Kathryn's Blog


I Want to Buy a House: Will I be Able to Put up a Fence?

I Want to Buy a House:  Will I be Able to Put up a Fence?



This is a question I hear quite frequently.  Most towns have restrictions on the location and size of a fence on a residential property.  In addition, a a specific neighborhood may impose its own limitations.  There are basically two resources for finding out these types of restrictions:

1.  Home Owners' Association (HOA).  When you are thinking of buying a home in a particular neighborhood, ask if there is a Home Owners' Association.  This is typically an organization created to put formal standards in place that relate to the appearance, care, and operation of that neighborhood.  You will want to ask for a copy of the HOA bylaws as well as rules and regulationsto make sure that your intended uses of the property are within the boundaries of the HOA. 

For example, I know of a neighborhood where the HOA states that a fence may be erected in the back yard only.  So if you were hoping to have a fence around your entire property, you would not be able to do so.

2. Town Zoning and Building Departments.  In addition to a Home Owner's Association, the town will have a say in the construction of a fence on your property.  There may be restrictions in height, material, and distance from the lot line.  To find out these limitations, contact the Zoning Department of the town, as well as the Building Inspector.  Make sure you get the facts in writing, before you make an offer on a house.

Ignoring the HOA guidelines and/or town laws regarding the construction of fencing can result in heavy fines, as well as the cost of erecting and then taking down the fence should your fence violate the laws.  Best to be safe and due your research before you buy.  Of course if you are working with a buyer's agent, that person can help you do the research.

Moving to Central Massachusetts?  I can help you research the rules on fences in the fine communities here.  Give me a call:  (508) 982-0686.


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Text and photos copyright Kathryn J. Acciari unless otherwise noted. 
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Sturbridge & Central MA Real Estate and More



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Kathryn Acciari, Brand Ambassador

Century 21 Real Estate LLC
175 Park Avenue
Madison NJ 07940

Serving Brokers, Owners, and Agents Throughout New England

Cell: (508) 982-0686   

Blog: Real Estate Blog
Twitter: @kacciari

Comment balloon 4 commentsKathryn Acciari • February 11 2011 03:21PM


Kathryn, great info to put on ones website. Thanks for the excellent idea.

Posted by Bob "RealMan" Timm, Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor (Ward County Notary Services) over 9 years ago

Thanks, Bob.  It's a question that mystifies many buyers but has a simple solution.  Cheers!

Posted by Kathryn Acciari, Brand Ambassador and Business Coach (Century 21 Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Kathryn, That is a question we hear a bit also.  Also which side should face out or in.

Have a great weekend.

Posted by Gloria Todor, & Doug Durren (484) 431-3686 in SE PA (Century 21 Absolute Realty ) over 9 years ago

Gloria:  Oh, yes, which side should face in/out.  We all know what we'd like the answer to be.  Cheers!

Posted by Kathryn Acciari, Brand Ambassador and Business Coach (Century 21 Real Estate) over 9 years ago