Gated communities have become more mainstream these days than they were
years ago. Should you buy a home in a gated community? There are
pluses and minuses and things to consider before going ahead. It may be a
good fit, but you need to be aware.
To begin with, there are different types of gated communities. Manned-gated
communities or guard-gated communities are just what they sound like. There
is a guardhouse when you pull up to the community. You must be called in
by a resident and you must show ID in order to enter. Manned-gated
communities provide a sense of security for many people.
Gated communities can be virtual or have a call box. When you pull up, you
have to either be called in or there will be a directory with residents' names
and a call box. When pulling up to a virtual gated community, you will be
speaking to a person on a screen. You will have to show ID. Other
communities have gates which may be actual gates or an arm with a call
box. Scroll through the directory until you find the resident's name.
There is usually a code to dial which will connect you with the resident who
will then open the gate.
Then we have single family homes with private gates. Although not as
common, they do exist and work much like a virtual gated community or just a
Gated communities have rules and regulations, as well as governing documents
and bylaws. They like to keep uniformity within the community. Are you okay
with that? Many people are others are not. It's a personal
choice. There will be a homeowner's association, usually with monthly
meetings, to keep the community in good shape and on track.
Do you have pets? This is definitely something to consider in a gated
community. Many communities have pet restrictions as to number of pets allowed
in each home, types of pets and even breed restrictions. Again, some people are
fine with this while others are not. For example, they may allow two dogs under
20 lbs. or one dog allowed up to 60 lbs., no aggressive breeds, no reptiles,
etc. Can you live with it?
Many people do fine in a gated community. Others do not want to follow
rules. They need to look for a single-family home on a street where only
the city, town or county governs. We have choices and what works for one
person may or may not work for another.
Should you buy a home in a gated community? Only you know what you are
comfortable and can live with. But don't go blindly ahead. If you're
interested in a gated community, find out the rules and regulations before you
get involved. Make sure it's a good fit for you. Will you be happy
there? If you are seeing homes in the community, your best source of
information is always the people who live there. If you see someone
walking a dog, stop them and ask whatever it is you're concerned with. People
are often friendly and will answer your questions.
You know your comfort zone. Go with your gut and happy house hunting!