Horizontal Property Regime (HPR)
Lately whenever I search for a home in Green Hills or Sylvan Park, over 50% of the homes for sale contain the description HPR or Horizontal Property Regime.
I’m sure you’ve noticed these homes as you drive around town. Most HPR’s, although not all, are skinny, townhouse style homes. They can be attached or separated by smidgen of green. Frequently they occupy a lot where there was once only one house.
WHAT IS IT?
When you purchase an HPR property, you acquire the house and the ground underneath it. The yard or land surrounding the home is shared community property.
To determine exactly what “shared” means, you must consult the HOA (Homeowner’s Association) document called the Declaration. Not unlike the by-laws of a condominium or neighborhood covenants, this document tells you what you can and cannot do with your shared property.
And yes, it makes sense to reference this document before you buy the house.
After years of flight to distant suburbs, today’s home buyers want to be closer to town and urban amenities. This increased demand has prompted changes in zoning to encourage more density in older neighborhoods. So for example, where there was one house, there are now two.
The lack of an expansive yard is plus for these buyers. Lawn care is time consuming and expensive. Families and professional couples alike are busier than ever, and welcome the chance to give up yard work.
Children are more likely to spend their free time participating in a travel soccer program or taking ballet than playing hide and seek in the backyard. (A recent study by The Center on Everyday Lives of Families at UCLA revealed that children use a backyard less than forty minutes a week.)
Especially in neighborhoods long characterized by low-slung ranch houses, the “matchstick” houses may seem jarring. But as the homes “settle in,” they will look just as comfortable in the landscape as their predecessors!