Healthy living is more than just a New Year’s resolution; it’s a year-round lifestyle. For thousands of homebuyers across the U.S., total wellness has become a way of life, and typical fitness amenities alone don’t make the cut when looking for a new community. With an ever-increasing number of homebuyers actively seeking opportunities to put down roots in communities that embrace a healthy-living lifestyle, Freehold Communities created the Vital Communities™ concept.
Texas has three such master-planned residential developments: Headwaters in Dripping Springs and Orchard Ridge in Liberty Hill, both near Austin, as well as Homestead in Schertz and Cibolo, part of San Antonio’s metro area.
What the Research Says
According to Reach Advisors, a New York-based research firm, concentration on a more active lifestyle started with the emphasis on outdoor recreation within the baby boomer generation. Then, Title IX increased opportunities for younger women to pursue athletics, and those same women incorporated fitness into their lives after graduation.
“Today, younger women are as likely, or more likely, than younger men to be active in fitness and outdoor recreation,” Reach Advisors President James Chung says. “This is a fundamental and accelerating shift, not a short-lived fad.”
According to Chung, while the average American has been slow to adopt the idea of exercising three or more times a week, the number pursuing healthy lifestyles continues to grow, especially among those with higher education. That group also reported a desire to pursue their favorite fitness passion, have ready access to healthy food and connect with like-minded people.
Vital Communities vs. Traditional Amenities
“It’s not just about amenities,” says Suzanne Maddalon, Vice President of Marketing for Freehold Communities. “It’s about empowering the lifestyle and creating a community culture of health and wellness.”
From first-timers to those looking to trade up or trade down, homebuyers across generations are moving away from the traditional golf course community and are in search of master-planned communities that offer a healthy living approach that brings together nature, the convenience of recreational activities and the opportunity to share it with a neighbor.
The Vital Communities™ plan makes healthy living second nature with diverse outdoor recreation-based activities, such as miles of nature trails, open spaces, neighborhood parks, playgrounds and resort-style pools. In addition, amenities are developed that are unique to each community’s environmental qualities. For example, the Headwaters property has 723 acres of neighborhood open space, eight miles of trails and a stargazing park for residents to enjoy.
In addition to providing spaces that cultivate neighbors getting to know one another, Vital Communities™ include organized events and state-of-the-art fitness centers that are well-equipped with exercise rooms and on-site fitness classes. Plus, Headwaters, Homestead and Orchard Ridge have a Lifestyle Director who plans year-round events for residents that promote physical activities like hiking, biking and yoga.
Other goals of the Vital Communities™ concept include built-in connectivity — Wi-Fi at no extra charge and other tools that bridge the gap between neighbor and community — and environmental stewardship that preserves natural resources and makes the most of land before, during and after communities are built.
Located 30 minutes southwest of downtown Austin, home construction is underway at Headwaters by David Weekley Homes, Drees Homes and Trendmaker Homes.LiveHeadwaters.com
Nestled between San Antonio and Austin, just south of New Braunfels, Homestead builders include CastleRock Communities, Pulte Homes and Scott Felder Homes. Model homes will be open by spring 2017. LiveHomesteadTx.com
About 15 miles from northwest Austin, Orchard Ridge is now selling homes built by Dream Finders Homes and Buffington Homes. LiveOrchardRidge.com
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