Good or Bad investment with Restrictive Covenants?

2 Replies

Hi.

Looking at a deal through my wives family for a direct waterfront property in RI House, dock and tennis court. However, there are restrictive covenants one sister who lives in back is imposing. 1- a height restriction on current house limiting the current structure to its current height and nothing to rise above the peak i.e copula, weather sensors etc.. This would be written into the deed for perpetuity. 2- Wants to split the property in order to retain HALF of the current property making her property a waterfront access parcel. The split property would then be co-owned in either an HOA or an LLC. My spider senses are tingling and I want to run away but my wife already owns 25% of this spectacular lot and the purchase price is below market even with splitting the parcel. I feel I can agree to an HOA or LLC for a reduced price but I cannot accept the height restrictions. Any comments would be welcome.

Can you make the restrictions "as long as XXX owns the YYY parcel".  Then it would expire and you would not have a potential rental property using your property for access and it would let the sister have what she wants as long as she owns her parcel?  Also prevents the other property using it as a dog run, kid play area, trampoline, etc.  Better yet, would be an access easement of ten feet wide, put in a sidewalk and fence it from your property, but not a whole split of your lot, and also expiring upon the change in ownership of the other parcel.

Small HOAs / LLCs have lots of financial issues. One party or the other will not pay, especially in the future when the property owners are not related. Property taxes, insurance, federal and state business/income taxes, etc. all add up. If you do go that route, put in the LLC (whatever you use) that it is terminated if one side does not pay their share for 2 years or something like that and property ownership reverts to the initial lot owner.

Not building higher is likely to preserve views.  You may want a different roof or antenna for a storm radio.  Maybe it would be better to state that the house must remain 1 or 2 stories max instead.  That will prevent future arguments over another roof layer or type.  And allow minor items to live life in the future.

Try negotiating.  And make sure you can do what you want with the lot with the final decision (before signing) according to the building/planning folks.  Some lots have required sizes and required open, undeveloped space, etc. in some areas.