In terms of acquiring an Los Banos investment property, one of the most important things to consider is whether to buy a property in an established neighborhood or a home in a common interest community. There are countless different kinds of neighborhoods, some with owner’s associations (commonly known as HOAs), others without. A master-planned community, however, is unique from your normal residential neighborhood, even those that may have an owners association.
To know whether investing in a planned community is right for you, you should first be aware of what makes a master-planned community so different, as well as the pros and cons of buying one.
The Master-Planned Community
Perhaps the most key thing to realize about master-planned communities is that they are less like residential neighborhoods or suburbs and more like little self-contained cities. Most planned communities are pretty massive and consist of commercial districts, schools, and private recreational amenities. Many planned communities propose a variety of shops and eating places and walking routes, community pools, and even golf courses – all located at a convenient distance from the community’s residences.
Advantages of Planned Communities
One of the huge advantages of investing in a rental property in a planned community is the location. People purchase in planned communities in enormous part due to how close and accessible everything is. Walking or biking to jobs, shopping centers, and restaurants can be an enticing prospect.
The amenities that many planned communities offer are another important feature. Plenty of tenants prefer the notion of living a lifestyle that includes access to recreational opportunities – particularly if the amenities are only for the use of the residents. Such amenities can provide incentives for socializing far more than a traditional neighborhood could.
Another great benefit of a planned community that investors might like is that most are geared toward protecting your property values. In many planned communities, the common areas are well-maintained, and some even provide front yard maintenance for residences. This can help keep your property values high, even if the rental market isn’t doing well elsewhere. Planned communities also tend to offer more security, including gates and security patrols. This can be extremely appealing for many tenants.
Conversely, all that upkeep and security comes with very strict rules, which some Los Banos property managers and tenants may not like. Property maintenance will be a much higher priority in a planned community than in a more typical residential neighborhood, and you will have less opportunity to pick landscaping styles, paint colors, and even if and how to decorate the home for holidays. You and your renters may need to get permission prior to engaging in any of these actions.
Another potential drawback is that there seems to be less privacy in a planned community. Houses are often built very close together, which can strain relations with neighbors. There is also a high rate of people doing activities outdoors, so crowding is always an issue. Some tenants may not prefer being around people all the time.
Ultimately, the downside to all the extra upkeep and great amenities you get in a planned community is that it all costs money. Depending on the community, property owners may be expected to pay extra fees that range from several hundred to thousands of dollars each year. Depending on the property you purchase, you may even have an obligation to pay assessments to two or more sub-associations along with the master association. These assessments may also change as the community grows, maintenance becomes more expensive, or as reserve amounts are needed. As an investor, it is a good idea to include these extra fees into your calculations before you buy in a planned community.
Lastly, the decision to buy in a master-planned community is dependent upon you. No two situations are alike, and so relying upon where you want to buy an investment property and what type of tenant you’d prefer to work with may factor strongly into your decision.
If you’d like assistance planning your next property investment, consider giving Real Property Management Valley Wide a call. Our rental market experts can provide market assessments and tools that can make finding and choosing your next investment property easier. You can contact us online or call 209-722-7761.
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