Although this was written by my friend Marilyn Boudreaux who works in Lake Charles, Louisiana, I have changed the title on the re-blog because the point that she is making is relevant to Lake Livingston Neighborhood Restrictions (or ANY other location) as well! Read on!
Read the Neighborhood Restrictions Before You Purchase a Home!
When working with savvy home buyers and viewing Lake Charles properties, the buyers will frequently ask me about the neighborhood restrictions. Savvy home buyers relocating to Lake Charles are particularly aware of HOA's and Restrictions because they are usually coming from an area or moving from a neighborhood where restrictions are strictly enforced. I have had two instances recently where buyers asked the Lake Charles home seller for the HOA and/or restrictions so they could familiarize themselves with the do's and don'ts.
Restrictions are something Lake Charles homeowners have never heard of in years past but now restrictions are growing in popularity-- Neighborhood restrictions help maintain the home value of the subdivision. Restrictions help maintain the value of your property and that of the neighborhood. Most all new subdivisions developed have restrictions and covenants in place.
Restrictions can often be found in the abstract of the property. When in question pull out that big book you were handed at closing and look up the restrictions or covenants for the neighborhood.
- If a subdivision is brand new, the neighborhood has to fill up with a certain percentage of homeowners before the HOA can be formed. Usually the developer and or contractor is a Board member in the beginning phase of a new project.
When homes are listed it is the agent's responsibility to have the seller complete the property disclosures.
- In the disclosures, there is a place where the HOA amount can be entered but restrictions are not always attached. Worst case scenario, a buyer purchases a property thinking they can add onto their home or park a boat with no problem only to find out there are restrictions prohibiting such and the agent never told them.
- Realtors must take the extra incentive to find out about restrictions when listing or writing contracts. If the homeowner does not have a copy of the restrictions, they are usually in the Abstract or filed at the courthouse.
There are several Lake Charles Neighborhoods with Restrictions.
One of the most well known is Graywood in Lake Charles, Louisiana -- probably the most restricted subdivision in all of Lake Charles. Graywood actually has a management company that enforces the restrictions. Violations can result in fines and even legal fees. Graywood also requires that at the time of contract, restrictions be attached to the contract as an addendum and the buyer initials the restrictions.
It is important to understand the restrictions before you enter into a contract. For instance what if a buyer owns an RV and wishes to park it in the driveway of their new home only to find out after their home purchase this is not allowed! New homeowners may want to put up a fence and many subdivisions with have requirements of the type of fencing allowed. So it is important to read an understand what and which specific neighborhood restrictions are enforced.
When homeowners are aware of restrictions upfront they are less likely to try to go against the covenants by doing something outrageous like parking a junk car, bringing in a trailer or not keeping up their yard!
If you do not want to purchase a Lake Charles home in an area that imposes restrictions, you may want to look in rural areas like Moss Bluff, Carlyss, or Southeast Lake Charles.
Before purchasing any Lake Charles property, it is a good policy for the home buyer to read the Restrictions or seek advice from a Lake Charles real estate agent!
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