A residential area with controlled access is what a gated community is all about. Usually meant to protect the privacy and safety of residents, these communities have become increasingly popular in today’s society with rising levels of crime. Simple gated communities are common in large cities, wherein you can witness serious gate arrangements done to protect famous or infamous residents, government personnel or visiting dignitaries. By erecting walls around the neighborhood and controlling the access by gates, they, however, separate the community from the rest of the locality. Critics consider gated communities to be private enclaves, which not only maintain segregation, but also help to increase it. The debate over whether a gated community benefits or detracts residents from other communities has supporters on both ends. This article specifically deals with the pros and cons of gated communities.
Advantages Of Gated Communities
- The primary benefit of staying in a gated community is the security element. They are more difficult to access in comparison to standard communities and hence a reduced level of criminal activity is observed. Vehicles as well as pedestrians have to pass through gates often guarded by uniformed security officers. Often, residents and visitors use separate lanes to enter the community. While residents use issued computer cards to get access, the visitor’s authorization is verified via telephone.
- Gated communities are often aided with safety measures, such as speed bumpers, which reduce the speed of vehicles within the premises of a gated community. This, in turn, makes it safer for children to play inside the community and also considerably reduces the number of automobile accidents that would otherwise have taken place.
- A gated community fosters a sense of togetherness. There is a feeling of unity and the neighbors tend to look out for each other and stand by each other at times of need. They also come together to fight for common causes which is not usually seen in case of standard neighborhoods.
- Several gated communities have exclusive amenities and resources for themselves. Recreation rooms, swimming pools and private parks are facilities which the old and the young residing in the community can indulge in. Often, community centers or events which aim at involving group activities are organized to promote the families to come together and get to know each other.
- Gated communities have a higher standard of home quality and a strict building code, which gives a basic uniformity in design to the entire community. Since the residents of a gated community have a higher pride of owning the house in comparison to a standard neighborhood resident, they keep their homes in good condition, increasing the overall saleable value of the community. Also, creating a scarcity effect, with only few homes available for sale at a time, it adds to the value.
Disadvantages Of Gated Communities
- The prime disadvantage of a gated community is the price factor. The maintenance cost as well as the security factor involved calls for a high price. The residents often have to pay association fees to maintain the grounds and security measures involved. Moreover, if the municipality considers the roads inside the gated community to be private, the residents themselves have to pay the bills to mend potholes and the like.
- Comparatively few homes within a gated community are on the market at a time. As such, demand for them goes higher in the market with a higher price tag than those of non-gated communities in the same locality.
- All gated communities do not have live guards and automated gates are very easy to trespass. Moreover, in several cases, there are specific time limits in which visitors can enter the gate. Additionally, the visitors and contractors may run out of patience waiting in the line to enter the guarded enclave during busy times. During holidays, the gate can even be blocked altogether, forbidding anyone from entering the community.
- It is very difficult for service providers like UPS drivers, cable installers and building contractors to enter the gated community. As such, the residents find it difficult to get their work done on time. Moreover, since a gated community rarely contains any retail centre such as grocery store, one has to frequently make a trip to the market. Again, a gated community is usually located away from offices or business centers, the time consumed in commuting increases considerably.