Sometimes in the real estate industry, we throw around acronyms and terms average folks aren’t familiar with. I’m trying to clear some of those up for my clients and readers, so you can feel empowered and informed when it comes to home buying and selling. This week’s term is “PUD.” PUD stands for “planned unit development,” which may not clear things up a lot, so let’s dig deeper.
What Is a PUD?
Planned unit developments are often referred to as planned communities. These developments are designed with more than just a single home here and a single home there in mind. PUDs are operated by an association and offer extra perks and amenities to homeowners within the community in return for the payment of monthly, quarterly or annual dues.
What Are the Pros to Living in a PUD?
PUDs come with perks for sure! Have you ever driven into a planned community and taken note of how neat and orderly things are? You may have seen the well-maintained common areas, beautiful entryways or gorgeous landscaping around community buildings. This is one pro many people appreciate: that they live in a well-maintained and visually appealing area. Associations place restrictions on what property owners can do on their properties and often prevent items like above-ground pools from being installed or state that residents cannot park trailers within plain site. Rules like these help maintain the orderly look to the neighborhood.
Aside from the pleasing looks, PUDs offer amenities that are exclusively for homeowners within the community. Offerings vary by neighborhood, but common amenities include:
- Community buildings
- Fitness facilities
- Walking trails
- Tennis courts
- Basketball courts
- Maintained common areas
- Gated access or added security
- Lawn care
In addition, some larger PUDs own retail property and rent space to businesses and restaurants that appeal to residents.
With all of these offerings, it’s easy to see that convenience is also a pro to living in a planned development. You could walk or bike to the pool, dine at a restaurant around the corner and walk off your dinner on the beautifully designed natural trails. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
What Are the Cons to Living in a PUD?
All of the above does sound great, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention some potential cons to buying in a PUD. The first that many people have issue with is the fact that they lose a good deal of autonomy in a development with a strict homeowners association. HOAs can limit the colors you paint your home, additions and remodeling projects, tree removal, where you park and more. While these items are designed to promote the beauty and feel of the neighborhood, some folks find them overly restricting.
Because PUD developers wish to maximize the land use, you may also find that many of these communities are densely populated. If you’re looking for space and privacy, PUDs may not be for you.
And while the amenities sound extremely inviting, don’t forget who pays for those perks — the homeowners. PUDs require either monthly, quarterly or annual dues for homeowners to be in good standing. Prices vary across the country, but they can be costly.
If you are in the market for a home and are considering a PUD, make sure to let your lender know as soon as possible. While it shouldn’t require any more time than a typical mortgage, there is additional paperwork involved and a heads up to your lender is a great help. And remember, if you’re looking to buy or sell in Prince William County, I’m here to help!
For more tips and support when selling your home, contact me! And remember, when you list with me, I stage for free when we use your furniture! I’d love to partner with you on your next home buying and selling adventure.