Buying property in a planned community

Buying property in a planned community

There is a real desire to have the ease, convenience, and commutability of urban life but not perhaps the hustle, bustle, and noise that comes with living in the middle of a major city. Being able to start your morning with a few laps of the pool or a workout in the gym is so much more convenient when they are only a stone’s throw from your flat. Being able to combine city life with a country setting all sounds like a pretty sweet deal. A property in a planned community may be the answer to your lifestyle. Planned communities are like self-contained mini-cities that prioritize convenience and luxury to their residents. They have planned out neighborhoods where amenities like grocery stores and shopping centers are more easily accessible.


Planned Communities: What are they?

A planned community is a large, suburban housing development that is usually located outside of a major city. Usually, they are a carefully planned area larger than 2,500 acres. They are found across the nation but are particularly popular in the south and coastal states like California, Florida, and Texas. In fact, there are some lake forest ca homes for sale in such an area.  

They may sound like a traditional suburb but are quite different, especially in their initial design. Traditional neighborhoods are constructed typically designed row after row of houses on the available plot of land. Businesses eventually move into the area and build around the neighborhood with little input from the residents.

Planned communities mainly center around golf courses and country clubs but can also focus on favored urban amenities like shopping centers, gyms, and recreational activities. These communities have usually favored an older demographic but are starting to open up to families and young professionals who can work from home. This market is much more interested in urban offerings like coffee shops, galleries, and water parks.

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What are they like? 

It’s not often that you will find two communities that are exactly alike. Amenities, housing prices, dues owed, and lifestyles can vary greatly between them. Some communities have a more traditional neighborhood feel, whilst others offer an abundance of activities that will keep the whole family entertained.

Sometimes master-planned communities try to provide a little bit of everything for their residents. Noteworthy attractions can include organic, natural farms, private schools, and local diners. This can go hand in hand with golf courses, skate parks, and fishing ponds.


Benefits of planned communities

Less Traffic- Planned communities tend to have gated entrances that lighten and limit traffic to residents and their guests. A big part of the planned community construction process is planning the road system and how to eliminate traffic flow, preventing traffic jams.

Public Transportation and layout-One of the most important aspects of the planned community’s infrastructure is the convenience and walkability of the area. Residential areas are located within walking distance to stores, shops, and other community amenities to provide a true urban environment. As well as this, the community needs to be located in desirable locations close to major cities and public transportation that can provide easy commuting options.

Amenities- One of the biggest perks of living in a planned community is having access to and the availability of local amenities for all. They can include everything from leisure activities like golf, bowling, tennis courts, and pools to more laidback luxuries such as shops, clubhouses, lakes, and restaurants.

Green Space- Preserved green space adds to the beauty and peaceability of the neighborhoods. This is a high priority on a buyer’s list of needs. Residents have been found much happier when they have access to nearby wooded areas filled with trails, bike paths, scenic greenery along street fronts.

Safety and Security- For families with young children and those with elderly vulnerable people, safety is a prime concern. Planned communities offer much-needed peace of mind because of the gated entries and the local watch organizations. Some even have 24/7 patrols that look after the residents and can protect you and your family.

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Challenges of planned communities 

Less Privacy- Those who enjoy their fair share of space and privacy perhaps won’t enjoy the dense population, close housing proximity, and communal vibe of property in a planned community living.

Community Development District- This is a governing body within the community that handles general upkeep. It is often partnered with a Homeowners Associations that oversees rules and regulations to keep the homes and district well-maintained. Sadly, these fees can be expensive and can add up to thousands of dollars a year.

As well as the added cost, these associations usually enforce restrictions that can become a hassle for home buyers. These can include limits on paint colors, decorations, landscaping styles, and extension options.

Extra fees- Additional fees are something that always detracts from planned community living. They often vary depending on what the community offers. These often cover the costs of the upkeep of paving, redoing sidewalks, and local community maintenance. Sadly, these are expected if you plan on living in a community for 20 to 30 years.


Is the property in a planned community for you?

These planned communities have been a big hit in the housing market in recent years, with their popularity growing both in the older and younger generation of house buyers. The fact that they provide safety and convenience to their residents means that these communities have their perks and can provide the perfect home for many families. 

Each person and family will have to decide if a property in a planned community living is for them. They do offer a good mix between urban and country living but come at a premium cost. If you are looking for a unique home with rustic charm or a full-on city experience, then they are likely not for you. However, if you are ready to live conveniently out of the city, then they may be for you.

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