What You Need to Know About Community Guidelines

Written by: ,

June 1, 2018

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Almost all new Edmonton communities have some form of guidelines. These are rules everyone in the community must follow. As you think about where you want to build your new home, you’ll want to get an idea of what the guidelines are and if they appeal to you. You don’t want to start the process of building a home only to find out there’s a rule that’s a deal breaker. 

Fortunately, a good home builder will let you see the community guidelines and answer any questions you might have. We’ve put together a list of things you should know as you look for your new neighbourhood.

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They Set the Tone for the Community

Community guidelines are determined by the developer to set a specific tone for the neighbourhood. This might mean the planners have decided they want all of the homes to fit a certain look. Sometimes, the goal is to create a mood within the area. For instance, if the planners want to encourage a tight-knit community with a social atmosphere, they might restrict the height of the backyard fences.

They’re Not As Bad as They Sound

At first, knowing you’ll have to follow guidelines can feel restrictive. Most of the time, though, the rules are common sense and not overly restrictive. For instance, you may only be allowed to use a certain colour of rock at the front of your home, or plant a minimum number of shrubs. 

They Place Some Restrictions on the Exterior Look of Your Home

Most of the rules you see govern the exterior look of your home. Essentially, the guidelines are there so homes fit the feel of the neighbourhood without having similar homes right next to each other. This means you couldn’t build a home with a modern style in a community designed to have a prairie aesthetic or a large estate home in a bungalow community. If you care about the exterior of your home looking a certain way, you may have to choose from a limited number of lots. These things aren’t deal breakers for most families.

You Don’t Have to Worry Much About Guidelines at First

Initially, guidelines can seem overwhelming. The good news is these are things you don’t have to worry about on your own. It’s up to the builder to follow the rules. They’ve already carefully designed homes that will fit the community’s guidelines, and you’re able to select from those available designs. If you find a show home you like, ask the Area Manager which communities allow that style.

You’ll Have to Follow Rules Once You Move In

While it’s nice to know you don’t have to worry much as you make your building selections, remember you’ll have to follow guidelines once you move in. Make note of any rules they have about your landscaping or exterior aesthetics. These rules generally dissipate over time, however (generally after five years), so by the time you decide to re-paint or re-landscape, you’ll be able to do so. 

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They Cover More than Your Home

Community guidelines typically refer to all of the areas within the community. For instance, they likely regulate green spaces, walking trails, and playgrounds. They limit the types of housing available in the community so you don’t have to worry about a developer suddenly putting an apartment complex in a space where you were expecting other single-family homes. These types of rules help create the type of neighbourhood you want to live in.

They Protect Your Home’s Value

Ultimately, community guidelines help shape the way the community looks, and this protects your home’s value. They can stop your neighbour from putting in a chicken coop or building an unsightly shed out of recycled materials. They’ll prevent builders from including homes that just don’t fit the space. They could even protect the beautiful views you have from your bedroom window. When it comes time to sell your home, you’ll be happy those guidelines were in place.

Look at the guidelines for each community you consider. In most cases, you’ll see the rules aren’t overbearing. Once you take a closer look, you’ll find they’re a great choice for both you and your neighbours.

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