When choosing where to live, it’s important to take preferred lifestyles into consideration. Some people prefer to live in unrestricted communities where practically anything goes, while others prefer a little more structure and added community perks. A gated community offers a very specific type of homeownership experience, and you need to decide if it’s the right one for you before buying a house. Here are some of the features that set gated communities apart from a typical neighborhood:
Amenities: More often than not, gated communities give residents access to a range of amenities, such as community clubhouses, pools, playgrounds, fitness centers, sports courts, on-site property managers, and more. Each community is unique, so make sure to take a tour of the amenities to decide if they’re a good fit for you.
Security: Gated communities generally have a gatehouse that visitors have to pass through to enter, and the gate guard usually requires prior notice before they’ll let guests or hired workers in. This can be seen as a nuisance to some who have frequent visitors, but a boon to others; no unexpected guests or solicitors at your house! But be aware: if a criminal is dead set on breaking into the community, they’ll find ways to bypass the gate. So while there’s a lower risk of crime in a gated community, don’t be lulled into thinking there’s no risk.
HOA Rules: It’s fairly common for gated communities to have a Homeowner’s Association (HOA) set in place. Some people prefer to have an active HOA because it ensures a certain standard for the appearance of houses within the neighborhood that helps maintain property values, while others might chafe under the restrictions that don’t allow exterior changes to their homes without approval from the HOA. HOAs also have fees that must be paid, which can vary depending on the community, but must always be factored into the cost of owning a home.
Additionally, closing on a home in a gated community in Florida can require a few extra steps, such as dealing with the HOA if they require a special resale inspection or being held up if the previous owner had HOA violations. You’ll want to make sure you have a title company who can help you uncover and tackle any underlying issues to help you have a smooth closing process.
At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.
In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post: Understanding Rent-To-Own Agreements