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Are you building in a Subdivision with Restrictions?
Paragon C&D Builders / Vallone Real Estate
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 • Posted October 13, 2012 11:35 AM

When you decide to build in a subdivision, you might want to ask a few questions, or even when you buy land, because occasionally the owner or prior owners will have a stipulation on what you can build. Subdivisions with restrictions do help you retain property values, whereas, if you buy in that subdivision where there are no restrictions, just so you can put up that log home, you never know what will be next to you or up the road. The adding of abandoned automobile or dumped debris in a subdivision with no restrictions can cause your property value to be lower. And if you decide to sell, it can hurt the selling of your place.

When you buy in a subdivision, you need to look at the restrictions for building. Here are some things to look for or ask about. Some sections have certain sizes of homes you can build. Some require only side-loading garages. Others make you build using certain building products. If you have your heart on building a log home, can you build it in this subdivision because it does not have the required masonry products? Can you build a guest home on this property or a workshop? These are just a few things to ask or check for in the restrictions or building codes. Can you use your own builder? If you use your own builder, will the builder be required to pay the subdivision or salesperson a percentage to build for you? BEWARE, if your builder has to pay a percentage to the subdivision or salesperson, guess who actually pays this fee? Builders paying percentages to subdivisions or salespersons are more common than you think. Some salespeople have been known to charge builders 3-6% to build in their subdivision. Ask your builder.

If you are buying land, make sure the prior owner or current owner does not have a stipulation on what you can build. If they do, make sure you get a full copy of the warranty deed before you close on this land. You might want to build an 1800-square foot house out of cedar with a matching guest house on 25 acres, which sounds wonderful. However, the warranty deed states you must build a 2200-square foot house with so much masonry on it. Now what? You will have to try to get a variance to build, which could be granted or denied. Yes, there can be restrictions found even on buying some property in the country. So check that warranty deed for possible restrictions.

Building in a subdivision with restrictions is not always bad. You have to analyze all the restrictions and make sure this will be a fit for you. Again, it can protect your investments. But, some people just don’t want to have restrictions. You have to know what you will be comfortable with.

Some subdivisions have architectural committees in place to make sure your building designs do meet all the defined specifications. This too is for your protection as well as the subdivision. You sure don’t want that 7000-square foot home to be painted bright pink and stand out like a sore thumb or have a water storage tank put in the front yard.

The bottom line, some things might be predefined, not allowing you to build your dream home as you envisioned at the location you have selected. Always look at the restrictions, building codes, warranty deeds, and ask the salespeople, realtor, or builder these questions. Your realtor or builder will be able to research this also and provide these answers to you.

For all your Real Estate and Building needs or questions, call Debbie at (713)818-6658 or (830) 833-4249 /

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