The Pros and Cons of Living in A Master Planned Community
What is a Master Planned Community?
A Master Palnned community by definition is an type of urban planning designed to relocate populations away from large cities by grouping homes, hospitals, industry and cultural, recreational, and shopping centers to form entirely new, relatively autonomous communities.
There are many benefits of living in a Master Planned community. Primarily it is a life style decision though that would interest many if not most Buyers today. These communities are built for convenience and enjoyment of the homeowners. I live in a master planned community called Carmel Mountain Ranch. What attracted me to this area are some of the key selling points of any master planned community. The community has grocery stores, specialty shopping, schools, a library, a community recreational center and beautifully tree lined and landscaped streets.
There are a variety of housing styles as well as price ranges from the low 300,000's to well over a million and half. There are view lots as well as efficient lots with housing tailor made to suit each type of exposure. My home for instance is elevated over the 17th fairway of the Carmel Mountain Country Club golf course.
While it is near perfect , there are still some possible negatives depending on ones own personal perspective. For example one of the cons of a master planned community consist of a governing association that determines the exterior design limitations from paint colors to landscaping. There is often a maintenance fee for maintenance of the common areas. Personally to me, it is worth that trade off for keeping the community looking more uniform and tailored.
Here in California with property taxes based on your purchase price, many of these planned community developers use bonds to fund the new infrastructure, such as roads, lighting, schools etc. These bonds are called Mello Roos and require the property owners to pay additional taxes to fund the infrastructure that helps makes the community complete with so many amenities. Some see these bond payments through the county property taxes as just extra added taxes and often instruct real estate professionals that they want to avoid these communities with these additional cost requirements. For many who do not understand the upside, may actually see this as a negative. What also is overlooked is the fact tha as a community, you get to know your neighbors better and of most often build valuable lifetime friendships.
One of the more important intrinsic benefits of a Master planned community over the longer term at least and certainly realized through this last down cycle of the housing market, home values have endured better than some of the other segments of the market. And as the market improves, they also tend to be areas that are more stable and less volatile.