Master-planned communities - communities that have been planned to include housing and the necessary amenities to support a community - have become increasingly popular throughout North America. No longer just for those 55+, master-planned communities have come to offer a number of benefits for buyers of all ages, especially for those looking for community, convenience, and a sound investment.
Master-planned communities are not a new concept; they've been around for decades. Many 55+ communities were the original master-planned communities, designed to provide amenities and activities for retirees or snowbirds. Arizona, Florida, and Nevada are well-known for their planned communities, with many popular and sought-after subdivisions and neighborhoods. Not surprisingly, the concept caught on across North America and more and more states and provinces are seeing a rise in these communities.
In recent years, the communities have been strategically designed to provide all the necessary amenities for everyday living: diverse housing, retail (grocery stores and restaurants), gyms and community clubhouses with pools, trails for hiking and biking as well as green spaces and parks. Newer communities even include schools to attract families. Convenience is a huge part of a master-planned community and one of the biggest draws to buyers.
For many buyers, finding a community that will support them is a top priority, and a huge draw of a master-planned community is the sense of community it offers. From a variety of events hosted for residents to walking groups, farmers markets and other recreation opportunities, master-planned communities afford residents the ability to reach out and interact with their fellow neighbors on a regular basis. Master-planned communities are great at creating and fostering an atmosphere of inclusion, providing multiple ways for neighbors to connect and become friends.
Not all buyers are alike, but there are many that look for a home in a well-kept and maintained community. In master-planned communities, the community as a whole relies on a homeowner association (HOA) to enforce association rules and bylaws. Master-planned communities are known for their maintenance - many employ outdoor maintenance companies for year-round upkeep of public green spaces and parks. But yards and green spaces are not the only things an HOA governs - they also ensure the community stays safe and the exterior of the homes is consistent throughout all the different neighborhoods.
Some people may not see an HOA as a benefit, but for those that appreciate and value a community that is maintained and runs well, the association is a great asset to the neighborhood and the owners within it.
Most home buyers and real estate investors hope their property will increase in value each year, and in a strong real estate market that's generally the case. Yet, as we've seen, no country is immune to dips in its real estate markets. Homes in master-planned communities have actually been known to keep their value or see less of a decrease in value in a poor market. Being a part of a large community can actually add stability to resale values of the properties even during an economic downturn. For many, they may be investing in the community by buying a home there, but they're also investing in their future.
Master-planned communities are becoming more and more popular, and it's not a mystery as to why. With a number of benefits to buyers and owners, a master-planned community can be a great place to live, especially if you want to get as much as possible out of your neighborhood and community.