Your Realtor asked if you are interested in looking at homes in gated communities and sang the praises of the properties listed in several. He or she didn’t, however, give you all the information about what it’s like to live in one. There are benefits, for sure. There are also drawbacks. Knowing them will mean you can make a decision about whether you even want to look at a home in one or not.
Some of the benefits are obvious
Security tops the list. The gate means that unwanted visitors, salespeople and other door to door annoyances are kept out. The gate also keeps criminals at bay. Nothing is foolproof and the gate only acts as a deterrent. But it’s a deterrent that those living outside the gates don’t have. That security also depends on whether it’s keypad protected or live guard protected.
Other things that don’t make it through the gates is extraneous traffic. This could mean less speeding cars, though not entirely none because residents drive in and out. You likely won’t have the morning commute using your street as a shortcut either, since they can’t get through.
Another benefit is that your property will probably be with more. Gated communities tend to have a higher standard of home quality, stricter building codes and uniformity in design. As in any HOA community unkempt yards and obnoxious displays will be less likely.
Sounds great so far, right? Well don’t forget there are disadvantages too. All those benefits come with a price tag. There is a higher cost to maintain them. HOA fees and rental prices are more because of the cost of maintaining the private streets, security gates and fencing, and any guards that patrol the community.
Those gates can be an inconvenience at times too. If the keypad or gate electronics break it can keep you in or out until they are fixed. When they work there are still “rush hours” when you may have to wait to get through the gate. Any visitors you have coming to see you will have to check in which means waiting to be allowed in by a guard or buzzed in by you. If they are early and you aren’t home or don’t answer the intercom, they will have to wait.
Gate codes and time limits
And don’t end up being THAT resident who gave out the gate code to the pizza delivery guy meaning now anyone could have it. Not a great way to ingratiate yourself with the neighbors! A few more drawbacks include being farther away from shopping and work also time limits for contractors and service people to come and work on your house.