When it comes to living in a gated community there are certainly some debatable pros and cons. Some active adults like the way community gates limit pass-through traffic, while detractors think they are more of a hindrance which provide a false sense of security. Choosing to live in a gated community is a personal preference, yet here are a few points to consider before coming down on either side of the fence.
One point to keep in mind is that there are different types of gated active adult communities. Some communities feature 24-hour staffed gatehouses and others simply use automated gates with a security code. Even in guard-gated communities, there may only be a guard at the main entrance, leaving additional gates to operate on security codes.
Gates which operate on security codes alone provide very little security. Residents often give their security codes out to friends, extended family members, contractors, housecleaners, dog walkers and other service providers. You should never assume that a community is only accessible to current residents.
Having an actual person at the gate can provide a bit more security than an automated gate, because it provides an extra set of eyes and ears to watch over the comings and goings. However, the guard is not infallible and residents should not rely on a guard alone to protect their homes.
When it comes to crime statistics, reports suggest that there is no difference between gated communities and their open counterparts. Burglaries do happen in gated communities. There are ways for criminals to get into gated communities and the gates are not enough of a deterrent for the affluent homes which may appeal to burglars.
Although gated communities may not be safer from crime than other neighborhoods, there are reasons why some homeowners find them appealing. The gates are likely to cut down on pass-through traffic, making the streets a bit quieter. Guard-gated communities may also offer a more exclusive atmosphere, and some homeowners simply like the added prestige of living in a gated neighborhood.
Even in gated communities, every homeowner should take measures to protect their own safety. At the most basic level this means locking your home’s doors and windows and keeping your garage door shut. You can also protect your home with safety devices and a monitored home security system.
There are pros and cons to living in a gated community. The added security is debatable, but that hasn’t stopped them from being a popular destination for many active adult retirees. If you’ve lived in a gated community, let us know what you’ve liked (or not liked) about the experience in the comments below.