Do You Know What Type of Community is Best For You?

The term “Community” today is much more than a group of houses or condominiums in the same neighborhood or geographic area. People are re-thinking their idea of communities and learning about vast variety of new types of communities emerging. All over the country people are embracing communities because it gives them a sense of belonging and being part of something.A community provides standards for design and development, guidelines for what people are allowed to do within the community and in some cases, the ages of the people that can reside in the community.

Whether there’s a gate and guard house at the entrance or not, people feel safer and more comfortable living in a community of like minded people, with similar interests that can broaden their social life

It’s less about the community being gated and becoming more about the community being planned and if the type of community is the best place for the lifestyle you want.Once thought perhaps for retirement only, planned communities are giving people of all ages, a sense of security that their investment will be protected and maintained. Whether there’s a gate and guard house at the entrance or not, people feel safer and more comfortable living in a community of like minded people, with similar interests that can broaden their social life.In many communities, hundreds of acres are being left undeveloped for green spaces, so people can enjoy wide open spaces that would otherwise be inaccessible to them.There are so many more different types and styles of communities today than ever before and all of which have different levels of amenities, priorities and styles. We are hearing the term Active Adult Community which I like to call Active Lifestyle Communities because, for the most part, they focus on lifestyle and amenities rather than age. A lot of the people in these communities are employed in some manner, either in the surrounding town/cities or in their own business.Then there are communities that are centered on a specific activity like boating, golf, horses, fitness or some other outdoor activity. They have a certain “style” to them.

We are hearing the term Active Adult Community which I like to call Active Lifestyle Communities because, for the most part, they focus on lifestyle and amenities rather than age

Communities might have a fitness club, organized classes, swimming pool, tennis courts, walking and hiking trails, bike paths, nature preserves, and they some are constantly changing and adding to the activities.Another main attraction of many communities is the residents do not have to maintain their property so; they have more free time to spend with their family and on hobbies. It can feel like living in a resort or country club based on the extent of the amenities, personal service and variety of activities provided.Some people are investing in Private Residence Clubs which provide the financial advantages of deeded real estate ownership (fractional ownership), but give more flexibility as to the amount of time they spend there.

You pay a membership fee (usually quite high) and yearly dues to have access to some of the most incredible houses throughout the world

The price varies based on the residence you buy a share in, number of weeks however; you don’t have the added expense or time associated with owning a second home.Destination Clubs are also becoming popular. You don’t own any of the real estate; you can stay at a variety of properties in the Club’s portfolio in multiple locations. You pay a membership fee (usually quite high) and yearly dues to have access to some of the most incredible houses throughout the world. Destination Clubs are a form of high-end resort travel.Both Private Residence and Destination clubs provide housing that’s high-end, well furnished and located at popular resort destinations. You can expect the same five-star resort personal service and lavish amenities.Definitely up and coming is New Urbanism. New Urbanism Communities are a tightly clustered wide variety of different types of homes, which foster interaction; have residents of different ages and economic backgrounds; a walkable Main Street with shops, restaurants and a mix of commercial development.New Urbanism communities contain a Village Square or Green in which residents gather; while de-emphasizing the need to use a car; and leave a portion of the site undeveloped so residents can enjoy common “green space” together. This type of community is particularly appealing to those looking to retire while wanting to maintain a multi-generational lifestyle.In contrast to New Urbanism there is New Ruralism. It provides undisturbed open spaces shared by everyone, large home sites, and a more private feeling. While New Urbanism fosters planned community connections, New Ruralism fosters a connection with nature, more privacy, and community involvement only if desired. Houses are separated by nature preserves, natural features, and agricultural land.Co-housing is an interesting new type of community, and it isn’t surprising it’s becoming popular with the same generation that gave us the commune. Co-housing is a concept borrowed from Denmark in which residents have their own private townhomes or condos but share a “common house”.The people who live in such a community are interested in creating a community in which each member is committed to helping each other. Each resident actively participates in the design and operation of the community, and everyone is responsible and works together to maintain the common areas. The streets, buildings and common areas encourage interaction among the residents, and a sense of community. The common facilities are a key part of the Co-Housing concept and usually contain a common kitchen for group meals, lounge, recreational facilities, children’s space, craft room, meditation room and workshops.All in all, knowing what type of community is the Best Place for you to live is a matter of the “lifestyle” and a “way-of-life” that’s important to you!Knowing what type of community is best for you and your family whether you are retiring or relocating is critical. All moves bring with them the sense of adventure and the uncertainty of the unknown even if you have done all your “homework”. Best of luck in finding YOUR Best Place to relocate.

I’ve spent over 30 years finding the best real estate locations for major corporations. These companies have made hundreds of millions of dollars based on the locations I’ve selected.I’m a professional real estate site locator and location analyst. During the last 5 years, I’ve been researching the growth of towns in North and South Carolina, for the relocation of my family.I’ve studied hundreds of towns to find those areas which are still affordable, have a high quality lifestyle, and the potential for future growth.My purpose is to share what I’ve found with you and help you find your Best Place in the Carolinas.