Saturday, June 25, 2011

LIVID!!!!! If you want to build in The Mills, don't expect privacy

Ok Mills builders, guess what....

I just found out, as of right now, we can't have a fence over 4 ft high. Yup. That's what the covenants say that the original developer put on the land (you know the one that went bankrupt). GRRRR Did that dumba$$ idiot even realize that MOST breeds of dogs can clear a 4 ft fence? What's the point of a fence that small? Let alone teenagers and older children? (yes, some people's kids are horrible and I have experience this already first hand at another home with a 4 ft fence that my then boxer cleared, along with teenagers cutting through). I AM LIVID!!!!

We planned on having a privacy fence put up, you know, the 6 ft kind. I will eventually have a house behind me who's side yard will back up to my backyard (I'm on a corner). I have NO intentions having them being able to see into MY backyard. When we are out to play or have family get togethers, I want privacy.

I wrote our Ryan Rep. I pretty much told her we haven't closed on the house yet and we refuse to until this fence matter is settled. I told her if we had known we could not have a privacy fence, we would have NEVER bought in there.

And why am I just getting this information now...less than a month before closing? And why was given to me by my family looking to build and NOT by Rep? The date on it is Dec. 2007!!!!

There is one house on our street already, and they DO have a privacy fence. From what I'm told, it's because of them they are looking into an exact fencing policy. And does anyone know what in the world a "duel fence" is? We can't have those either.

I have 3 small kids and a dog (by the way, you can't own more than 2 of those either and live there), I need and want my privacy fence.

Livid. I. Am. Livid. So word of warning ya'll, if you want to build in there, I hope you aren't planning on having a lick of privacy. You won't.

I am waiting for our Rep to get back to me with some more definitive answers. When I know, I'll pass them on.


  1. WHAT???? Since we have no HOA nad no dues and there is ALREADY one in the neighborhood, it seems ridiculous that we can not have a 6 ft fence--I am LIVID as well, there are coyotes from what I have been told in that area as well as they have a harder time climbing a 6ft wall....I will be calling tomorrow as well and asking my realtor to get some answers on this ASAP as this was a big part of my deal as well, with chldren and dogs-plus lets face it a 4ft fence seems stupid and looks weird against a 2 story house and does nothing :(

  2. My cousin has a new house with a 6ft fence, but the houses all around them are so high on the land, that even though they have a high fence, everyone is able to see eachother's backyards through their windows:(
    But, wow...not to be able to have a 6 ft fence...that is crazyyyy, and I'd be mad too.
    Do you think they'd change it if you keep complaining about it? Hopefully they will.:(

  3. Hey hon. Sorry, I wrote this when I had just found out. I was LIVID. I had spent all day packing and... Tired and ... now after a few glasses of wine...

    I did write that email to C. and am going to wait for an answer. I am HOPING that hopefully b/c the first developer went b/k, it won't hold up. She did tell my family that they are working on it b/c of that fence. So I am hoping that means that they are hoping that means they like it and see that it isn't distasteful and will be okay. I hope to be able to afford one of those white ones, prefab, with the lattice on top (just spray it off and viola!), but wood may be what we settle for (and the constant staining and termite control of those). We are willing to do it. We do not wish to live in run down, crappy house. We are proud of our home and want to continue to be.

    We want to live in a NICE neighborhood. We want to be part of a nice neighborhood. But to us, a privacy fence does NOT reduce the value of our property or anyone elses. You know?

    I am waiting to see what she comes back and says. It may be non-issue. But from the paperwork I was emailed, it seems like an issue. It does also state that if a fence or hedge is erected against the statutes, that it will be torn down at the property owners expense. =/

    Again, let's just see what she comes back and says. I will be glad to email the paper work to you if you want. Anyone wanting to see it, please email me at Let me know you are building, or thinking of building, in The Mills and I will send it.

    Have you ever seen the wild turkey out there? OMGosh!!! it's before you get to the traffic circle, on either side of the road in the tree line. That thing could eat my toddler! lol It's huge!! I'm sure the construction is probably scaring away a lot of the wildlife. But yeah...big scary thing! lol We've seen it twice! But not in a while ... maybe 4-5 weeks ago was the last time. Could be gone now.

    I think anyone wanting to build in there realizes the quality of neighborhood that is wanting to built and wants to be a part of that. You know? I am waiting to see what C. says. I will share the info. No problem there. I know she will dig and get the info that she can. We LOVE our home. We do. Who builds a home they aren't in love with? We love the location, the neighborhood, everything. I just want my privacy fence. If not, I guess I'll be planting a LOT of Evergreens side by side and then planting smaller bushes in between to at least guard the back end of the lot.

    I want a beautiful us want anything different. But I do think it's wrong to tell people you can't and don't have the right to privacy. You know?

    Oh, also, according the paper work, your HOA fees are directly proportionate to the size of your lot. And it gives the exact amount per lot size. Like I said, if ya'll building in there are interested, email me. I'll get it to you. Or just call C. and ask her for it.

    I am waiting to see what she says.

    (For those building around me on the 60 ft lots, our fees are around $550 a year I think. I have had several glasses of wine and can't quite remember the exact number, as well as I am on my laptop and the paperwork is on the desktop right now where my DH is working).

    I keep telling myself one is already there, and has been for a while now, so...... Let's see what C. says. I have faith she clear it up for us.

  4. Oh...2nd anon...there are neighborhoods in the area that ONLY allow a wrought iron fence and NO sheds! Some HOA's here get crazy!!

    It will be what it will be. In the mean time, ya'll know me, I will work to find answers. =)

  5. Noey, I'm really sorry that you are so disappointed in your HOA rules. The prohibition on 6' privacy fences seems pretty standard, around here at any rate. My current neighborhood allows for 4' height max, though some have built fences higher, at their own risk. The neighborhood where we are building also has a similar prohibition - I think we are only allowed split rail, 4', with chicken wire. I think the prohibition on higher fences is both for looks and for safety - the fire company and police want to be able to easily access your backyard in case of emergency - 6' fence makes it more difficult.

    One of the first things I asked for before signing the contract was the HOA rules, but because I've been both a homeowner and president of the homeowners association, I know how important it is to understand what you are getting before you purchase. I'm going to write some posts about things you need to do before buying, and this is one of them. Hear that everyone? READ AND UNDERSTAND THE HOA RULES BEFORE YOU BUY!!!!

    HOA rules CAN be changed, but it is a long process that requires lawyers and recordation with the county/municipality. And if this is a standard fire code type thing, it will never be able to be changed. Get some fast growing trees and shrubs - that will create a screen for you. And after a while, maybe you will be glad you don't have to maintain all that fence.

    Oh, and as for the one that is there - they run the risk of having to have it taken down. It will just depend on how strict the HOA is going to be. You could also play a role in that, by eventually being on the HOA!

  6. Hi Noey...I understand your being livid and I would be too if I was this far along and just getting the information, but I also understand the fence restriction or at least some sort of fence control...without it you get every fence that is possible and whether you want to believe it or not it kinda makes the neighborhood look a little junkie. I understand the need and desire for the big monster fences, BUT maybe that's what's wrong with society these days...nobody knows their neighbors anymore...just some of my thoughts.

    btw...we are very excited about our new neighborhood...why...because everyone we have met seems extremely nice and very social.

    Again, these are just my thoughts to throw in your pot and shake around, and you know it isn't worth it to get all worked up because so far EVERYTHING has worked out...right?!?!

  7. RR: Thanks. We did ask about an HOA and were told as of right now, there is none. But then is paper work surfaces from years ago.... so confusing.

    BD: I don't mind seeing neighbor out, saying hello, maybe chatting for a few minutes and so on. But after all we have been through with druggies, crazies, and the like, we do want a private place for when the family gathers. We have a LARGE family...almost my entire families lives within 10 miles of me and all my hubby's. If we get a hottub some day, I surely do NOT want neighbors being able to scale the fence, you know? I have had the WORST luck with neighbors. Only a handful have been REALLY good people. And I am still in touch with them today. =)

    As for your last statement, that is what I keep coming back too. I know God's hand was in all of this and we are where we are suppose to be (or will be soon as we close. lol). So no matter what, I trust it will turn out well. =)

  8. haha....I'm suggesting grown adults would scale the fence, but kids might. lol

  9. @Ranter - was going to say the same, but was already getting wordy and deleted half my post because Noey said she just got the document. We actually just signed a document today because originally each home in our development came with a golf club membership, but when the golf course developer went bankrupt and didn't finish the golf course, club house, and pool, the community developer and homeowners got the HOA changed to sever community from the golf course. The document we signed today states that IF someone buys the golf course land and IF they finish the golf course, club house, and pool, and IF the new owner decides to do so he can re-establish the original setup...I say bring it on...I would love it to happen, but that is a lot of IFs. The other nice piece of it is IF all that happens, the social membership in for the club is only about $250 and can only go up 5% per year.

    But ask ask questions and do your research in multiple places not just from your sales rep. I already knew the legal details about the golf course agreement before our sales rep told us about it today, but that's because it is kind of important to me and I have been investigating trying to find out if the land is locked into being a golf course...

  10. @Noey...I know you are right and I do understand where you are coming from...but I do also know that big fences make it tough to be good neighbors...

  11. The good news is that it sounds like there are building restrictions but no HOA. That's how our neighborhood is. As long as you don't piss someone off and they report you to the county or whatever government body you have there, you can probably build it and be fine.

  12. We have a four feert fence limitation as well, unless you have a pool. I also wanted a taller fence, but guess we'll be settling for a four feet fence. :-) The HOA rules were one of the first documents signed.

  13. "but I do also know that big fences make it tough to be good neighbors"
    ...Not if your neighbor is Wilson from Home Improvement...HA...sorry, just trying to lighten the mood.

    4' is a standard these days in your average PUD/HOA neighborhood (at least in NC anyway.)

    Google 'leyland cypress.' This is the popular evergreen for privacy or sound barrier b/c they grow vert fast. Also, check out; good info on there. I like the American Holly but it reminds me of the hedge maze in The Shining and I don't want to feal like Mr. Torrence is chasing me with an axe while Im in my backyard.

  14. I know it sucks!!! We have the 4 foot fence limitation and it cannot be a privacy fence! Has to be black iron fence! I was SO angry when I found out! I love my privacy when we have cookouts. Also we are not allowed to have ANY type of shed!!! Say what!! That s just CRAZyY!!!! I have always owned a shed! Read, read , read that HOA information before you buy! I wish I did!

  15. @WodyJ - LOL - I too thought of the Home Improvement show as well, but at least one of the two parties would need to 6' and then some. I for one like the openness that the shorter fences give the "neighbor"hood. Also, your suggestion about evergreens and trees is perfect too.

    We are also on a corner lot and eventually we will have a backyard neighbor, but since that part of the community does not even have the roads done yet, we will have time to get some trees established.

  16. Noey

    I talked with C today as well as I was quite upset over this post. I know she is looking into it to see what can and can not be done. I feel bad for the people already there as they were probably not aware and seem like very nice people...

  17. Thanks. I know she's looking into it, although I have yet to hear from her. I don't blame her at all for what the information is. But we asked about HOA and we were told right now there was none and she didn't have any other information right then other than the what the possible fee might be (the $800 a year). And yet my family goes in and asks and they are emailed something. GRRRR She may not have had this info when we asked, but I was hoping she would email us or call us or something if/when she got information. Especially since we asked about it.

    I don't think there is much she can do. I know that we were told she was working on it and that as far as she knew right now, they were working on specific fence and shed policy (the covenants say nothing about having sheds).

    DH and I talked about it. We do love our home. And we will figure out some way to eventually have privacy. It's not that I don't like people or want to be neighborly. But I'm kinda tired of everyone knowing my business (kinda what happens when crazy neighbors move in. Thank God none of you seem to be the crazy type!)

    I'm just of the way of thinking that our front yards are nice and open. We can chat and meet neighbors and talk anytime out there. But our backyards are private and we should have the right to keep them that way if we so choose.

    Example: A friend of mine had a party for family member in her back yard. The neighbor kids came right on over and started eating the food. Really? If she had the privacy they wouldn't have known what was going on back there. That's all I am saying (of course there is something to be said about poor parenting of those kids in that case too. My kids better NEVER do something like that!)

    It is going to be what it's going to be. I know it's not in C's control. And I appreciate her looking into it. I do. THanks for letting me know! In the end, no matter what, we will love our home and find a way to make privacy a non-issue. =)

  18. I am shocked! I just signed my contract at The Mills Tuesday and wasnt told anything about this. I can live with the rule...I just wish I would have known about it and any others before now :s

  19. Sorry Ms. Ro. But congrats on your contract!! =)

    Like I said, I was advised they were working on the fencing issue. So, we'll see. In the end, we all will still have awesome homes! =)