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If you’ve been searching for your dream home, you know there are many factors to consider.
One of the most important considerations is the neighborhood. You might prefer a home with plenty of land, an up-and-coming suburban location, or accessibility to bustling nightlife. The possibilities are endless and so are your options. If a gated community is on your shortlist, it’s smart to get the facts. These upscale developments offer plenty of benefits but they come with some drawbacks, too.
Read on to gain a more complete understanding of gated community life so you can determine whether or not it’s right for you.
Gated Communities 101
These defined neighborhoods are sectioned off from the surroundings. Unlike traditional residential communities that allow for accessibility, gated developments usually have just one or two entry points. There may be a security guard or electronic access at the entrances to ensure that only residents and invited guests can enter. Their design is appealing to homeowners seeking less congested roadways and enhanced security.
The Benefits are Plentiful
There are many advantages to living in a gated community. How important each of these benefits is depends on your personal preferences and requirements:
The entrances are secured by gates and are usually only accessible with a code or approval by the resident. As previously mentioned, some gated communities also post guards at the entrances to further enhance security. For many homeowners, this brings peace of mind knowing that the chances of burglaries and other crimes are reduced.
- Convenient access to amenities
Many gated communities offer pools, gyms, golf courses, tennis courts, walking trails, and other family-friendly features. This makes it easy for residents to do the things they enjoy without having to travel away from home.
- Less traffic
Gated communities generally offer safe, less congested streets. This tends to be especially appealing for families with small children. The kids can play in the front yard or ride their bikes without having to worry about high-speed traffic. Older residents enjoy the safer, less congested roadways, as well.
- Higher resale values
As a rule, homeowners in gated neighborhoods can get a higher price for the property when they decide to sell, regardless of market conditions. This is particularly appealing to first-time buyers who want to know they will get the best return on their investment when it comes time to find their dream home.
They Have Some Drawbacks
Here are some of the less-appealing aspects of living in a gated neighborhood:
- Strict rules
Because they are typically governed by an HOA (Homeowners Association), most gated communities have strict rules that residents must adhere to. These regulations can cover everything from exterior colors to restrictions on outdoor parties and events. Many people are turned off by this level of control, but some like the structure and the uniformity it offers. The rules vary, so it’s important to get the HOA details about the community in question before making an offer on a property.
- Higher upfront costs
Homes in gated communities tend to cost more than similar homes in traditional neighborhoods. As a prospective home buyer, you may end up getting a smaller house or one with fewer features compared to what you could purchase outside of a gated development.
- Remote locations
Gated communities are often situated on the outskirts of town or in the suburbs. This means residents have to commute longer distances to work and other places integral to their daily lives. If you enjoy taking a quick trek downtown or to the grocery store, a gated community may not be right for you.
- Pricey HOA fees
A lot goes into maintaining the luxurious amenities that come with most gated communities. As a result, they typically have complex homeowners’ associations (HOAs) and may charge steep monthly fees. They’re typically higher than the HOA fees associated with traditional neighborhoods. It adds another monthly charge to the mortgage, utilities, taxes, and other bills associated with homeownership.
Take time to weigh the pros and cons to decide if a gated community is right for you. The key factors outlined above can help you identify your priorities and make the best choice for your situation.
The Certified Title team is here to offer helpful insights and valuable resources that enhance all types of residential and commercial real estate transactions. To make your next move its most successful, please contact our knowledgeable professionals.