Country Living Series

Saturday, October 10, 2020

CC&Rs? No thanks!

Some of you may be wondering how our homestead sale is going. I don't want to divulge too many details at the moment, but suffice it to say we're under contingency with an interested out-of-state party, and hopefully will have closing within a month.

That means Don and I are at the point where we need to find a place to live. Unfortunately we have two strikes against us: (1) winter's a-coming; and (2) rural properties are scarce, thanks to the influx of urbanites desperate to get out of burning cities. Can't help the first, and we don't blame the second.

We'll probably just end up wintering over in a rental somewhere with most of our possessions in storage, then resume our property search in the spring. We're open to both purchasing an existing home, or building from scratch if necessary.

So we've been watching the real estate market closely. Recently an undeveloped 24-acre parcel caught our eye. The price was right, and it was a nice mixture of "remote" and "close to town." It was described as a planned rural community. In our naïveté, we thought, "Gosh, that's not so bad. It would be nice to have neighbors." We were so interested that we made an appointment with the realtor to go see the parcel.

Until we learned it had CC&Rs.

For those unfamiliar with the term, CC&R stands for "Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions," and it's a collection of rules and regulations for what you can and can't do on your own property. For obvious reasons, Don and I have never wanted to live under CC&Rs.

And this particular collection of CC&Rs, as it turns out, was particularly oppressive and bizarre. Among the worst:

• Farm animals are restricted to no more than three horses per parcel.

• Livestock, exotic animals, or poultry of any kind shall not be raised, bred, or kept on any parcel. (No cows? No chickens...???)

• No more than a total of two dogs, cats, or other household pets. (This means you can't have three dogs, or two dogs and one cat, or three cats, or a dog, cat, and parrot.)

• Houses cannot be more than 35 feet in height.

• All dwellings must have, at minimum, an attached two-car garage.

• No manufactured homes or trailer homes.

• No more than two outbuildings, and no outbuilding can be more than 1200 square feet in size.

• Outbuildings must match the house in color.

• No fencing shall be higher than eight feet. (Um, hello? Deer fences around a garden?)

• For the house, the ground floor cannot exceed 1800 square feet in size. If the home is two stories, the combined floors cannot exceed 2000 square feet.

• No "noxious or offensive" activities can take place on the parcel, including "discharging of firearms."

• No hunting is permitted.

• No radio towers are permitted.

• Inoperable vehicles must be kept inside garages or enclosed outbuildings.

• All motor homes, RVs, boats, trailers, etc. must be parked/stored in an enclosed building.

• Owners must maintain a green lawn a minimum of 30 feet out from the house, and cannot have shrubs or trees on the lawn (for fire control). From 30 to 100 feet from the house, all trees must be pruned to keep them below 40 feet in height. (Idaho is land of the conifers, where trees can easily top 150 feet. How do you "prune" a conifer to a maximum of 40 feet?)

When we read this, our reaction was "Not just no, but [bleep] no!" Why have a rural parcel if you can't do anything with it? Who would voluntarily put themselves under restrictions this onerous?

As it turns out, lots of people. Of the original 12 parcels available, 10 have sold. Go figure.

The house size restrictions, for example, make it impossible to build a McMansion, which some might consider a good thing. However it also places restrictions of large families (7 to 12 or more kids), which are common in rural Idaho. Limiting the size of a house to 2000 sq. ft. would make for very cramped conditions for these families.

Since these types of CC&Rs would apply just fine in a suburban environment – but are just plain stupid out in the remote nether regions of Idaho – we can only guess they were purchased "off the shelf" by the developer and modified for these 24-acre parcels. Still ... 10 of the 12 parcels have sold, with those CC&Rs in place. Go figure.

So our search continues. Eventually we'll find the perfect place – either an existing homestead, or a parcel we can turn into a homestead. And it won't have any CC&Rs.

29 comments:

  1. Our home before this one was on an airpark with a homeowners association. They had restrictions on how close a building could be to the edge of your property which would have been a problem with out green house because of shade from our neighbors trees, It all worked out but it did chap my b**t that I had to ask. That home sale closed back in 2008 about 1 week before the stock market crash start. I could have been stuck with 2 homes VERY easily.

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  2. It can only be explained by the fact that most people today are idiots on multiple levels.

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  3. It's not idiotic. Yes some CC&R's will not be to your liking, and yes some neighbors and board members will be "karens". But you won't have a neighbor with cars up on blocks on his front lawn or paint his house purple with sparkles (don't laugh it happened to me). And when you go to sell your neighborhood and homes will all be attractive and the residents will be employed and not druggies. And the best part is that the buyers will bid up the price even above your asking because that is the kind of neighborhood they want to live in.

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    1. I'd much rather have a neighbor with cars on blocks, purple houses, and livestock than having someone telling me what I can and can't do on land that I OWN.

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    2. You miss the point by a mile. You CAN live next to someone who clutters their yard with cars and throws their empty beer cans over your fence. AND I can live in a nice neighborhood by simply accepting CC&R's. Is this a great country or what?

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    3. You miss the ' conmunity" charging you to maintain "their" property.? Like fire line Nabisco fuel???

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  4. Patrice, CC&Rs are the bane of the urban sufficentist and survivalist. So many things you are not allowed to do or have. You are wise to take your time and find the right place.

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  5. Patrice, the place you looked at (a PRC) is the country version of a PUD (planned urban development) Like the commenter above states, the CC&Rs (Covenants, Codes, & Restrictions) are usually designed to keep broken down cars up on blocks in front of the house out of the neighborhood. Same goes for broken down motorhomes (or ANY motorhome for that matter) out of sight. While motorhomes may have their uses for some people, they stand out like a turd on the carpet and are butt-ugly to have to look at day after day.

    As for the restrictions on animals and livestock: gee, would you want your place over-run with cats, especially feral ones because some retarded "cat lady" is feeding them?

    Same goes for color restrictions on houses: like the commentor above, in our first neighborhood, long ago and far away, one "neighbor" painted his house day-glo purple because he was pissed off about something.

    However, for 24 acre parcels, this seems a tad restrictive unless this PRC is specifically for retired 55 & over people that want space and no bs. I'm sure you know just how much poo and pee one horse generates in a day. Three horses? Our neighbor has 3 horses, and we can smell it every time one of these things lets go.

    I don't go along with the restriction on the size of the house, especially on 24 acres. Ten lots is good, as it keeps the Karens and Kens to a minimum, unless it turns out that nothing but Karens and Kens moved in (if they're urbos fleeing the mess they created by voting for democrats, that's what you will get.)

    Basically, unless you had input on the CC&Rs, it's best to stay away from not only CC&Rs, but PRCs, PUDs, and HOAs.

    Good luck finding a decent place to move to.
    m

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  6. A few thoughts come to my mind "Cookie Cutter" and "snobbery", "a pretend, (token), love of nature,and other people, as well as individual freedoms and Country."

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    1. Anonymous, agreed. Can you add 'ruling from the grave'?
      Montana Guy

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  7. OK; so what the hell are you supposed to do with those 24 acres??? Oh yeah... Pay TAXES on them...

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  8. Where I live (not too far as the crow flies, from Patrice) there are people who have-to me- the most disgusting yards/property. I do not understand how they can look out on the mess.
    But, it’s their property and their right to do with it as they please and I would defend that right.

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  9. At least in the city of Spokane you can keep some livestock, chickens (limited), a goat or 2 I guess small stuff. It sounds like pretend country living. I have to drive by areas that are pretty well beat up, however, the freedom I experience at this location is worth any car on cinder blocks that I may have to look at.
    I would also like to give one piece of advise. Contact the BLM for whatever piece you are interested in and ask them if there is a nearby JEEP CLUB designation. Let me explain. I moved to an almost end of the road area, mountain on each side and logging being a main activity. Now there is a land dispute between owners of a what looks like a dry creek that the commissioners of this county designated as "road". This "road" leads to a JEEP CLUB playground as does the now closed for the winter logging road (more private property). Being that the only way to get there is driving on the one and only road, that is by my house, the traffic can be quite disruptive during good weather. The entire road is up in arms as they say. Apparently all JEEP CLUBS get kicked out of areas due to disruptions, speeding, and what seems like caravans of diesel trucks hauling their toys to their playground. This was done prior to my moving in, I would have had second thoughts about this area had I but known that the BLM was going to allow such an activity. The up side, is that this has united the neighbors from the poorest of poor to the richest.
    Just a thought, also Peteforester is right.

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  10. in other words, the rural equivalent of a HOA. Unelected people that want to have control of what you do on your own property. 24 ACRES and they are worried that you might have more than 3 animals. Good Grief.

    Where I am we have, unfortunately, a county supervisory board that are so worried because some of the people moving down from Tennessee want things to be like that tried to get away from.

    If you live on a piece of property that has been labelled a "platted subdivision", no matter how much property you own, you cannot shoot any firearm. The original reason was that some people bought small lots and tried to hunt on them so they passed the ordinance and it applied to lots of 2 acres or less. No matter if you owned 20 of them, it applied to you. Then they changed it to a subdivision of 5 acre lots or smaller. Now, they gave gotten up to anything identified as a subdivision. One of the supervisors condescendingly told a taxpayer/voter that she couldn't target shoot on her property but he would let her come to his place to do it. Probably family property that is larger.

    The biggest problem we have around me is the people with 4-wheelers that think they should be able to ride them anywhere since they are just having fun (and tearing up people's property). It is against the law but no one is interested in stopping it.

    kathy in MS

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    1. First of all you should fence your property, 2nd you post your property, NO TRESPASSING, etc. BEWARE OF DOG, PRIVATE PROPERTY. Third, you lock your gates, so they have to bust a lock to get on your property. Lastly if they do, call the sheriff, hold them at gunpoint and prosecute them. That will end it. DONE THAT, end of story.

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  11. Those square footages are the minimums, not the maximums.

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    1. Oops! You're right. Then it means we couldn't build a modest dwelling of, say, 1200 sq feet in line with our current needs.

      - Patrice

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  12. We had a tough time finding a place here in Texas without an HOA. The realtors just couldn't understand why we'd have an issue with them. "But they keep up property values..."

    Maybe but we bought our place in order to live, play, work, and relax. Maintained home value is nice but not the most important.

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  13. Please Run far and Fast from anyplace that has an HOA...Put your garbage cans out before sunset for next day pick up and get a letter from the neighborhood Gestapo. Moving to OUR farmland in 2 weeks and will Never live in an HOA complex again.

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  14. "No radio towers are permitted."

    Heh. That one got pre-empted by the gov't. At least for now, TPTB recognize that Hams are a vital part of emergency response.

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  15. Many folks will sign away their liberties because they have never exercised them or enjoyed the feeling of independence.

    The majority of divisions between Americans boil down to independent rural folk vs dependent city dwellers. The biggest difference is the latter's lives and life styles could not exist without the former.
    Montana Guy

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  16. Smacks of metrocesspool flight, but bringing the odor with them...

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  17. Patrice, it seems you read the size of the houses incorrectly; they are MINIMUM sizes! You can build a McMansion (tastefully) if you wish. It seems that they don't want 1950s 1300 SF tract houses. Looks like you can build a beautiful!!! home with a full size daylight basement (below ground level, no less, and then have 35' of 2 storey luxo living at 5000 SF or more. Wow! I can go for that!

    ;-)

    m

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  18. May your chains lay lightly on you but remember that you put them on yourselves. What I object to is you putting them on your children and grandchildren.

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  19. I live in an unrestricted subdivision kinda out of the main town. We had a lady from the neighborhood come by a couple years ago wanting to start an HOA in out neighborhood. After I got through LMAO I looked her straight in the eye and told her if she didn't like this place to move out. Two weeks later her house was up for sale. No losses there.

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  20. The 2 non sellers were the controllers forcing others out...with threats of fees fines and lawyers fees and votes to maintain an invalid perpetuity, is my experience of hoas and cc&r bullshit, fraud embezzlement and extortion...should have been sued gone of their $ and property all the 2 and roadie perpetuators..

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  21. I'm with you - I don't like HOAs, even though I have been fortunate to live under very mild ones.

    I would be curious whether or when the powers of this one come into effect - most have clauses requiring a certain portion of the lots to be sold or built, or the group has to do certain things regularly to keep it 'alive'.
    I've never heard of CC&Rs on that large of a property - it is definitely aimed at people who want 'beautiful' properties as opposed to functional ones.
    While you COULD build, I would suggest not doing so because of the cost unless you NEED to have very specific requirements. Don't forget that Idaho's surprisingly harsh planning, permitting, and zoning laws will make the paperwork side of building expensive and difficult.

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