As you start considering retiring you will find all types of master planned communities are available. Whether it’s a simple community with a few or no amenities, a marina development, or golf community, the southeast has them. In addition there are age restricted communities you might consider.
Master-planned communities, of all sorts, can provide a healthy, active lifestyle and a sense of community by way of activities and events to bring people together. Also, many have numerous special interest clubs and groups that create a ready-made social scene for like minded people.
In most cases, the average age of people in master planned communities is from 45 to 70. If it is age-restricted then at least one of the household owners is 55 or older. If the age restricted community has been established for a while then you may find the owners are in their mid 60′s and older.
Benefits of Master-Planned Communities
Maintenance Free Living To Low Maintenance: Based on the community you buy in and the type of home you choose in the community, your home owners association (HOA) fee may include lawn care, grounds maintenance, exterior building maintenance and garbage service as it is in our Commons II condo’s.
Hello Active Lifestyle: With building and grounds maintenance no longer on your “to do list” you will find more time for hobbies and recreation offered in these active lifestyle developments. These may be health and fitness activities, organized sport leagues, book clubs, cooking classes, hobby groups, common interest groups, and cultural trips among other things. Brunswick Plantation has a plethora of these resident based groups….last count had over 40 groups!
Built-In Camaraderie: Many master-planned developments have a clubhouse, perfect for hosting a calendar of social activities and events for owners. Active lifestyle developments also feature ‘centerpiece amenities’ like their own golf course. These developments usually attract people with like interests and lifestyles. Active lifestyle communities provide an easy way for new people to meet residents and create friendships with many different people.
Architecturally “Safe: Most, if not all master-planned developments, have some oversight review for new property owners who purchase a home site and want to build a home. Established codes regarding architectural design, exterior materials used, square footage minimums and maximums, landscaping guidelines and so on. To some people, this may feel too controlling, but to many others the architectural oversight ensures that new homes and modifications to existing homes will be built to the same quality, caliber, and theme of what everyone originally purchased. This process both protects, preserves and enhances property values in the development.
Security: Many master-planned developments are gated, which provides a high measure of security. The measures range from neighborhood patrols, guest pass procedures, to 24/7 security guard at the gate like what we have at Brunswick Plantation, all of which can offer a peace of mind to the owners in the community.
Features to Think about with with Master-Planned Communities of All Sorts
Monthly Dues: Monthly HOA (homeowners dues) or POA (property owners dues) will most likely be present and will definitely increase over time as do most things. But, if you add up the monthly costs of garbage collection, water and sewer, a fitness membership, maintenance of pools and clubhouses, landscape maintenance, insurance, and the management of all these you would otherwise be paying and dealing with on your own, you will find the HOA bill each month is a reasonable number. Also remember, it is these amenities, that improve your long-term property value. For example, the Master POA dues at Brunswick are in the low $60/month range.. which is.below many others in our area.
Restrictions and Community By-Laws: Many developments have written by-laws prohibiting things like exterior gardens, ornamental decorations, RVs and boats parked in a driveway. These by-laws may also include rules for exterior paint colors, excessive exterior lighting and other non-standard appearances. Anyone who knows someone or has owned a home where an eccentric neighbor painted their house hot pink or had a 40′ RV parked in their driveway for most of the year can appreciated these written restrictions.
Pet Amenities and Policies: A lot of master-planned communities today realize that people love their pets and they are part of the family…and part of the equation when choosing a neighborhood. But make sure you are aware of the policies on pets. Most communities will ask that pets are leashed when off your property and to clean up after them.
Age Diversity or Lack Thereof: If you are just moving into a 55+ community (Brunswick Plantation is NOT a 55+ community) that has been around for 5 to 10 years, many of the people residing there may be 65-70 or older. This can create a situation where a large percentage of the residents may experience health problems and people begin passing away more often as compared to a non 55+ community. According to many this is the largest negative factor for 55+ communities.
So How Do You Choose the Right Community?
Location: What is the weather like year-round? How close is it to dining, churches, shopping, entertainment, and medical facilities? How close is the airport, for when your friends and family want to visit? Is there a college or university nearby for continuing education – so you can meet others with similar interests and hobbies, to create friendships outside of your development? Brunswick Plantation scores high on all the above!
A Good Fit?: Does the development have most of what you need to satisfy your health, leisure and social lifestyle? Are you a more independent thinker than what can be accommodated at the community? Is this community affordable for you now and in the future? Affordability is one of the strong suits for Brunswick….there is a lot of value here.
Community’s Financial Health: Is the developer fiscally healthy? Is the POA/HOA fiscally health? Are there strong reserves for emergencies? Is there a history of assessments or rapidly rising fees? Brunswick’ s developer owners have been residents and diversified and successful business people in the community for over 50 years. Our Master POA has over $1 million in reserves and has never levied an assessment and dues have increased much lower than inflation.
Your Financial Health: Does the development offer homes within your budget? Are there additional membership fees for activities? Do these match your retirement spending plans and budget? What are the continuing HOA/POA and club fees and are they affordable?
The Developer: What is the developer’s reputation? Have they been in business a long time? Have they created and completed other communities? Is the developer financially solid? Brunswick’s developers score high on all of these…just ask our customers.
Community By-Laws: What are the pet restrictions and rules? What are the regulations on renting homes in the development? Have or will the amenities be turned over to the HOA after the development is completed or before? How is the Board of Directors for the HOA/POA elected or created?