A master-planned community is more than a few tracked homes in a particular city. It is truly a planned out neighborhood, typically complete with community amenities such as a clubhouse or swimming pool and it may even have some modern conveniences such as coffee shops, dry cleaners, banks, and markets.
Many of these planned communities have their own homeowners associations, which regulate guidelines, restrictions, and conditions for those living in the community. This can be a pro and con to living in a planned community.
These neighborhoods can also be gated, which adds a level of security for residents and their guests. You won't find salesman wandering through the neighborhood knocking on random doors to try to sell you something unless it's the neighbor girl down the street selling Girl Scout cookies.
The advantage of having a homeowners association is to set a standard that everyone living in the community must abide by. This could mean keeping their yard and landscaping neat and tidy, keeping garage doors closed or garbage cans put away and restricting a number of vehicles you might be able to have either on the street or in your driveway.
Homeowner associations also come with fees. If you're living in a community that has more amenities, you're likely to pay more in fees. These fees could be due monthly or annually. It's important to know whether or not you're willing to pay for the association fee in a particular community before jumping in.
Another advantage to planned communities is their efficiency and convenience. They are planned to optimize traffic flow and offer amenities enjoyed by everyone.
Other advantages include security. There could be a gated entrance or just a guard at the gate verifying everyone has the authority to be in the community. At the very least, you might have an association watch, which enables residents to be their own security for each other.
A disadvantage to a planned community is that it might limit your creativity and individuality. HOAs may limit what you are allowed to do on your property and even what color you want to paint your house. These restrictions can be very confining and you might have to ask permission before making any changes to your home, even minor ones such as putting up a gate, changing your landscaping, or painting your front door. Some associations also require homeowners to use dedicated and approved businesses for necessary services. This means you might not be able to call up just any landscaper but you may be restricted to using the association's landscaper to keep up with the standard and uniformity of the community. This could be a pro and a con for many homeowners.
But, back to the original question; are they a good investment? If you're planning on living in the community for a long time this might not even be an issue for you, but if you're planning on living in the community for 5 to 10 years, resell value might be important to you. Does the community support the ideals and regulations that you want to adhere to as well as those in the future? If there are too many problems with the Association and the community in general, it might be more difficult to sell. There are pros and cons to living in a master-planned community and you have to decide whether you are willing to enjoy the benefits while living with the disadvantages.
If you're interested in learning more about master-planned communities around the Columbus Ohio area call me today. I have a master list of different communities and neighborhoods that have a variety of amenities that might fit your search criteria and budget.
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As a certified Realtor® for the top-rated Columbus Realty Firm - Vision Realty, with 32 years of dedicated real estate experience, I can help buyers, sellers, investors, short sale sellers and more find, sell or invest in the right property, at the right price, at the right time. Contact me anytime for updates and information on the Columbus OH Real Estate market.