Gated Communities?

I am taking a local poll for the neighborhood I currently live in.  We have a long way to go to finish building out, but absolutely have beautiful lots available in N. Raleigh.  We are getting quite a few drivebys, but no real development.  I have considered lobbying the developer to add a gated entrance.  He and I have discussed before, but he pointed out the roads would not be state maintenance eligible with a gate.  I would love to get some local opinions from buyers who are considering building homes in the $650- $1M range on approx. 1 acre.  Would a gated community sway you one way or another?

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April 20 2011 - Raleigh
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Replies (18)

Profile picture for wetdawgs
While I'm not in your area, I'd veto gates in the price range mentioned.   Should I be a potential buyer, presences of gates stops me from even viewing the property.

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April 20 2011
wetdawgs -- thanks for the reply - can you tell me what turns you off about a gate?  Does it seem too restricted?  I am just trying to get some good ideas to help my neighborhood get developed!   Thanks again!
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April 20 2011
Profile picture for wetdawgs
What turns me off about a gate:

a.  We want friends and family to be able to visit easily without planning ahead.

b.  We want emergency services to have total access, including periodic police/sheriff cruising through.

c.  We want our roads to be maintained as part of the public system rather than paying taxes for the service and then having the road labeled 'private'.

d.  We don't want our home to be considered in an exclusive enclave, therefore, a higher risk for burglary.




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April 20 2011
Police, fire, etc can get into a gated community just like any other community. They have a code to enter and also the gate can have a Yelp ssystem that will open the gate when the emergency vehicles have their sirens on.

In that price point homes my clients prefer the gated community. It is safer with less drive by traffic.

However, you will definitley have less drive by traffice for potential buyers too if they can not get in.

I will tell you from experience that repairing roads in NC can be exensive and if the HOA has to pay for those you will definitely see your dues increased.

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April 20 2011
Hi Dana,

I have clients that like the privacy and security of the gated community, and they are willing to pay higher association fee's for it. Some clients like it because it seems to improve their social status.

Advantages: No more flyers on the mailboxes and doors ... no one wanting a contribution or trying to sell you a service you don't need or want. You can leave your garage open while working in the yard and not worry about someone driving through the neighborhood looking for open garages.

Like wet dogs says, it can be an inconvenience for family & friends, but they don't always come at a convenient time!
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April 20 2011
Profile picture for Sydney10

I live near a number of gated communities, but they don't tend to sell any faster.  There's a $400K-$500K new home subdivision up the street with a big brick and metal gate.  It stops drive-by buyers cold.  They're offered as short sales now.

There's a few high end ($1M+) communities with (mostly staffed) gates, and those buyers really want the privacy.  But for more ordinary buyers drawbacks may outweigh positives.  Gates do almost nothing for security if you're already in a low crime area.  It makes streets legally private, so there's no more routine police patrols or control of parking or speeding. There's an emergency access risk since every gate will malfunction eventually - I've heard some scary stories.  Maintenance adds to the HOA dues.

And the developer is right. The HOA becomes liable for all road maintenance - potholes, resurfacing - running easily into $100's of thousands of dollars long term.  I'm surprised more agents don't warn buyers of that financial exposure.

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April 20 2011
Thanks for all the replies.  There are pros and cons as we have all read to gated communities.  Any other ideas to help differentiate a neighborhood?  I really am getting scared that my husband and I made the commitment to move into a new neighborhood.  The agents that represent this neighborhood do not seem to be too active.  We do not have onsite agents  -- just a sign!  The land is rolling and heavily wooded with hardwood gtrees.  Thanks for your help!
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April 20 2011
I feel same way about gates that wetdawgs does, however there are many many buyers out there that think they are great.
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April 20 2011
Profile picture for the_country_hick
I am always confused by the gates. Are they to keep all of the criminals on the outside out or to keep all of the criminals on the inside in?

Either way gates look to me like a huge warning about crime in that area.
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April 20 2011
Profile picture for wetdawgs
thanks all for letting me know I'm not nuts (or, perhaps I'm nuts but not simply  because I hate gates!)   No comments on that subject please. 
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April 20 2011
Profile picture for hpvanc
My thought when I see them is "how often do I have to stand sentry duty?"  Personally I would say no. 
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April 20 2011
Profile picture for Dunes....
My first question would be.."Why the Gates?"

You mean "Gated" like Pebble Beach in California where you charge the "Tourists" to drive through and case your home?

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April 20 2011
Hi Dunes.... I know I meant it more as a question... to Gate or not to Gate.  I just want to get this land sold and homes built that are equal size to mine or MORE.... I am not an advocate of either way, just trying to poll this audience.
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April 20 2011
Clients have varied preferences. While some prefer non-gated communities, most would want to have the opposite for privacy and security reasons. The greater chunk of buyers are attracted to gated communities and are willing to pay for the price.
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April 20 2011
Profile picture for Dunes....
Just teasing a bit Dana...

It's hard to give more than an honest first reaction to the idea ...You're there and it's a Tough decision

I do sympathize with having to think about or make that type of decision, it ain't easy....but you are going about it the right way IMO...
You're listening, asking for feedback/opinions and I'm hoping it works out whatever happens
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April 20 2011

Personally,  I dislike elitism and that is what a gated community looks to be.

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April 21 2011
The one thing that hasn't been discussed in this thread is the underlying reason why there isn't any interest. There is by some estimates a 48 month supply of inventory in the 650M - 1MM in Raleigh.

Homes that once sold for 2MM are now selling for less than 1MM. This isn't anecdotal either, I have a contract on y desk today for $840M with $1.75MM in liens against it. The bank I work for holds the first note at $1.375MM that was originated in 2007.
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April 21 2011
Thanks Ricardo.  I am a Realtor, so I understand the supply all too well.  I am looking for any way to help my neighborhood sell.  The developer dropped the price point from the 900's, to $650's.  He thought this would be a magic bullet. Um... not so much.  I don't want to lose my investment, so I am reaching out to the Zillow community for ANY ideas on how to help it sell.  Obviously, gates are a mixed bag!  Some hate it - some love it.  Back to the drawing board!
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April 22 2011
 
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