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Living In Gated Communities: The Pros And Cons

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gated-community-basicsSharing A Reality Apart

The rise of the gated community has had a mixed reception in the American real estate marketplace. There are features of gated communities that appeal to some homeowners and that do not impress others. The secret is to be clear on which side of the fence your values fall before you commit to living in gate luxury.

First The Good Points Order Exclusivity And Privacy

The most appealing features of gated communities include all that the developers and sellers would wish you to see. Gated communities stand for exclusivity and privacy and a pleasant, well groomed common area, shared by all of the homeowners in the community through a home owner’s association or HOA.

Privacy and Security – For homeowners who like privacy and the sense of security that comes from restricting entry, the fences and watchful eye of a security patrol are the difference between restless nights and fitful slumber.

Exclusive Luxury – Wanting the best and being able to afford it is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact it is the sort of material success that this country tends to admire most. Gated communities of all kinds provide that extra level of service and amenities with comfort and style that represent the aspirations of many people.

Living In An Adventure Club – The ordered exteriors and restrictive gateways provide a status symbol that shares a lifestyle. Some gated communities are built around common use and interest; many are focused on golf courses, others include private marinas. On the extreme upper end there are airport communities where every owner has their own airplane and hangars, with the roadways leading to the community runway.

On The Down Side Of The Fence

HOA Fees Add Up – For this you will be paying homeowners association fees that are higher than those that you would for the equivalent open community, because of the cost of the apparatus to keep the boundaries monitored and in order.

Exclusivity Could Equal Isolation – Even though some buyers might see privacy and security as reassuring others may feel like they are stuck in elitist isolation in a gated community. This separation from the larger community of your city or region is often so complete that you lose your sense of location and connection to the outside world. Also if there is exceptionally tight security or tension there could be a sense of being watched, even judged by the management and by fellow residents.

There will always be a flow of non-residents on and off the estate; realistically, there can be no hermetically sealed environment, with that comes the risks and burdens of staffing and security. The person who seeks to be able to control access completely and who has the resources is probably better off having his or her own private estate.

Prisoners In Paradise Possibly – There was a British TV show of the late sixties called The Prisoner, which used a delightfully themed community in Wales as the set location. The point was that it was a pleasant and genteel community that also happened to be a prison for spies. For all of the well-groomed buildings, lush gardens, and organized activities there was a hidden security system that would vigorously pursue anyone who attempted to escape. Of course the protagonist, known only by his assigned number “six” wanted nothing more than to escape, which gave rise to the theme and plots of the show. If there is no gated community that verges on that state of affairs it can only be a good thing. However, it is a plot line that could easily be reworked for a movie or series about one.

Gated Communities In Summary

When you are selecting a new home and looking at the options for community, it might be worth looking into what a gated community can offer you. It is a matter of what you want to gain from your membership in such a community. If you seek privacy and luxurious escape from the outside world it may be a plus to have gates and fences around your neighborhood. If you wish to be directly connected to the community at large and to live in a diverse and unbounded realm then you are best off steering clear.

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