On the surface, any gated community seems like paradise, especially after you’ve read their brochure or browsed their fancy website. After getting a glimpse of all the luxurious homes, high-end amenities, and gorgeous scenery you might already be convinced that this is the perfect place for you to live in.
However, not all gated communities are the same. So how do you find one that’s a good fit for you? Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind during your search:
Consider the location
Location is one of the first things you should consider when looking for a gated community. How far is it from some of the destinations you love to frequent, like restaurants, shopping centers, or parks? If you travel often, how long will it take for you to get from the community to the airport, and vice versa?
Looking for info on future plans for the surrounding area is also a smart move. The community might be in a relaxing, secluded location for now, but county construction proposals could reveal plans to build a busy highway nearby in the future.
Look into its security features and measures
One of the primary features offered by gated communities is an enhanced level of security that isn’t typically available in non-gated communities. So make sure you get your money’s worth.
Most gated communities restrict vehicle traffic exclusively to residents and visitors to increase safety, making the neighborhood a safer, more walkable environment. You can also ask to see a written security protocol, find out if the neighborhood is equipped with modern cameras, and get info on security patrols and entrance protocols for visitors and workers.
See the common areas
Check out the gated community’s common areas to see its condition. See if the swimming pool is clean, if the roads are properly maintained, if the landscaping is well-tended, and so on. While homes within the community might look great, there could be something wrong with the community if the common areas are poorly maintained.
Review the homeowner association dues
Request a complete breakdown of the fees residents are expected to pay. Find out if you have the option to make monthly payments, or if they only allow yearly payments. Try to see if their payment methods are convenient for you, and whether they allow options such as online payments or bank transfers.
Additionally, find out how often their fees have increased, and whether you should expect to pay higher dues anytime soon.
Look into the community’s rules and regulations
Most gated communities are able to maintain high standards by imposing strict rules and regulations, so try to find out if there are any restrictions you might be opposed to. Review the HOA rules and regulations thoroughly, and make sure you fully agree with each item.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you could somehow convince them to modify some of their established rules after you’ve moved in. Changing bylaws is often a difficult task, and it typically requires unanimous approval from all the residents.
Want to find the perfect gated community and some of the best Santa Rosa, CA real estate options? Get in touch with Brad Wilkinson today at (707) 799-0455, or send an email to brad(dotted)wilkinson(at)cbnorcal(dotted)com