Shopping for a Home Means Making Some Big Decisions
When buyers shop for a home in Wellington, FL, the first decision to make is often, gated or non-gated? Gated communities offer prestige along with a greater sense of security. These factors alone are not great decision makers. Prestige is not quantifiable but it can come with a higher price tag. As for security, many would argue that if a burglar wanted into the community bad enough, he or she would, undoubtedly, find a way to get in. Luckily, most criminals don’t plan ahead and, in a pinch, would opt for a non-gated community over a gated community.
Let’s examine some additional pros and cons of gated and non-gated communities.
Gated communities can have guards or perhaps the gate opens with a keycard. You can expect the Home Owners Association (HOA) fees to be higher if the gates have human guards. Sometimes you will find a community that uses live guards on a part-time basis, which helps lower the HOA fees a bit.
One expense that many people forget to consider or ask about is the cost of road maintenance within the community. Most roads inside of communities are private, especially if the neighborhood is gated. In many instances, local government agencies, in charge of road maintenance, do not take responsibility for roads behind gates. This means the expense of road repair and maintenance falls on the homeowners in the gated-communities, through HOA fees or in addition to regular fees when the need arises. It is best to find out before you buy.
Traffic and speeding cars are also greatly reduced behind gates, making it quieter and safer for children to play and ride bicycles within these neighborhoods.
Another pro to gates is you won’t have the town’s morning traffic using your street as a shortcut.
One aspect that can be a pro or a con, depending on opinion, is the stricter building requirements and uniformity of design. If you have a strong desire to be different and don’t want to have to keep up with the Jones’, then many communities will not be suitable to you.
On the other hand…
Homeowners in these communities, whether gated or not, generally have a higher pride of ownership, and keep their homes in great condition. In addition to that, the demand for housing in gated communities is rarely met by supply. Therefore, if you come across a gated community with a high turn-over rate, you might want to find out why so many people are selling.
Other benefits of both gated and non-gated communities are social in nature. Most communities offer a community center with access to athletic equipment and fields, spas, swimming facilities and group activities where families within the community can get to know each other better.
HOA fees can be a big con for gated communities, as the fees are often higher than they are in non-gated communities. In fact, many communities in Wellington, FL offer low HOA fees to their homeowners and some are offering their amenities as optional fees. For instance, several golf communities now offer an optional club membership instead of it being required. Just ask one of the knowledgeable real estate agents at RealtyFox.com to show you around Wellington and Palm Beach County homes for sale.
Another con to gated communities is the traffic at busy times. You or your visitors may have to site in line, waiting to be let into the community. This is often problematic for contractors, who may also be limited as to the amount of time they can spend within the community, or limited to specific days and times. This is good if you are not the one needing a contractor as you wouldn’t be disturbed by the noise during odd times and on holidays.
Just remember that HOA’s are not all created equally, so ask questions and get the answers you seek. If an HOA manager won’t give you straight answers, move on to the next one. Our RealtyFox agents make every effort possible to get you the information you need to make an informed decision.
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