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A gated community home, is it for you?

As a real estate agent, I am often asked to find my clients specific types of homes and land to build on. These details typically include: bayfront, lakefront, water view, specific number of bedrooms and bathrooms, etc. If you’ve ever bought a home, then you know exactly what I mean …

However, in recent months, I have been increasingly asked to locate homes or home construction sites in gated communities around my Bay County service area – most importantly, the Panama City – Lynn Haven Florida metropolitan area. I think we are all very aware of what a closed community is, but if not, let’s identify some characteristics of these communities …

“A gated community is a type of residential community that offers controlled access and entrances for pedestrians, bicycles, and automobiles, and may have a closed perimeter of walls and fences.”

While gated communities are not a new form of residence, they are often misunderstood. In today’s real estate market, there remains a common misunderstanding that gated communities are only for the wealthy and beyond the means of the average homeowner. Of course, this is not entirely true.

While there are some upscale communities that cater to a more expensive lifestyle, there are also many gated communities that offer similar lifestyles and amenities for the average home buyer. In my area there are many of these types of communities that offer various amenities and benefits. From master planned gated lake communities, such as Merial lake gold Wild heron, to dominate planned bayfront gated communities, such as Bay point.

Each gated community can offer a unique potential for life and investment. For the consumer interested in these types of communities, there may also be additional benefits. When I talk to my clients about their desire to own a home in a gated community, one overriding factor seems to prevail: Gated communities are perceived safer for children and families and offers unique lifestyles for those who so desire. They are also perceived to maintain their home values ​​and appreciation.

While gated communities may not be for everyone, they do offer features that many find attractive for their choice of style and quality of life. Home buyers increasingly require features like private and semi-private marinas, on-site gyms, golf courses, and daycare centers in today’s real estate market. These features and amenities tend to be prevalent in many gated communities and meet the wants and needs of these types of home buyers.

Also, I recently learned of another unique style of gated community that caters to the racing fanatic. These communities offer residents racetracks for their fun. From oval stock car style tracks to 1/8 mile sprint tracks as well as motocross racing. How about a unique lifestyle and recreation !!!

A retired couple that I am currently working with would like to find a community of active adults 55 and older. Both husband and wife exercise daily, own a boat and are avid golfers. Naturally, they would like to purchase a home within a gated community, which is on or very close to the golf course. The community must offer dock space for your boat and have a clubhouse or community club with an exercise room or gym.

As I show this couple the available communities, a few items are of particular interest to them: Some gated communities offer limited or no traffic to residents, which they value. The value of the limited dump traffic is for their grandchildren, who visit them several times a year. Homes within gated communities often display strong pride of ownership. I have yet to find within a gated community a house with a neglected lawn or debris strewn across the property. In large part, this is due to the rules of homeowners associations, or covenants and restrictions that govern many of these communities.

Homeowners association rules often include restrictions such as:

  • No street parking at night
  • Boats, RVs, or RVs are not allowed on driveways
  • Houses should only be painted in certain colors
  • Landscaping must be approved in advance by a designated committee

Additionally, the residents of these communities take pride in their community and self-control and maintain their properties. For some, these rules may seem overly restrictive, while for others they are a necessity to maintain their style and quality of life. Many of these communities have what I call “point light housesThese houses are the “main” houses in the community. Often they are built for specific owners or for events like the Panama City Home Parade.

They will feature the highest quality building materials and fixtures and are often the highest priced homes in the community. While many gated communities offer luxury homes, vacation homes, and luxury condos, there are also those that offer affordable homes, condos, and land.

These communities may not have all the amenities of the more luxurious communities, but they still manage to offer security, community spirit, and modest community pools and clubhouses. Many of these practical communities are specifically and conveniently built near schools and local recreation venues.


Not all gated communities planned under the master plan have uniformed security guards and cameras, but all offer unique life opportunities for those who desire the features and amenities that the gate community has to offer.

From retirement communities to equestrian communities, from oceanfront communities to secluded wooded communities, many home buyers today look to gated communities looking for something “special” for their investment. Gated communities work for everyone, not just the rich.

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