Many older subdivisions in the intermountain area have no homeowner’s associations, nor restrictive covenants, but many or most of the newer subdivisions do have them. Restrictive covenants are very beneficial most of the time in protecting homeowners in an area from a new owner from building add-ons or building a home that does not conform neighborhood.
In recent times, however, many older subdivision developers have added burdens which are more restrictive and costly to homeowners. A developer may add a pricy HOA fee upon the sale of a property, sometimes up to 1% of the sales price, in addition to HOA fees which seem high by themselves.
Restrictions are becoming more intrusive, requiring HOA approval for even minor improvements to a dwelling. The Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions which have been recorded by the developer provide for ways in which onerous provisions can be dealt with, such as by the vote of a 2/3 supermajority of the homeowners in the subdivision, or other means provided in the CC&Rs. If there are burdensome aspects to the covenants and restrictions, then participation at HOA meetings and starting a community effort to meet the necessary requirements to remove burdensome requirements and/or add other provisions offering a benefit to all, can be a real service to your community.
My own personal belief is that there should be a more widespread understanding and consensus among community members to reverse the trend toward the newer onerous burdens, especially large fees on the sale or transfer of a home.