Living in gated communities is becoming a popular trend these days. When you think of a gated community, what comes to mind? Things like security, safety, exclusivity and expensive houses will probably feature somewhere on that list. But what else lies behind those beautiful gates and the seemingly perfect quaint little homes?
A gated community refers to any type of residential neighborhood that has controlled access using one or more gates that residents or visitors must pass through. Some have a guard booth with security staff to ensure that only residents pass through the gate, while others use an automatic gate that residents must open with a key card. These gated communities have a name and a clear geographical definition as marked by the barriers and gates that control access to the area. Here’s a look at the both sides of the fence, the pros and cons of gated communities.
Gated communities are secure – one of the primary purposes of a gated community is to offer its residents with security that they wouldn’t experience in non-gated communities. The fact that there is controlled entry, round the clock security would offer residents assurance of their security. There is however no guarantee that gated communities are the most secure as the integrity of the neighborhood is dependent directly on the integrity of its residents.
Reduced traffic – There tends to be a lot less traffic along the streets contained within gated communities. This helps to cut down on the noise levels. Residents with children also feel it provides a safer playing environment for their kids to run around and play.
Rules and codes of conduct – Many gated communities have set rules and regulations that residents must adhere to. These rules are important as they require everyone to take care of their homes and surrounding property, which helps keep the appearance and value of the community up. Also, the rules ensure peaceful coexistence among residents.
Amenities are available to the residents exclusively. Apart from security, one other popular feature of gated communities is the exclusive facilities such as swimming pools, playgrounds, gyms and other recreational facilities that you would otherwise have to pay for in public places.
Cost – this goes without saying. Gated communities are often associated with very high end upper class living. Because of the exclusivity and other amenities that gated communities offer, it may cost you more to live in a gated community than in a normal non-gated one. The rental or buying prices are often higher due to the cost of maintaining the private streets, security gates and fencing, and the guards on patrol.
Having friends and family over may not be as easy as it once was. This is due to the security protocol to be followed before your guests even enter the premises. Having a visitor have to check in with the guard or log in their vehicle may come as an inconvenience to your guests.
Gated communities are typically located further away from the city and other businesses so the trip to work or the supermarket could be a bit longer.
Before deciding to buy or rent in a gated community, do not depend on the ads, the hear-say or the appearance of the property, instead, find out the crime statistics of that particular area and get to know what the brochures won’t tell you. The gates may tend to offer a false sense of security and sometimes the security is largely an illusion offered by the gated surroundings. Not all gated areas offer the level of security that residents may expect.
On the other hand, if you do get your hands on a good home in a gated community, there is a good chance that the property will appreciate highly in the years to come.
Get more property insights from Pam Golding.