The history behind master-planned communities

People are drawn to master-planned communities for a variety of reasons – architectural style, location, builders, or amenities. But a sense of community is one of the commonalities among those who decide to relocate to a master-planned community like Harmony. Residents like that they can get to know their neighbors and can interact with them through community activities. It’s wonderful to know that someone is there to keep the community in top shape, and the variety of price points and architectural home styles are things that attract all types of people. So how did these modern master-planned communities get their start? We’re sharing the history behind the master-planned community below! Many think master-planned communities are a relatively new phenomenon. The concept of master-planned communities, however, is hardly new. The earliest known master-planned communities date back to about 400 B.C. in Miletus, Greece. Over a millennium later, the birth of the modern master-planned community is in the city of London, after the great fire of 1666. What most of us think of when we hear “master-planned community” though, began in the U.S. in Radburn, New Jersey. This phenomenon caught steam in the 1980s with the birth of what was called New Urbanism. Florida was home to one of the first communities following the concept of New Urbanism. Seaside, Florida, located in the panhandle of the Sunshine State, began in 1981. The 80-acre community is considered one of the best examples of a walkable community with a mix of commercial and residential structures. Sustainability, walkability, diversity of architecture and people, and traditional neighborhood structure are at the heart of what makes...

4 reasons why you could get used to a master-planned community lifestyle

Master-planned communities come with lifestyle of their own. If you’re considering moving into a community like Harmony, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Here are four reasons why you could get used to a master-planned community lifestyle.  A unique community experience Arguably, the biggest benefit of living in a master-planned community is the experience of getting to know your neighbors and individuals that live in your community. Whether that’s through a yard sale, PTA meetings at the community school, or at one of the many monthly community events, it’s encouraged to make connections in your community. There’s always something to do in a master-planned community, and the beauty of it is that you’re in charge of what activities you want to participate in! The perks Buying a home in a normal subdivision, you’re faced with a lot more questions than you would be in a master-planned community. Why is that? You have to factor in the perks you’re missing out on. If you find a home that has a state-of-the-art gym, a golf course built on 276 acres of natural preserved land, two pristine lakes with free canoe and kayak rentals, 12.5 miles of walking trails, two dog parks, and two A-rated community schools within walking distance of your home, let us know! At Harmony, all of our residents have access to theses amenities and perks! Choices, choices, choices  Choosing a home that's right for you isn’t any easy task. With a wide selection of builders in a master-planned community, you’re sure to find your dream home that also fits within your budget.  A master-planned community isn’t just...

How being a better neighbor can benefit your own home

We’re taught to love thy neighbor.  But what does that really mean? What defines a good neighbor in the 21st Century? Why does being friendly with the folks who live around you even matter? Whether you’re buying your first house, renting an apartment, or settling into a new condominium, your home is sacred. Essential life functions occur there: raising a family, eating, sleeping, relaxing, studying, working, creating... you name it!   Home is defined not only by where you live but by how you live. You can have a “really cool place” but still feel disconnected from your own community. Feeling “at home” has a lot to do with your neighbors. The quality of a neighborhood depends  on the general behavior of the people who live there – how they act, react, and interact among one another. So it doesn’t matter if you’re new to the block or have lived there years, being neighborly is always worthwhile. HOW? Meet and Greet – Meet your neighbors if you haven’t already. You might feel more comfortable waiting for a chance encounter outside, but feel free to go knock on their door and introduce yourself.  Heads Up – Keep your neighbors informed of large parties, extended remodeling, or anything that could disturb or inconvenience them. They might not like it, but they’ll respect the sentiment. Acknowledge Differences, Find Common Ground – Age, faith, ethnic background, and marital status affect lifestyle. You and your neighbor may live right next door to each other, but view the world in completely different ways. That’s okay – just be aware of how that might create friction. That recognition alone can...

The benefits of living in a walkable community like Harmony

Sidewalks don’t automatically make a community walkable. Walkability is about much more than being pedestrian-friendly. Encouraging people to walk requires thoughtful design and a holistic approach to development and lifestyle. Residents need to have places to go, a desire to go outside, and yes, sidewalks. There are benefits of living in a walkable community, some of which include: Being more climate-friendly. Lessen the time you spend in your car and you lessen your contribution to global warming. When you can walk to your local town market, rather than drive, you're reducing the amount of pollution being emited into our air. Increasing safety. Logistically speaking, less time in cars means less chances of causing an accident. Furthermore, a walkable community means that there is natural surveillance taking place. People out walking are watching. And anyone up to no good will certainly not appreciate the eyes of yourself or your neighbors upon them.  Adding years to your life. Did you know, for every minute you spend walking, you are adding three minutes to your life? That means, if you walk an average of 30 minutes a day, five days a week, you've essentially added almost a year and half to your life.  In Harmony, we’ve got the perfect recipe for a walkable community. The town is physically defined by distinct residential neighborhoods, two A-rated public schools, a Johnny Miller signature golf course, and Town Square, which includes a variety of restaurants, shops, and other retail businesses. The neighborhoods are interconnected by sidewalks linking them to Town Square, the boardwalk at Buck Lake, and Harmony Community School. An underpass running below U.S. Highway 192 connects to...

Buying investment property in Harmony

With five years of positive results for Central Florida residential real estate, you may be thinking the time is right to invest in the residential market.Since hitting bottom in January 2011 when the median price of a home in Central Florida was $94,900, values have been on the upswing hitting $165,000 in February, according to Orlando Regional Realtor Association.The Federal Reserve’s signaling a potential mid-year rise in interest rates could be the motivating factor you need to decide whether you might want to be investing in residential real estate.The main reasons investment experts cite for investing in residential real estate are: Diversifying your investments Tax advantages Appreciation of property Cash flow from rentals Research and homework could determine whether you are successful with your investments. Real Estate Investing for Dummies has a checklist and a California real estate investor lists his tips based on his two years of real estate investments. Professional investors and bankers also listed these mistakes investors should avoid if they want to be successful. While any investment carries risk, the rewards can be significant. The residential rental return in Osceola County was a cash flow of $14,014 for a cash investor and a gross yield of 11.4 percent for the first quarter of 2015, according to RealtyTrac.If you have decided residential real estate investment is for you, the next step is deciding where to buy. Investment experts recommend consulting with a Realtor to decide where to invest in residential real estate.When looking for a location, you might want to consider where you would want to live. Wouldn’t you want to live in a community with...