If you're in the market for one of the single family homes for sale, and you're leaning towards a planned community, take your time to make the right choice. The last thing you want is to get stuck with a home that doesn't quite live up to your expectations. However, it's not just the home that you need to worry about. You also need to pay close attention to the community. Before you choose a home in a planned community, here are three potential warning signs that you should watch for.
Unusually High Number of For Sale Signs
If your tour of the neighborhood turns up numerous for sale signs, you may want to take a closer look before you purchase. Numerous for sale signs could be a warning sign about the condition of the neighborhood. For instance, people may be selling due an increase in the local crime rate, or because the economy is taking a downturn in the area. Before you make your final decision, do some investigating. Ask the local police department for a crime report for the community you're looking at. To identify potential economic concerns for the community, stop by the area chamber of commerce. You may find that the numerous for sale signs are due to transfer activity at a nearby military base.
School Enrollment Numbers are Dwindling
If you want to get a clear picture regarding the condition of a planned community, take a look at the enrollment numbers for nearby public schools. When a community is thriving, school enrollment numbers should steadily increase, or at least maintain a stable count. A rapid decrease in enrollment numbers is a sign that you need to take a closer look. In some cases, declining enrollment can be attributed to new private and charter schools opening in the area, or to older families moving into the area.
All the Yards Look Exactly the Same
If you have your eye on a home that's located in a planned community, take a close look at the yards. While you want the yards to be cleaned and well-kept, you don't necessarily want them to look exactly the same. This is particularly true when there are no signs of individuality within the community. Lack of individuality within the community could be a sign that the HOA holds tight control over exterior landscaping. Stop by the HOA office and ask to see a copy of their HOA regulations. From there, you'll be able to see if you'll have creative license over the design of your own yard.