Gated communities have controlled access to protect property owners from a broad range of dangers that are present in modern society. Normally, criminals are free to spend days scouting out a neighborhood on public streets in search of vulnerable properties. The internet has made it easy to look up anyone’s address online in a matter of minutes, and this reduction in privacy has led to the harassment of public figures and an increased number of burglaries targeted from social media activity.
Therefore, community gates are important for preventing crimes and harassment from occurring. With a gate, only authorized community members and their guests can enter. Residents can ban unwanted guests, and strangers can be stopped in their tracks. Best of all, research has proven that community gates significantly increase property values.
Impact of Community Gates on Property Values
Research has consistently proven that community gates lead to a significant boost in property values. A study by the American Real Estate Society found that homes situated in gated communities are valued at an average of $30,000 higher than similar homes situated on public roads. Homes with higher property values have a greater tendency to be situated in gated communities, but the study by ARES took this factor into account.
The study was conducted by Ken Johnson, Ph.D., an economist of real estate who is tenured at the College of Business at Florida Atlantic University. Ken Johnson is a critically acclaimed researcher who is known for helping to create the Beracha, Hardin, and Johnson Buy vs. Rent Index. The peer-reviewed study was published in the Journal of Real Estate Research.
The bottom line of the study’s findings is that homes in developments open to the public can be worth significantly more when a community gate is added. Many residential developments are carefully planned on large tracts of land with only one entrance that links up to main roads. Therefore, only one gate is usually needed to keep a community safe. According to the National Association of Home Builders, an average of 50 homes are included in the average development. Consequently, the average gate adds $1.5 million to the overall value of a residential development.
Benefits of Community Gates
The ARES study found several reasons why homes in gated communities tend to be worth more than ordinary properties. Some of these reasons include:
Perceptions of safety and privacy: Residents of gated communities tend to feel better protected against crime and potential harassment. Therefore, residents can comfortably go on walks, and they can feel more secure when they leave their homes vacant for an extended period of time. Although some security benefits are only imagined, people tend to feel much more satisfied in a home where they can feel a sense of safety and privacy.
Tighter control by HOAs: Residents desire the freedom to modify their property, but communities that let strange property modifications go unchecked can start to look unsightly over time. In ordinary communities, suing a resident in court is often the only recourse to prevent an unauthorized project from moving forward. Lawsuits are expensive, and no community wants its public record filled with lawsuits against residents. When HOAs can use gates to control what vehicles can enter a community, they have the practical means to inexpensively stop unauthorized construction projects.
Assurances against crime: The appearance of security always makes communities less desirable for criminals. For instance, a robber would always choose an unprotected neighborhood over a neighborhood that seems to value security. Gates can also help to stop unknown vehicles that are up to no good.
Prevention of undesirable activity: Not everyone who a community wants to keep out is looking to violate the law. Some activities by non-residents are legal but undesirable to residents. For instance, many local governments allow solicitors to obtain permits to go door-to-door selling products unless a gate of fence blocks their path. Having a gate gives residents a better sense of privacy by preventing undesirable activity from other people in the local area.
Challenges With Community Gates
Residential community gates have historically been rare in the U.S. for several reasons. The fact that most residential developments are in relatively safe suburban communities is part of why gates are not used frequently. However, the main reason why gates are not used is that the cost of manning a gate is relatively expensive. Few communities have the money to staff a gate on a 24-hour basis. As a result, these communities have to rely on 4-digit pin pads that are profoundly insecure. Residents find manually inputting codes highly inconvenient, and these pin pads do almost nothing to stop motivated criminals from getting in.
Automated Gate Access: The Future Is Here
In the near future, it is likely that gated communities will become much more common than in the past. Solutions that almost eliminate the cost of maintaining a gate have become feasible because of modern technology. The Nimbio Gate Entry System is one of the most promising technology solutions that has emerged. The solution relies on a small cellular internet hardware device that enables community members to open a gate when they have the Nimbio app installed on their smartphones. Nearly everyone carries smartphones, so Nimbio uses the phone as unique digital key to securely manage gate access.
The best part about Nimbio‘s solution is that it enables novel functionality that was not possible in the past. For instance, residents can send “scheduled keys” that only work during certain hours of the day. The Nimbio app will not allow the digital key holder to enter the community if they try to open the gate outside of the scheduled hours. The solution also comes with features that help community managers to oversee access and provide access to new residents with just a few taps. The bottom line is that by nearly eliminating gate maintenance costs, Nimbio will make it feasible for any residential development to increase property values with a secure community gate.