If you're tired of apartment or condo life because you have no control over what you can do with the property, then buying a single-family home may be your dream. You might want the freedom of doing what you want with the land and the home without someone else controlling you. While you'll have a lot of freedom in a single-family home, you'll still have some restrictions. Here's a look at some regulations you may have to comply with.
If you're looking for the most freedom, then buying into an HOA community may not be for you. HOA life has its pros and cons. Everyone follows the rules so all properties are maintained neatly and the community has a uniform appearance, but you give up some control over what you can do with your yard and the exterior of your home. If you're looking at houses in HOA communities, be sure you understand how all the regulations will apply to you so you make the right choice.
Community regulations also affect the things you can do with your private property. For instance, the type of fencing might be limited. You may not be allowed to have chickens in the backyard or grow vegetables in the front yard. Each community has its own regulations, so if you want to have an urban farm, then you'll need to move to the right community so you're allowed to have one. Have an idea of what you plan to do with your property when you're house hunting so you know if a particular community will be a good fit for your plans.
Homeowners need to follow property codes when it comes to things like placement of fences and taking down mature trees. Look at a plat map of the property you are considering on buying if possible. This map has property lines marked as well as easement areas. You may not be allowed to cut down trees in the city's easement areas and you may not be allowed to put up a fence that closes off an easement in the back that allows utility access.
For the fewest restrictions on what you can do with your land, you may want a home in the country with plenty of room around your home to put in a garden and raise animals. However, it's also possible to find the ideal single-family home in the city as long as you learn about the regulations and restrictions first so you find a place you're happy with.