Read fine print before buying into community

Rules and regulations can be confusing

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

Here's the underlying problem when people move for the first time into a condominium, cooperative or even a homeowners association community: They never read the fine print. Heck, they never read any of the paperwork! And they often end up confused and angry about what is expected of them and what limits are applied to the lifestyle. It's not that folks are lazy, but there is so much paperwork, why bother? When you enter into what is collectively called a shared ownership community, or SOC, you are given all sorts of documents, including declarations, covenants, conditions, restrictions, articles and bylaws. You move into your dream condominium by the sea and expect a continuation of the American Dream. This is your castle and you can do what you want -- until you discover that your flat-screen TV with surround-sound is 10 decibels louder than your neighbor can tolerate, the smell of your cigar bothers the people living above you, the floor that you just had installed has to ...