Should You Buy a Home in a Gated Community?

4 Min Read
Published July 7, 2023
Man and woman walk through a colorful gated community.
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Gated communities are private residential neighborhoods separated from surrounding areas by gates and fences, and often come with various amenities.

Despite what some may think, gated communities aren’t only for the wealthy. There also are gated communities geared toward suburban families and retirees — meaning you might consider living in a gated community if you’re looking to buy a home.

At the same time, gated communities can come with certain downsides and limitations, so it’s important to weigh the pros and cons to see if this living arrangement would be a good fit for you.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Home in a Gated Community

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of buying a home in a gated community:

Pros and Cons of Buying a Home in a Gated Community

— More privacy.
— Security.
— Amenities like pools, parks, and playgrounds.
— Regular maintenance, landscaping, and other shared services.
— Less traffic through the neighborhood.
— Less noise pollution.
— Higher home values.
— More parking.
— Sense of community.
— More expensive.
Homeowners association fees.
— HOA rules.
— Farther away from shopping, schools, and medical care.
— Deliveries can be more difficult.
— More complicated for guests to visit.
— Harder to access.
— Potentially delayed emergency services.
— Feelings of isolation.

Safety in Gated Communities

Gated communities are often assumed to be safer than other neighborhoods because of their walls, fences, and security.

In some ways, this is true. It’s easier to gain access to a traditional neighborhood than one that’s walled off. Visitors need a code or permission to get into a gated community, and there’s often a security guard monitoring the entrance. A 2017 study published in the Oxford Handbook of Environmental Criminology found that gated communities experience a 22% decrease in violent crimes and a 17% decrease in property crimes in Orange County, California.

However, this can give the false impression that gated communities are immune to crime. In reality, they are often viewed as more expensive, which could make them a bigger target. Homeowners also may be more likely to leave their doors unlocked or be lax about security if there’s the illusion of safety.

If you’re thinking about living in a gated community, it’s important to still take regular safety precautions, such as locking your windows and doors.

Tips for Buying a Home in a Gated Community

If you think you might want to buy a home in a gated community, we have some tips.

Kristen Conti, broker-owner at Peacock Premier Properties in Englewood, Florida, recommends that you take the following steps:

  • Drive up to the gated community at different times of day.
  • See if the gate closes after each vehicle enters, or if another car could follow it in.
  • Imagine you’re coming to visit, and see how it feels.
  • Ask if there’s a gate code and how many people have access to it.
  • Take note of how many work vehicles come in and out.

“Make sure you understand all costs associated with living in a gated community,” Conti says. “Many can be extremely expensive because they include other amenities. If you don’t plan to use these, look for a community that has a gate but less frills.”

How To Decide If a Gated Community Is Right for You

Every gated community comes with a different set of pros and cons. If you’re trying to decide whether a gated community would be a good fit for you, then it’s important to consider your priorities.

“If it makes you feel more secure living in a gated community, go for it,” Conti says. “Also, if you tend to like rules and restrictions that keep the community looking uniform, neat, and clean, you may really like this too. Typically, parents of school-age children and elderly parents as well as single women like gated communities.”

It’s also important to factor in the additional costs, as well as how much you think you would use the amenities, before you buy a home in a gated community.

“It is important to make sure you fully understand the commitment you are making,” Conti says. “Right now, these types of resort communities are all the rage, but there was a time that people didn’t want to pay fees for these types of amenities. Once the initial thrill wears off, many people say they don’t use them enough to justify the cost.”


Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about whether you should buy a home in a gated community.


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