Yes, in many cases those houses are so close together you could ask your neighbor to toss you some toilet paper without getting up!
Exactly you could do exactly as you say (read on) and if you think about it what recourse do you have if that house next door are slobs or worse if there is no HOA?
Here is a perfect example, We loved a community in Florida but took a pass on it. Just beautiful area, incredible amenities, just beautiful but still a long way to go developing it. I still think about it all the time, I would have loved to live there but we are moving to NC instead.
We saw this A LOT in new Florida communities and we only wanted to buy new, maybe our last home we will ever own and we got spoiled when we moved south into a new home 16 years ago. Unlike living on Long Island NY where the homes are 50+ years old, for 16 years we needed no repairs or replacement of anything in a 3000 sq ft home. SO we wanted new again to carry us through retirement years or mostly.
Ok, back to Florida, I liked this community so much I still get listings mailed to me most all sold out but still 100s more to build. ITs not really the community vs everything is new and we are "water" people, love the ocean, lakes, streams, boating ect. Fernandina Beach nearby, Just wonderful. However the cost for what you get to us was nuts. Keep in mind currently living in SC we weren't looking to increase our housing cost but reduce it. If we moved from NY like we did 16 years ago direct to Florida is would have seemed cheap but coming from SC cost was NUTS. The price appreciation in just the last few years down there ..
Ok, Im rambling on. The homes were really nice but on 50x100 lots roughly. We actually had a lot picked out and contracts to this day 9 months later still sitting in my inbox that we never signed. We picked out the one lot where if we were to look out our window we would not be looking into the window of the house next door. The homes were 10 feet apart. For that privilege you paid roughly $250 a month in CCD Fees (unique to Florida) and HOA fees. Plus Florida taxes of another 4k, plus future price increases on the HOA once all the amenities are finished and we are looking at over 8k a year to live there, here in SC I was living for roughly 5k less a year in a home 33% larger and didnt look in my neighbors house when I looked out my window*LOL*
Furthermore on street parking is not allowed, the roads are narrow but the lots so small its impossible to enforce from what I am reading because there isnt enough room in driveways ect so cars block sidewalks and forced to park in street as well.
ITs then the beautiful community doesn't look so sweet anymore.
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The homes in Florida are really crammed in many of the new communities if you are shopping price.
This gives an idea how close the homes are