Despite the heat, humidity and weather, there is a large percentage of Houstonians that enjoy being outdoors and one with nature. What better way than from where they live, in a luxury garden community. After all, nature can be messy and enjoying it is one thing, caring for it, another. Garden communities have a high appeal to baby boomers or those 55+. Condominiums with serene grounds dotted with ponds and gardens provide that peaceful setting that feels removed from the urban landscape of Houston, with none of the upkeep.
Luxury Garden Communities in the Houston Market
One of the new players in the luxury garden community market is builder Sitterle Homes. Sitterle launched with a luxury garden home concept in Riverstone. These $310-400K homes offer luxury lock and leave lifestyles that Baby Boomers are craving. Read more about their concept here.
But it’s not all about new communities designed around park-like fountains, running trails and green spaces. For an older community with undeveloped land, there’s a chance to re-brand and appeal to this market and effectively compete with high rises advertising close proximity to restaurants and nightlife.
Can Your Property Become a Garden Community?
While you’ll always have the new kids on the block like Sitterle Homes. There’s an advantage for older properties to participate in this new movement towards luxury grounds, expert landscaping and outdoor amenities.
For one, it could make your property command luxury prices for less cost. If updating your units and exterior building is out of the question, consider the cost for an updated outdoors. You could improve the value of the entire property by up-scaling the setting.
Depending on your current landscaping and ambiance the changes may be minimal. If you have a lot of concrete and a few token trees, well, you have a way to go. Here are some examples of how a condo complex can reconnect with nature:
- Water features: Lakes, ponds, or streams could already exist on the property, but have limited access. Man made water features are expensive, but can be designed and installed. Fountains and play areas
- Master planned landscaping: Start with the perimeter to separate your community from surrounding areas. Create a hidden garden community that adds privacy with trees, fencing, secure gates and limited access to features inside.
- Parks and Recreation: While a golf course is an expensive and large feature to add to a garden community, other options do exist. Frisbee golf courses, bike trails, walking and jogging trails are much cheaper to build and highlight the natural landscapes of your community. Connecting to nearby trail systems is an added bonus!
- Native plants: Not only does going native attract wildlife, it’s cheaper and easier to maintain. Identify plants with signage to educate residents.
It’s all about creating that garden atmosphere and that is a delicate balance. Residents want to feel like they are living in nature, but they don’t want nature on their patio. It takes a very exceptional management company to upkeep garden properties, but the return is a very stable market. High end maintenance teams are a must to maintain the natural look without looking overgrown.
COA’s and Luxury Garden Communities
Condo owner associations in luxury garden communities are typically more stringent on exterior appearance rules to maintain a consistent look. Violators are notified swiftly and fines can be substantial. In a setting that is designed to look park-like, it can be difficult to maintain a rustic yet polished appearance. Again, nature is messy.
Management teams must continually monitor not just the landscaping and plant life, but also the wildlife that these areas attract. While it’s wonderful to see a tiny rabbit hopping down a garden path, it is quite another to have a skunk spray your patio wall when you have guest. There must be rules in place that rein nature in and that includes human nature, like feeding animals.
Becoming a Luxury Garden Community
Making the move to a luxury garden community can be easy with the right partner by your side. The management company you need must have exceptional maintenance and long range planning abilities. The onsite management must be strong and ready to enforce rules in place to protect the residents and the environment.
If you’re thinking about re-branding your community to a luxury garden community but you still have questions? Give RISE a call at (713) 936-9200 or [email protected]. RISE is that unique property management company that has all the right people to help you re-brand and move forward with nature and a little control.