restrictive covenants - 2 pet limit? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 05-25-2010, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DH and I are kind-of shopping for a new home. We haven't gotten serious yet, in fact, we're not 100% sure we're going to do anything yet. We have hit a major snag, however.

DH really wants a newer home. We've lived in fixer-uppers for quite some time and with an increase in his work hours and a baby on the way, we can't do the fixer-upper thing anymore. All of the newer (reasonably priced) homes in the area are in subdivisions with restrictive covenants. The neighborhood we really love has a 2 pet limit! We have one dog and 5 indoor-only cats. Our pets are very well taken care of. We will NOT give any of them up.

Should we try to get some kind of exemption from the HOA? Is anyone really going to come inside our house and see how many cats we have or is it just a matter of not letting them be seen from the outside? Are such limits even enforcable? Or should we throw in the towel on our dream home?

Lori ~ wife to DH 5 yrs ~ DS born naturally 11.20.10!
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#2 of 13 Old 05-25-2010, 03:06 PM
 
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Personally, I'd run as fast as possible from a place with a 2 pet limit (but honestly, from any place with HOA, but that's my bias).

It's entirely possible that you could have people who would enforce this. It depends on who is on the board and how early they were potty trained. My sister lives in a development with HOA rules about how you can decorate the INSIDE of your house, and yes, they enforce it as much as they can.
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#3 of 13 Old 05-25-2010, 05:16 PM
 
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I agree, we also avoided the HOA neighbourhoods. One of the good things about owning is that we can decorate/paint/remodel as we want. I couldn't stand to have someone else dictate that while I was the one paying the mortgage.

That said our city has a 3 dog limit (not sure about cats) so that is another place to check for restrictions.
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#4 of 13 Old 05-25-2010, 08:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the comments.

Our city has a limit of 5 each for cats and dogs. There are separate laws for livestock and unfortunately I can't have chickens but I don't expect that. But limiting dogs and cats to 2 TOTAL just sounds ridiculous to me. My cats are indoor-only. I guarantee that not a single one of my neighbors where I've lived for the past 4 years knows I have more than ONE cat

I guess we will keep looking, but if anyone else has any experience with this, please let me know.

Lori ~ wife to DH 5 yrs ~ DS born naturally 11.20.10!
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#5 of 13 Old 05-25-2010, 08:33 PM
 
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Personally, I'd run as fast as possible from a place with a 2 pet limit (but honestly, from any place with HOA, but that's my bias).

It's entirely possible that you could have people who would enforce this. It depends on who is on the board and how early they were potty trained. My sister lives in a development with HOA rules about how you can decorate the INSIDE of your house, and yes, they enforce it as much as they can.
Yup. Somewhere we used to live had them for the *entire county*. We didn't know until we were about to buy a house, though. I think it's stupid. I can imagine people who have like 50 dogs in a little house, but that's so rare. I would never move somewhere with these regulations or a HOA, though.

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#6 of 13 Old 05-26-2010, 05:24 AM
 
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I used to own a home in a HOA, NEVER EVER AGAIN. Its not just the pets (I didnt have any). Its the continual fines. Fines for weeds, yes they manage to come around for weed patrol 3 days after the rain. Fines for leaving your trash can out, again they come right after trash pick up.... I can go on and on about the HOA....

RUN as fast as you can from the HOA.

If you dont pay the fines, the HOA will but a lein on your property. It can be a total nightmare.

They are called 'restrictive covenants' emphasis on RESTRICTIVE for a reason. and yes some nosey neighbor will know you have more than 2 pets, they will see all the kitty litter boxes in your trash, etc.. you will eventually have a friend over, word will get out.... Trust me, its just not worth it.

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#7 of 13 Old 05-26-2010, 05:26 AM
 
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OH to answer your question 'are such limits even enforcable'? YES... when you sign the CC&R's (the deed restrictions) you are legally bound by the HOA rules. No court, law, police, attorney ect can help you. Those pages will dictate everything you can and can not do to your property. That booklet trumps any law, and becomes 'law' for your neighborhood.

Welcome to the whacked out world of HOA's

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#8 of 13 Old 05-26-2010, 10:36 AM
 
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We lived in a HOA neighborhood that was such an awful match for us! The whole HOA thing was awful, even though these were nice people with good intentions. We bought the house from my parents and would never have chosen the neighborhood otherwise. We moved out because it was getting to us; we wanted a dog and Bernese Mountain dogs were on their prohibited list.

What we ended up doing was buying a lot not associated with any builder or HOA and took a few years lining up a contractor and making our move. It took a lot of patience; we kept hacking rooms, features, and square footage off the house to make it affordable, but we got what we wanted. And DH drew the line when I tried to get rid of the balcony off our bedroom. And we have our dog!

Empty-nesting SAHM to DS1 (1989), DS2 (1992), and an overachieving mother (1930). Married to DH since 1986.
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#9 of 13 Old 05-27-2010, 02:53 PM
 
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we wanted a dog and Bernese Mountain dogs were on their prohibited list.
Why on earth would they prohibit Bernese? Fear of slobber? That's just nuts.
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#10 of 13 Old 05-27-2010, 03:07 PM
 
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I would never live in a neighborhood with an HOA. Never ever ever.

How about finding an older home that the previous owners have already renovated, i.e. is not a fixer-upper? We moved last summer into a 1959 ranch that was immaculate, with an updated kitchen and bath.
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#11 of 13 Old 06-03-2010, 05:19 AM
 
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Why on earth would they prohibit Bernese? Fear of slobber? That's just nuts.
All sorts of breeds are "dangerous." Our Labrador Retriever has a dangerous caveman club of a wagging tail. My friend's fugly-cute mutt doesn't match the HOA-approved color options for house siding. My sister's Weimaraners might gleefully bounce you to death.

I agree with the whole avoid-the-HOA (I wanted to write Avoid the Noid there for some reason) sentiment. If pets are an important part of who you are as a family unit, then living somewhere that doesn't jive with that will either make you (a) a covert lawbreaker, or (b) a resentful law-follower.

Me+DH+DS1+DS2+Dog=me and a house full of guys, which is really just peachy, thanks.
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#12 of 13 Old 06-03-2010, 05:07 PM
 
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I agree with the whole avoid-the-HOA (I wanted to write Avoid the Noid there for some reason) sentiment. If pets are an important part of who you are as a family unit, then living somewhere that doesn't jive with that will either make you (a) a covert lawbreaker, or (b) a resentful law-follower.
Exactly! And not just about pets. I don't know if it was just our mix of people, or the specific method, but it seemed as though almost every transaction between homeowners and the HOA bred resentment.

By the way, my Berner is dangerous because she head-butts us like a cat when she wants us to pet her. Does that count?

Empty-nesting SAHM to DS1 (1989), DS2 (1992), and an overachieving mother (1930). Married to DH since 1986.
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#13 of 13 Old 06-03-2010, 08:58 PM
 
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They can and will fine you, and if you have any question about the seriousness of money owed to your HOA...

http://motherjones.com/politics/2010...tion-foreclose

I honestly don't think I'd live in an HOA neighborhood if you gave me the house for FREE. There's nothing "dream" about a house governed by all that b.s., in my opinion!
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