It is true; not all communities are the same, especially when it comes to a gated community. In addition to enhanced security, living in a gated community offers exclusive amenities and luxury living. However, there are financial implications. If you think this type of community is right for you, here are some factors to keep in mind.
1. Review the Restrictions
Gated communities are exclusive, and with exclusivity, there are often restrictions. These restrictions can be for something as significant as the color of your roof to something more as small as the placement of your trash receptacle or the placement of a tree in your front yard.
You want to find a balance that allows you to live in an aesthetically-pleasing home, but not to the point in which you feel trapped. Different communities have different guidelines, so ask your real estate agent to find out what restrictions the community has in place.
2. Verify the Equity Status
Gated communities will generally have equity or non-equity status. Non-equity communities will only have residences on the property, whereas an equity status community may have a country club or other membership-attached facility.
The most prominent difference between these two scenarios is that homeowners in housing communities with an equity status will not only be required to pay annual homeowners' association fees, but also an equity fee. Equity fees generally help cover the costs associated with maintaining the country club or other facility on the property. This bit of information will help you better anticipate the total cost of ownership.
3. Inquire About Reserve Funds
You should also inquire more about reserve fund status. When you live in a gated community, it is homeowners are responsible for the upkeep of the community common areas. Generally, this upkeep is covered by homeowners' association fees.
However, when a large expense occurs, communities with reserve funds will use this capital to cover the cost. In communities without reserve funds, the association often increases or collects additional funds from homeowners to help cover the added costs. It may take some digging, but an agent can find out if the community operates with a reserved fund. Again, it is important because it can help anticipate your financial obligations.
The above represent just some of the factors you want to think about. Make sure you have a trusted agent working with you to ensure you do not miss anything while looking at community homes.Share
11 March 2021
Although I've never worked professionally in the real estate business, I sure know my way around it. How, do you ask? Well, I have simply rented a lot of different places and worked with a lot of different landlords and real estate agents. In the past 7 years I've lived in 11 different houses or apartments, none of them my own. In finding those 11, I have looked at literally hundreds of apartments. I used to hate house hunting, but now it's kind of fun. You just need to know what you want and the right questions to ask. Hopefully this blog can help you learn some of the tricks of the trade from another renter like yourself.