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OverviewCharacteristics of a PUDHomeowners AssociationsCommon AreasCondo ProjectsPros & Cons of PUDsConclusion
he simplest way to define a Planned Unit Development would be a residential neighborhood that is managed by a homeowners association.  But, that definition is a bit of an over simplification, because not all neighborhoods with a homeowners association are considered PUDs, let's dig further.

Characteristics of PUD's

To be a considered a PUD, a neighborhood must meet the following requirements:

  • Ownership: Homeowners in a PUD own their residence and the land it sits on.
  • A Homeowners Association must manage the community and maintain any common areas and shared amenities.
  • Mandatory Membership:  HOA membership must be mandatory
  • HOA Dues:  There must be dues that members are required to pay.

Homeowners' Associations

HOAs are organizations that manage the common areas such as parks, pools, and community buildings.  HOA's vary widely from community to community, and not all neighborhoods have them.

In a PUD, there must be an HOA that manages the community and all homeowners are required to be members.  The HOA also must collect fees for membership. These funds are used toward the maintenance and upkeep of shared amenities like parks, pools, and community spaces.

Some HOA’s are voluntary, or don’t have any dues, in which case the neighborhood would not be considered a PUD. A home in a PUD will always have HOA & dues, but not every home with an HOA is part of a PUD.

Common Areas and Amenities

Common Areas in PUDs refer to spaces and facilities that are owned, maintained, and shared among all unit owners through the HOA. These areas are designed for the benefit and use of the community, fostering a sense of belonging and shared responsibility among residents. Examples of common areas include parks, playgrounds, swimming pools, fitness centers, and community clubhouses. Additionally, landscaping, walkways, and roads within the PUD that are not privately owned by individual homeowners also fall under common areas.

These shared spaces not only enhance the living experience by providing recreational and social opportunities but also contribute to the overall aesthetics and home values community. The maintenance and upkeep of these areas are funded by the dues and assessments collected by the HOA from the homeowners.

Are condo projects in PUDs?

Condominium projects are not considered to be PUD’s. The main distinction between condo projects and PUDs lies in the ownership of the land. In a condo project, individuals own 100% of their unit but not the land it resides on.

Conversely, PUD residents own both their housing unit and the land underneath, setting PUDs apart from condominiums. This difference fundamentally affects the nature of ownership and the community structure within these developments.

Pros and Cons of a PUD

Purchasing a home with a distinct set of advantages and considerations that potential homeowners should weigh. One of the primary benefits is the access to a variety of amenities and common areas, such as swimming pools, fitness centers, and community spaces, which can enhance the quality of life and foster a strong sense of community among residents.

Additionally, PUDs often feature a cohesive and well-maintained environment, with the HOA ensuring that common areas are properly cared for and that the community adheres to a unified aesthetic standard. This can lead to potentially higher property values and a more pleasant living environment.

However, living in a PUD also involves certain considerations. The mandatory HOA dues are a significant factor; these fees are required to maintain the community's amenities and common areas but can vary widely in cost and impact the overall affordability of living in a PUD. Furthermore, homeowners in PUDs are subject to the rules and regulations set forth by the HOA, which can include restrictions on exterior home modifications, pet ownership, and rental policies. These rules, while designed to maintain the community’s standards, can be viewed as restrictive by some homeowners, limiting personal freedom regarding property use and modifications.


We hope this post has helped better clarify the concepts of Planned Unit Developments (PUDs), Homeowners Associations (HOAs), and condos, enhancing your understanding of these important aspects of home ownership. For further assistance and to make your mortgage process straightforward and comprehensible, CapCenter is here to guide you every step of the way.