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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"You ain't the boss of me!" To live with homeowner associations and deed restrictions or not?

The below was originally posted by me two years ago.  It is still an issue with many home buyers.  An association or not?

Having recently worked with several buyers in the Viera and Suntree areas of Brevard County, I noticed how their views on homeowner associations and deed restrictions were nowhere alike.

Some want rules to make sure things stay pretty much the way the neighborhood looks today.  Some want the freedom to do as they please.  Not surprising as we all have an opinion of these entities. 

In the Viera and Suntree areas of Brevard County you will find no escape from HOA rules.  Both of these areas are planned unit developments  consisting of many newer (and some older) developments with rules. 

A few of these have rules that sometimes throw up a roadblock for potential buyers. I know of areas where you can not have a pickup truck in the driveway at night. I know some where any commercial vehicle (including a vehicle with a magnetic sign)  must be parked in a garage.

There are plenty of other rules like changing paint colors, having a fence (or not), a boat being kept....and the infamous NO RV can be parked overnight.  The rules exist to promote uniformity and consistency in the homes.

I can understand the rules and the reasons they exist.  Likewise I can understand when buyers do not want the rules!

When you are looking for a home in Florida one of the documents you must be provided and given an opportunity to review is the HOA disclosure.  If I am the seller's agent I ensure I deliver a copy of the rules to the buyer's agent and get a signature.  If I am the buyer's agent I ensure they are delivered and signed for by my client.  The reason is simple - you must be given an opportunity (three days) to review the documents.

If you are the buyer - read the disclosure. Know what you are getting into before proceeding. Of course your real estate agent should ensure you receive the documents. It is up to you to read them - thoroughly! 

As a buyer, you know your lifestyle.  Please ensure these rules do not become an obstacle. By the way, if you travel in some areas of Brevard County (not located within a development) you will see all sorts of things.
Sure there are some things that code enforcement will patrol for - but that may not stop the neighbor from painting the house pink and placing pink plastic flamingos in the front yard.   OK, that may be a little extreme, however, save yourself some heartache and frustration- read the documents early!

I would go a step further. These documents are written by lawyers.  If you have concerns get an attorney to review them for you. 

Don't accept the sellers interpretation of what you can or can't do.

Considering a home purchase in the Brevard County, Florida comunnity of Viera,  please give me a call at 321-693-3850 or email me..

Gary L. Waters PLLC, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida serving Florida's Space Coast including the cities and communities of Melbourne, Viera, Rockledge, Suntree, Merritt Island, Cocoa Beach and the surrounding region.

Originally posted on July 7, 2008, Observations of a Viera Florida Realtor

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