Fine Print Primer



If you're considering buying a home that's part of an association, it's a good idea to review the rules carefully beforehand. Legally known as the "covenants, conditions, and restrictions," or CC&Rs, these can range from the extremely specific to the maddeningly vague. In fact, it's the latter that can lead to the most serious problems down the line, when associations put their own spin on broad terms like "first-class" and "attractive."

Here are some examples of real association rules:
  • Houses may be painted gray, green, or brown, but not yellow.
  • Flagpoles must be shorter than 6 feet and attached to the house.
  • Lawns must not be allowed to turn brown.
  • Hedges must always be trimmed.
  • Freestanding basketball hoops are banned.
  • New homes should not block sunrise views.
  • POW/MIA flags may not be flown.
  • Only cats and dogs may be kept as pets. No peafowl.
  • Crucifixes may not be stuck into patio flowerbeds.
  • Pay your monthly dues on time or your home may be seized.

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