• Inquire about state and local taxes: Does the
community’s state have an income tax (some don’t)
and what are the rates? Does the state tax pensions and
investments? What are the local property tax rates, as
well as any state or local sales taxes?
• Find out how the community is governed: Is it
still controlled by the development company or has
that authority been ceded to a homeowners association? Who owns the roads and common areas? Is there
a reserve fund for that work and/or an annual assessment for their upkeep? What is the mechanism for determining when any special assessments are necessary?
• Ask about any architectural guidelines or other
building restrictions in the community, particularly
if you’re planning to build a new home or make any
renovations/additions to the property. You can also re-
quest a copy of the community masterplan and a time-
table for the establishment of new neighborhoods or
the completion of promised amenities.
• Take advantage of every opportunity to talk with
current community residents. Many Discovery Packages include a meeting or shared meal with designated
“Community Ambassadors.” These can be very enlightening. But don’t pass up the chance to introduce
yourself to other residents you may encounter and ask
about their experiences.
• Set aside some time to go “outside the gates” and
explore the area around the community. How far is it
to the nearest medical facilities and what is the quality
of services they provide? Where are the local grocery
stores and other retail outlets that you’ll frequently
visit? What cultural amenities and entertainment attractions are available in the region?
Whatever your goals are for your future, taking advantage of a Discovery Package deal
can be a smart ;rst step in achieving them. A;er all, getting the information you need—and
having some fun while you’re doing it—can be a win-win proposition.
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