When I hear the phrase “real estate community”, I think of “The Glades” episode about a nudist colony. Also, my friend in Florida comes to mind. He took advantage of the real estate bust and got a mansion in a gated community for a song. 5 bedrooms for under $150K or something. He’s got an active business, wife 12 years his junior and three teenage daughters. Clearly, it’s not for retirement only.
Google didn’t give much on this topic maybe because the terms are pretty generic, but this seems to be a uniquely American phenomenon. Lots of Canadians buy vacation homes in communities in the US, and I can see how secluded surroundings and privacy can be appealing. In fact, some of America’s most desirable real estate resides within gated or secluded communities, with a unique life of their own. MSN.com lists a few of the exclusive real estate communities in the US. For example, Beverley Park in Los Angeles properties regularly sell for $30+ million. The value in these resorts comes from the association with the community, celebrity residents, and the seclusion that comes from being part of an insulated community
While these exclusive communities are profiled in the media, most real estate resorts are much more accessible to the average buyer. Communities often have their own facilities and amenities which can add value when the time comes to sell the property. While my friend got a great deal, his house was still selling for about 25% more than comparable ones outside the resort. Clearly, community real estate prices are more resilient in times of crisis.
Some real estate communities are themed resorts, based around leisure facilities like golf clubs and fishing lakes. These properties are often more than just quality homes, they offer residents the chance to live in idyllic surroundings, with more convenient access to leisure pursuits – the perfect edge should you ever come to sell your real estate community home. It’s like living at the cottage full time, while still being in the city.
Other communities are based around a particular location or lifestyle, without necessarily having such a strong connection. Gated communities, for example, can provide a degree of isolation and security. While community real estate tends to be somewhat more expensive, prices account for the additional benefits that come with living and owning real estate in an exclusive residential community.
DMB Real Estate, who specialize in residential and community real estate, suggest that buyers prefer the seclusion and exclusivity of resort-based real estate, while enjoying the practical advantages this can bring.
Being close to a golf course or living in the midst of scenic countryside has its distinct advantages. Resort properties often appeal to those that are in pursuit of their favorite leisure activities, or those that are looking for a vacation home. But for a peaceful, secluded place to live, these residential communities tend to be amongst some of the most prized real estate in the country.
It’s not just those that are looking to buy a home for themselves that choose to research real estate communities further. In an uncertain housing market, resort real estate is proving a persistently popular choice for real estate investment. For those investing for both residential and vacation purposes, communities can provide a ready-made appeal for their property when it comes to selling on.
I just spent a good hour looking at these properties, and am in a bit of a shock… Here’s a random example. Depending on the finish options and floorplan, prices for these real estate community homes range from $310,000 to $370,000. That’s less than you’d pay for a tiny 2-bedroom condo in Toronto!!! Yes, this is not LA. It’s Mesa, Arizona, but it’s not that small, with a population of 450,000. Not really a small town. Wow. What the hell am I doing here?
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