Are you looking for the "right" home or "right" price? How about finding the right neighborhood too?
It seems that many real estate agents and buyers visiting our communities in recent years are locked into finding the home with the best deal or best price. We like to remind them that they should also be looking for the "right" community!
In this price-conscious home buying market, everyone involved should also focus on finding the right place to live- that being the location or community. Too often, homebuyers tell their agents how many bedrooms and baths they want, but ignore looking at new construction opportunities because they think that the home prices will be higher than a resale. Sometimes, their best option will be finding the right neighborhood and then working closely with a custom builder to help them accomplish their goal. What should you look for in a planned community?
Here are 5 things you should consider when you're searching for that right home and right place to call home.
1. The Overall Community Layout - (The land plan, front entrance, common areas, recreational facilities, etc) Prospective homebuyers generally decide within 30 seconds of driving into a community as to their potential interest in relocating there. When shopping for a new place to live, the first impression is vitally important. Which is why planned communities like The Riverfront at Harbour View, Founders Pointe , and Gatling Pointe spend a lot of attention at the front entrance and streetscape architecture.
- Homebuyers today definitely appreciate a sense of arrival and they notice the meticulous landscaping and the seasonal planting found at the front entry monument.
- Distinctive architectural home styles and quality homebuilders are other important parts of distinguishing a neighborhood.
- Variety and pleasing color palettes are also important components in most planned communities.
- Investigate the other communities a developer has done in your area if you're looking at a new neighborhood in the early stage of development.
2. Quality of Homes/Builders - Is there a preferred team of builders building models for sale? Is it up to consumers to buy the lot and find their own builder?
- Do the builders pay attention to the streetscape?
- Are the homebuilders sensitive to the buyers needs and how long have they been in the business?
- Do your Featured Builders have a proven track record and have good reputations?
- Are the homes unique enough yet offering a nice blend of architectural styles?
- Are the builders in the development still building the same home plan they were ten years ago?
3. Neighborhood Amenities - What does the neighborhood offer in terms of recreational opportunities? Does it have a clubhouse and pool? Are there parks and trials for walking/jogging? If you're selling an exciting "lifestyle community", then your amenities better have something worth selling the sizzle over. ("Under promise and over deliver "is always a good policy)
What do people want today? Are walking trails and parks more appealing to today's buyer than tennis courts? Surveys and focus groups can help you decide. The amenities need to appeal to the target market for the community. If the neighborhood does not offer anything, how close is the community to recreational facilities? The Gatling Pointe Yacht Club and pool complex (pictured below) is located on the river and is the social hub of the community.
4. Testimonials from residents who already live in the community.Testimonials from the club members can help understand what type of activities and programs the neighborhood club offers. It also helps in understanding how active the homeowners' association is. Is there a community newsletter or website that customers can rely on for detailed information? Research and feedback from your present and past customers helps to guide us in our decisions of what to include and what to leave out in our new home communities. Every market is different, but there are trends as to what consumers value today than what they wanted 10-20 years ago.
5. Differentiation and an effective overall marketing and sales approach will help a community accomplish its goal- to develop and create a quality neighborhood that appeals to the appropriate target market and blends well within the local community. Developers and builders need to work together to offer the right product types for the buyers the neighborhood attracts. If the neighborhood is appealing to a wide market segment (like the Founders Pointe or The Riverfront communities), then there needs to be a wide variety of home styles, sizes, floor plans, and price range. The uniqueness and overall appeal of our communities help assure that homebuyers will still be attracted to move there, even when economic times slow the local real estate market.
East West Communities will often work closely with 5 to 10 builders in a single community. This allows an opportunity to offer an interesting diversity of home styles and also have strategic Featured Models for sale to appeal to the relocating buyer. It also helps to shape the "look" of the community and accomplish sense of community early on in the development stage of a neighborhood. The sum of all of the above elements helps to develop a community that will attract many buyers in the future and helps to give current homebuyers confidence in their resale value down the road.
What are some of the important features that you look for in a new home community?
Check out www.eastwestcommunities.com for information about our planned communities in Virginia and Florida.
Discover the best in lifestyle communities at Founders Pointe, Liberty Ridge, and The Riverfront at Harbour View. East West is also celebrating its 25th anniversary of the Gatling Pointe Yacht Club, a riverfront club/restaurant and pool complex with a 68 slip marina adjacent to the town of Smithfield, Virginia. Visit an East West Realty Sales Center today.