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Old 05-15-2009, 07:07 AM
 
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I am buying a lot in a neighborhood and just received a copy of the Covenants and it lists minimum standards which include description of interior design and matrials elements, such as jetted tub required. Hardwood in foyer, and the like. The restrictions are not in the original covenants but made as a unilateral amendment.

I had thought that covenants only apply to the exterior but can they control the interior as well.

There is also wording as to allowing the HOA to inspect the interior of the home during the construction phase.

Is that over-extending or within the scope of HOA Restrictive Covenants?
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Old 05-15-2009, 08:07 AM
 
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Can you back out of the contract? I would, if I were you. I'd never buy anywhere there was an HOA with a lot of control. I'll admit that I would hesitate to buy in any neighborhood with any HOA...I prefer NOs...

To answer your question, though, I imagine it's legal since it's, I assume, an official amendment.
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Old 05-15-2009, 08:15 AM
JPD
 
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Hang blacklight Led Zeppelin posters in your windows instead of curtains and you'll get your answer within 30 minutes.
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Old 05-15-2009, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
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Normally, most HOA's only restrict the exterior elements or those things that can be seen from the exterior. So that might mean no red polka-dotted curtains, but usually what you do inside is your business. The HOA usually just wants to be sure nothing you do will influence other members' values or quality of life.
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Old 05-15-2009, 08:41 AM
 
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Normally if you purchase a lot and are doing a custom build in a neighborhood, the HOA would require an architectural review to make sure that everything on the outside works with the rest of the neighborhood. They typically also have the right to inspect the property until the house is complete.

Given that they added the extra amendment, they likely are trying to make sure that the houses that go in are comparable to each other and will comp similar. They are trying to protect their investment. They don't want one house with a lot of nice features surrounded by ones that are significantly less nice because it would affect resale values.

Is interior required features during new construction common? No. Is it unheard of? No.

That being said, if you have not signed anything yet, you may want to think long and hard about whether you have the stomach for the process. It is not unlikely they will want you to spend money in places that you don't think want it and you will end up spending money to make them happy (if they are strict about it). HOA covenants governing features of new construction take HOA issues to a completely new level.

If you love the location and have a good feel for what is going on then go for it.
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Old 05-15-2009, 09:07 AM
 
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I can't recall ever seeing interior restrictions beyond what would be visible from outside, such as window treatments. I can see their reasoning though- if they mandate certain standards inside, it'll keep the houses at a certain quality point and hopefully create consistent home values.
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Old 05-15-2009, 10:51 AM
 
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That leads to a follow-up question. In a HOA, is there any personal property rights as it extends to the interior of a home? or can the Declarations be amended at will to encompass everything and anything that can be imagined?
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:00 AM
 
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Keep in mind that once the community is up and running it is not easy to change the CC&R's so most likely the buyer can see what they are facing before they buy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melwin99 View Post
That leads to a follow-up question. In a HOA, is there any personal property rights as it extends to the interior of a home? or can the Declarations be amended at will to encompass everything and anything that can be imagined?
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Old 05-15-2009, 01:07 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobKovacs View Post
I can't recall ever seeing interior restrictions beyond what would be visible from outside, such as window treatments.
I agree. I've never heard of anything that told you what you could or could not have inside the home that's not visible from the outside.

Years ago I was against the whole idea of HOAs, but now after 15 years of living in homes supposedly in halfway decent neighborhoods without them, I've switched my mind. I've been subjected to people near and/or around me with grass that goes 3 months without being mowed, toys in the front yards, revolving section 8 rentals, and someone who thought bright blue shutters were "cool". I'd gladly welcome a HOA in my neighborhood.

That being said - telling folks they have to have a Beige home or mowed grass is one thing. Telling you what type of bathtub you're supposed to have inside your home is another. I'd walk away from anyplace that says they have a say as to how I decorate my home inside or tell me what fixtures are "acceptable" or not. Nah - that's too far.
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Old 05-15-2009, 08:14 PM
 
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Our neighborhood covenants require some interior features, such as minimum number of bathrooms (3), and minimum ceiling heights (9' on the first floor).
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