|You will find several variations of
the definition of Deed Restrictions listed here. Please arrive at your
own conclusion of whether they are good or not so good.
Land Protection Options, A Handbook for Minnesota Landowners
Chapter 4: Options that Guide the Use of Land Deed Restrictions
What is a deed restriction?
A deed restriction defines specific limits regarding allowable uses and
development of a property. It is established by a landowner on a
property's title, typically when the landowner is selling the land and
wishes to exert some influence over its use, usually to benefit adjacent
lands to which he or she intends to retain title. State law presently
limits enforceability of deed restrictions to 30 years (with exceptions
defined in MN Title Standard No. 91A). They are subject to
interpretation and nullification by the courts, and are most practical
in situations where the original landowner or the landowner's heirs own
adjacent land and are in a position to observe and enforce any
violation. There are generally no tax benefits. Why choose a deed
restriction?An Alternative when an Easement is not an Option For
properties that do not qualify for a conservation easement, a deed
restriction can provide land with a degree of protection.
Previous Section -- Chapter 4: Options that Guide the Use of
Land-Registry Programs Return to Contents Next Section -- Chapter 4:
Options that Guide the Use of Land-Mutual Covenants
What is a deed restriction?
It is part of the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions
(or Declaration of Condominium) that you agreed to when you bought your
home. Through this document, you agreed to certain standards of
maintenance, upkeep and behavior in order to make the community as
attractive as possible for yourself and your neighbors, and to maintain
or enhance your property values.
Association Management, Inc.
9575 Katy Freeway, Suite 130
Houston, Texas 77024-1453
From DeWolfe Lakes Region Properties, Western Maine
What Is A Deed Restriction?
Most consumers may have heard the term, "deed restriction,"
but few realize the impact it can have on a property's use.
Almost all properties have restrictions, and although most are minor, it
is wise for a prospective buyer to find out what limitations have been
put in place before they purchase a home.
For instance, some not only impact how an owner may use their property -
by limiting the kinds of exterior structures that can be built onto it -
but they can even dictate acceptable colors that a house can be painted!
Of course, limitations about house color are an extreme example, but it
is not unusual for a buyer to discovery, long after they've owned the
home, about a pesky restriction that does get in their way. Perhaps the
gazebo or enclosed patio they have always wanted is prohibited.
One common restriction is a limitation on the types of businesses that
can be run from the home, such as day-care or even piano tutoring. In
the case of condominiums or town-homes, restrictions are often more
limiting, such as specifying an acceptable screen door style, or the
types of window coverings allowed for windows facing common area.
Deed restrictions are spelled out in the Deed of Conveyance: however,
the buyer does not usually see this document until the purchase has been
completed. To find what restrictions apply to a property before making
an offer, a buyer usually needs only to ask their real estate agent. The
agent will either know what the deed restrictions are or s/he can
research them. A request to an agent or a trip to the County Recorder's
Office may save untold hours of grief for the prospective buyer.
DeWolfe Lakes Region Properties
P.O. Box 97
Naples, ME 04055
From Century 21 - Nason Realty
11 Bay Steet, Winslow, Maine 04901
Same text as above.
IN STITCHES (Column)
By Pepper Braun
January 26, 2002
Location, location, location
If you've been confused with Realtor terms, you have come to the right
place. Consider me your guru. I am going to walk you through the
confusing maze of real estate terminology.
A very important note; before you get into a car with a Realtor, pack a
lunch. Better yet, pack two. Once they get a live-one in the car, you
might not see your family for days.
OK, having said that, let's get down to the nitty gritty.
You have a vision. You would like to own a little cottage, maybe on an
acre or two, near a stream, two bedrooms, two baths, lots of closets.
Be very careful not to mention the word, rustic. You may picture rustic,
as something log covered with a stone fireplace. No siree, Bob. Rustic
is something that wildlife uses until the weather breaks. Unless you
wish to snuggle with black bears, focus on something that has been
sub-divided, with deed restrictions.
First, let's deal with the term subdivision. Webster describes a
subdivision as a huge chunk of land, owned by locals, then chopped into
wedges and sold only to city people, trying to get away from city
people. Makes sense to me. City people like to demolish the woods, pave
and curb the lanes and put up street signs that remind them of the old
neighborhood, such as 'Stick-up Avenue' or 'Drive-by Boulevard'. Great
resale value there.
"What is a deed restriction," you ask? You will need to know
this. It is a term that tells you what you can and cannot do with your
own land. ... What nerve!
No, you cannot graze buffalo on a 50 X 50 lot, unless everyone else has
agreed that this is a permitted use. And frankly, if this is a permitted
use, then elephants are not far behind. So, check your deed restrictions
Deed restrictions can also deny a perfectly rational homeowner from
living in a tree house, or a septic tank with sky-lights. Read the fine
OK, back to your vision. Two bedrooms, two baths, near a stream,
closets, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Here is where 'near a stream' gets tricky. Be specific. Do you want to
wade to the refrigerator at Super Bowl half-time? And, take my advice,
watch the term waterfront. When the storm drains clog in a subdivision,
everyone has waterfront.
The hardest term to pin-down, is 'view.' "I want a view,"
isn't going to cut it. Specify exactly what you want to see when you
open your eyes in the morning ... Search deep ... A new face sleeping
next to you doesn't count. What gets your bumps up?
I wanted mountains. This may sound trivial, but you need to clarify what
should be growing on your 'Mountain.' A strip mine with a southern
exposure and left-over, rusting equipment wasn't my dream.
Forget about a fixer-upper; they don't exist. Fixer-uppers are buildings
where the owner can't afford a wrecking ball.
Next, the term TLC. This is a favorite of Realtors. They would like you
to believe that with a little 'Tender-Loving-Care' the property could be
featured in 'House Beautiful.' I've read a few 'House Beautifuls' in my
day; windows and doors were essentials, not luxury options.
Be extremely careful of words like two 'plus' bedrooms. Think about it,
what the heck does 'plus' mean? If it's a bedroom, wouldn't they say,
"A darn good place to put a bed?"
This could only mean that when the car is parked outside, you have a
perfectly spacious room to sleep in, with automatic door openers and
To keep it simple, remember the 'plus' rule. If the living space has a
door and no windows, you have located the walk-in closet and your
Mother-in-law's guest suite.
When you sleep on something called a back-seat, it is probably the
garage apartment. Got that?
And yes, you should be equally concerned if it says two 'plus'
bathrooms. I don't profess to be an expert on bathrooms. But, I have a
vague idea of where I expect them to be. (You should write this down.)
If you have to put on boots and carry a flash light, I wouldn't classify
this as a half-bath. I wouldn't even classify this as camping. I want
flushing water on a hike.
Remember the first rule of Real Estate - Location, Location, Location.
After two days in a car with your Realtor, even the median on the Pa.
Turnpike begins to look like location, location, location. Even the
parking lot at Wal-Mart begins to look like, location, location,
Listen to me, I'm here to guide you. Take a long vacation before you
Would I kid you?
Times News Online
From The Bloomingdale Gazette.com
Deed Restriction Facts
Excerpted from an article published in The Bloomingdale Gazette,
By Laura Frazier
Many Bloomingdale homeowners have requested information about deed
restrictions and enforcement procedures from the Bloomingdale Homeowners
Association. New homeowners should receive a copy of their section's
restrictions with their closing documents, but deed restriction
information stands out as the most frequent request received by the BHA.
Our community web site provides general information about deed
restrictions, county codes and procedures for enforcement through our
Neighborhood Involvement Program. Through the efforts of BHA president
Ted Grable and director Rodney Biddle, many of Bloomingdale’s 40+ sets
of deed restrictions are now available on the site.
Grable said compliance with deed restrictions and county codes is an
important issue in our community.
“We find that a few homeowners and landlords do not respect the common
rules that we all agreed to when we purchased our homes. The BHA,
through our web site and through the Gazette, is working to inform the
community on these issues. We would like everyone to see their deed
restrictions as a feature of the community, just like green space and
street lighting, rather than an obstacle to overcome.”
To search our database for your neighborhood section's deed
restrictions, click on "About Bloomingdale" on the home page
main menu, then select "Deed Restrictions" from the sub-menu.
For more information: 813-681-2051.