Pros and Cons of Living in a Gated Community

The security of gated communities is appealing to those who prefer living in a more private neighborhood. Many homebuyers often think that gated communities are only for the wealthy.

However, there are gated communities for almost every budget. From added safety features to eliminating the presence of noisy traffic, living in a gated community can be beneficial to individuals and families alike.

However, before you commit to the idea of living in a gated community, it is important to take a few moments to consider the disadvantages of this choice. The obvious pro of living in a gated community is the privacy it provides you, but at what cost? Home owner’s association (HOA) fees are often attached to these properties in order to compensate for the price of operating the front gates. This is just one major factor to consider, especially if you want to stay within a specific budget on your mortgage.

Pros of Living in a Gated Community

The primary benefit of living in a gated community is the security and peace of mind associated with this style of neighborhood. It means that only residents and invited guests are allowed inside, as you must have permission to enter. This is usually verified in one of the following ways:

  • Gate key card
  • Phone call to the resident
  • Security code
  • Driver’s license or ID, if you are on a list of pre-approved visitors

Not only does this drive down the potential for crime in your neighborhood, but it helps to thwart the attempts of solicitors who want to sell products door-to-door. If you are concerned about the safety of yourself and your family, choosing to live in a gated community may be the best choice for you. You have the comfort of knowing whoever is on the property is allowed to be there, and you can feel secure within the privacy of your own home each night.

An added benefit of living in a gated community is the reduction of traffic. In general, the presence of the gates deters people from speeding or driving recklessly when entering the neighborhood, so there is less worry about the potential for speeding cars passing by while your children play outside.

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Additionally, if you must commute to work each morning, you are not going to face as much traffic leaving your home as you would if you lived in a typical community. Fellow commuters are unable to use your street as a pass-through to avoid traffic, meaning you never have to worry about waiting for several minutes before you can exit your driveway.

Another pro of living in a gated community is the quality of the homes you can purchase in these areas. Oftentimes, homes within a gated community offer better features and are constructed of higher quality materials. As there is a fee associated with these neighborhoods, you can expect the property to be well cared for in terms of landscaping and maintenance as well.

Cons of Living in a Gated Community

While it may seem as though there are only benefits to living in a gated community, there are also a few cons to choosing this type of neighborhood. Gated communities tend to be more expensive due to the high price for the homes and the added HOA fees associated with the quality of maintenance.

Between the gates themselves, any security guards hired by the HOA and the cost of repairs to the roads and other common areas, living in a gated community can be costly. If you are unable to afford these constant fees each month, you may want to reconsider the prospect of living in a private community.

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It is also important to remain realistic about the security of each property, as the presence of a gate or security guard does not deter crime completely. You may experience lower rates of crime than you would in other neighborhoods, but you still want to lock your doors and stay alert.

Before you commit to buying a home in one of these neighborhoods, it is beneficial to assess the present safety features. That way, you can ensure they are going to be worth the price you must pay each month to maintain them. If you are dissatisfied with the quality of the security and privacy offered by the neighborhood, you may want to consider other options.

How to Decide If Living in A Gated Community Is Right for You

Once you weigh the pros and cons of living in a gated community, you can determine whether living in this type of neighborhood is the right choice for you and your family. One of the most important things to consider when making this choice is the amount of money you can afford to pay each month to live in your new home.

Not only must you cover the cost of your mortgage and utilities, you may additionally need to pay an annual HOA fee to live within a gated community, which can be expensive depending on where you live. Before you purchase a home within a gated community, make sure to create a projected budget for the fees you must pay out each month to live in this property. If the price is steeper than what you were hoping to pay, you may want to look for a home in a different neighborhood instead.

While you can also take safety precautions in your home to increase security and thwart potential crime, it may not be to the same degree you can have within a gated community. If you are confident in the safety features provided by your selected community, it may be worth spending extra each month to gain peace of mind.

If your primary concern is the safety of yourself and your family, you may be willing to pay more each month for the comfort associated with living in a gated community. For those who want to live in a neighborhood where their children can go outside to play without fear of traffic or crime, selecting a gated community could be the right fit for you.

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