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Living in a Gated Community

Thinking About Moving to a Gated Community? What You Should Know

Looking at new homes in a gated community? There's a few things you should consider before you sign on the dotted line. From the property owner's association's (POA) rules and fees to architectural requirements and community activities, know what to expect when you live in a gated community:

  • POA Fees You should know what to expect in terms of POA fees each year. Just about every gated community will have fees that are used for everything from paying the security force to maintaining the common areas. While you will be given exact figures at settlement, these numbers can change over time; in many cases, they'll go up a bit each year.
  • Rules and Restrictions From the exterior of your home to the types of pets you can have, a gated community will likely have plenty of rules on the books. If you think you might want to have non-traditional pets like chickens, have a hankering to paint your house pink, or want to start an auto body shop in your garage, then a gated community is not a good choice for you. One of the standout features of any gated community is the cohesive design and the attractive exterior and landscaping of each home in the neighborhood. You'll benefit from these standards, since your neighborhood will always have great curb appeal, but you'll give up some of your creative freedom in the process.
  • Community Expect some community events each year, from an annual yard sale or Easter egg hunt to community barbecues and holiday gatherings. You'll also get to know your neighbors as you use the common areas like pools, tennis courts and playgrounds. Since these areas are private, you'll likely meet the same people again and again, so you'll have a better chance of getting to know your neighbors quickly in a gated community.

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