Really cool things about the community, many with thoughts about making it a sustainable community:
- Water: The plan is to not use the local aquifers for much longer (1-2 years hopefully). This is done by building a desalinization plant. They're also creating estuaries in the Aqua Viva community which will aid in plant and sea life creation.
- Power: build a windfarm to power the entire community.
- No cars: it's designed to be a walking community. There are very few drivable streets being built and some current streets are being eliminated. Streets that do exist for driving are designed to be made inconvenient to discourage it except to get in and out of the community. It is designed to be an entirely walkable community. Walk to retail, walk to the store, walk to the beach, walk to restaurants, walk to spas.
- Salt-tolerant plants: the existing golf course is going to be redone with grass that will be tolerant to being watered with salt water to save fresh water. All the plants in the community are designed for the climate and to be salt tolerant as well. All landscaping down outside of the houses is managed by the community
- Community Management: The HOA takes care of all landscaping and painting of houses (normal for an HOA). The rental program will have twice-a-day housekeeping as well as delivered breakfasts to the house each day! Each house has a little cubby hole that has an opening on the inside of the house and also opens from the outside of the house where the coffee/breakfast/etc can be delivered - called "ventana de servicio."
- Adobe: the houses are built with all weather-facing walls built of adobe brick. This material transfers heat less quickly and keeps the houses cooler, reducing the need for air conditioning. It's also very, very durable. We unfortunately decided not to go on the tour of the block making facility, but were told it was absolutely artistic and amazing to watch them be produced.
- Organic vegetables: an organic vegetable garden is being created to supply the entire community with vegetables. Our house is very close to the market!
We're very excited, but also nervous. It is a leap of faith that all these things touted will happen as planned. When we saw the houses they've already built are just as good as they had touted and they're just beautiful in the setting, that made us feel much more at ease. The community is just awesome; any community that has a 50% conversion rate of people who actually go down to have a look and buy must be doing something right. This release had a 60% conversion rate. The group that we were with had all but one couple buy a house. The very cool part is we spent the weekend with all these people and then, ironically, we all ended up buying houses right near each other. It was entirely possible that we could have ended up far apart due to which lots are available at the present time. Anyway, this means we already know a lot of our neighbors. We had a great time with everyone. I couldn't believe how happy I was when I saw one couple come into the contracts room after us and then when I realized we were neighbors, it was so great!
We originally were planning on buying in the Aqua Viva community, but when we saw the sea views, we changed to buy a lot in the Founders' Neighborhood. This means that we are truly within walking distance to the beach ... a 1-2 minute walk at most! We are hoping we'll still have a view of the sea once the houses are built, but it's hard to tell line of sight without the structure actually being there. The houses right behind us have been built and up on their roofs, the view is nothing but spectacular right now. Even if we don't have the best view, I think we have one of the best locations in the entire community. We are right next to the lap pool (no excuse for not exercising), near the market (fresh fruits and veggies daily), near the beach club (probably won't join because it's expensive, but good to be near it), near the commercial shops, near the beach, and near some of the really expensive custom homes. I think it's always a good thing to have a cheaper house near more expensive, grander homes.
In any case, if someone had sat down and said, "Let's build a community that is absolutely everything D and M would like," this is what they would have come up with. We cannot wait to see how the community develops and have all our friends and family come and visit us down there. Now we just need to learn Spanish!