Over 90% of the homes in Maricopa are governed by a homeowners’ association. An important document to review before buying one of these homes is the “Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions” (CC&R’s).
It explains rights and obligations of the homeowners and the HOA. The association usually has policies on color palettes, landscaping, use of RV gates, street parking, and additions like ramadas. The CC&R’s are legally binding rules filed with the state.
Homebuyers usually receive their CC&R’s from the escrow company, and have five days to review them. Even if final inspections have been made, the homebuyer can still back out at this time if they find something in the CC&R’s that is objectionable.
Read the CC&R’s carefully. There is usually an “architectural standards” section, which pretty much applies to anything on your property that can be seen from the road. Understand what is your responsibility and what the HOA is supposed to maintain. If the CC&R’s are not clear, contact the community manager.
Homeowners who rent their homes will receive notices of violations of which their tenants are accused. Lease agreements can include a stipulation holding the tenant responsible for CC&R violations. Renters should ask for a copy of the CC&R’s.
HOA residents should understand the details of the CC&R’s and be on top of any updates. I had a client who repainted his house the exact same color it already was, only to be told he should have received approval from the HOA first, because they had changed the accepted color palette. He had to paint the entire home again.
CC&R’s may also detail the minimum and maximum number of plants and shrubs. One client bought his house only to find out a few weeks later that he had to install more bushes in the front yard.
Can you install a shed in my backyard? How long can your trash container sit on the sidewalk? How long can you keep your holiday decorations up? The answers may surprise you.
Some HOA’s prohibit overnight parking on the street. If you are seeking a home with an “RV gate” so you can park your RV on the side of your house, prepare to be told by every HOA that this is not allowed.
Understanding and abiding by the CC&R rules covering these details will make HOA life a little easier. The early discovery of rules that would directly conflict with your lifestyle and budget will save you from making an investment you regret.
Dayv Morgan is a Maricopa Realtor and owner of HomeSmart Success. Give him a call at 480-251-4231.