is pretty hard to do.  The site I'm using tells you whether a neighborhood has covenants and an HOA.  I've found many homes that have no HOA but they do have covenants...even those built in the late 70s.  I have the real estate agent trying to get a copy of what those covenants are.  However...who enforces the covenants in a neighborhood that doesn't have an HOA?
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2010, 05:26:27 PM »

The homeowners themselves can, without an association.

Examples of this abound here in California, maybe in Colorado, too (never lived there).

Why not examine the covenants first and see if they're really invasive or not?  Some covenants only prohibit stuff you'd probably never do anyway, like raise livestock in residential areas and such.  Get a copy, review them thoroughly, see if there's really any problem.
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K7CB
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2010, 05:54:30 PM »

I have the real estate agent looking into finding them.  But how does a homeowner enforce the covenants?  With no HOA, who do they take the problem up with?
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AA4PB
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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2010, 06:05:05 PM »

They file suit against you in a court of law. More likely, several people may get together and file against you jointly.
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K7CB
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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2010, 06:55:39 PM »

I wonder how many would actually go that far.
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WX7G
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« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2010, 07:27:30 PM »

To get rid of a large unsightly tower and beam that decreases property values, and the quality of living, many homeowners would file suit or at least have a lawyer send a letter.

Or, if one causes RFI that defies easy remedy they might use the existence of an antenna to try to get one off the air.

For a ground mounted multiband vertical or a screwdriver antenna with no RFI I would not expect a neighbor to complain. But you never know.

I lived in Colorado Springs recently and the covenant in our neighborhood said no FCC Part 15 devices may transmit.
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K7CB
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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2010, 07:36:22 PM »

I'm only looking at putting up a vertical on the roof, nothing more.

BTW, towers and antennas have never been proven to lower property values.  Data tends to suggest that it doesn't.
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N2EY
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« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2010, 07:44:55 PM »

who enforces the covenants in a neighborhood that doesn't have an HOA?

Lawsuits are one way.

Another is building permits. Suppose you want to put up a tower and the township/county/whatever govt. says you need a permit. If they are anything on the ball, they won't issue a permit that violates a covenant or deed restriction.

The big question is "what, exactly, do the covenants prohibit?" Maybe you can't have a tower, but perhaps a dipole or vertical?

73 de Jim, N2EY
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W6ONV
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« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2010, 06:47:54 AM »

Well in the HOA I belong in it's the management company that supposedly enforces the CC&Rs. Both letters I have received previous, one for unraked leaves and the other for my antenna came from the company who oversees the HOA. If the problem described was not taken care of then a fine would be issued, which would increase every month, followed by further action if left unresolved.
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WX7G
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« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2010, 08:50:20 AM »

BTW, towers and antennas have never been proven to lower property values.  Data tends to suggest that it doesn't.

Towers and antennas either increase or decrease property values. As with everything else there is no zero effect. Some folks looking at buying a house will see a tower and say 'not for me!' I can't imagine buyers who would see a tower say 'that's for me!' So, the neighborhood with a tower ends up with less buyers and that means less demand. The supply and demand equation says that prices must decrease when demand falls. But by how much do prices decrease?

This study has information on the link between cell towers and property values: http://westlakerevelations.com/?q=node/224
This paper says there is no link: http://www.rac.ca/en/amateur-radio/regulatory/towers/tower2.php
The ARRL commissioned a study that says there is no link: www.arrl.org/files/file/Palmer-v-Saratoga-Springs.pdf

New neighborhoods have underground power and clear views of the sky. Amateur towers then compete aesthetically not against power poles and lines but against a generally clear background. I think this situation would increase the property value impact of an amateur tower.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2010, 10:10:12 AM by DAVE CUTHBERT » Logged
AA4PB
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« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2010, 09:17:26 AM »

I wonder how many would actually go that far.
I suppose that depends on how ticked off they are, how much money they have, and how many other neighbors they can get to join the fight. If you loose, in addition to taking down the antennas you may also wind up paying their legal fees as well as your own.

And yes, if the antenna requires a building permit or a use permit from planning and zoning then it will probably be rejected for being in violation of the CC&Rs.

Bottom line is that I wouldn't count on the lack of a HOA doing you any good. You need to find out what is in the CC&R and plan to not violate any restrictions. I have CC&R with no HOA but the CC&Rs say nothing about antennas or towers. They say things like no farm animals, no chain link fences in the front yard, etc.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2010, 03:44:03 PM »

I'm only looking at putting up a vertical on the roof, nothing more.

BTW, towers and antennas have never been proven to lower property values.  Data tends to suggest that it doesn't.

I'd carefully review the covenants, anyway.  Yes, a single (individual) neighbor -- or a group of them -- can file a civil suit based on violations and the courts generally side with them, based on all the stuff that's happened around here.

As for the property value thing, I tend to agree, but you can't prove a negative.  And you can't prove what might have been offered for a house that doesn't sell, etc.

My own experience (owned 15 homes now, on both coasts) is that I never had the slightest problem selling my own home with towers still up and highly visible, and my neighbors never once mentioned to me that "we could have sold our home, but people told us they don't want to buy next to your big towers," or anything even close to that.  And yes, I've always known my neighbors well.  So, based on this, it appears my antennas and towers have never had any impact on anything except my signal. Smiley

But it's really hard to prove.
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W0MT
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« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2010, 04:41:14 PM »

In my experience, it is very unusual for homeowners to file a civil suit to enforce CC&Rs. Of course they can and when they do it is my guess that (1) the violation is real egregious, (2) someone is POed about something, or (3) the neighborhood self-appointed sheriff is on a crusade.

Statisticians do analyses all the time it determine what factors drive complex things like crop growth. They make a list of all possible factors like rainfall, fertilizer, ground type, soil temperature, etc. They record each factor and then analyze what drives the outcome. The approach is called factor analysis. The problem with doing this for home values is that there are many, many factors. For each and every sale, all of the factors must be recorded. When there are multiple factors, the amount of data needed becomes enormous.

It is real easy to record home sales and to sort them into those with CC&Rs and those without. With such a simple approach, it probably would show CC&Rs cause home values to be less. Of course, such an approach is totally bogus. Even adding a few simple factors such as square footage or age of home don't come close. I can think of many factors (perhaps 100 or more) that might effect home value. Each factor becomes a dimension and sufficient data must be collected to measure a trend in that space.
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K7CB
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« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2010, 06:50:17 PM »

Well, my real estate agent said that she can get copies of the covenants so I'm definitely trying to find one without them.  But, should we not be able to find a covenant free neighborhood we'll be looking for neighborhoods that say nothing about antennas.  If that doesn't work, she said what we do is look at neighborhoods and that have covenants banning antennas with no HOA and then take note of whether or not all the covenants are being enforced.  As she put it, they can't really selectively enforce just certain covenants.  She said I could use that as leverage...for instance - they tell me to take my vertical antenna down then I tell them they have to remove all the basketball hoops or whatever covenant is blatantly being violated and everyone comes to an agreement.
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W6ONV
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« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2010, 08:35:51 PM »

I was going to go down that road IF my proposal for my antenna exemption was not approved. I see it driving our HOA daily, there are many homes that do not conform to some of the basic rules set forth by our CC&Rs. I see many violations daily that are not enforced (to the best of my knowledge). Thankfully it did not come to that because it would have made enemies very quickly, not only within the HOA but with the board of directors.


As she put it, they can't really selectively enforce just certain covenants.  She said I could use that as leverage...for instance - they tell me to take my vertical antenna down then I tell them they have to remove all the basketball hoops or whatever covenant is blatantly being violated and everyone comes to an agreement.
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