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Author Topic: How to buy a ham friendly house?  (Read 17580 times)
AA4PB
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Posts: 12770




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« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2014, 06:15:58 AM »

"How to buy a ham friendly house?"

Build one in the boonies...

Be careful. I once lived in a very rural farming county that had a 35-foot antenna height limit on the books for some reason. As far as I know it was never enforced but it could have been if some neighbor didn't like your tower.
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WB6BYU
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Posts: 13120




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« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2014, 06:14:55 PM »

There are lots of hams in the Portland area.  I'd ask at the local club meeting (such as
PARC in downtown, OTVARC on the west side or Hoodview on the east) who has been
through the process locally, and/or who they recommend to help you through it.  There
are a number of attorneys who are familiar with the ins and outs in the city and you
should be able to find a lead that will lead you to someone eventually.

I suspect that the local ARRL officials have a list somewhere as well if you can figure
out who to call - they're in a bit of a transition at the moment.
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K8AC
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« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2014, 10:42:23 AM »

Not familiar with public records in Oregon, but here in NC all counties have their real estate records online to the public via the Internet.  With a little bit of practice, one can quickly find the restrictive covenants that apply to a residential property.  I can also find covenants by just searching on the subdivision name.  You'd be amazed at how bad some of the restrictions can be.  In one NC county, there's a subdivision whose covenants are over 100 pages long.  They have private streets (most NC subdivisions are like that) and their own traffic court to enforce traffic violations.  Houses in that area sit on the market for years before selling.

Some of the online real estate services allow you to search for homes "not in a subdivision" and in our state that's the secret to finding properties with no covenants, or very minimal covenants and certainly no HOA.  As others have mentioned, a good real estate agent may be willing to do the research for you on covenant restrictions.  But, even with covenants that do not have specific rules against antennas, other powers in the covenants may enable the HOA to act against antennas for other reasons, such as neighbors just not liking the looks of them. 
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KE5TJT
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Posts: 56




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« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2014, 04:08:10 PM »

I thought the law said that you couldn't restrict any Ham operator from installing an antenna because Ham operation is considered public safety or something and is controlled by the FCC?
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12770




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« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2014, 05:26:52 PM »

I thought the law said that you couldn't restrict any Ham operator from installing an antenna because Ham operation is considered public safety or something and is controlled by the FCC?

No, the FCC (via PRB-1) has ruled that governments (cities, towns, counties) must provide "reasonable accommodation" to amateur radio antennas. The FCC has clarified that this DOES NOT apply to homeowner's associations and their CC&R (rules) because those are private contracts. Essentially, if you move into a neighborhood that has a homeowner's association that says "no outside antennas" then you have agreed to that restriction and the FCC is not going to help you.
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ONAIR
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Posts: 1738




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« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2014, 02:14:59 PM »

I thought the law said that you couldn't restrict any Ham operator from installing an antenna because Ham operation is considered public safety or something and is controlled by the FCC?

No, the FCC (via PRB-1) has ruled that governments (cities, towns, counties) must provide "reasonable accommodation" to amateur radio antennas. The FCC has clarified that this DOES NOT apply to homeowner's associations and their CC&R (rules) because those are private contracts. Essentially, if you move into a neighborhood that has a homeowner's association that says "no outside antennas" then you have agreed to that restriction and the FCC is not going to help you.

   Yep!  Absolutely avoid homeowner's associations!!!
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K0IZ
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« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2014, 07:10:59 PM »

Besides the antenna restriction factor, don't buy a "ham friendly" house near bottom of hill or in bowl.  Probably poor propagation.  Near top of hill better (less flooding too).  Watch out for big power lines and other obvious possible sources of RFI.  5000sq ft lot is mighty small so adjacent RFI could be close by.
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W7KKK
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Posts: 374




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« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2014, 07:43:13 AM »

The last property that I owned was in SE AZ and rural land that I was going to build on.
I put a deposit on it and asked specifically if there were any deed or CC&Rs that would affect me putting up a tower after the house was built. The written answer was no. I did not want any surprises at closing that many get today.
So then I checked with the county as I did not live in the city limits. I had a little trouble here as when they looked through the stuff they had they asked me repeatedly if my ham station made money like a commercial station. I really had to have patience with them but it paid off.
The only restrictions I had were that if the tower fell it could not fall on a structure on my property that was normally occupied and that it should fall on my own acreage. No permit was required to put it up either. So I made sure I got that in writing just to protect myself.
I bought the property and built the house and put up a modest 40' tower with a T6 Log on top. The only problem I had was with a neighbor two doors over that told me I was ruining his view. I told him not to look that direction and to get back on his side of the fence. He asked me if I had a building permit and I told him the county told me I did not need one and I had that in writing. Again I told him to leave and get back on his side of the fence. Never talked to him again the whole time I lived there.
Just be careful and do your research very carefully.
I now live in an HOA and I was well prepared to operate stealth if I had to for my occasional rag chews. But I got a surprise when I ask in writing for a variance of the rules about transmitting antennas to the HOA and was given permission to put up my 33' vertical. One neighbor complained about it to the HOA and they just told them I had permission and that was the end of that.
I have even read about HOAs being sued for allowing antennas when they are banned and hams having to take them down after getting permission too.
Big antennas are not popular with the public or so it seems.
Do your homework very carefully.
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W8JI
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« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2014, 04:53:13 PM »

The zoning here was about the same.

If the tower was non-commercial and if it met FAA, and if it was no closer than half the tower height  to a property line, it was OK.

A 300 ft tower has to be 150 ft from the line. No zoning for non-commercial.
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N4NYY
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« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2014, 05:29:17 PM »

"How to buy a ham friendly house?"

Build one in the boonies...

Good idea. But to add to that, get a real estate lawyer and tell him to do not want a house that has antenna restrictions. Too many people in this country buy houses without legal representation. A lawyer usually cost upwards of $700-1,000. And he can make sure you do not get a screw job.
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WA8ZYT
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Posts: 28




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« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2014, 10:41:32 AM »

Probably the best way to start the process to find a house without HOA or CC&R's, is to look for a house NOT in a development. Just a house on the side of the road, so to speak.

The rule to setback a tower, so it does not fall on an adjoining property is quite silly. There are towers all over the place around here, that if they fell over intact would fall on 10 different properties. We have hotels with 80' Rohn 25G towers on their roofs. 180' self supporters that in the middle of residential and condo/apartment complexes. Never seen one come down. But, that doesn't mean they won't ever will. You are probably 10000 times more likely to have a car run into your house, than a tower fall on it.
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KF7CG
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Posts: 827




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« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2014, 10:00:49 AM »

Add to the low likelyhood that the tower will fail at all, the fact that most towers are designed to crumple in on themselves when they do fail thereby reducing the fall radius.

It is nearly impossible for a guyed tower to fall intact, the guy wires prevent that. Properly designed and executed bases help prevent the same with free standing towers.

Think about this, about the only way a guyed tower will fall intact is for one of the guy sets to fail together or in very close succession. Otherwise the guys will cause the tower to fold in on itself.

KF7CG
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