The verdict is still out, but there may also be a downside to living in a gated community. While living in a gated community has many benefits, there are a few drawbacks that should be considered before you make a purchase. A careful review of the property owner’s covenants will give you a good idea of what you can expect when you live in a specific community. A few of the biggest drawbacks of a gated community are listed below:
Similar home styles
Since the new homes in a gated community were likely built at the same time, to the same standards, they will be very similar. Builders generally offer a set of homes at varying price points to choose from when the community is new, so these styles will be most prevalent. Even if you spot land for sale and want to build, you’ll have to erect a similar structure to fit in. A gated community is generally not the place you’ll find quirky or unusual homes; expect to see very similar houses in similarly landscaped lots.
Property owners’ association blues
Most gated communities have a property owners’ association that help regulate the appearance of the neighborhood and work to make the community a great place to live. Problems can arise when homeowners’ associations become too fond of power and enforcement and try to control too many aspects of daily life.
The very same guidelines that keep a gated community looking like just that – a community – can also hinder your personal style and preferences. In many cases, gated communities outlaw items that you would normally be able to install outside of your home. Swimming pools, clotheslines, basketball hoops, and even landscaping may have specific rules that need to be followed. From fence height and house colors to the ability to have a garden, the gated community likely has a rule about what you can and can’t do outside your home.