Gated communities are becoming increasingly popular across the U.S. These communities are generally composed of luxury homes and condos, often with a guard or gate that restricts access to the public. Residents also enjoy access to amenities like clubhouses, swimming pools, fitness centers, and playgrounds.
Although these neighborhoods are among the highly desirable places to live, there are also some drawbacks to living in a gated community. This article explains the pros and cons of living in a gated community to help you make an informed decision.
Pros of Living in a Gated Community
Gated communities constantly monitor their entrances and exits using guards and hi-tech automatic security solutions, such as motion detectors, security cameras, and vehicle barriers.
This makes it very difficult for intruders to enter the neighborhood without being noticed. As a result, homeowners enjoy an unmatched peace of mind, knowing that the chances of being robbed are minimal.
Since gated communities have restricted access, homeowners enjoy more privacy than they would in a typical neighborhood. You don’t have to worry about uninvited strangers stopping by your home. That means you can complete your daily tasks, take your pet for a walk, or enjoy your evening on the porch without much interference.
Sense of Community
In a world where people often seem isolated, a gated community offers a sense of community and shared values that can be difficult to find elsewhere. Most of these neighborhoods have playgrounds, walking paths, and parks, creating a place where neighbors can meet and interact. Some communities even host monthly events that promote social interaction among residents.
Gated communities enjoy less traffic than their non-gated counterparts. Fewer cars passing through the community means fewer potential hazards for pedestrians or cyclists. This is particularly beneficial to homeowners with kids who love playing outside.
Higher Property Values
Homeowner associations in gated communities work hard to maintain and enhance the appearance of their properties. They employ experienced professionals to keep roadways and sidewalks in good condition, perform regular repairs, and landscape common areas.
This, combined with the quality amenities and security features of a gated community, results in significantly higher property values.
Cons of Living in a Gated Community
With all the features and services of living in a gated community, you should expect to pay a premium price. Even after accounting for the higher property values, you will still have to spend more on Home Owners Association (HOA) dues to maintain the amenities in the community.
Every gated community has rules that homeowners must follow. Therefore, if you plan any event, such as hosting a barbeque on your patio or painting your house differently, you may need permission from the HOA. Because of this reason, you should ensure you are comfortable with HOA rules before buying a home in a gated community.
Inflexible Guest Policies
Some gated communities restrict the number of guests you can invite to your residence at a given time. In addition, they may require you to request permission before each visit. This can be inconvenient if you frequently have friends and family members staying over.
Longer Waiting Times at the Gate
Since gated communities have stricter security protocols, sometimes you may wait longer than expected to get through the gates. This can be a problem during rush-hour traffic when the entrance is usually the busiest. Therefore, you should factor that into your commute plan if you’re pressed for time.
Feeling of Isolation
While living in a gated community can provide you and your family peace of mind and security, it can also be isolating. The close-knit community may cut you off from the rest of the world. Feelings of isolation may result in anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.