From increased security to a variety of different amenities, many potential homeowners have contemplated the advantages and disadvantages of living in a gated community. Whether you have been thinking about buying a new home or are just curious about what it’s really like to drive through those gates to your personal place, Team Cairncross discusses what you need to know below.
Before you consider buying a home in a gated community, Team Cairncross thinks you should ask yourself the following questions, contributed to by Forbes, and really think through your family’s needs.
1) What is important to you architecturally in your home? If you have strong ideas about designing your property or remodeling, you will want to know what the specific gated community rules and regulations on uniformity are. Most HOA’s in gated communities have restrictions on how you may be able to modify your individual property. If you have always imagined your home in a unique or distinct way, you’ll want to know that going in to your search.
2) How often do you have visitors or parties at your place? With the additional safety and security offered by a gated community, there are often a few additional steps for having guests visit. Parking may be limited, registering your visitors may be a multi step process, and there could be guidelines on your gatherings. It’s worth thinking through how this may impact your lifestyle before you choose your ideal community.
3) Will you have any immediate or future needs to rent out your property? If so, be sure to check on the community’s rental policy. Many associations have restrictions pertaining to minimum lengths of leases. For example, it is not uncommon for a gated community to prohibit short term rentals.
4) Do you have any pets? Most gated communities will have some form of regulations and or restrictions that may not work for your good ‘ol boy! Before you entertain making an offer, simply ask your real estate agent to obtain a copy of the pet policy.
5) Are there any improvements scheduled that will increase the monthly cost of ownership? For example, if the community is planning to re-pave its streets or install a new pool, be sure to examine the financial implications of these improvements. Healthy gated communities tend to make important improvements that protect and increase property values, but the costs associated with such projects are typically passed onto the homeowners. While considering a community, take a look at the association’s past assessments, and ask your real estate agent to retrieve any and all information on current and planned work. This information is supposed to be disclosed to a buyer during escrow, but it’s acceptable to consider these items before writing an offer.
Amenities and Advantages
There are some fantastic amenities and advantages that can come with your choice to buy a home in a gated community. Team Cairncross’ favorite things to keep in mind are below.
1) What is important to your family? As a homeowner in a gated community, there are so many advantages that allow you to focus on what is meaningful to you. Having the landscaping taken care of or having a pool and hiking trails right outside your door can help you spend more time doing what you love. Gated communities like our current listing in Escala in San Diego, which boast a salt water pool, hot tub, and tennis courts offer homeowners easy access to lifestyle activities.
2) Know what you don’t know. The reality is that every gated community is going to come with it’s own set of amenities and access, and if you’re looking at multiple communities, things could get confusing. The New York Times recommends finding an experienced broker to work with, to help you more easily understand the pros and cons of each potential property.