The Difference Between Moderate and Luxury Communities

By Drew Knight

There are many factors to keep in mind when considering going luxury with your new home. This spacious living area is featured in the Hampton plan by Grand Homes in Parker, TX.

Photo: Grand Homes

If you’re new to the homebuying process, your curiosity may have you dabbling into the world of luxury communities and comparing them to the lower-priced moderate communities.

But what exactly sets the two apart and how can you decide which type of community is right for you? From amenities, home customization options and happening neighborhoods, there’s got to be something that sets the two apart.

So, what’s the difference? The answer might not be exactly what you thought.

“At Singh, the quality of construction, attention to detail, interior/exterior options and level of customer service are the same at all of our communities,” says General Manager Sunny Grewal of Singh Homes, a homebuilder that specializes in both the moderate and luxury markets in Michigan. “All of our communities have unique qualities that include winding interior roads, community central parks and open spaces, ponds gazebos, play areas, fountains and sidewalks. It may seem like this list should describe a ‘luxury’ community, but we feel that all of our communities should offer beautiful surroundings.”

While it might be good news to learn that many builders don’t draw the line at the construction or development processes, we still need an answer. Could it be the community amenities that make the distinction?

“This is going to depend on who the community is designed for,” says John Manrique, vice president of marketing for the southeastern homebuilder Kolter Homes. “If we’re building an urban infill townhome community geared toward Millennials, it may be a cool 24/7 fitness center, Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the community and other lifestyle conveniences. For family buyers, it might be a very walkable, pedestrian-friendly community design with readily accessible multi-use green spaces for kids to play, dogs to be walked and neighbors to mix and mingle.”

The biggest defining factor between a luxury versus a moderate community, though, lies in where you, well, lie down each night.

“For Singh, the major difference between the two types of communities stems from the local real estate market,” Grewal reveals. “The classic quote of, ‘location, location, location,’ is so true.”

For most builders, the local market and available land play the biggest role in which kind of community can be created and the features and amenities that can be offered there.

“As we view the two, a ‘moderate’ or ‘properly equipped’ new-home community is one that provides an appropriate, healthy neighborhood environment based on the region and target market with homes designed to serve the primary needs of that market using solid feature packages that do not require or merit lots of options or upgrades,” says Manrique. “A ‘luxury’ community might have a more expansive amenity package, if appropriate, and the home designs will feature more structural and finish options providing buyers a greater level of personalization.”

While the local market might be a big factor in determining whether a community is luxury or moderate, you as the homebuyer actually have the final say.

“It really boils down to understanding what you truly need and what you want,” suggests Manrique. “That is why our new home consultants offer themselves as a resource to new homebuyers, walking them through a unique process called ‘value mapping’ to clearly identify what they truly are looking for in a new home and community.”

For some buyers, that value factor lies within their décor and customization choices.

“Our décor choices allow homebuyers to build a beautiful home based solely on our included features or to build a luxurious home if they elect to include upgrades in their new home,” says Grewal. “Having the ability to make certain structural changes and perhaps add some décor upgrades can elevate every new home to luxurious and unique for the family who lives there.”

Ultimately, the building and development processes will be different across the board for any builder you choose, whether it be a luxury or a moderate community. Thus, this distinction will be entirely up to you.

When it comes down to choosing which lifestyle is best for you, Manrique says it should be driven by what is most important to your happiness, health and future plans.

“We're looking to provide the maximum best in terms of the ability to pursue what makes a region/location great and allows residents to truly enjoy, be enriched and live happily in a smart, healthy community environment.”
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Drew Knight is a former writer and editor for's parent company, Builders Digital Experience (BDX).

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