Hidden Aspects of a Gated Community

If Doug were to ask you why a developer installs a gate at the entrance to their community, what would be your answer? Go ahead and think about it, as he is 100% confident your answer will not be correct.

Need a little more time??

When a large community is getting off the ground, you drive through and see just two homes, usually a trailer, and head out the gate. You will not have had an on-site agent share with you the community’s vision – which in actuality, could be perfect for you if you are retiring in 1-2 years. Therefore, the developer puts in a gate to direct you to the on-site sales team.

As a by-product, the community has a gate and what appears to be a safer environment. But is it? Doug lived in a gated community for 17 years, and if someone wanted to bypass the gate, easy peasy. But it does keep out Sunday drivers and perhaps unwanted influences.

Are there any negatives to a gated community? Possibly, everyone who owns a house anywhere in America will pay real estate taxes on their home. Part of those taxes is diverted to the city or county road department to maintain the roads, which includes fixing potholes, resurfacing every 10-12 years, and possibly coating the streets with tar from time to time to preserve the blacktop. So, where is the negative?

When you place a gate in front of a community in our area (not 100% sure about other regions), the community residents are 100% responsible for maintaining the roads. County and town road repair people simply drive by the gates of those communities and that you for paying your taxes. However, don’t forget that while you are paying your local government to maintain your roads, you are also paying your Property Owners Association (POA) an additional fee to maintain your roads. Money is escrowed periodically, and budgets are formed on how much the road will cost the residents to maintain. So yes, in essence, you are paying taxes to keep your streets repaired by your Property Owners Association (POA).

As for the cost of maintaining a gate, years back, our community was paying a local security company over $100,000 a year to have someone operating the gate 24/7 a year. Eventually, we realized that we did not need to have someone at the entrance from dusk till dawn (as Chuck and Will usually slept anyways!), so we added electronics to our gates and gave everyone key fobs. Voila, $50,000 was saved each year!

When developers sell out a community, 100% of the costs to maintain the gate is turned over to the residents, but if they do, are the roads still private? If you are ready to find your dream retirement home located in Brunswick County, give us a call today! One of our agents would be more than willing to help you with your search for your home!

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