by Katie Pocras, Nebraska Home Sales Realtor
It’s as clear as black and white, day and night. If it’s so clear then why don’t more people notice? Is this a sign? Maybe it’s a sign the signs aren’t noticed.
I was showing homes to a couple of buyers recently. We were looking at both townhomes and single family homes. I asked, “Did you notice the blue street sign”? My buyer said he did not. He also said he never noticed residential street signs came in two different colors: green and blue. My buyer is a long-time Lincoln resident. He never noticed? Have you noticed two different color street signs? Why is there two different colors and what does it mean?
This is a general summary of the difference.
If you’re buying a house with a green street sign, this means the street is public. The street was built in accordance with certain City standards, and the City will maintain the street, plow the roads, and fix the sidewalks, curbs, gutters, and fill the potholes.
If you’re buying a house with a blue street sign, this means the street is private. No, it doesn’t mean anyone can’t drive down the street. What is does mean is the home owners and their neighborhood association are responsible for everything street and sidewalk related. This includes sidewalk repair, street maintenance and repair or replacement, street plowing, curbs and gutter maintenance. And don’t call the City to fix your potholes.
Why would a developer opt for a private street? I called the City Planning Department, and I think the short answer is waivers. The City may waive certain street standards if the developer pays for the street and maintains it. On private streets you may find the streets are narrower, different sized or no sidewalks or curbs, homes that feel closer to the street.
If having a blue street sign matters to you, then what? During your due diligence period or before read the home owners association (HOA) covenants, know what costs you’re responsible for, and speak to the HOA and find out what maintenance projects are coming up.