Sunday, September 18, 2011

Deed Restrictions

We don’t have very many subdivisions with extensive deed restrictions here in Sullivan County, and the ones we do have generally are pretty lackadaisical. Mostly you see no trailers or mobile homes, or no further subdivision. That is pretty much the extent of it.

However apparently in Spring Texas, they take their deed restrictions very seriously. Now I get it—the role of the deed restrictions are to protect the property values of the homes in the subdivision. The deed restrictions spell out what you can and can not do to or with your home, often including what color you can paint your house, or what type of mailbox you can install—Conformity equals value I suppose.

The Sardo family who live in just such a subdivision are learning all about deed restrictions and lawsuits. The Sardo family own a pot-bellied pig and according to the Thicket at Cypresswood’s deed restrictions no animals, livestock, poultry, reptiles, or insects of any kind shall be raised, bred or kept on any lot in the subdivision. The Board of the Home Owners Association (HOA) for the Thicket at Cypresswood has informed the Sardo family they are in violation of deed restrictions and Wilbur, the pot-bellied pig, must find a new home. The Sardo family says Wilbur is a pet and not livestock and thus they are suing their HOA to keep their pig.

Who will win? Who knows. But there will be a lot of money spent on lawsuits over a pig. A much loved pig, I might add. There has probably never been any pig with more Facebook friends than Wilbur. At last count and still growing Wilbur had over 5,000 Facebook friends.

After hearing this story I jumped on the computer to research other odd deed restrictions. Apparently as long as the restrictive covenants do not break any local or federal laws, you can pretty much put in what ever you want. There is a house in Tennessee that has a giant statue of a cat in the front yard. Subsequent owners have been unable to remove it because it is in the deed that it must remain. Other strange restrictions include a stripper pole in a Las Vegas home, and a home in Colorado that must remain a deep purple.

On a more sobering note (although obviously no longer enforced as law now prohibits) there are deeds here in Sullivan County that restrict resale to “non-Caucasians and Jews.”

There were 11 single family homes sold in Sullivan County in the last seven days according to the Sullivan County MLS Click Here for Listings

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