I don’t want to detach. I don’t want to go live in a gated community.”

John Mayer, Musician

Pros and Cons of Gated Communities

advantages and disadvantages of gated communities

Gated communities have become increasingly popular over the past decades. Gated communities are residential communities witch strictly controlled entrances, often also using fences or walls to prevent people outside the community to enter their territory.

Even though living in a gated community has some benefits, it also implies several downsides. In this article, the pros and cons of gated communities are examined.

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Advantages of Gated Communities

  1. Higher safety levels
  2. Only residents can enter the property in a legal manner
  3. Variety of amenities
  4. May be less noisy than other residential areas
  5. Lack of solicitors
  6. Your children can play on the streets
  7. Opportunity to play sports on the community property
  8. Socializing is easy
  9. Closer connection to your neighbors
  10. You don’t have to worry about speeders
  11. Gated communities can be beautiful
  12. Stable or even increasing property values
  13. Prestige
  14. You don’t have to worry about the maintenance too much
  15. Gated communities may also be beneficial for local authorities

Higher safety levels

One advantage of gated communities is that they often provide quite high safety standards for their residents. In gated communities, no one apart from the residents and their guests will be allowed to enter the building.

There will often also be security guards around who monitor the property 24/7 and thieves will often not be brave enough to jump over the walls or the fence.

Therefore, gated communities can be considered to be much safer compared to normal houses on average and you will not have to fear that you get robbed at nighttime or when you are on vacation.

Only residents can enter the property in a legal manner

Another upside of gated communities is that only a quite limited number of people can enter the property. On the one hand, this assures a much higher level of safety.

On the other hand, it also prevents other cars to get inside and therefore, commuting traffic and other annoying effects like excessive air pollution can be avoided inside the community walls.

Variety of amenities

Gated communities often also offer their inhabitants a big variety of amenities. This often includes swimming pools, gyms and also several sport courts.

In general, gated communities are meant to provide you with everything you need for your daily life so that there is not too much need to go outside anymore.

Hence, if you like to spend your time in only one place and do not like to go outside and to meet new people too often, gated communities might be the way to go for you since you will find most things for your daily life inside the community walls.

May be less noisy than other residential areas

Since only a limited number of people will be able to enter gated communities, the overall noise level also tends to be quite low. There will not be excessive noise from cars like outside near main streets. Also during rush hour, it will remain rather quiet inside the community walls since only few cars will enter and leave the community.

Moreover, since there are often strict rules in gated communities that are enforced by the homeowner association (HOA), people tend to behave better and take care of each other.

This also includes refraining from making excessive noise during the day and especially at nighttime so that other community members are not bothered.

Lack of solicitors

Another benefit of living in a gated community is that you will not be harassed by solicitors who knock on your door and try to sell you many unnecessary things you actually do not need.

Thanks to the security guard that surveils the gated community, those solicitors will not have a chance to get in. Even if there is no security guard at the entrance, you will still need some sort of code to get in and solicitors will be kept out due to this.

Thus, if you are really fed up by all the solicitors that come to your house on a frequent basis, you might want to consider living in a gated community since you will not have to fear any solicitors bothering you there.

Your children can play on the streets

Since there is only a quite limited number of cars that enter and leave the community, you can let your children play outside since the streets will often be empty during the day.

Therefore, especially on days with good weather, you can just let your kids play outside and do not have to worry that a stranger will molest them. Hence, for a family with kids, gated communities may be a great alternative to conventional housing.

Opportunity to play sports on the community property

In many gated communities, there are also different sport courts in place, which may give you the opportunity to play soccer, tennis, basketball and many other sports you like.

By doing so, you might also find many like-minded people and will be able to make really good friends over time since you will play with the same people on a regular basis.

Therefore, gated communities give you the opportunity to stay on your property even in case you want to work out and you do not have to leave the community in order to stay fit.

Socializing is easy

Since you will see the same people on a regular basis, it will also be quite easy for you to make many new connections over time. You can socialize on the sports courts or by going to the gym together.

There might also be several community activities which you can join and over time, chances are that you will get to meet many new people and some of them may become really good friends.

Closer connection to your neighbors

While many people who live in conventional residential areas may have a rather shallow relationship with their neighbors, you may have a much better connection to them in gated communities since everyone has similar tasks to do in those communities and you might help each other with minor repairs or other organizational stuff.

In general, there will be a higher level of personal interaction in gated communities on average, which will also allow you to work together with your neighbor on a closer basis.

You don’t have to worry about speeders

Since through gated communities, strangers will not be able to enter the building, there is also less risk that speeders will annoy or even hurt someone inside the community walls.

If you live in regular non-gated communities, you might not want to let your kids go outside and play on the streets since you might fear that speeders will be a threat.

However, inside the community walls, people usually care about each other and this risk is quite limited.

Gated communities can be beautiful

Since they are properly maintained on a regular basis, gated communities often also look quite beautiful. Quite often, there are many exotic plants inside and everything looks nice and tidy.

Therefore, the overall quality of life of residents inside the community walls may be quite high and due to the natural feeling that comes along with those gardening techniques, you might also be better able to relax and to unplug from your stressful job or your stressful daily life in general.

Stable or even increasing property values

Since they are well maintained and also quite tidy, chances are that the property values in gated communities will remain stable or even increase in value over time.

Especially in regions where crime rates are rather high, an increasing number of people want to live in gated communities in order to get a higher feeling of safety and comfort.

Thus, if you consider buying a house in one of those areas, you might want to go for gated communities, not only because the overall quality of life is often higher, but also since the resale values might also increase as well.

Prestige

Some people also care quite a lot about their public image and want to show the world what nice material things they got. For many people, the address where you live still matters and gated communities are often considered to be quite prestigious and exclusive.

Therefore, if you are one of those people who want to show how successful they are to family and friends, you might also want to go for gated communities since their reputation is often quite good.

You don’t have to worry about the maintenance too much

Also regarding the maintenance of the property, there will be sufficient staff employed to help you fix minor things. Moreover, also the community amenities like the sports courts and the gym are maintained on a regular basis.

Additionally, gardeners make sure that the property looks nice and is kept tidy. Thus, you can really enjoy your life in those gated communities without having to worry too much about maintenance issues of any sorts.

Gated communities may also be beneficial for local authorities

Gated communities may not only be good for you, also local authorities may like building those communities since they often attract wealthy people which in turn often also implies higher tax revenues for the local municipalities.

Therefore, municipalities who urgently need money may encourage the construction of more of those gated communities in order to get higher tax revenue which can be used for additional import public infrastructure projects.

Disadvantages of Living in a Gated Community

  1. Your guests may have trouble to get in
  2. Longer waiting times at the entrance
  3. Delivery or other service providers may experience some trouble
  4. Gated communities can be expensive
  5. Confined level of freedom due to regulations of HOA
  6. Limited visiting hours
  7. Some people don’t like the notion of fences and walls
  8. People may feel isolated inside gated communities
  9. Failing technology may prevent you to get in
  10. Physical separation of the rich from the poor
  11. People in gated communities may lose the sense of reality
  12. Visitors may feel strange

Your guests may have trouble to get in

As we have seen before, there are many advantages that come along with life in gated communities. Yet, there are also some problems related to them. One issue with gated communities is that your guests may have trouble getting in. Since no strangers are allowed to get inside the community walls, you often have to announce your guests to the security guard at the entrance.

However, if you are in a hurry, you might forget about that and when your guests finally arrive, there might be plenty of discussions between them and the security guard and you may have to get to the entrance in person in order to let them in, which can be quite annoying in case you are cooking right now and do not have time to leave your house.

Longer waiting times at the entrance

Especially during certain times of the day when people leave the community to go to work or when people come home from work, you may also have to wait quite long at the entrance since there might be a long line of cars waiting to enter the property.

Therefore, if you work in a regular job, you might want to get there a little bit sooner and also leave a little bit sooner so that you can avoid waiting in line on a regular basis.

Delivery or other service providers may experience some trouble

Since there are strict controls at the entrance of gated communities or at least you need some code to get in, delivery services and other service providers may have trouble getting in.

You might often forget to give those people the code to enter the community property and therefore, delivery services may have a hard time getting in.

Quite often, they might call you to come outside and to get your delivery at the entrance of the gated community since they will not be allowed to enter the property by the security guard.

Gated communities can be expensive

Buying homes in gated communities can also be quite expensive. Since they have plenty of amenities to offer which may significantly improve your overall quality of life, also the demand for those properties is quite high and with increasing demand and rather constant supply of those homes, prices tend to increase even more.

Moreover, not only the purchase prices are quite high, also the maintenance costs are significant. For instance, you need plenty of staff to keep the property clean, to maintain the sport courts and the gym and to make the community look nice in general.

Therefore, living in a gated community can be much more expensive compared to living in a non-gated neighborhood and you have to decide for yourself whether the additional costs are worth it for you or not.

Confined level of freedom due to regulations of HOA

Another downside of gated communities is that your overall level of freedom might be pretty confined. In many of those communities, the homeowner association will set quite strict rules with which you have to comply.

For instance, you might not be allowed to play certain instruments that may annoy other homeowners in your community. Moreover, making a barbecue might also not be allowed or may only be allowed under certain circumstances.

The same is true for many other things and if you are part of one of those communities, you might feel pretty confined in your daily life and your preferences.

Limited visiting hours

Some gated communities also have quite strict visiting hours. In some cases, your guests may have to leave in the evening due to the restrictions of those gated communities.

Thus, this also means that it might be pretty hard for you to organize parties since if your guests may have to leave that early, it will take plenty of fun out of it.

Moreover, parties may not even be allowed inside the community walls since the noise from those parties may disturb other residents.

Therefore, before moving to one of those communities, make sure to study the community regulations in order to avoid any unpleasant outcomes.

Some people don’t like the notion of fences and walls

Some people also don’t like the idea to be separated from the rest of the world through a wall or a fence. This kind of separation may give you the feeling that you are not actually a part of the general public but rather an isolated living organism that belongs to a different species.

Therefore, if you like to interact with other people outside the city walls and if you love your freedom, you might be quite annoyed by the rules and regulations that apply to living in those gated communities and you might not like the idea to be caged inside those community walls.

People may feel isolated inside gated communities

In general, since people have many amenities for daily life inside the community property, there is less need to leave the gated community and to get outside into the real world.

This may lead to a serious feeling of social isolation for many people since they will no longer feel like part of society. Some people may even develop mental problems over time since they can’t stand staying inside those community walls.

This might be especially true if you do not like your neighbors, but have to see them on a regular basis every day.

Failing technology may prevent you to get in

If your gated community is secured with an electronic security system, there might also be the risk for failure of those systems. Therefore, even if you are able to remember your entry code, you might still not be able to get in due to some kind of technical issue.

This can be quite annoying, especially if you are low on time and you have important things to do that day. Thus, even though a high level of security is assured by those entry systems, they might turn against you if this kind of technology fails.

Physical separation of the rich from the poor

Opponents of gated communities also often claim that those communities contribute to increasing separation of the poor and the rich. For a functioning society, it is crucial that people with different social status meet and interact with each other.

However, through gated communities, the rich are often isolated from the rest of society. Moreover, while the life inside the community walls may be quite good, the living conditions outside for the rest of the general public might be quite poor since the concentration of poor people outside the gated communities will often be quite high, which poses significant risks for the social stability of a region.

People in gated communities may lose the sense of reality

Since people in gated communities will often not interact with people outside those walls too much, they may also lose the sense of how real life looks like.

While rich people in those communities may live a fancy lifestyle, the living conditions outside those walls may actually be quite poor for the general public.

Yet, people inside those walls may not actually realize that and may forget about the problems of the general public.

Visitors may feel strange

Another problem of living in a gated community is that your guests may feel rather strange when they visit you. They may feel uncomfortable to ask the security guard for entrance.

This is especially true if you have kids and your kids may want to bring friends with them to your home and the security guard may have to check them every time they want to enter the building.

Top 10 Gated Community Pros & Cons – Summary List

Gated Community ProsGated Community Cons
Safety improvementLong waiting times
Good for kids to play outsideGuests may have trouble getting in
Plenty of amenitiesProblems for delivery services
Variety of sports activitiesLiving in gated communities can be expensive
Less noisyVisiting hours may be limited
No solicitorsPeople may feel caged
Good connection to your neighborsSocial isolation
Prestige objectsTechnology may lock you out
Stable home pricesYou may lose your sense of reality
Staff will take care of maintenanceYour visitors may feel strange

Should You Live in a Gated Community?

As we can see from the previous discussion, there are many advantages and disadvantages related to a life inside a gated community.

You should carefully evaluate all the pros and cons by yourself in order to make a profound decision regarding whether you want to live in one of those gated communities or not.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gated_community

https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showpdf.php?id=1759

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2475-8876.12130

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.

As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.

After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.

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