Gated communities: Are they worth it?
Published: Sep 17, 2013
Critics consider gated communities to be private enclaves reserved for the rich and famous. However, there are now many affordable gated communities available to Bahamian real estate purchasers.
Is living in a gated community and paying monthly association fees worth it? In my opinion, it certainly is! Association fees in these communities can be as affordable as $100 per month.
However, you must do your homework before buying into a gated community. You need to make sure that the association is properly run with good management, and that the dues are being collected and there are no budget deficits.
If the Home Owners’ Association is being properly run, your investment will be safe and you will not be hit with any additional and unforeseen costs.
When looking to buy in a gated community, you should pay close attention to the amenities the neighborhood has to offer.
These amenities should include a pool, club house, parks, tennis court, playground etc. A gated community will often boast of a community center which is available to residents for private functions. With access to such amenities, these communities commonly organize yearly events and social gatherings that foster togetherness not found in non-gated communities.
Crime is most often the number one reason people migrate to gated communities. Having a security guard keeping record of all visitors in addition to regular patrolling will definitely become an inconvenience to the common thief who may want to case out the community for easy targets.
However, always be careful were you live, no matter what; having a false sense of security may put you and your home at risk.
Most gated communities have speed limits and speed bumps on the roads making it safer for children to play and ride their bikes. These communities also limit the time contractors can work on a building and may block them altogether on holidays, Sundays and after hours.
Since gated communities have rules and regulations you must follow, they tend to have a higher standard of home quality and a strict building code.
In most instances, residents of a gated community keep their homes in good condition increasing the overall real estate value of the entire community.
Garbage is also an issue you will not have to worry about when owning a property in a controlled gated community. If you are a lot owner, you can rest assured that your property will be protected from becoming a dumping ground.
Squatters and people planning to illegally farm or take over your land are also not welcome in gated communities and your property will be well guarded until you are ready to build.
• Carmen Massoni is president of Bahama Islands Realty and has 18 years of experience in the real estate profession in The Bahamas. She has been the recipient of many international awards recognizing her as a top producer amongst her peers. If you have any questions or need real estate advice, call 322-7770 or email Carmen@BahamaIslandsRealty.com.