Machka's description sounds more like HOA (Home Owner's Association) those you have some control over by asking questions and finding a subdivision that either doesn't have one or has one that has requirements that meet with your tastes and approvals.
Sort of ... but the subdivisions are controlled by a developer. A developer makes the decision about what he (or his organisation) would like the subdivision to look like, and when the lots are sold, there is a section in the paperwork regarding the appearance of the dwellings. An architectural firm is hired to ensure that whatever is built meets the developer's wishes, and for some of the features there's a deal where the home owner will pay, say, $400,000 to have the house built, and when they comply with all the developer's wishes, they will get a refund of some of that amount, maybe $10,000. One of the architects goes out and does an inspection to ensure that a fence of the right height is up, the paint is all exactly the right colour, etc.
But yes, each subdivision is different. So if you don't like huge beige and chocolate brown houses, maybe you'd prefer the next subdivision where the slightly smaller houses are sage green and cream.
Why do they have a minimum sf requirement? I mean by that, what good is it supposed to accomplish?
Property taxes and uniform values. Introduce oddball subdivisions of propertiies or decrease the average property resale value and revenues from property taxes are adversely affected as well.
It's an old problem...it skirts the reality of the new homes being more valuable in the long run due to factors such as energy efficiency, safety and attracting residents who will be part of the workforce and enhance the economy by deferring to traditional families who might add to some retail sales but are typically of lower income and probably somewhat transitory as their children's needs change and they move to different schools or out to higher education and life outside the family home.
I cite the example of my parents as we never held a mortgage for more than maybe five years until the housing market and my parents' health forced them to rent. Some families do indeed stay a lifetime but I'd be willing to bet that many have the wanderlust.
Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
They can't fix expansion joints, because they expand.