Choosing a Community? Here’s What to Look For.

You’ve got a vision for your home, and you’ve likely put a lot of thought into that vision. You know all the awesome features that you want it to have, and what you want it to look like. You’re not going to want to plop that stunning home just anywhere! The last thing anyone wants is to find out that a community isn’t for them—after they’ve built a home in it. Prodigy Homes, Inc. builds in Kennewick, Richland, West Richland, and Pasco. With all the new construction going on in those cities, there are so many wonderful subdivisions to choose from. That can make the decision seem overwhelming.  So, to help you narrow your search, here are some things to think about.

Where is This Community Located?

Most people prefer not to have a long commute, so you might start by looking into subdivisions that are closest to your place of work, and branching out from there. Do you have children that are in school? Unless you’re planning on having them  switch schools, you might confine your search to the area assigned to that school. Are there certain stores and restaurants that you frequent? You may enjoy the convenience of having them close to home.

With how quickly the Tri-Cities is expanding, many subdivisions are almost rural. Some appreciate a little distance from the buzz of town, while others might find it inconvenient or dull. This is definitely something to consider, while bearing in mind that, with all that rapid expansion, an area that is currently on the outskirts might be quite built up a few years down the road.

Which Schools Are Assigned There?

As mentioned earlier, you may or may not be planning on having your child switch schools. If you are, then you’ll want to research the schools assigned to the area you are considering. We’ve done our best to list the schools for each subdivision on our Communities page, so that would be a good place to start. You can then research those schools and their ratings.

Even if you don’t have children, living in an area with good schools could pay off if you decide to sell your home down the line, so it’s good to at least give it some thought, even if it isn’t your top criterion.

What are the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions?

Most subdivisions have covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs). These govern everything from paint colors to the types of vehicles you’re allowed to park, and where. While a lot of people don’t take the time to read CC&Rs when selecting a neighborhood, it’s a very good idea. Every subdivision is different, and some are more strict than others. If you have your heart set on a certain architectural style, or a feature such as solar panels, you’ll want to make sure it’s allowed before you purchase your lot.

What is the Culture of This Community?

Consider the culture of your dream neighborhood. Are you looking for a family-friendly environment, with kids riding bikes up and down the street, and families playing catch on their front lawns? Or are you looking for quieter streets with more subdued, mature residents? Do you desire a close-knit community where neighbors constantly organize neighborhood events, and no one passes another person on the sidewalk without stopping for a chat? Or are you looking for privacy, preferring neighbors who keep to themselves?

Many sources recommend that you visit any neighborhood you are considering at several different times of day. This is important, because a street that is silent in the morning and early afternoon could be buzzing with activity when children get home from school. When visiting your prospective community, observe how the neighbors interact. Perhaps you could even inquire of someone who lives in neighborhood as to what the culture is like.

What Activities are Nearby?

The community you live in should be conducive to your lifestyle and the recreational activities you enjoy. Are you an active person who loves to walk, jog, or ride bikes? You’ll probably enjoy living in a neighborhood with lots of paths for doing those activities. Do you have young children? Proximity to parks with playgrounds might be a consideration. For nature-lovers, there are subdivisions with hiking/mountain-biking opportunities. Maybe excellent shopping and dining is higher on your list of priorities. In that case, you’ll appreciate the convenience of having favorite stores and restaurants close to home.

Taking these considerations into account not only ensures that your neighborhood will allow you to pursue your interests and lifestyle, but will also increase your probability of having like-minded neighbors with whom you will get along well.

Brand-New Community, or One That’s Well Established?

There are many brand-new subdivisions in the Tri-Cities, and there are others that have been around for decades. Whether yours is the very first house on the block, or built on the very last empty lot, there are pros and cons to consider.

If you decide to build in a new subdivision, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a lot that has exactly what you’re looking for. There’s something to be said for being one of the first residents in a community, too. Since everyone is new, there is no established social structure yet. However, there are some disadvantages, too. Will you be able to deal with the noise and dust of construction, which will continue for years to come? If you picked your lot based on a majestic view, is there a possibility of that view being slightly diminished as more houses are built? There is a lot of uncertainty in new subdivisions, which can be exciting, but could cause some anxiety.
If you choose a more mature neighborhood, you have some advantages. The reputation, property values, and overall feel of the neighborhood is fairly well established—enough for you to factor it into your decision. You also shouldn’t have to deal with very much construction, and there may be a lot of mature trees in the area. However, there are disadvantages here, too. Not everyone likes to be a newcomer in what might be a tightly-knit community of long-time residents. You may have more difficulty finding an empty lot, especially if you have specific criteria (a daylight-basement lot, one with a view, etc.). And neighbors might not be thrilled to have construction taking place on their street.

Don’t forget that the age of a neighborhood can affect its demographics. Generally, newer neighborhoods have plenty of young families, whereas more established neighborhoods tend to have older residents who have lived there for years. If you have children, you may find that they’ll have more kids to play with in a newer area. If you’re looking for a quiet home to retire in, you might find that an older neighborhood is more subdued and restful.

Next Steps

Hopefully, reading this post has got you thinking about your criteria for a community. Now what? Well, have you visited our recently updated Communities page? We hope that you will find that it is extremely easy to navigate, allowing you to see exactly the information that you’re looking for. You might also drive through some communities, or ask friends what they like and dislike about their neighborhood.

Need help finding a lot?

Prodigy would love to assist you!

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