5 Expertly Designed Neighborhoods That Will Make You Want To Live There

When you think of the suburbs, you might not think of anything "expert" or "trendy." In so many portions of the country, tract housing has become the norm with each and every real estate boom, resulting in a sea of gray or beige houses that all look straight from the cookie cutter. Even new home builds that are advertised as custom end up being a selection of just a few designs as home builders are putting up properties quickly and cheaply to meet demand.

Fortunately, there are some other options across the nation, but you'll have to hunt a little. Expertly designed neighborhoods do exist, and while some never accomplished their original intention, they tend to still be some pretty cool places to live. Perhaps you'd like to live in a house designed by a famous designer like Frank Lloyd Wright, who, according to J. Ellen Design, has always been considered one of the greats. Or maybe you hope to run away to idyllic suburbia custom-designed for fun, like one particular town in The Sunshine State (via Visit Florida). No matter where you dream of landing, there are plenty of intriguing and creative options to swoon over that were initially designed for optimal living.

1. Celebration, FL

Celebration, Florida, was a planned community that was originally designed by Disney, with the goal being an ideal quality of life nearby the popular Walt Disney World parks. The neighborhoods are separated into villages and are flanked by amenities like golf courses, a pond, and a quaint downtown area. Celebration is built according to the New Urbanism style, which according to Florida Backroads Travel, it's designed as an interpretive concept of what towns looked like and how they were intended to function in earlier times. Although it was built in the late 1990s, it exudes a small-town feel of yesteryear while also offering enough HOA perks to thrill its leisure-loving residents.

According to its Celebration's official website, the community has five focuses: technology, health, education, community, and a sense of belonging. But one goal that didn't come to fruition? Diversity. The Walt Disney Company made concerted efforts to find multicultural buyers and even zone some homes for low-income housing. But at the end of the day, the neighboring demographics persisted; Celebration is predominantly white and caters to high incomes. Can't win them all.

2. The Usonians, NY

Frank Lloyd Wright is one of the world's most prolific modern architects and started his Usonian home builds in the 1930s. According to Metropolis, Wright was challenged to design the ideal American home and spent the next two decades doing just that. By sourcing locally and keeping things somewhat minimalistic, Wright created a low-cost home that was within reach for many families.

While this style has been replicated all over the nation, one strong example of Wright's original design concept is in New York. The Usonia Historic District is located near Pleasantville in Westchester, NY. According to Inspirock, Wright himself designed 44 of the homes in the neighborhood with flat roofs, large windows, and a circular tract to create a modern but connected community look. The homes were well-regarded during his time and continue to be revered today by both architects and homeowners. If you love the look of Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture, including Usonian builds, you need to know about the tour list that Incollect has compiled. Using this list, you can plan a trip to tour some located close to you.

3. Pocket neighborhoods

According to Pocket Neighborhoods, this type of neighborhood involves close clusters of homes that share common spaces like a park or recreational area. The idea is to create a true neighborhood feel where residents from different phases of life come together in authentic village form. Baby boomers, young families, singles, and various ethnic backgrounds can all mesh together in these intentionally close neighborhoods.

The original pocket neighborhood is located in Langley, Washington. As architect Ross Chapin Architects states, eight smaller cottages had the same environmental and relational effect as four large houses. Not only did it make a planned community close-knit, but it made housing available to various income levels. Smaller properties with large community spaces, instead of the other way around, created opportunities for a wider range of folks to make homeownership a reality. However, you don't have to own a home to be part of a pocket neighborhood — many of these planned small tracts have rentals, as well as condos and apartments.

4. Six Moon Hill, MA

Six Moon Hill was designed by architects for architects in the mid-century. According to the Society of Architectural Historians, it is a community of 30 homes, almost all of which were created by professionals in the architectural industry. The houses were built intentionally in a secluded area, and they are well-admired today for their beautiful mid-century architecture combined with a woodsy, off-the-beaten-path feel.

One of the most impressive aspects of Six Moon Hill is that it was built fairly. All the lots were priced the same, and similar materials were used for all the homes. In addition, the development was community-driven from the start, meant to be a neighborhood for young architects raising families together. That close-knit feel still thrives today, even though the residents have changed over the years. According to Wikiwand, many of the original owners, including children who grew up in the community, came together as recently as September 2022 for a reunion.

5. The Cliffs, NC

While some neighborhoods are expertly designed for community, diversity, or affordability, others are just straight-up built for luxury. The Cliffs is one prime example of this. Located in the picturesque Asheville, North Carolina, the community is flanked by the Appalachian Mountains and contains loads of leisure. According to The Cliffs, the neighborhood includes a historic farm, a golf course, and a downtown designed with hints of European architecture as its inspiration.

The community has move-in ready homes along with space for those who wish to build a custom house from the ground up. Asheville has a notable arts scene, and the community boasts an impressive golf course. In fact, as noted on The Cliffs' official website, the district actually has seven award-winning golf courses with year-round play. This community is built for those who work hard but clearly play harder. It's definitely luxurious and also a little loathsome. If you really want to put yourself in a mood about your noisy upstairs neighbor or the backyard lawn that's out of control, take a look at Biltmore — the Vanderbilts' 250-room historic home located near The Cliffs.