Naming a residential subdivision is never easy.
You’ve not only got to make sure your name ticks all the right legal boxes, but you’ve also got to find a name that sells and markets your subdivision in the best way possible.
This means that there’s a lot of factors to consider — and not a lot of time! Just like reserve funds, a great name is critical for an HOA community.
After all, it’s best to have a confirmed subdivision name at the beginning of the DRE approval process, for reasons we’ll be outlining today.
But don’t panic!
In this article, we’ll be breaking down everything you need to know about subdivision names and how you can find a name for your community that really delivers.
We’ve helped hundreds of builders in California name their subdivisions and know precisely what works and what doesn’t. And we can help you too!
So, let’s get started.
First things first, why are subdivision names so important?
Subdivision names are important for a whole host of reasons. This is why there are subdivision name generators like SubdivisionNamer, where you can quickly brainstorm name ideas for your community.
Logistically, your subdivision name could have a significant impact on obtaining approval from the Department of Real Estate. If your subdivision name changes along the way, this could really slow things down.
And logistics aside, your subdivision name is also important because it’s your community’s advertising name, too.
This means that the name you choose should represent and market your subdivision in a way that makes it attractive to potential buyers.
Get it right, and your subdivision name could generate leads and add to the intrinsic value of your properties. After all, first impressions count — and if your subdivision name captures what your target buyers are looking for, it could work wonders.
Get it wrong, however, and your community’s name could put off buyers and fail to make its mark.
But what makes a good subdivision name?
Well, let’s find out.
Top tips for naming your subdivision
For a subdivision name to be successful, it should take into account:
- Where your subdivision is located (and what surrounds it)
- Who it’s targeted at
- The names of your competition
So, let’s break those down, one-by-one.
- Consider your location
A good subdivision name will reflect your community’s location and environment. If your subdivision is near a lake, for example, including ‘lakes’ in its name would make a lot of sense.
This might seem obvious, but sometimes just saying what you see can be a fast-track to engaging buyers — especially if your subdivision is ideally situated.
- Consider your target buyer.
Who you’re selling to should directly inform your subdivision’s name.
If you’re selling high-end family properties, for example, opting for a sophisticated name would be best. Words like ‘Forest’, ‘Park’, ‘Woods’, ‘Oaks’ and ‘Meadows’, for example, can all create a premium and ‘exclusive’ tone.
- Consider your competition
You should be extra careful not to name your subdivision after a nearby community. This will not only confuse people but will also create problems when it comes to marketing your properties.
Likewise, giving your subdivision the same name as another community could make it difficult for buyers to find your website and online profiles, especially if that other community is established and active online.
Examples of great subdivision names
Some of our favorite subdivision names include:
- Alexander Woods
- Beverley Woods
- Brittany Oaks
- Sycamore Village
- Chestnut Lake
- Victory Lakes
- Magnolia Estates
- The Waters
- Crystal Cove
- Coldwater Canyon
- Rolling Hills
- Hidden Hills
- Heaven View Estates
- Palm Springs
- Harvest Creek
- Alder Creek
- Blue Grass Meadows
Why do we like them so much?
Put simply: each of these names takes inspiration from nature (Woods, Hills, Springs, Creeks, Meadows) and uses it to create a name that feels memorable, exclusive, and communal.
We also like them because they’re simple. They prove that naming your subdivision doesn’t have to be as daunting as you might first think.
Look around your subdivision plot, consider its surroundings, and ask yourself: What makes this area special and unique? What makes it a prime location to call home?
Is it the rolling hills, the mountain views, the beautiful greenery?
Or is it the surrounding community and nearby towns?
Whatever it is, hone in on it, put it at the center of your ‘brand’, and don’t forget to do your research.
Top tip: if your subdivision isn’t surrounded by anything noteworthy, why not put something there to act as a selling point? A central village green, for example, could be a great inspiration for a name and attract potential buyers.
Subdivision names and the DRE approval process
What can you do if your community name needs to change?
When William Shakespeare’s Juliet said the famous quote, “What’s in a name?”, she was explaining how a name is not a big deal. While that may be true for Romeo and Juliet, it is certainly not the case for obtaining a Public Report from the DRE.
Your subdivision name can quickly get you in hot water if it doesn’t match what’s been approved by the DRE.
Now, usually, this shouldn’t be a problem.
You’ll pick a name, confirm it to the DRE and obtain a Public Report in line with that.
But here’s the thing:
The time involved in obtaining a Public Report can take anywhere from 4 months to 12 months, depending on the project — and since the process is so involved, it’s not unusual that the Public Report process needs to begin before a final name has been decided.
Often, we start with a proposed advertising name, fill in the necessary paperwork, and — for a variety of reasons — need to change it mid-way between PINK (preliminary report) and WHITE (final report).
This can create a problem because the DRE Regulation 2799 (read it here) clearly states that “A subdivision shall not be advertised under a name, designation or appellation that is not set forth in a Notice of Intention and Questionnaire.” The Notice of Intention is the DRE application. Any advertising name reflected in the application is also published on the face of the issued Public Report.
That’s why, when “ABC” becomes “XYZ”, it’s time to let us know.
How California Builder Services can help
If you elect to change your subdivision name after the Public Report is issued, it is considered a material change — necessitating an Amendment to the Public Report.
And that’s where California Builder Services can help.
Most recently, we had a large file rejected by the DRE because the advertising name in our application for the Final (White) Report did not match the advertising name provided in the Preliminary (Pink) Report.
While this is an extreme example, it is a sure sign that the DRE takes this regulation seriously. With many office staff working remotely, the DRE simply doesn’t have time to tweak its system to address variances.
Our team will usually check in with you before the issuance of a Public Report where no advertising name has been given. Unless told otherwise, though, we will seek to have any report issued when it has been approved by DRE.
In a nutshell, we’ll be able to help you avoid any delays by making sure that you can obtain a Public Report as quickly as possible — by picking up and putting right any discrepancies along the way.
Get in touch with the California Builder Services team today, and let us help you build a great community without any hassles! From budgeting tips for communities to explaining subdivision public reports, we’re here to provide accurate information to point you toward success.