When you’re young and single, you want to live in an environment where there’s a lot of action: Cafes, bars, nightclubs, and restaurants. This is an environment most young people desire as soon as they step out their door. After a while, the best of us get worn out by this environment and want to move somewhere a little quieter, but not too far away so we can still enjoy our weekends. Finally, when we settle down and start a family, we want a serene environment with clean streets, good schools, and no chaos. A lot of suburban environments offer this but it can be tough to navigate them, many opt for a gated community as an alternative.
While gated communities do have their advantages, there are certain drawbacks, nonetheless. Here are some things to consider before buying.
Think of a gated community as a condominium; sure it’s great that you have security, but it comes at a cost. Just like in a condominium, you’re not allowed to change most things on the exterior of your property. So if you were planning on painting your house or incorporating some funky garden designs, you may be out of luck. It’s important to read the exact regulations carefully and ensure you are ok with them before you commit.
Gated communities either have on-duty security guards or automated gates that require a code to buzz into. These can be problematic during high traffic times and cause considerable delays. This often can frustrate guests or tradespeople you have coming to work on your house. If you plan on regularly having guests, this is an important factor to consider.
It’s already understood that you will be paying higher than the typical market value to live in a gated community. This cost is factored while house hunting. Additionally, you will be paying higher property taxes, which isn’t really considered until the paperwork is being drawn up, make sure you incorporate that into your budget. On top of that, you have HOA fees which, similar to condo fees, are used to maintain the community. When all the costs are factored, you need to determine if all those extra expenses are worth it.
There are obvious benefits to living in a gated community, like; exclusivity, community amenities, security, high resale value and general peace of mind. It is, however, important to keep in mind the points discussed so you can decide if a gated community is right for you.