What do today's communities offer?
The word community is often confused with the word subdivision. In reality, the two words could not be more different. A subdivision is a series of lots carved out of a parcel of land. There are utilities to keep the lights on, and roadways to keep the cars in order. There are houses built on the lots and there are lawns and landscaping throughout. Subdivisions tend to be prime examples of today's Click generation. The Click generation enters their subdivision and Clicks the garage door open, they drive in and Click the garage door closed. They walk inside and either Click on the television or Click on the Internet or Video Games. What has been lost is the sense of community because they aren't encouraged to get outside and interact with their neighbors.
A community is something far different from a subdivision. A community in its simplest form is a sense of belonging because it encourages the residents to get outside and interact with each other. A community has all the elements of a subdivision, but they are arranged with thought and purpose to encourage the formation of a true community. A community starts with the developer and their design team. From the design and layout of the streets, to how the houses interact with each other. The open spaces and the amenities are designed for optimal beauty and utility. Even the Tree-Lined streets are thought through – what will trees look like at different times of the year? The choice of plants and trees adds color throughout the year and can have a significant impact on how a community feels during the winter months.
The choices a developer makes in the creation of a community can have a significant impact on how the community looks and feels. When a community has amenities like a clubhouse and pool for the residents it directly impacts the total cost of the project but also the intrinsic value. Curved streets create a beautiful appearance and a more pleasurable living experience as well as open space. Simple things that we take for granted like sidewalks can have a significant impact on the total cost of a project, but these elements all add up to what life will be like while living in the community. Walking paths and parks create spaces that encourage residents to interact with each other and foster a sense of belonging. By adding such amenities, it may mean the developer will bring fewer home sites to market, but by installing these elements, the overall quality and value of the community being created is far superior.
Equally important to the overall quality of a community are the homes the builders offer. NOT ALL HOMES ARE CREATED EQUAL. Are the builders Registered Master Builders with the BCA and do the builders hold themselves to a higher standard? Yes, there are building codes that must be followed, but these are the minimum standards to create safety…not quality. When you tour a community you must ask yourself “Do the homes being built here have character and do they look like they are quality homes?” The look and feel of the homes that the builders are creating can have a significant impact on the overall quality of a community. Do the builders do the minimum to the elevation to meet the requirements of the CC&R’s or do they go beyond? Are the builders just building basic homes or are they creating unique, one-of-a-kind homes of distinct quality and value? Will you feel that your home is uniquely yours and the community you live in is vibrant and alive?
The next time you get in the car to “go look at houses”, be sure to take a step back and go “look for communities”. Notice the difference between a well thought out community and a typical subdivision. Look for all the elements and amenities that the Developer and the Builders are creating and realize their true value. A community may not be the least expensive, but it will offer a better lifestyle for you and ultimately will have more value 5 to 10 years later than a typical subdivision.