Born in the UK, Paul now lives in central Florida. He has extensive experience of gated communities in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.
Gated communities have become the fastest growing form of housing in the United States, as increasing numbers of people find them to be an appealing alternative to residing in an urban area.
There are a multitude of reasons why people choose to live in gated communities: safety, security, peacefulness, and being part of an exclusive community can all be factors.
This article lists the 10 main advantages of living in a gated community.
10 Gated Community Benefits
- Safety and security
- Sense of Community
- Leisure Facilities
- Reduced Traffic
- Less Solicitation
- Higher Property Value
- Safe Play for Children
- Higher Home Standards
I examine each of the above advantages in more detail below.
1. Safety and Security
For many people, safety and security are the main appeals of a gated community. With only residents and invited guests allowed through the gates, the chances of encountering crime and anti-social behavior are greatly reduced. You can go away on vacation for a month and not have to worry about your house being broken into or your car being stolen. Gated communities don't completely stop crime, but they do reduce it, particularly if there is a security guard at the gate, rather than just keypad entry.
With no through traffic and access to the neighborhood strictly controlled, there is a greater sense of privacy. Any community facilities, such as golf courses, tennis courts, clubhouses, and swimming pools are also private. In most gated communities, there is a sense that you can get on with your everyday business without outside interference.
3. Sense of Community
Gated communities often facilitate neighborhood parties, as well as sports, social, entertainment, and educational groups which foster a sense of community. It's easy to make friends and find things to do during the day and evening time, and be active both physically and socially. In gated communities that are orientated towards older people, residents can provide mutual support for people suffering from illnesses, mobility issues, and other challenges associated with aging.
4. Leisure Facilities
Many gated communities have plenty of leisure facilities for the residents. These might include a golf course, tennis courts, swimming pool, as well as other activities such as exercise and dance classes. These provide entertainment, as well as social opportunities, and are usually maintained by the neighborhood management.
5. Reduced Traffic
Living a gated neighborhood means that there is no through traffic to contend with. This means peace and quiet, as the only traffic generally comes from the residents arriving and leaving, which tends to be minimal. Walking and cycling become more pleasurable and safer. In many gated communities, the golf cart becomes the vehicle of choice for local journeys.
6. Less Solicitation
With access through the gate controlled, there are far fewer solicitors, if any. The only ones bothering you will likely be just the other residents' kids trying to sell you girl scout cookies, no pushy salesmen or market survey takers.
7. Higher Property Value
A combination of factors including building codes, design uniformity, and exclusivity related to limited space generally mean that property in gated communities is more valuable than the equivalent in non-gated neighborhoods. While that makes houses more expensive to buy, they typically make good investments, as their value increases.
8. Safe Play for Children
A combination of factors make gated communities safer places for children to play. Limited traffic and slower speeds make the roads safer. Controlled access to the neighborhood means that there are less strangers to worry about. Purpose built facilities and areas for children keep them occupied and safe.
Gated communities are by their very nature exclusive, and there is a certain social status that comes with living in such a place. You may even share your neighborhood with a movie star or celebrity. There are gated communities to suit specific needs, for instance, some have their own air strip, and each house has its own hanger.
10. Higher Home Standards
The people who live in gated communities tend to take a pride in their home. Plus there are often rules to ensure that nobody allows their home or yard to become untidy, or creates some weird outside display. The neighborhood roads, lawn areas, ponds, and plants are also usually well-managed and maintained.
Facts About Gated Communities
Most gated and secured communities are privately owned, so hard facts can be hard to come by. The facts below are according to 2009 AHSUS estimates.
- 11% of residential communities in the USA are gated or secured communities.
- 49.6% of residencies are occupied by renters, and 50.4% are owner-occupied.
- 22% of residents are aged 65 and older.
- Secured and gated communities are most common in the West and South of the USA, and least common in the Midwest and Northeast.
© 2018 Paul Goodman
Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on December 07, 2018:
I would love to live in a community like this. I can see the benefits of living in such a community. I'm sure many friends are to be made living this way.
Liz Westwood from UK on December 05, 2018:
I can see advantages of gated communities. The proportion in the UK is much lower than in the USA.