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CC&Rs - Definition of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions

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Definition: Covenants, conditions and restrictions are limitations and rules placed on a group of homes by a builder, developer, neighborhood association and / or homeowner association. All condos and townhomes have CC&Rs; however, so do most planned unit developments and established neighborhoods.

Some CC&R's involve restrictions that are against the law and unenforceable involving race. These often prohibited sales of property to people who were not Caucasian. They are still in the public records today but are not enforceable. There are social movements across the country to physically remove these documents and rewrite them, rather than leave them in place with the racist and offending verbiage blackened.

Some neighborhoods restrict the color you can paint your house, for example. A neighborhood in Huntington Beach, CA, has CC&Rs that demand every house be painted white. CC&Rs can place restrictions of almost any kind of nature, as along as the group writing them agree to it.

Always read CC&Rs before buying a home. Ask for a copy. You may find you cannot park your car in the drive for more than two hours or put a basketball hoop in the street. Conformity can be a good thing, but it's not for all people.

At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, DRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.

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