Florida is known for, among other things, luscious homes, condos and waterfront properties in the Land of the Sun. For many people, buying their own Florida home represents a lifetime dream. But before you get too excited thinking that you have found your dream house, you should carefully check out the local homeowners’ association.
As FindLaw explains, the HOA’s rules and regulagions can severely restrict what you can do with your home once you move into it, including restricting the following:
- The type of roof you can have
- The exterior paint colors you can use
- The type of siding you can install
- The type and height of fencing you can install, assuming you can install any fencing at all
- The type and amount of landscaping you can have
- The number of pets, if any, you can own
Additional restrictions and fees
Some HOAs also limit the number and types of vehicles you can own and where you can park them. Assuming your home is not located in a community that forbids children, you also may be limited as to the kinds of play equipment you can install for your kids. Furthermore, virtually all HOA’s forbid you to conduct any type of business from your home, especially if it could draw any additional traffic into the community.
Should the home you want be located on a lake, river or the ocean, the HOA may well also restrict the type and size of boat you can own, as well as the type and size of your dock and your seawall.
In addition to all of the restrictions, be sure to check out how much the HOA charges as its annual fee, its monthly dues, and what penalties you will face should you fail to pay any of these in a timely manner.
So before you buy that new home, be sure to read and understand the homeowners’ association bylaws and rules. Make sure you are ready and willing to live according to its restrictions. The last thing you want is for your dream home to turn into your nightmare home.
This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.