Communities that are gated are getting noticed and popular in recent times as people find it very prestigious to be living in restricted areas!
When you are in search of a new home, a gated community will surely attract you especially because of the privacy it offers along with the incredible resources. Therefore, in this article are the pros and cons of gated communities you have to consider before you make your decision.
Gated communities are clusters of houses built within a premise that is secured with the main gate and which has several facilities that are available for use only by the residents.
It has a sense of exclusiveness with superior quality buildings and facilities that are only accessible to owners. Outsiders are not allowed to use them so in a sense, they are like an exclusive country club.
Often, people tend to savor the fact that what is only available to them, is of a high-end nature and they revel in that. Controlled entrances for bikes, cars, pedestrian traffic, etc are demarcated in such communities and the insides are usually enclosed by high borders such as fences and brick walls so that unsolicited outsiders cannot enter with ease.
Even though living in a gated community has some benefits, it also implies several downsides.
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What are Gated Communities?
Gated communities are residential communities with strictly controlled entrances, often also using fences or walls to prevent people outside the community to enter their territory. It is a private community with houses that are protected by gates.
These communities give access to the residents and their guests only. The main benefit of a gated community is the safety aspect. Moreover, many gated communities are luxurious and have opulent recreational and functional amenities that are very beneficial to the people living inside, some gated communities are found in countries like Argentina, Australia, India, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Ecuador, Egypt, etc.
Although living in such prestigious properties sounds high-end and luxurious, it is essential to weigh the advantages as well as the disadvantages of a gated community.
In this article, the pros and cons of gated communities are to be examined and considered when deciding to own a home in one of the gated communities.
Are Gated Communities Expensive?
There are many facilities and amenities offered by gated communities making the standard of living as well as the cost of living higher than normal. Due to the increasing demand for housing by the high class in society and high-level security services, maintenance costs for gated community homes lean on the higher side.
However, there are small and large communities and they differ in their luxury levels so you can purchase one more to the tune while considering your budget.
Pros of Gated Community
- High Safety and Security Level
- Sense of Community
- Privacy and Prestige
- A Friendly and Peaceful Community
- Socializing is Easy
- May be Less Noisy than other Residential Areas.
- Variety of Facilities and Amenities
- Only Residents can enter the Property in a Legal Manner
- It is a Beautiful Area to Live
- Not too Much Worry about Maintenance.
1. High Safety and Security Level
One major reason people choose a gated community over a non-gated community is for the added safety and security. Gated communities provide a high level of safety and security by having an access control point; they are better able to control virtually all that enters the community. No one apart from the residents and their guests will be allowed to enter the building.
While being in a gated community does not ensure your home will not be broken into, it does make it harder for that thief. Most burglars are looking for an easy opportunity, so anything you can do to make your home more of a hassle for them will help keep you safer.
There will often also be security guards and cameras are often set around to monitor the property every day making it difficult for thieves to have access to the buildings. Thieves are not always brave enough to jump over the walls or the fence.
Also, many such communities are guarded by password-protected codes. In this way, unsolicited outsiders and burglars are kept at bay. Children and women can also roam around freely without the worry of perverts or potential kidnappers.
Therefore, gated communities can be considered to be much safer compared to normal houses on average and you will not have to fear that you’ll get robbed at nighttime or when you are on vacation.
2. Sense of Community
In a world where disconnection between individuals is on the increase, gated communities can serve as a platform to encourage bonding in relationships as well as networking between individuals.
In gated communities, a sense of living is seen among individuals in a small community. For instance, many gated communities have their parks, recreation centers, walking paths, and outdoor activity spaces, these can be great spots to meet your neighbors and foster relationship and also build networks.
Some gated communities have monthly tenant activities, helping create a sense of community.
3. Privacy and Prestige
Living in a gated community means you have more privacy, and this is the major reason why you see most celebrities and famous figures choose them. Most gated communities have fencing and large walls dotting the borders which do not allow unwanted intruders to enter the premises.
This to a large extent makes the community streets more peaceful and less busy. This also reduces the rate of door-to-door marketing as anyone will enter the community will be properly interrogated by the security guards before entrance is permitted.
However, inside the community, unwanted prying neighbors are not wholly addressed, so you don’t assume you will have 100% privacy.
On the other hand, some individuals care a lot about their public image and want to show the world what nice material things they got. For many people, the address of where you live still matters, and gated communities are often considered to be quite prestigious and exclusive.
In this case, we find individuals who want to show their friends how successful they are through where they live.
4. A Friendly and Peaceful Community
Another reason why people prefer gated communities is the fact that they have the most friendly, peaceful, and relaxed atmosphere.
When you are living in a community with fewer people, you tend to build a friendly and peaceful relationship with them as a high level of understanding is experienced among the class of individuals living in that community. It is of great advantage as having friendly and peaceful neighbors helps in a more pleasant environment.
This atmosphere allows an increase in social networking and bonding among the community residents.
Also in some gated communities with new constructions and structures, there are no horn sounds, no traffic chaos, and no one is speeding!
There is no noise pollution since the residents and their guests are most times inside their houses, the community is perfect for people to exercise, walk, jog, or even take their dogs for a walk outside.
5. Socializing is Easy
Since you will see the same people regularly, it will also be quite easy for you to make many new connections over time.
Socializing can be done on the sports courts, by going to the gym together, having fun in the recreation areas, and parks. Children as well as young adults can be seen playing football in the community field and this serves as a platform where they meet each other frequently without going to anyone’s house
There might also be several community activities which you can join and over time, chances are that you will get to meet many new people and some of them may become really good friends.
6. May be Less Noisy than other Residential Areas
Just as I stated earlier, noise pollution is not experienced in this type of environment, as a result of no or low level of commercial activities. This is because only limited numbers of people are allowed to enter gated communities to that effect; the overall noise level also tends to be quite low. There is less excessive noise from cars like outside near main streets.
Also during rush hour, it will remain rather quiet inside the community walls since only a few cars will enter and leave the community.
Excessive noise during the day and especially at nighttime is taken care of by strict rules which are enforced by the agents in the communities or homeowner association.
This will make people behave better and take care of each other so that other community members are not bothered.
7. Variety of Facilities and Amenities
Residents in gated communities often have a big variety of amenities made available to them. These include swimming pools, gyms, football pitches, and several other sports courts such as badminton courts, basketball courts, etc.
Generally, gated communities are meant to provide you with everything you need for your daily life so that there is not too much need to go outside anymore.
Therefore, if you are such an individual who likes to spend your time in only one place then a gated community is meant for you since you will find most things for your daily life within the community walls.
8. Only Residents can Enter the Property in a Legal Manner
Another upside of gated communities is that only a quite limited number of people can enter the property. This helps to assure a much higher level of safety and security as well.
Everyone who will be let in will be properly interrogated by the security personnel, to get legal approval for entrance
Furthermore, it also prevents other cars to get inside, and therefore, commuting traffic and other annoying effects like excessive air pollution can be avoided inside the community walls.
9. It is a Beautiful Area to Live
Due to proper maintenance regularly, gated communities often also look quite beautiful. Quite often, there are many exotic and ecstatic plants inside and everything looks nice, tidy and beautiful.
Therefore, the overall quality of life of residents inside the community walls may be quite high and due to the natural feeling that comes along with those gardening techniques, you might also be better able to relax and unplug from your stressful job or your stressful daily life in general.
10. Not too Much Worry about Maintenance
Also regarding the maintenance of the property, there will be sufficient staff employed to help you fix minor things.
Moreover, also the community amenities like the sports courts and the gym are maintained regularly. Additionally, gardeners make sure that the property looks nice and is kept tidy.
Thus, you can enjoy your life in those gated communities without having to worry too much about of you getting involved in maintenance issues of any sort whether with your energy or resources.
Cons of Gated Communities
Just as we have seen some advantages of gated, let’s take a quick exploration of the disadvantages to help you balance your view concerning the choice you’ll like to make as to where you want to live.
Discussed below are the disadvantages of gated communities.
- Longer Waiting Times at the Entrance
- They are Expensive
- People may feel Isolated Inside Gated Communities
- Less Freedom
- Difficult Access for Delivery or Other Service Providers
- Adherence to Visiting Hours
- A Sense of Dichotomy Separation of the Rich from the Poor
- People in Gated Communities May Lose the Sense of Reality
- Visitors may Feel Strange and Inconvenienced
- Access to the Vicinity Takes up a Lot of Time
1. Longer Waiting Times at the Entrance
Longer waiting can be experienced during certain times of the day when people leave the community to go to work or when people come home from work. This is a result of a long line of cars waiting to enter the property when going or coming back from work.
Hence, if you work in a regular job, you might want to get there a little bit sooner and also leave a little bit sooner so that you can avoid waiting in line regularly.
2. They are Expensive
Acquiring homes or being part of a gated community often comes with a higher cost and quite expensive Homeowner Association (HOA) fees.
A gated community has fewer houses than any other neighborhood which is why the price of these houses are higher naturally and since they have plenty of amenities and facilities to offer which may significantly improve your overall quality of life you will have to pay fees to cover the cost and maintenance of the amenities not to talk of the quite expensive nature of the properties themselves.
Also, the demand for those properties is quite high and with increasing demand and rather constant supply of those homes, prices tend to increase even more.
Further, in some parts of the world like the United States, if you buy a home in a gated community, you will have to continue paying those Homeowner Association (HOA) fees for as long as you own the house.
Therefore, living in a gated community can be much more expensive compared to an apartment in a multi-story building or even an independent house in a non-gated neighborhood.
So you have to decide for yourself whether the additional costs are worth it or not.
3. People may Feel Isolated Inside Gated Communities
Due to the presence of many amenities for daily life inside the community property, people tend to live isolated lives. There is no or less need to leave the gated community and get outside into the real world.
This may lead to a serious feeling of social isolation for many people since they will no longer feel like they are part of society.
While some people at some point may even develop physiological problems over time since they can’t stand staying inside those community walls. This might be especially true if you do not like your neighbors, but have to see them regularly every day.
4. Less Freedom
If you are living in a gated community, your overall level of freedom might be pretty confined oftentimes there will be Homeowner Association rules which you have to comply.
For instance, you may not be allowed to do something different with your yard, paint your house a different color, throw a huge and loud party, play certain instruments that may annoy other homeowners in your community, you may not be able to do everything you want.
Also, if you stop paying your Homeowners Association dues or incur the wrath of the Association board, you could find yourself facing steep penalties and even have a lien on your house.
Since you have to give up some control to live in a gated community, it is important to find one that has been properly managed and that has fair rules you can live with, otherwise, you might feel pretty confined in your daily life and your preferences.
5. Difficult access to Delivery and other Service Providers
Since there are strict rules and controls at the entrance of gated communities or at least you need some code to get in, delivery services and other service providers may have trouble getting in.
You might often forget to give those people the code to enter the community property and therefore, delivery services may have a hard time getting in. That is why delivery and service providers should know the actual house owner they are going to work for or deliver messages to by having their contacts, so they can be reached during the process of interrogation.
You might be called to come outside and get your delivery at the entrance of the gated community since they will not be allowed to enter the property by the security guard.
6. Adherence to Visiting Hours
Some gated communities also have quite strict visiting hours. In some cases, your guests may have to leave in the evening due to the restrictions of those gated communities.
Thus, this also means that it might be pretty hard for you to organize parties and some events most especially in the evening, since if your guests may have to leave that early, it will take plenty of fun out of it.
To some extent, parties may not even be allowed inside the community walls since the noise from those parties may disturb other residents.
Hence, before your movement into one of those communities, do well to study the community regulations to avoid unpleasant scenarios.
7. A Sense of Dichotomy Separation Between the Rich and the Poor
Opponents of gated communities also often claim that those communities contribute to the increasing separation of the poor and the rich. As only the said high-class people are found to live in the gated communities creating a dichotomy between the rich and the poor in society.
For a functioning society, people with different social statuses must meet and interact with each other. However, through gated communities, the rich are often isolated from the rest of society.
Moreover, while living inside the community walls may be quite good, the living conditions outside for the rest of the general public might be quite poor since the concentration of poor people outside the gated communities will often be quite high, which poses significant risks for the social stability of a region.
8. People in Gated Communities May Lose the Sense of Reality
People in gated communities are often seen not to interact with people outside those walls, this will go a long way to make them lose the sense of what real life looks like.
While rich people in those communities may live a fancy lifestyle, the living conditions outside those walls may be quite poor for the general public.
Yet, people inside those walls may not realize that and may forget about the problems of the general public.
9. Visitors may Feel Strange and Inconvenienced
Due to advanced security, guests of residents might have to deal with certain inconveniences such as giving their names, and numbers and mentioning their reason for a visit. The member who has invited them might even need to be called to ensure that they have approved this visit.
This can make your guests feel rather strange and uncomfortable when they visit you.
This is especially true if you have kids and your kids may want to bring friends with them to your home and the security guard may have to check them every time they want to enter the building.
10 Access to the Vicinity Takes up a Lot of Time
Living in a guard-gated community means having to cross a check post every time you enter or leave the gate.
Because the working class has the same job timings, you will be faced with a traffic jam at the gate because there will be a lot of people who enter and leave at the same time.
Gated communities do cause a lot of trouble if the gate gets broken or the surveillance cameras at the gate get damaged.
It takes you up to hours to get through this kind of situation and when this happens after working hours, it is so frustrating as you are already tired.
Gated communities are nice place to live as it is very peaceful, provide a sense of security, and offer several facilities for the residents to enjoy. However, the cons discussed will guide you to make a proper and sensible decision as to where to live.
After, you have considered the cons, a Kindy advice to you in case you decide to live in gated communities. Do not rely on the allure of advertising. You will have to visit the gated community to have a closer look at everything.
Is it worth it to live in a gated community?
If you’re financially capable or buoyant, living in a gated community can be unique and beneficial to you. You can always develop a means to work around the disadvantages and have your sanity to yourself.
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Ahamefula Ascension is a Real Estate Consultant, Data Analyst, and Content writer. He is the founder of Hope Ablaze Foundation and a Graduate of Environmental Management in one of the prestigious colleges in the country. He is obsessed with Reading, Research and Writing.