Thursday, March 27, 2008

People, people, people...

...when are you going to realize that buying a house is not like buying a bunch of bananas?

Paul Rolly's latest column in the Trib tells of James Royle, who bought an Ivory Home in the Valley Fields Subdivision, apparently without reading the covenants, conditions & restrictions (CC&Rs). CC&Rs? Yes, those thick books of "thou shalts and shalt nots" that just about every developer records these days and that control just about everything you can and can't do in your new house. And that buyers routinely ignore until it's way too late.

According to the article, Mr. Royle had some construction defects that needed corrected, but it wasn't happening. His response was to put a protest sign in his window. The next thing he knew, he was getting a nastygram from Ivory's attorney informing him that he was violating the CC&Rs. Mr. Royle noted that Ivory had apparently not enforced the provision before that, but I guarantee that makes no difference, because there is a clause somewhere in those CC&Rs that reads something like, "Failure of the developer to enforce any provision shall not constitute a waiver of its right to enforce said provision."

When you buy a house, you have to live with the house, the neighbors, the local government, the homeowners' association, and the CC&Rs. Do yourselves a favor and hire somebody like me to help you review those stacks of documents they hand you. Believe me, you'll be held to them whether you understand them or not.


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