Searching for the right neighborhood in which to live is one of the most important family and financial decisions you will ever make. So many things hinge on the decision. Area schools, accessibility or proximity to stores, shopping, worship, dining, HOA, restrictions, resale potential, neighbors, community amenities, and integrity of the property and builder quality all come into play. All of these things create value for a neighborhood.
Obvious things include the design and layout of the neighborhood itself. Is it easy to walk in the neighborhood with plenty of sidewalks? How much green space is available and is it accessible and maintained? Are there multiple entrances and exits—is it accessible? Is the layout conducive to and safe for children, the elderly, pets? What are the crime figures for the area and are there regular police patrols? What about emergency services and fire protection proximity to the neighborhood? What about the amenities? What is your ROI for HOA dues?
In addition to these important matters, there are some intrinsic value items. These may require a little more research on your part. One of them is the character and track record of the developer. Is the developer proven to be “all-in” and invested in community success? Is the developer an active part of HOA policies and growth? Is the development company accessible, or do they hide behind voicemail or email? Is the developer responsive to residents and community concerns? Ask multiple current residents and your realtor about these things.
While most developers leave potential resident questions to builders agents any reputable developer will be happy to answer questions or concerns from prospective buyers and residents. What are the developer’s expectations of builders and what do those expectations look like? For example, is the developer big on work project clean up so it’s confined to the specific homes being built and not in the street or equipment stacked on adjacent properties? Check Google Reviews, BBB ratings for the developer and builders. Do multiple drive-throughs at different times of the day and on different days to get a feel.
Another value that is often overlooked is the neighborhood appeal. This is about the community grounds and greenspace. Is it landscaped and well maintained? Is there a noticeable lack of trash? Are the entrances well cared for and ascetically pleasing, not just a wood sign with the neighborhood name on it? Take note of the sidewalks and landscaping throughout the neighborhood. Is there a commitment to excellence through the use of natural rock, brick, and mortar? Would you enjoy driving home from work to the neighborhood?
There is an inherent value in terms of residents. This is harder to gauge, but you can spot it if you are paying attention. This is about the nature and character of the neighborhood. How do you assess this trait? Park your car in the evening and walk the neighborhood. Look for people spending time outside, walking, children playing, neighbors interacting. Tour the pool and work out facilities on a Saturday when people are gathered. Look around and observe the interaction. Introduce yourself and ask several neighbors about the neighborhood and their experience. Take notice of yards and the care or pride in which residents take in their property. Ask your realtor or the builder agent about community events, holidays, etc.
These are just a few examples of things to look for in a value-added neighborhood. Amenities like a resort-like pool, basketball, or tennis courts, a dog park, workout facilities and generous gathering spaces for community events, flying a kite, or having a picnic on a blanket add obvious value. When you visit look them over. Are they being maintained and being used?
O’Neal Village in Greer, South Carolina is an example of such a neighborhood. The Randolph Group has given great thought to creating an imaginative community that includes single-family and multi-family residences (Townhomes) and retail. Nothing has been left to chance in the “Village”. Superb amenities, beautiful grounds, and quality craftmanship adorn the grounds easily accessible from Highway 101 and O’Neal Church Road between the lakes and in the shadow of the Foothills.
TRG Communities creates imaginative places for homeowners to enjoy a wide array of amenities and living space. We design communities instead of houses and neighborhoods! Our desire is for the total enjoyment and satisfaction of our residents.