Have you ever seriously thought about living in a gated community? Deciding whether living in a gated community fits in with your needs and aspirations no doubt requires a little introspection.
If you’ve been vacillating between buying a home in a gated neighborhood or a non-gated one in Florida, it’s best you weigh the pros and cons of each:
Security and Safety. One of the most important benefits of living in a gated community is security and safety. Since gated communities are more private, they’re more difficult to access and criminal activity is less likely to take place.
Because solicitations aren’t allowed, you won’t have people roaming around asking for donations or selling products. There is less through traffic, and the strict implementation of speed limits makes it quieter and a lot safer for your kids to go out and play or ride their bikes on the streets.
Stricter security protocols often distinguish gated communities from non-gated ones; some communities have live guards, while some have gates with automated keypads to control access and deter crime.
Better home quality standards. Gated communities typically uphold higher home standards. This means that aren’t apt to be any unkempt lawns or homes left in disrepair. Pride of ownership often translates to the homes retaining a high value.
Shared facilities and a sense of community. One of the perks of living in a gated community is your exclusive access to high-end facilities and amenities. Perfect your golf swing on the community greens or hold your kid’s birthday party by the clubhouse pool.
Fees homeowners need to pay to enjoy these perks partly go towards the further development and improvement of such facilities and amenities.
There are also social benefits, such as community charity events, Sunday Bingo, or other group activities that allow families to get to know each other better. These activities help solidify a greater sense of community.
More expensive homes. Gated communities are designed to meet your needs in terms of community, lifestyle, health, exclusivity, and security, among other things – all of which can affect pricing. The fact that few homes in gated communities are typically available for sale at the same time also translates to higher home selling prices.
On the upside, you can expect your home to appreciate nicely over the years, and living in such an exclusive community can certainly boost the quality of life for you and your family.
Restrictions and costly HOA fees. Strict HOA rules may be inconvenient. Tight security measures may make it time-consuming for residents or difficult for visitors to enter or exit the premises.
You may need to call down to the gate when family or friends are expected. You can also experience difficulties or delays when you need contractors to come work at your home.
Added to this, it may take longer just to drive out of your neighborhood each day, and businesses and other services may be found farther away from you.
You’ll also need to shoulder HOA fees for maintenance and the use of amenities. But HOA boards can be poorly run, and sometimes not in the best interests of all.
So, it really falls upon you as a buyer to do your own research and take the time to talk to potential neighbors to determine whether buying a home in a gated community is, in fact, worthwhile.