October 15, 2018
Community Amenities – What Buyers Want to See
With new construction popping up in suburbs everywhere, the planned community is becoming the neighborhood of choice for many homeowners. And just like schools, fine wines and new cars, not all planned communities are created equal. Some communities focus on adding special touches during their planning process that can make them desirable to potential homebuyers. These high-demand amenities can make life a little more special for residents – and increase the value of the homes within. Which of these “special extras” are on buyer’s wish lists? And how does your community stack up? Plenty of Green Space Communities designed with parks, ponds, playgrounds for children and community ball fields are popular wherever they are. Some communities have also added designated picnic areas with wooden tables and hard-mounted grills. Not only do these areas offer a sense of tranquility and promote a more relaxed outlook, they can encourage outdoor activity – especially when paired with… Natural Trail Systems While paved walkways and lanes for biking are a plus for many buyers, extra points are given to trails that are marked by gravel or packed earth. These choices blend better with the green spaces they inhabit and are more environmentally friendly. “Village Centers” Convenient for errands or a quick meal, these retail additions can be centrally located or stationed near the entrances and exits of the community. Some typical offerings include small cafes or breakfast stops, ice cream parlors, upscale convenience marts, dry cleaners or drug stores. Community Pools Potential residents love the idea of having a cool haven during warm weather – especially when the daily care and upkeep isn’t their direct responsibility. Communities have begun to update their pool offerings with “beach entry” pools that allow bathers to walk into the pool down a gentle slope rather than using ladders or stairs. It isn’t unusual for communities to offer children’s pools with shallow water or special “adults only” hours. On-site Gyms Thousands of people pay dues to a gym and go out of their way every day to have a comfortable place to work out. The convenience of having exercise machines, weight systems and other fitness equipment available 24 hours a day on site can be the deciding factor for many potential residents. Pet Perks Community dog parks, dog-washing stations, waste bag dispensers and dedicated disposal units are definite advantages for pet lovers. Pet sitting services are also handy, whether they’re doggie daycare offered during every work day or visiting sitters who drop by for feeding, exercise and companionship during your vacations and holidays. Some communities even ratchet it up a notch by offering pet spas, complete with grooming services, dog walking and medication administration services. Getting Some Class Planned learning and personal growth opportunities are a valuable bonus for many shopping for a new home. Morning and evening yoga classes, Zumba, tai chi or aerobics are a big draw for some, while pickle ball, bocce and video gaming tournaments will sway others. Some communities also host foreign language study, tutoring groups, cooking classes, crafting circles, book clubs or movie nights. Community Rooms For those who need a “place to entertain” solution, a rentable community room is a godsend. Advanced Security Systems and Tech Treats While gated communities have been popular for some time, technology upgrades promote further safety. Fingerprint or key card entry, security cameras in common areas such as pools and playgrounds, and motion-activated lighting on sidewalks and trails help keep residents safe. Communities have also started to offer free Wi-Fi in common areas, Facebook pages for community announcements and interaction and smartphone apps that allow residents to communicate with their homeowner’s associations quickly and easily.