What Is a Master Planned Community? Should I Move Into One?

Masterplanned communities are popping up everywhere you look around the new home scene. The trend seems to point to homeowners’ growing desire for tight-knit communities that contain spaces where residents can work, play, and live.

Definition: A master-planned community is a residential development specifically designed with the intent to include commercial areas that meet the needs of its residents. Masterplanned communities can also market to specific groups (ex: active senior communities, up and coming professionals, families, etc.) 

Pros:

Master-planned communities sometimes offer amenities such as exclusive community clubs, fitness/recreational classes, seasonal parties, and outdoor concerts. They may also host events for holidays, local donation drives, and voluntary neighborhood cleanup. Additionally, master-planned communities are purposefully designed to limit your need to travel outside of the community limits for your immediate needs. Grocery stores, schools, doctors’ offices, and entertainment will all be within a few minutes’ drive. Ideally, the house you buy in a master-planned community is one you will be able to stay in for years to come. Consequently, you’ll be able to build a strong network of neighbors, friends, coworkers and family that make up your overall community.  

Cons:

As with all good things, there are a few downsides to master-planned communities. To maintain aesthetics, certain rules and regulations are implemented. They usually control (or restrict) physical changes to the appearance of your home, landscape, or curb. Before making alterations to your home, you may need to get approval from your neighborhood committee, or even get a permit. If you happen to make an unapproved change, fail to maintain the appearance of your yard or violate a rule, you may also face a fine after being warned. Lastly, master-planned communities are often managed by homeowners’ associations (HOAs). HOAs can charge residents a monthly fee to allocate toward the neighborhood’s needs. Keep in mind, monthly HOA dues can fluctuate over time.

Deciding whether a master-planned community will be the right fit for your family requires a careful look at the pros and cons. Visit a few to get a better feel for the atmosphere, meet your potential neighbors and talk to the community leaders. And remember, the community you choose to surround yourself with can greatly impact your daily life. So take all the time you need to arrive at your final conclusion. 

Jim and Bobbie PuryearWhat Is a Master Planned Community? Should I Move Into One?
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Unexpected Benefits You Get From Active Community Involvement

Community service may sound like hard work and some may even see it as a form of punishment. Yet undeniably, once you realize the positive impact that your action can do to society, it can also be one of the most fulfilling and enriching experiences. Since you do it primarily to help others or give back, it is easy to assume that all the benefits solely pour on the side of society while you get nothing out of it.

It might then come as a surprise that community involvement can offer a multitude of wonderful rewards that can tremendously enhance your life. If you are yet to take an active role in community service, the following unexpected benefits you can get from doing it may just provide the motivation you need:

Improves Physical Health & Well-being

It may not seem so obvious but active community involvement can bring tons of health benefits. Some volunteer work can be tiring but it provides a form of exercise that can reduce stress levels and prevent many diseases. Furthermore, to know that your effort, no matter how small, can greatly contribute to the betterment of the community can be a source of pride and achievement. This wonderful sense of accomplishment results in a happier disposition which in turn leads to better health. The conclusion of years of research done by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) indicate that volunteer activities have a positive correlation with lower chances for depression and lower mortality rates.

Widens Your Skills & Knowledge

The need for continuous learning is essential if you want to move forward in life. Fortunately, altruistic activities can be an avenue for free education. Some organizations provide volunteers with training so you get to increase awareness and knowledge on a certain cause and may also acquire new skills in the process. You may also discover a good way to share your talents with the community if you offer help for a certain cause that is related to your interests.

Builds Up Your Resume

Students who choose to devote their free time to community activities increases their chance to land a high-paying job later on. Moreover, affiliations in reputable organizations is a clever way to beef-up your resume when you are a fresh graduate with no past employment. The claim that community involvement makes you more attractive to employers is backed up by research. In 2009, a UK-based organization, TimeBack, formed a partnership with Reed, a recruitment agency, to conduct a survey on how employers view charitable activities. The study revealed that 84% think charitable activities help job seekers get hired. Likewise, more than 70% of employers believe that that volunteer experience increases the chance for promotion and salary increase.

May Open Up Travel Opportunities

You only want to offer whatever assistance you can give to a cause but you may end up going places and experiencing new things as well. Travel privileges is indeed a possibility if you are really committed to offer your services. At the same time, the opportunity to be in a new environment and meet new people can broaden your mind and perspective on things.

Grow Your Network of Friends

Getting out there and immersing yourself in the community is an effective way to meet people who share your same interests and passion. They say, true friends are hard to find – but you may not find it so difficult if you regularly participate in community outreach activities.

We are all a vital part of the society we live in so in a way, we are all required to contribute something for the betterment of the community. This responsibility may sound challenging but participating in community activities is a win-win situation – the society benefits and you get rewarded as well.

Jim and Bobbie PuryearUnexpected Benefits You Get From Active Community Involvement
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