Let’s talk about gated communities and explore the pros and cons of gated communities here in Southwest Florida. When we’re working with somebody from out of town, out of state or out of the country who is looking for property here in Southwest Florida one of the common things that they say is, “I cannot get over how many gated communities there are in Southwest Florida.” Whether it’s Naples, Fort Myers, Estero, Bonita Springs; there are a lot of gated communities. So there must be something to that, right? Why would we have so many gated communities?
Pro number one, security. What gated communities do is, they help keep people who shouldn’t be in the neighborhood out. That helps with crime, random people coming by, who just shouldn’t have any interest or reason to be in your particular community. Let’s go over to the other side and see what con number one is, and that is Homeowners Associations(HOA). If there’s a gate, that means that we are blocking off some portion of society. That means we’ve got to have private roads that are maintained by a homeowners association, and other things as well.
If you have to be part of an HOA it’s important to know, that comes with HOA fees. Those fees can range anywhere from $150 to upwards of $1000 a month. Pro number two, we just talked about how in con number one, that you have additional costs because you have to pay money for those HOA fees. But pro number two, is that you may just save some money living behind the Gates. If you are a seasonal resident and this is a second home for you, your homeowners insurance company, may be happy that those Gates exist. That’s why there’s so many in Southwest Florida, because we are a second home area. People vacation here, people retire, and winter here. It’s good to have that additional security and some homeowners insurance companies will give you a discount if you live in a gated community and it’s not your primary residence. Con number two, restrictions. And what do I mean by that? Because we’re in a homeowner’s association, there are going to be some restrictions that could inhibit you from doing something that you love. Most of those homeowners associations will not allow you to park that RV or a boat in your driveway and also things like paint color and fencing.
On to pro number three, we’re going to take con number two, and we’re going to flip it around and make that a positive. We talked about the restrictions being a con or a negative, but pro number three is that homes are typically well-maintained behind the Gates because HOA and restrictions exist. So while there’s some negatives to those restrictions and also does a good job of making sure that they’re maintaining the property at a level that isn’t detrimental to any of the neighbors. Con number three, rules vigilantes. We’ve heard horror stories of homeowners associations that are just sending out letters all of the time. I had a personal experience. I had purchased a foreclosure property in a homeowner’s association and we improved it significantly. When I purchased the home, the grass was completely dead. They were taken over by weeds. Well, we went and we had triplets and we got a letter after we had triplets that there was one dead flower by our mailbox. And that one dead flower was worthy of somebody going around, writing a note, sending it to the association management company. This was after we made all the improvements and put all new plants in and just had triplets. Now let’s talk about pro number four, and that is amenities. Not all gated communities have amenities, but most of them do, so when they build these communities, typically there are some type of resort style amenities with pools, clubhouse or even golf courses that are behind the Gates in the community that you get to enjoy.
Con number four behind the Gates, It lacks uniqueness a lot of the time. Generally, in most gated communities, there’s one developer or one builder that builds the products, especially when it’s the national brands out there, like Lennar and Pulte. What happens is you get smaller, lots, you get similar homes, similar schemes. And so there’s not a lot of customization. There are homeowners associations and gated communities where you can build custom homes. I’m not saying that you can’t do that. Most of the price points of those, however, are $750,000 and up to even consider building a custom home in a community where that would be allowed.
Well, that does it for our list of pros and cons in a gated community. I want to hear from you, because I know that you have stories about your gated community, or if you’re looking in a gated community, I’d love to hear where you’re looking at, what you’re looking for. So post those comments below, and if you could do me a favor and click that, Like, and the Bell icon to subscribe to the channel, that would help inspire me to make more videos for you. Thank you so much.
Brad Dohack | Gulf Pointe Properties | 239-839-1168 | Brad.HomeSearchinSWFlorida.com