If you’re in the process of buying a home, you’ve probably seen the terms single-family residential, multifamily, and mixed-use development. You may be wondering what exactly these terms mean and what the benefits may be of one over another.
Single-family residential is simply a residence occupied by one family, as opposed to multifamily, which means a residential building where several families can live, such as an apartment or condominium. But what about mixed-use development? What does that mean and what are the benefits of buying in a mixed-use development?
What is a Mixed-Use Development?
Just as it sounds, a mixed-use development is a development where there is a mixture of uses. On the ground floor there might be commercial real estate – businesses such as cafes, restaurants, or offices – or live/work units where service professionals or artists both live and work. Typically, there are also apartments or condominiums in the same building, so if you are buying a home and considering a mixed-use development, here are some of the benefits.
Live, Work, and Play in One Place
One benefit of buying in mixed-use developments is the variety of stores, businesses, and housing types that may occupy one building. There may be townhomes, condominiums, and live/work units available in the same building. Plus, the businesses can vary greatly. It’s typical for a mixed-use development to have restaurants, cafes, and bars, but there may also be a neighborhood bank branch, a clothing boutique, or a dentist or optometrist’s office. Having some of the businesses you use on a regular basis right there in your building is really convenient.
A Sense of Community
Imagine that you leave your home, go down to street level, and stop in at a coffee shop in your building before heading to work. Before long, the barista knows you and how you take your coffee. You get to know the neighbors you see in the elevator. Even if you’re an introvert, one of the benefits of buying in a mixed-use development is the sense of community that develops among the people who live and work in the building. You start to watch out for one another, which helps ensure the safety of the building and the people in it.
Park Your Car and Walk or Take Your Bike
If you’re concerned about the environment, or if you’re trying to live a healthier lifestyle, there’s another great benefit of buying in mixed-use developments. You can park your car and walk to multiple destinations. Mixed-use development promotes walking and reduces pollution and our dependence on automotive transportation. Plus, mixed-use developments are typically designed to make walking feel safer and more convenient.
Many mixed-use developments are also designed to promote cycling. Bike lockers as well as gyms and showers are often included as some of the amenities offered in mixed-use developments.
Just as having all those businesses and families living in one place promotes community, mixed-use development also promotes economic investment. That’s good for surrounding businesses and property values.
The Efficient Use of Land and Infrastructure
Another very important benefit of buying in mixed-use development is the responsible and efficient use of land and infrastructure. Utility infrastructure is also used more efficiently in mixed-use development. In general, mixed-use development focuses development in urban areas, using land and infrastructure more efficiently and helping to protect green spaces, environmentally sensitive areas, and rural areas.
No matter where you choose to live, your home should fit your lifestyle. If the benefits of buying in a mixed-use development appeal to you, you may want to ask your real estate agent to show you what’s available.