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26 June . 2018

Why choose a master-planned community? Five things to think about

When looking for a brand-new home, there are basically two choices, outside of urban options such as high-density condominiums and infill construction in older neighborhoods.

One choice is the master-planned community, or MPC. The other option is the subdivision. But what exactly do “MPC” and “subdivision” mean, and what are the advantages of each for homebuyers? That’s what we’ll dig into in this blog, after some basic definitions. defines an MPC as “a large-scale residential neighborhood with a large number of recreational and commercial amenities such as tennis courts, lakes, parks, swimming pools, and even stores and restaurants. The average MPC is more than 2,500 acres. Residents move there to experience a self-contained environment. An MPC differs from a subdivision based on the number of amenities and the variety of home styles and price ranges it offers.”

An easy way to think about the difference between an MPC and a subdivision is that an MPC is a “collection” of subdivisions, with the overall quality of life being much greater than the sum of its parts.

An MPC typically consists of many neighborhoods, each offering one or more homebuilders, home styles and price ranges. The “glue” that connects these neighborhoods is an overall lifestyle and theme envisioned by the MPC developer, and delivered through amenities, landscaping, resident activities, and more.

Here are five advantages of living in an MPC such as Rancho Sienna.

Amenities. While a subdivision may offer a park or two, an MPC can devote many acres to recreational amenities, knitting neighborhoods and residents together with a strong sense of “community” and an overarching theme. At Rancho Sienna, our master plan devotes more than 100 acres to parks, trails and natural open spaces. Our nature-focused lifestyle and native landscaping create a social and visual harmony for the entire community.

Variety of choices. While a subdivision typically offers one or two homebuilders and a single-price range, an MPC offers a wide variety of homebuilders, price ranges and home styles. With such variety, an MPC attracts a wide variety of residents, including first-time buyers, move-up buyers and those who want to scale down. The result is a diverse community, where longtime residents can move up or scale down to new homes that fit their current needs, while keeping their friendships. Rancho Sienna offers new homes that are ideal for first-time homebuyers, along with a wide range of move-up homes and low-maintenance homes for those wanting to scale down and simplify their lives.

Lifestyle. The best MPCs strive to activate their amenities and create an overall lifestyle for residents. Rancho Sienna has a Lifestyle Director who plans a year ‘round calendar of events and activities for residents of all ages. These include big annual shindigs such as Spring Fling and Harvest Festival, and weekly activities such as yoga. Rancho Sienna also listens to its residents and responds. Our new community garden is a direct result of listening to residents who created a new garden club and wanted a place where they could grow together.

Visibility Into the Future. Because MPCs are typically large enough to create self-contained environments, they can offer residents much more assurance of what their future surroundings will look like than subdivisions can. MPCs usually designate land along major thoroughfares, typically along the edges of the master plan, for mixed uses such as retail, office and medical space. This creates a buffer between outside development and the residential neighborhoods within the MPC, and it also provides convenient onsite services for MPC residents. MPCs create strict architectural guidelines for construction of new homes and alterations of built homes, along with covenants for maintaining landscaping. The goal is to create both variety and cohesiveness, for an overall look that is visually pleasing.

Great Place to Invest. It’s tricky to predict growth or stability of property values, but the track record of MPCs speaks for itself, thanks to the protections and lifestyle advantages discussed above. According to RCLCO, a leading authority on MPCs: “MPCs credit their enhanced sales to buyers’ belief that MPCs are the best place to invest.” New Home Source adds: “An MPC essentially adds stability to the resale value of your home.” One reason that MPCs can protect property values is that they offer the lifestyle and protections desired by homebuyers across generations want, so they are in demand.

RCLCO concludes: “Consumers prefer to live in neighborhoods with meaningful connections to their surrounding environment, reflected in increased use of shared public spaces in MPCs that facilitate both serendipitous and planned interactions among neighbors.”

To put this real estate lingo into plainer words, at a community like Rancho Sienna, you can see friends and neighbors while enjoying the pool at Sienna House, working out at the fitness center, playing with your dog at the Bark ‘N Park, or jogging along big View Trail.

Learn more about Rancho Sienna’s master plan and lifestyle.