Have you ever had one of those days where you can't get a topic out of your head? I'm having one today. I woke up this morning thinking about something to write about and I keep coming up with PUDs. It just seems to me that there must be something a little more interesting that I could write about than this. I mean come on, PUDs. Boooooooring!!!! But I can't get it out of my head. "Yes, I would like the sirloin, medium rare and a PUD." "Hey, PUD how are you?" It's driving me crazy! So I surrender. This post is about PUDs. I got to get it out of my head!
For those who may not know, PUD, stands for Planned Unit Development. My market, Poinciana, Fl., happens to be the second fastest growing PUD in the country second to "The Villages" which is also in Central Florida. A PUD is a planned mixed use community. As an example, Poinciana is a 65,000 acre, self contained mix of residential, commercial, green space, parks, schools, churches and light industrial. It is also very common for PUDs to control the utilities and the roads. It is also normal for there to be a Home owners association with an annual or monthly fee.
One of the major advantages for a developer, is that by forming a PUD, they have more control over growth and can work outside of local zoning laws. They can be more flexible with setbacks and are encouraged to be more creative and imaginative when it comes to land development. PUDs are usually a more desirable place to live since they are built around the residential aspect of the development. The residential side takes precedence over the commercial. Commercial areas are normally set back from the main roads and have parking lots as opposed to street parking. PUDs generally have more open spaces and recreational areas than a town or city would have.
A PUD has one developer. This is not to be confused with a Master Planned Community that usually has more than one developer. Poinciana was developed in the early 70s by a company named General Development Corporation. The oldest homes were built in 1973. These were mainly retirement homes and were built around an 18 hole golf course. Back then the only commercial buildings were a farm store, a Real Estate Company and a hardware store. Back in the early days even though there were only several hundred homes, all of the infrastructure was already in place. There were miles and miles of paved roads with no homes in sight. I think there was an incentive, from the 2 counties involved (Polk, Osceola), for the developer to maintain roads even though they weren't being used. Also, in the mid 70s they started selling off lots to individuals. They sold thousands of these at prices from $10,000 to $15,000 mostly to folks out of State. Residential development came to a standstill in the late 70s and Poinciana became a sleeping Giant. I believe it was in the late 80s that General Development Corporation went bankrupt and got into all kinds of legal problems related to land scams in Florida (Poinciana, Sarasota, Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres). Avatar, the current developer of Poinciana, came out of this bankruptcy.
When I started selling Real Estate in Poinciana, in 1993, the population was roughly 7,000 people. During this period there were several mom and pop builders that started building homes in Poinciana. It was easy. They would build a model home and if someone bought a house they would then purchase a lot from a private owner to build the house on. It was a great deal for a small builder because the infrastructure was already in and they only had to buy a lot if the house was already sold. They could buy lots for as low as $3,000. You could buy a pretty decent 1500 sq ft home for about $70,000 on a 70×100 lot. Since Poinciana was considered rural, the 100% financing USDA "Farmer's Home" loan was the mortgage product of choice in the 90's. So we had a little bit of a boom period. By the year 2000 Poinciana had grown to 16,000 people. During this period we also got a Winn Dixie supermarket and a Burger King. Woohoo!! We are booming now!
Also, about this time, Avatar decided to seriously get into building homes. They got very aggressive and started building a little more upscale homes in several walled communities through out Poinciana. Poinciana was taking off. It was during the period starting in about 2001 until the present that Poinciana became the second fastest growing PUD in the country. Today, we have over 63,000 people and many restaurants, banks, 2 supermarkets, a Super Wal-mart and about 50-60 other small businesses. We also have Solivita a world class active adult community with 2 championship golf courses. Lots now sell for $50,000 to $80,000. Houses can be bought for $170,000 up to about $400,000. There are currently about 1,000 houses under construction and 1,600 homes for sale in the MLS. And most excitingly for me, we still have room for about 180,000 more people.
Folks, being the number 1 listing agent, in the second fastest growing PUD in the Country, that is just now starting to take off, is a pretty good position to be in. I love my job.
So that's it. Broker Bryant's crash course on PUDs and a little historical synopsis of Poinciana, Fl. Man, I'm glad to get that out of my head. You can wake up now, I'm done.