Zachry Godfrey of Texas is a housing developer specializing in wellness community designs. In the following article, Zachry Godfrey explains that wellness communities are not for real estate novices. It is important to understand that they are communities with a purpose. Every inch of land must be planned with the goal of improving the lives of the residents.
Some people exercise better with a buddy. But take that one step further: imagine a whole community of people devoted to improving their lives via better food, more exercise, and mindfulness. It may sound utopian, but these “wellness communities” are very real—and very lucrative.
Wellness Communities Defined
Zachry Godfrey of Texas explains that a wellness community is a special neighborhood in which the residents pursue various forms of well-being and health. This includes everything from running paths to equine therapy to organic gardens, with home and communal designs that are pleasing to the eye.
Why do Wellness Communities Exist
Why do wellness communities exist—and why are so many of them in the United States? A big part of it is due America’s vast unhealthy culture explains Zachry Godfrey of Texas.
Americans are phenomenally unhealthy as a population. Not only is there no universal healthcare option like there is in other countries such as Europe, but approximately 2 out of every 3 adults in the US is considered obese. Health is simply not a priority as it is in some other cultures worldwide.
Zachry Godfrey of Texas explains that the United States is also the epicenter of car culture. In the 50s, urban sprawl made things such that some areas were only accessible by vehicle transportation. The public transportation that exists is often limited to urban centers. If health is not a priority and walking is discouraged, the two create a self-refreshing problem.
Of course, wellness communities are a great idea in general. Why shouldn’t there be communities of people agreeing to live healthier lives and improve each other’s well-being?
Are There Rules or Requirements to These Facilities
That said, Zachry Godfrey of Texas explains that planning a wellness community is not like buying any other kind of real estate. It requires terraforming, architecture, and other intense forms of landscaping to create the ideal environment for exercise, meditation, and mindfulness.
Some considerations of a wellness community include:
- Facilities, such as spas, community exercise spaces and craft areas
- Space for animals, particularly horses (for equine therapy)
- Walking paths in easy access, and pleasing landscapes
- Houses that are relatively close together, with modern design and specific, eye pleasing colors
- Relatively little space for cars, and no street parking if a resident does own a vehicle
- Gardens, mazes, parks, etc.
- Water features
- Ways to conceal unsightly objects such as utility wires and garbage cans
It is also important that the community feels self-contained, such as a gated community. For example, many wellness communities have a specific form of architecture. Some may be gated, but the idea is a very cohesive community focused on personal wellness for the residents. Zachry Godfrey of Texas says that every aspect of real estate must focus on that goal.
The Social Factor
Wellness communities also allow people to connect in ways they otherwise might not. Every neighbor is within walking distance. It is shockingly easy to chat and form connections in these neighborhoods.
Zachry Godfrey of Texas says that closeness leads to important social reinforcement. Humans are social by nature (even introverts). Without going into any lemming analogies, people are more likely to try something if someone they know is doing it. If a neighbor enjoys practicing yoga, why not give it a try?
Wellness communities are focused on just that – hence the name, but the community aspect is also just as important. It forms connections that can be rare, if not impossible, in a world of social media digital connections. And since these communities operate with wellness goals in mind, that makes those goals easier to achieve.
Just Another Fad – or a Trend Here to Stay
Anyone who has tried a diet can attest to how often research on what is considered “good” health changes. Wellness communities, however, are likely to stick around for a very long time – especially with the increasing popularity of being well, overall. Zachry Godfrey of Texas explains that humans are social creatures and gravitate toward like-minded people, naturally. Every resident in a wellness community is, at least in theory, aimed toward the goal of making themselves, and others, healthier and happier.
Be optimistic. Buildings in wellness communities are usually bought very quickly!
Zachry Godfrey of Texas explains that wellness communities are a great idea: if a workout buddy helps people stay in shape, why not expand the concept? These special communities are designed to help residents be well – both mentally and physically. Since everyone who joins a wellness community does so with similar goals, everyone benefits.