Gated communities are one of the fastest-growing types of housing in the United States.
In 2009, a census survey revealed 11 million households were in gated communities. That was a 3.4% increase over the 7 million households surveyed in 2001. The demand for homes in gated communities continues to rise today.
What do you think of when you hear the term gated community? Some people identify it as exclusive and expensive. They picture 12-foot walls surrounding celebrity homes. But there are many kinds of gated communities.
People choose to live in gated communities for many reasons. They want safety and security. They’re looking for peace in an exclusive community. The truth is there is a wide variety of gated communities.
Keep reading if you’re wondering if you’re cut out to live in a gated community. We’ll go behind the gate to explore the meaningful benefits for residents like you.
Let’s explore the perks of living in gated communities in Austin, TX to help you decide.
A gated community offers a sense of safety and security. It’s the top benefit for many homeowners. There are fewer crime encounters when only residents and guests can enter.
It’s easier to go on extended trips and vacations when you aren’t worried about home or car break-ins.
The security of any gated community depends on the situation. Security cameras, a guarded gatehouse, and roving security personnel make a neighborhood safer.
A gated community helps reduce cases of burglary, vandalism, and home invasion. It also stops random strangers from walking or driving through the neighborhood.
Many communities record the vehicle license plate number as the driver enters. Since visitors need a code or permission to enter, there’s an accurate record of who enters and exits.
If you want to live in a more secure neighborhood, a gated community is a good choice. Pay attention to the level of security when buying your home. Some neighborhoods use automated gates, others use full-time security guards.
Be aware there’s no guarantee crime won’t happen in a gated community. The gate is a deterrent. You must secure your home.
Who isn’t tired of solicitors? From scam artists to school fundraisers, those knocks on the door are unwelcome.
Restricted access and no thru-traffic make a gated community more private.
Community amenities like a golf course, pool, clubhouse, and tennis courts are private.
External noise and uninvited visitors disappear. Relax outside or work in your home office without outside interruptions.
Some communities limit when construction and service personnel can work. You won’t hear industrial level noise in the evenings.
Sense of Community
People living in private gated communities are like-minded. They want to live near people who share their values.
Homeowner Associations enforce property rules that result in an appealing neighborhood. People care for their homes and shared spaces with respect.
These communities often promote neighborhood gatherings. Tennis matches, pool parties, and holiday gatherings build a sense of community.
It’s easy to find activities and make friends in a community with amenities and a social calendar.
Higher Property Value
Another perk of living in a gated community is the return on investment (ROI) for your property value.
Yes, you must pay HOA fees which increases the cost of living there. But, because homes have higher standards it results in higher property value.
Gated homes sell for about $30,000 more than homes in traditional neighborhoods.
The higher value comes from exclusivity, design, building codes, and amenities. Homes in gated communities rent or sell at a higher price, but the property values increase over time.
Lifestyle Amenities and Activities
If you enjoy an active lifestyle that includes sports, a gated community is a good match. Many include private golf courses, tennis courts, swimming pools. Others offer a professional gym, walking and/or biking trails.
People interested in a healthy lifestyle enjoy activities like golf and tennis lessons. Water aerobics, dance classes, and more offer entertainment and social interaction.
Many communities offer monthly gatherings for arts and crafts, painting, and book clubs. Gated communities that promote healthy activities are popular with residents of all ages.
Some popular gated communities are eco-friendly and energy-efficient. The houses are energy-efficient designs and the entire community focuses on conservation.
Many gated neighborhoods have large clubhouses. Residents can use the space to host parties. The clubhouse may or may not include kitchen facilities.
Hosting an event at the community clubhouse or pool reduces wear and tear on your home and furniture.
The community center and events promote social interaction. It’s easy for families and neighbors to get acquainted.
Less Traffic and Pedestrian Safety
A gated community puts a stop to through traffic. The traffic comes from residents and their guests. It isn’t as noisy or fast.
You won’t find cars speeding through the streets for a short cut or daily commute. Strangers don’t park in front of your home.
Lower speed limits make the neighborhood pleasant for residents. Walking, running, biking, and strolling is safer. Children can play and ride their bikes without worrying about accidents.
A guard gate and limited access reduce the number of strangers in the area.
In some communities, residents use golf carts for short drives inside the gates.
Little or No Solicitation
When a neighborhood has a gatekeeper there are fewer solicitors. Some communities prohibit solicitors altogether. Chances are the only people knocking on your door to sell you something will be girl scouts.
Say goodbye to pushy marketers and political activists.
Pride of Ownership
In a gated community, your neighbor can’t park a commercial truck in his driveway. He can’t paint his house a hideous color or stack junk in the front yard.
Every resident must conform to the HOA bylaws. The rules make sure no one neglects home and yard maintenance.
The residents in most gated communities have pride of ownership. Maintenance of homes and landscaping are a priority.
Everyone benefits from the higher home value when a community is in top condition. The neighborhood looks good and house prices remain high.
Gated communities create a sense of exclusivity and scarcity. Low turnover and few homes for sale make the neighborhood desirable.
There’s an admission price for living in an exclusive gated community. Homeowners must pay HOA fees and agree to abide by the rules. In return, you get a safe neighborhood and a certain social status.
Is There a Downside to Living in a Gated Community?
Now that you know the pros of living in a gated community, let’s talk about the cons.
The most obvious downside is the cost. If you can afford a more expensive home in a gated community, it’s worth the investment.
Over time, a house in a gated community increases in value. Plus, you and your family get extra amenities you can use right away.
HOA fees can be more expensive. But, they pay for maintenance, roads, amenities, and added security.
Expect the HOA fee for a gated community of homes to be more expensive than a condo.
The level of security depends on the community. Some hire local law enforcement to patrol the grounds. But, not all gated communities have live guards.
Some communities rely on automated gates and cameras. One pizza guy with the gate code can breach the security of a neighborhood. Always be aware, even when you live in a gated community.
Controlled entry can cause traffic buildup that irritates residents and guests.
Traffic can back up during morning and evening rush hour. You and your guests may wait in a line when entering or exiting your gated neighborhood.
Each person must punch in a code or confer with the guard at the gate when entering the community. Visitors must wait until the guard confirms entry with a resident.
If the entry gate system breaks it can cause a security breach along with a traffic jam.
Looking for Gated Communities in Austin, TX?
Gated communities aren’t for everyone. But, if you want a safe environment and a home that increases in value, a gated community is a good choice.
The first step is deciding what matters most to you and your family. Make a list of your top priorities. What are your lifestyle, location, and amenity preferences? Pay attention to regulations, budget, and security as you research different places.If you need help finding gated communities in Austin, TX contact the pros at Idea Homes. We can help you find the perfect home for your family.