Whether you’re buying a luxury home in Waxhaw, a house for sale in Weddington, or a condo for sale in Uptown Charlotte, you’ll need to find out if you’ll be part of a community that has a homeowners’ association.
If your future community does have a homeowners’ association, or HOA, you’ll be bound by the association’s covenants, conditions, and restrictions—commonly known as CC&Rs.
What Are CC&Rs?
Covenants, conditions, and restrictions, or CC&Rs, are the rules and regulations set forth by a homeowners’ association. They’re the rules of the neighborhood, and they exist for one purpose: To preserve and enhance property values within the community.
The rules might include specific exterior paint colors that are acceptable in the neighborhood, whether or not you can put up a fence, and even how well you must maintain the appearance of your yard. Other common CC&R conditions include:
- Pet rules (sometimes even going so far as to regulate the breeds and sizes of dogs, but typically just telling you that you must pick up after your pet)
- Street parking rules (some neighborhoods only want you to park in the garage; others don’t care if you park in the street or your own driveway)
- Guidelines on acceptable home additions (sometimes the HOA wants all the houses in the neighborhood to remain similar, so adding two stories or a mother-in-law’s suite above the garage may not be acceptable)
There are two ways to look at the CC&Rs in your neighborhood: One, you can be glad that they prevent your neighbor from painting his house lime green, or two, you can be upset because they restrict you from customizing your own home’s appearance.
Most HOAs have reasonable CC&Rs, but it’s always a good idea to read them before you make an offer on a house. Your Charlotte Realtor® can help you locate the CC&Rs for neighborhoods you’re interested in, provided that there’s an HOA. (Many neighborhoods and communities don’t even have homeowners’ associations.)
What Happens if You Break the Rules?
The homeowners’ association isn’t going to break down your door and throw you out of the neighborhood, but the penalties for breaking the rules in some neighborhoods can include fines and, in more extreme cases, lawsuits.
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