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Master Planned Communities: Good Or Bad?

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Master Planned Communities, or MPCs, are growing in popularity across the country. The idea of thoughtfully planned residential communities has been around since the 1960s, but the concept is truly taking off today.

Differences Between Subdivisions and MPCs

While a Master Planned Community is similar to a regular, neighborhood subdivision, there are many differences between the two. Master Planned Communities typically cover thousands of acres in order to offer residents large green spaces and plenty of recreational opportunities.

Many MPC’s offer residents amenities like golf, tennis, alpine, equine, or even water sports. Other MPCs may cater to lifestyle choices or life stages, such as communities designed for young families, single professionals, residents 55 and older, and so on.

Additionally, Master Planned Communities pride themselves on promoting self-sufficiency. In an MPC, residents have everything they need. The communities offer housing, schools, shopping opportunities, office complexes, healthcare, recreation and more. Everything residents need is right at their doorstep. On the other hand, generally, only housing and recreation are found in subdivisions.

MPCs See Sales Rise

Research shows that home sales among MPCs have been increasing since 2007 and are at their highest level now. In fact, more homes are being sold in Master Planned Communities than in subdivisions.

Pros and Cons of MPCs


  • Self-sufficiency: With an MPC, amenities and services are readily available. These self-contained, convenient communities make it easy to “be green” by enabling residents to walk or bike to the grocery store, the office, school and more.
  • Safe and secure: Master Planned Communities offer their residents a high degree of security. Most are gated, with officers on patrol 24 hours a day.
  • Aesthetically pleasing: The HOA regulations in MPCs help keep these communities looking great. Annual dues allow for regular maintenance and upkeep of the grounds, common areas, and amenities.
  • Opportunities for socializing: Most MPCs attract like-minded individuals and families. This type of environment lends itself to socializing, neighborhood gatherings and activities, and more.


  • Not everything is available: While most MPCs offer a great deal of goods and services within the community, not everything is available. Some travel outside the neighborhood may still be necessary. Additionally, some people wonder if MPCs restrict competition, and drive up prices on goods.
  • Less decorating freedom: With HOA guidelines, residents often have to follow strict rules regarding things like exterior paint colors, landscaping, and more. Some may feel this is too much control over their freedom of expression.
  • Lack of privacy: Because some MPCs are designed for lifestyle or life stages, many people may feel as if they are in a fishbowl. These communities are large, but the number of social activities and neighborhood gatherings may feel like too much for some introverts.

If you are in the market for a new home, be sure to check out a Master Planned Community and see what you think! If you like the “small town” feel or enjoy knowing your neighbors, it may be just the right fit for you and your family, especially knowing it offers more safety than larger communities and cities.