Master-planned community

What is a master-planned community?

A master-planned community is a large-scale residential neighborhood with a large number of recreational and commercial amenities, such as golf courses, tennis courts, lakes, parks, playgrounds, swimming pools, and even stores and restaurants. Some master-planned communities may have schools, office parks, large shopping centers and other businesses.

Deeper definition

The average master-planned community is more than 2,500 acres and located in an urban or suburban environment. Residents move there to experience a self-contained environment. All social and recreational opportunities typically are limited to residents and their guests.

A master-planned community differs from a subdivision based on the number of amenities it offers. It may contain one large residential area, or it may be broken down into multiple subdivisions and neighborhoods.

Sometimes, the community’s developer will allow separate builders to create these smaller subdivisions so that each one is unique and offers residents something different from the others. This may include housing styles, home sizes, prices and lot sizes. Some are aimed specifically at adults over the age of 55 and at retirees.

Master-planned community example

There are many master-planned communities located throughout the world, including in many urban and suburban areas in the U.S. Some of them include:

  • The Woodlands in the metropolitan Houston area: The Woodlands, which sits on 27,000 acres, was built in 1974 to accommodate Houston’s growing population. Today, it is home to six champion golf courses, a 200-acre lake, 100 miles of trails, 80 parks, a 17,000-seat amphitheater, a large shopping mall, a conference center and many more amenities.
  • The Villages in Central Florida: The Villages considers itself an “active adult retirement community” and only accepts residents over the age of 55. Amenities include golf, tennis, town squares, shops, fitness centers, restaurants, entertainment venues, pools, social clubs and more.
  • Savannah Quarters in Savannah, Georgia: Savannah Quarters features several unique residential neighborhoods separated by waterways, parks, and green spaces. It includes a commercial district, as well as amenities like golf courses, tennis courts, parks, a spa and a fitness center.

Thinking about buying a new home in a master-planned community? Use Bankrate’s mortgage calculator to determine your house payment.


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