10 Pros and Cons of Living in a Gated Community

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gated community entrance

Real estate gated communities are widely considered to be the crowning point of luxury living. Gated communities offer privacy and security, as well as other benefits.

But what are the cons to living in a gated community? Is it for you?

Manned vs. Unmanned Gated Communities

The entrance/exit gates at gated communities come either manned or unmanned. This refers to whether a person is stationed at the gate to check visitor IDs or whether visitors and residents enter a code into an electronic device to open the gate.

One pro of living in a manned gated community included advance notification that a guest is on their way to your home.

In a manned gated community, there are two entrance lanes — one for visitors and guests, and one for residents.

  • Guests need to present identification, and the guard would then call the resident to confirm that the guest should be allowed in.
  • Residents would have either a decal on their vehicle that opens the gate automatically as they enter, or they would enter a private gate code.

The added security of identification verification and the authorization process increases the feeling of safety for anyone who may feel vulnerable, such as elderly people, celebrities or wealthy families with valuables in the home, or even families with young children.

Knowing that regular traffic and strangers can’t drive through the neighborhood is a huge bonus.

The cons of manned gated community in general include having to put your frequent visitors through the authorization ordeal every time they come to visit.

Even service personnel have to stop and show ID.

Unmanned communities with gate codes are less secure, but they do offer an easier alternative to navigate the security system.

  • The upside is that the code can be given to your frequent visitors, such as your best friend, parents and siblings.
  • The downside is that the code could potentially fall into the wrong hands, since your neighbors can give out their code to outsiders, as well.

Behavior Control in a Gated Community

Most gated communities would never call their rules and restrictions behavior control, but in essence, that’s often why the rules are there. Those who invest extra real estate dollars into living in a gated community want to know that their neighbors will help keep the value of the neighborhood up and thereby protect their investment.

As such, gated communities often come with a set of additional by-laws that control and help to regulate undesired behavior in the neighborhood.

Gated community rules commonly include things like:

  • Owner vans and trucks with logos have to be parked inside the garage, not outside.
  • Lawns and driveways have to be meticulously maintained or owners can be fined.
  • No garage workshops can be used with the garage door open to the street.
  • All mailboxes must be uniform. No individual mailbox styles allowed.
  • Trash cannot be put out until a certain time. Trash barrels must be stored inside garage.
  • Vehicles cannot be parked on the lawn at any time.

Community guidelines such as these work to keep up the appearance of the neighborhood.

Real estate gated communities frequently offer extra amenities, too, such as tennis and pool facilities. However, gated communities aren’t for everyone. Before you buy into one, evaluate your ideal lifestyle to make sure a gated community is right for you.