Master Planned Communities
With around 75 Master Planned Communities in the Las Vegas Valley, we have an entire page and multiple home searches just for them. Living in a master planned community means that everything around you will look nice when you are within the community. Master Plans are about an active lifestyle giving you a sense of community.
At the same time, all the landscaping is meticulously maintained and continually beautified. There are architectural guidelines and color schemes that tie every neighborhood together. Each master planned community will have design criteria specified by the developer that the neighborhoods must comply with.
This will include small but important things like the length of a homes’ setbacks from the sidewalk and the roof tiles’ type and style. Also laid out for the developer is the entry gates’ style, color, and block type for the walls. Furthermore, parks, walkways, signage, and plant varieties that may be used within the neighborhood are also among the specifications.
What Is A Master Planned Community?
A Master Planned Community is a community with many neighborhoods in every price range. Before any dirt is ever moved, everything is predetermined. Once everything is planned, and legalities are handled, builders are selected who will ultimately purchase land and the rights to sell within the community.
Prices will vary depending on how elaborate the amenities within the community are. For example: Is the Community Guard-Gated? Is there a Clubhouse or a Community Center? How much land do walking trails and parks occupy? Is there a community pool or lake?
Keeping demographics in mind, there will be a multi-family condominium or townhouse neighborhood and a higher custom or semi-custom neighborhood. Next, neighborhoods are filled in at every price point, and home size, adjusting as the community starts selling homes. The developer will bring in infrastructure and provide perimeter walls, main access roads, and master plan amenities.
Master Planned Community Developers
Developers will do their part usually while a builder is building their model homes.
Not only do developers build infrastructure, but they also become the watchdog. It’s important to ensure the builder follows the rules, laws, and air quality guidelines. For larger master-planned communities, they’ll have the main builders sell out most of their homes before opening another neighborhood.
Depending on the size and location of a master plan, schools, fire, police, roads, parks, retail, and medical are slated before homes. Professional buildings and different business locations are placed around the perimeter to provide support and employment for the community.
Neighborhoods in a Master Planned Community
Once a home builder purchases land from a developer, their plots are typically not square. See the image below. The main street through the center is curved. The green areas are curved and meandering. Home builders design their neighborhoods according to the shape of the land they purchased, what their home sizes will be and how they can build the most homes.
In the top-middle of the picture, you can see how homes are scattered with vacant land interspersed. This is a clear sign that that section of land is not in a master-planned community. It could be commercial or have planned use. What’s true at this point is that the surrounding homes will be dusty. Larger master-planned communities build one section at a time to systematically minimize dust and construction noise as soon as possible for the residents.
Walking paths, trails, greenbelts, and common areas will vary in their landscaping. What they have in common is that they break up housing density while providing a recreation area for residents. See the green areas in the picture? Those are fabulous community areas that are used all the time for various lifestyle activities.
Due to the cost of land and demand for affordable housing, the vast majority of homes are two-story family-sized homes. Most areas will also have a neighborhood with all one-story homes. Some master-plan developers prefer their builders to offer at least 1 one-story floorplan. Others will make entire neighborhoods of one-story homes. ADA compliance housing and facilities are built into every master plan.
Associations and CCR’s
The developer manages the association (collecting a monthly management fee) during the construction process. Builders only handle association matters until a neighborhood is completed. After completion, communities are turned over to the neighborhoods to manage. Almost all of them hire a property management company to manage the day-to-day affairs.
Typically there will be two associations for each household, each with its own set of CCR’s (Codes, Covenants, and Restrictions.) You will have a smaller association (sub-association) for your neighborhood with its own Board of Directors and quarterly association meetings. Then there is the larger master association covering the entire community.
We find that most associations are looking out for the good of the residents. Yes, occasionally there are over-zealous board members and management companies that charge the association additional fees each month “per letter sent.” that give associations brutal reputations. Thankfully, these are not the norm in Las Vegas.
Association Property Management
The property management company handles everything and supervises meetings. Their job usually is to oversee bank accounts, reserve budgets, operating budgets, insurance, and CCR compliance.
When I was on the board in our community, management was extremely careful about maintaining equality. It was important not to set any precedents that were not following previous rulings. Being on a neighborhood board of directors is something that I think everyone should try. You’ll meet your neighbors, and it will help you further understand why master-plans work so well.
Occasionally some associations will need to assess a fee that everyone needs to supplement, and the neighborhood gets angry. Having a professional management company that closely watches budgets and reserve plans make neighborhood living more peaceful. Ultimately the Board of Directors is voted for by every household within the neighborhood and every household for the Master-Planas well.
The neighborhood’s association ensures that each household within the neighborhood complies with the CCR’s. Similarly, the master-planned community association does the same for the entire master-planned community. Complying with the CCR’s is important because every homeowner agreed to them, and neighbors expect compliance.
Additionally, management is responsible for the maintenance of the community. Many communities have a security team that patrols neighborhoods and common areas. Playgrounds and common areas need insurance and maintenance.
Occasionally someone we work with may complain about an HOA board member who is the policing type. Master-planned communities may seem strict; however, the law says that associations must treat every household equally. The Nevada Ombudsman Office is the governing office that holds each homeowner’s association accountable in Nevada.
The Growth of Las Vegas Master Plans
The first master planned community in Las Vegas was Green Valley in Henderson. The City of Henderson approved Green Valley in the 1970s. The American Nevada Corporation, started by Alan Greenspun who was the owner of the Las Vegas Sun, had a vision. In the 1980s, Las Vegas was growing but it took until the boom of the Las Vegas Strip in the early 1990s for Green Valley to expand rapidly.
The early 1990s saw the introduction of Summerlin on the entire west side of the Las Vegas Valley. The Howard Hughes Corporation’s tremendous marketing turned Summerlin into a popular destination and lifestyle choice.
is the largest master-planned community in the United States. With varied terrain, housing styles, and architecture, the diversity appeals to a large demographic of people. Other builders watched and learned and incorporated lifestyle choices into their master planned communities even though they are smaller than Summerlin.
Personally, I think that for the city, approving a master planned community was easy. The planning was already done for them. The developers built the parks and community centers for them and they are extremely attractive. This is why in the last 30 years the Las Vegas Valley has gained around 75 beautiful master planned communities.
The Pros of Master Planned Communities
Roads and traffic flow, with a 30-year growth plan, are also taken into account. All wiring and utilities have been placed underground since around 1990. Master planned communities are also pretty and decorated, usually with some kind of hardscape or architectural feature. In the valley, there are about 75 master planned communities, some being quite small.
Depending on when the community was designed, it will have different features. Early master plans like the Lakes in Las Vegas and Green Valley North in Henderson are still lovely even though they lack the trails and neighborhood parks that we see in developments today.
In many new developments we see more common areas and amenities even though the cost of land for these areas raises the price of homes. People are willing to pay more for beauty and to live the lifestyle a master-planned community offers. Homes in master planned communities retain value and appreciate well because of the demand for living in these neighborhoods.
Green Valley in Henderson was started in 1978, and every neighborhood is still beautifully maintained. Living in these areas enables everyone to know that their neighbors will pull their weeds and not have peeling paint, maintaining the value of the community. If you can afford to pay more per square foot, most people consider their housing investment safer.
The Cons of Master Planned Communities
Master-planned communities aren’t for everyone. Homes within a master-planned community will cost more, and monthly association fees can be high. If you want a lime-green house or a purple front door, let’s look outside of master-planned communities.
Some communities have odd rules. One community fines homeowners $1000 if their trashcan is left out for over 24 hours. That’s unusual- most master-planned neighborhoods don’t want the trashcans to be seen from the street 6 days a week.
Master-planned communities will typically not allow things with vehicles- no unregistered or non-operational vehicles, motorhome restrictions, no “repairs to vehicles in the driveway, etc. As the price points of the homes within a community go up, the number of rules also increases. Mainly rules are to make the neighborhoods safer. A great example is no street parking for residents. Strange cars stand out so they’re easier to detect.
Why Would I Not Want To Live In A Master Planned Community?
If you do not want to comply with a neighborhood’s rules, a master-planned community may not be right for you. Affordability is another factor, homes cost more in a master-planned community than homes not in a master-planned community.
Some people prefer more freedom. Maybe you have an RV or boat to keep at home. Do you do Hamm Radio and need to have a tall radio antenna? Mechanics and owners of a commercial vehicle with signage will usually have to look elsewhere. Color is another factor. Do you want a hot pink front door or a lime green house? If you don’t want strict rules, there are still some great options out there.
CCR’s or No CCR’s – What’s Your Lifestyle?
Just because a home isn’t in a master-planned community, that doesn’t mean that there are no CCR’s. If you absolutely don’t want any rules governing your home, call us. Homes without CCR’s are usually older but not always. Let us do a home search for you. We will find you a neighbor that works for you.
Since about 90 percent of homes in the Las Vegas Valley have common sense CCR’s to protect all of the homeowners, there is no rule of thumb if you have special interests. We’ve seen gated communities that were built in 1960s have strict rules. Some communities implemented or revised their neighborhood rules when things weren’t working so just because a home is older, that doesn’t mean there are no CCR’s. Know that when we make an offer on a home, you will have 7 days to review and approve all CCR’s after you receive them.
Having sold homes for 25-30 years, we are aware of many different CCR’s. First of all, you will want a home older than 30 years old, and some 1/2 acre plus lot homes are not restrictive. It’s important that you live in a home that’s right for you, and master-planned communities are not right for everyone. Contact our office, and we will find the right neighborhood for you. 702-750-7599
Take a 3-Hour Area Tour With Us
With so many master-planned communities in Las Vegas, we often show clients their options. If you are unsure of where you want to live in the valley, let’s do a 3-hour tour so you can see the areas and amenities first. With three cities in the valley, each one has a different feel and price point. Let us show you the areas and amenities if you’re unsure where you want to live. Contact us to schedule a housing consultation today.
This website and information are made available for you to explore by Kurt Grosse with Realty One Group. Kurt is a Las Vegas Top-Producing Realtor since 1996 and a Retired Building Engineer (P.E., C.E.). His goal with his buyers and sellers is to use his skills and knowledge to protect them in this ever-changing Las Vegas Real Estate Market. With how quickly homes are built in Southern Nevada, his skills are invaluable.