Good question! Gated communities offer more controlled access, privacy and security than a non-gated community. But there are some potential pitfalls. If you’re unsure where to build your new custom Florida home, it’s time to do some homework.

We’ll help you sort through whether you should buy a home in a gated community.Plantation Bay is a guard gated community

Start with the good stuff.

There are reasons home buyers pay additional fees and annual assessments to live in a gated community. Prestige — let’s not be shy about saying so — is one of them. Certain addresses are where some folks want to live, which is A-okay.

One example is the golf and country-club lifestyle. Those communities usually are gated, not only to protect the community’s considerable investment in facilities, but also to help homeowners maintain their personal property investments.

And those are only a few reasons to build or buy in a gated community. Here are a few more.

Security, security, security

It’s a major factor, no doubt. Guards manning gated entrances do deter suspicious people and behavior. A safe community means an always-desirable community to build, buy and resale in.

Your own private Idaho

Or slice of Florida. A gated community’s restricted access means fewer people roaming the neighborhood. Kids will always try to peek between fence posts, but knowing the outer world can’t cruise your community at will, makes sitting on your front porch a bit more pleasant.

Lovelier, along with quieter

Thanks to homeowner association fees and other assessments, perks such as professional landscaping in public areas, often abound in gated communities. Other perks include walking or fitness trails, and manicured common spaces such as pools and sports complexes.

And yes — the quiet! Because there isn’t so much constant hustle and traffic bustle.

Acknowledge the not-so-good stuff

Gated communities don’t work for every home buyer. The lifestyle simply isn’t for some folks, while others don’t like paying extra fees for a certain “lifestyle.” Prestige isn’t their thing. That’s A-okay too. Here are other realities to consider.

Your address is more expensive

It costs more to build a home in a gated community than in a non-gated community. Simple fact. Decide whether the higher up-front cost is worth the added property value down the road.

You’ll pay more annual fees

All the lovely landscaping and amenities in a gated community requires membership fees and ongoing assessments for maintenance and repairs. Often in addition to HOA fees. Your annual property taxes also likely will be higher than in a non-gated community. Be sure you want to pay these annual expenses before you commit to a gated community.

You must abide by the rules

Gated communities can have strict behavior codes. Perhaps you’ll be required to roll out your trash dumpsters only during certain hours. What if you’d like to change the color of your home’s exterior? Does your paint choice have to approved by “the board?” Some folks don’t want to live by someone else’s rules.

You might not like security guards questioning your visitors

Privacy and protection are awesome. But if you don’t want other people knowing who your guests are, or that there’s some major home renovation or crisis at your house, a gated community might not be for you.

Ready for a new home? ICI Homes is Florida’s Custom Home Builder. Start here.