When you think of a gated community, what comes to mind? Probably things like safety, security, exclusivity, expensive homes, and more. But what else lies behind those gates? Privacy and Security Gated communities provide a lot of benefits to the residents that live within them. The number one reason people choose to live in gated communities is likely the security element. Because gated communities are private, they are more difficult to access than a standard community. Criminal activity is reduced in gated communities, and solicitors will have a more difficult (if not impossible) time bothering residents.
In fact, the only solicitors you’ll probably get will be neighborhood kids trying to sell you magazines and girl scout cookies. Traffic Free Traffic and speeding cars are also reduced behind the gates, making it quieter and safer for children to play and ride bicycles within these neighborhoods. You likely won’t have the morning commute using your street as a shortcut either, as much as they may want to. Another positive aspect of gated communities is a higher standard of home quality, and stricter building codes that promote uniformity in design.
That means more comparable sales and better value for all the homeowners within the community. Homeowners in these neighborhoods also generally have a higher pride of ownership, and keep their homes in good condition. Along with that, gated communities create a scarcity effect, with few homes within these neighborhoods typically available for sale at the same time, adding more bite to the value. There may also be social benefits, such as a community center or events that promote group activities for families to get to know each other. Expensive Home Prices and HOAs?
Let’s talk about the downsides of gated communities, shall we. For one, or I suppose two, gated communities often come with high asking prices and costly HOA fees to pay for things such gate guards, private security, roads and maintenance. Most roads are deemed private, so you may have to foot the bill to fix those potholes or repave a bumpy road on your own dime. As far as security goes, the safety of gated communities is dependent upon the quality of the system in place, as well as the surrounding areas. And there’s a good chance the community won’t be patrolled by a sheriff unless the HOA approves such action.
Not all gated communities have live guards either, and automated gates aren’t very difficult to breach. Waiting to Get In… Assuming the gate is guarded, visitors and contractors may get aggravated waiting in line to come to your home. Yes, your family and friends may have to wait during busy periods, and you’ll likely need to call down to the gate every time a visitor is expected. This can be especially problematic on holidays when all the in-laws are visiting… And many gated communities limit the time contractors can come work at your home, and may block them altogether on holidays
Gated communities are also typically located farther away from businesses and other services, making the commute a bit longer just to drive out of your neighborhood every day. Also watch out for properties located just inside the gates, or within view of the gates, as they may see a dip in value. While these may not seem like serious issues, HOA fees alone can make affordability a problem. You thought your condo’s HOA was expensive? Try a gated community. At the same time, if you do get your hands on a home in a gated community, there’s a good chance your home will appreciate nicely in the years to come. So it could be well worth the price.