Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I Want to Sage the House

... or do whatever is done these days to get rid of icky mojo.

Received the preliminary title report on the house. There was something in it that was not quite right; specifically, a couple of CC&Rs. This is not quite right because there aren't supposed to be any CC&Rs on the property. And the title report doesn't exactly tell me what the CC&Rs are. It just says that the CC&Rs invalidate any restriction on the property preventing you from selling it to someone based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or any of those other things we don't discriminate on.

Hey, I'm down with anti-discrimination clauses.

What threw me here, though, is that these CC&Rs apparently were imposed on the property in 1950. And while I could see it being particularly forward-thinking for this little California community to say that you can't discriminate in housing based on race, it seemed, well, impossibly forward-thinking for the community to say, back in 1950, that you can't discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. (For one thing, they wouldn't even call it "sexual orientation" for another 40 years.)

So I asked the title company to show me what these CC&Rs actually were -- just to make sure there wasn't something about "and you have to pay a Community Association $100/month" or anything equally annoying hidden in there.

Title company obliged, and sent me a scan of a charming little 1950 restriction saying that the house can't be sold to anyone but a white person.

Obviously illegal. Obviously unenforceable. Obviously (given the identity of my sellers) unenforced.

Still, my first thought was, "Oh my G-d, I'm buying a racist house."

1 comment:

Wil said...

As a Code Enforcement Officer I have had the joy, over the years, of explaining the unenforceable nature of various CC&R's to potential buyers, developers, Klansmen and Arien Brotherhood types. Only the last two ever got upset... You're a first for me... ;)