You have bought a house and now you want to turn it into your dream home. That is great but before you start work, you should make sure you know what the rules are for your area. You may be subject to zoning restrictions on your land that you do not even know about.
It is important to differentiate between zoning restrictions and rules that are set down by your homeowners association. You may not even belong to a homeowner’s association and still be limited in what you can and cannot do to renovate your home. Deed or zoning restrictions are for the land that you bought. They move from owner to owner and can limit what changes you can make to the structures on the property. They may not even have to do with structures but include limitations on changes to the natural habitat of the land.
Your homeowners association has rules but they are separate. Typically, homeowners association rules have more to do with things that impact the look of your home. All the rules that you have to abide by under your homeowners’ association have to be approved by the homeowners and these can be changed.
On the other hand, your zoning restrictions can date back a generation and may have been drawn up when the area around your home looked a lot different.
- Look into your deed. When you want to make some changes to your property, the first thing you need to do is look over your deed. If there is anything on there that you do not understand, you should take that to a real estate law firm. If you have some restrictions on what you can do with your property, you are most likely going to have to get in front of a judge to get rid of the rules and having a lawyer can help you a lot in this area.
- Zoning restrictions can mean a lot of different things. Over the past few years, with the increased popularity of services such as Air B andamp; B, a lot more people are discovering their homes have zoning restrictions that they never knew about. Some of these restrictions can also be to protect the wildlife on a piece of land. If you have a pond in your backyard that is home to a protected kind of toad, you may have to make some provisions to help those toads if you make changes to your yard. This may be an extreme case but it has happened.
Here are some of the things that can be covered by a zoning restriction:
- How tall you home is.
- How many vehicles you have on your property.
- The kind of vehicles that can be on your property.
- The number of bedrooms and bathrooms you have in your home.
- What kind of trees you can plant and the kind of trees you can remove.
- The color and style of your home. This is especially true if you live in an historic area or if you home has been listed as a historic site.
- What kind of outdoor structures you have built. These include, but are not limited to swimming pools, tennis courts, sheds and play sets.
- The type of animals you have on your property. You should note that this is really not about pets but to prevent people from having chickens, cows and other livestock on residential property.
- What kind of decorative accents you put in the front of your home.
By far, the easiest way to deal with zoning restrictions is to make sure you do not have any that you have to deal with when you first buy your home. The problem is that many of these are obscure and you may not think they apply to you or your project until you are ready to start a project. The good news is that if you do need to change or find a way out of working under a deed restriction, you can hire yourself a real estate attorney and try to deal with the situation that way. It is possible, though it is also a long process,
to get your way even you have to deal wit restrictions.