Pros and Cons of Buying a House in a Gated Community

Couple walking in neighborhood of gated community.

Image source: Getty Images

If you are buying a home, you may come across some properties that are located in a gated community.

These properties typically have a gate that restricts access to residents only. The gate could be manned, which means someone physically sits at the gate to help control entry. Or it could be unmanned, which means there is a gate preventing access but no person sitting at it.

No matter what type of gated community you're looking at, there are pros and cons to living in one. Here's what they are.

The biggest benefits of living in a gated community

Here are some of the pros that could make living in a gated community worth it to you:

  • Your home will be more secure: When your community is gated, only people living in the neighborhood can enter. As a result, the chances of crime are significantly reduced.
  • You'll have more privacy: Since fewer people enter gated communities, you may benefit from increased privacy and less traffic going through your neighborhood.
  • You may have access to amenities: Many gated communities have amenities such as swimming pools, golf courses, club houses, and playgrounds. You'll gain access to all of these things by living behind the gates.
  • Your home could see its property value increase more quickly: Since gated communities usually have homeowners associations, the HOA rules can help protect your property value. In many cases, many people also desire to live in gated communities so this could increase demand for your home and cause property values to rise more quickly.

The biggest downsides of living in a gated community

And here are some of the disadvantages to think about before getting a mortgage and committing to buy a home that sits behind a gate.

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  • It will be more difficult for guests and delivery people to gain entry: Obviously, the gate creates a barrier that friends and delivery people will have difficulty passing through. You may need to get a code or meet people at the gate, or be home to buzz people in if you want them to come through.
  • Gated communities are often more expensive to buy a home in: You most likely will pay a higher price to purchase a home in a gated community. This could mean you need a larger down payment and have higher mortgage payments.
  • You may have to pay high fees: There is generally a fee to maintain the gate -- especially if it is a manned gate and security must sit at the gate. You and the other homeowners are going to have to cover these costs, as well as the costs associated with operating any HOA that exists and taking care of other community amenities.
  • Restrictive HOAs are common in gated communities: Many gated communities have extensive restrictions to help maintain property values. You could find it difficult to live within the rules set by your gated community.

Ultimately, you should carefully consider both the pros and cons of buying in a gated community before you move forward. While it may seem attractive to live in a neighborhood with restricted access and great amenities, you may find that those benefits just aren't worth the tradeoff of giving up your freedom to do what you want in your own space.

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We're firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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