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Old 05-06-2013, 08:39 PM
63 posts, read 97,429 times
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Are pretty much all the nicer neighborhoods in Sarasota deed restricted with HOA people walking around making sure you don't bust any of the neighborhood regulations?

Many HOAs are like living in a prison compound, just nicely landscaped.

Is there such a thing as a nice, non deed restricted area in Sarasota???
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:41 PM
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Yes, I live in one. We decided in the beginning of our house search that Lakewood, Palmer was not for us. When we were told you couldn't park in your own driveway for more than 30 mins. that was it.

The older neighborhoods have deed restrictions which are very minor and non-intrusive. We bought in the University Park area of Sarasota. Most houses built in the 80's and the deed restrictions are simple. No boats parked on the front lawn, no clothes lines on the front lawn and no sheds visible from the street. If you rent your house it cannot be for less than a year. That was important as we did not want to live in a neighborhood with weekly/monthly rentals. We pay a small fee once a year.

Look in the older neighborhoods. I don't know if there are new developments which have very relaxed HOAs, your Realtor would know.
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Old 05-08-2013, 02:49 PM
Location: Sarasota/ Bradenton - University Pkwy area
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Having lived in a non deed restricted community in Sarasota for 22 years and the last 8 years in a deed restricted community, I can give you my perspective of the two types of neighborhoods.

In the non deed restricted communities you will not have to deal with an HOA or recorded rules. Those neighborhoods still fall under the jurisdiction of the city or county code enforcement, depending on location. The property standards for the county are less stringent than the city of Sarasota. Both still have ordinances regarding the parking of recreational and commercial vehicles, length of grass, etc.

In the county they do not have restrictions about parking in the lawns, so you will often see rental properties where there are multiple residents so therefore a front lawn full of cars. Neighbors can keep piles of stuff in their carport, a boat or RV along side their home, put cheap plastic kids playground equipment in the front yard and not trim around it when they mow.

I always tell buyers that just because a street looks beautiful when you're seeing it now does not mean the neighborhood or street will stay that way into the future in a non deed restricted neighborhood. And if things change, you may not legally be able to do anything about it.

I also tell people who are looking to buy in deed restricted neighborhoods that they should get and read the deed restrictions, by-laws and several months worth of minutes of the board meetings before writing an offer on a home there. Know what rules will be governing the community before you make a commitment to buy there, not after. If the rules say no overnight street parking and you have more cars than the driveway will hold, that may not be the home for you! If you fall in love with a neighborhood but the rules say little Bobby can't have a basketball hoop on the garage, then you're going to run into problems if you buy there anyway and put up the hoop. You want to make sure that the neighborhood rules fit your family's lifestyle.

There are a variety of deed restricted communities with many levels of rules and regulations. Most of the older neighborhoods will have very basic rules. Most of the newer communities will have a longer list of rules & regulations, most of those will have rules about exterior changes must go through an architectural committee for approval, no clothes lines in the yard, can't turn your front yard into a rock garden, rules about parking, etc.

I don't care if buyers decide to purchase in a non deed restricted community or in deed restricted communities. Everyone has different needs, personal tastes and expectations for their next home. No one size fits all. The problems arise when people buy into a neighborhood without understanding the pros and cons of living in that particular type of neighborhood, whether it has deed restrictions/HOAs or not.
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