Wellness Lifestyle Communities Inspiring the Trend Toward Healthier Homes and Healthier LivingAug 27, 2022
Have you heard about the latest trend driving residential real estate development? It’s called Wellness Real Estate and for nearly 2 decades, forward-thinking developers have been intentionally designing communities and residential neighborhoods centered on well-being.
The nonprofit Global Wellness Institute (GWI) is the leading research organization for the wellness industry. In 2018 they identified 740 wellness residential projects around the world. In 2021 they said the sector has since grown so fast that the projects were too many to count correctly. As of November 2021, the GWI “conservatively estimates that there are over 2,300 wellness projects worldwide (either built, partially built, or in development).”
GWI defines wellness real estate as “homes that are proactively designed and built to support the holistic health of their residents. Wellness community is a group of people living in close proximity who share common goals, interests and experiences in proactively pursuing wellness across its many dimensions.”
As more and more people strive towards healthier lifestyles, the trend is to have a home that also supports well-being. According to the Global Wellness Institute, “the way we have built homes in the last century is reinforcing lifestyles that are making us sick, stressed, alienated and unhappy.” With private backyards and attached garages, there is no need to walk outside of your home. But how does this type of living promote social interaction with neighbors or build a sense of community? When the built environment is designed for driving over biking, sitting over walking, and screen time over outdoor spaces, the result is that the home environment is promoting and reinforcing the very opposite of what is needed to live a healthier lifestyle.
More and more forward-thinking developers have begun to design solotions to this growing problem, so as a result Wellness lifestyle communities are popping up all over the globe. Many of them are centered around an organic farm or have some sort of gardening or farming component. These neighborhoods have appropriately been given the name: AGRIHOOD.
I recently interviewed Brett Coleman on my podcast, Blooming! A Healthy Home by Design, because he and his family traveled over 7,000 miles in 11 months to see over 21 different agrihoods just before the pandemic hit. You can learn more about the communities he visited on his website. www.agrihoodliving.com
The very first agrihood is located just outside Atlanta, Georgia, called Serenbe. The founder, Steve Nygren, and his wife Marie bought a country home for their children to be able to run, play and connect with nature. These weekend trips transformed their family, and soon they moved there full time. After a few years of living there, they became aware of the urban sprawl threatening to take over their beloved rural land. In an effort to protect their land from being overdeveloped and turned into strip malls, the Nygren’s spearheaded a brand new kind of community, one where all residents thrive because their well-being was at the heart of the planning and design.
“If you want to change the world, you should start in your own backyard.” — Serenbe founder, Steve Nygren
“Serenbe is an award winning biophilic community that connects people to nature and each other. The first house at Serenbe was built in 2004 and today the community is home to over 650 residents. Serenbe has won numerous awards including the Urban Land Institute Inaugural Sainability Award, the Atlanta Regional Commission “Development of Excellence“ EarthCraft named Serenbe the “Development of the Year.” — Serenbe
I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Garnie Nygren, the daughter Steve and Marie Nygren. She has told me that Serenbe has grown into a walkable mini-village where residents thrive because they love living there. It’s like going back in time to an idyllic community where all the neighbors are friends and kids play and use their imaginations outdoors. Many other forward-thinking developers have visited Serenbe and used it as a model to strive for.
As I started to dive deep into this rabbit hole of wellness real estate, I realized that EVERYONE deserves to live in a healthy home, not just those who can move into a wellness lifestyle community. What if they aren’t any around the town you live in? Or what it’s not in your budget to move? There has to be a way that people can learn to create a healthier home environment and be inspired by new developments so they too can live more comfortably and joyfully in their own homes. This is precisely the thought that led me to create Wellness Real Estate Magazine. The only magazine that explores wellness in real estate and helps readers bring health and home together.
Photo credit: Serenbe. To preview the full Jan 2021 Issue of Wellness Real Estate Magazine click here.
Learn more at www.wellnessremag.com
And if you are a real estate industry professional, share this magazine with your entire list! Differentiate yourself by showing others you care about their well-being and the environment, with this unique and engaging digital magazine. Learn more at www.wellnessrepro.com
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