If you’re interested in buying a home in Southern California, you must decide if you want to live in a community ruled by a homeowners’ association.

If you do elect  as many home buyers do today  to purchase in a community with a homeowner’s association (HOA), it’s important to determine if the neighborhood is also part of a master-planned community.

If so, you may be subject to additional restrictions and fees. However, you likely will enjoy some added benefits by buying a home in that location as well.

What Is a Master-Planned Community?

A master-planned community, or MPC, is essentially a small city within a city.

Within the MPC are many individual subdivisions as well as common areas and other amenities. The MPC also may include commercial properties that provide services to the community, such as stores and restaurants, golf courses or even schools.

Depending on the size and scope of the MPC, you may have a community pool or recreation center, parks and trails.

How Does a Master-Planned Community Differ from an HOA?

A homeowners’ association typically encompasses all of the homes in a specific subdivision. A large MPC may contain multiple subdivisions. So as a property owner, you will belong to your community’s HOA as well as to the MPC.

MPCs provide amenities to all residents and ideally increase the livability and value of each home.

Before you finalize your purchase contract, be sure to thoroughly read and understand the CC&Rs, design guidelines and any restrictions of both the subdivision’s HOA and the MPC. It’s likely that both will charge dues separately, so consider those costs as well as what services those fees provide you.

Questions to Ask Before Buying in a Master-Planned Community

The primary disadvantages of buying a home in an MPC are the additional fees and restrictions you may encounter. Beyond that, however, look into potential changes that may  or may not  take place in the future.

If the MPC you select is not complete, this could affect the future value of your home. Future phases, if not completed as promised by the developer, could prevent your new home from appreciating in value.

Typically, the home you wish to buy is priced based on the promise of these future amenities, so make sure you understand what’s planned, and how the developer will assure you of  and pay for  their eventual completion.

Future construction in the MPC also may affect your quality of life. It’s best to know all the details before you sign a contract for buying a home.

In Yorba Linda, the Edie Israel Team of professional Realtors® provides expert representation for both buyers and sellers. We are familiar with all of the area’s most sought-after subdivisions and master-planned communities, and we can assist you in finding the ideal location for your new home.

Contact us today if you’re considering buying a home in Southern California.