In a gated community, we not only buy a property but we buy a lifestyle. The elegance in construction has attracted home buyers to opt for gated community living, which is now seen as the most preferred option of investment and symbol of privilege.
How gated community living evolved over time?
Although the word gated community sounds like luxury living in developed nations, the very idea of gated community living came from the ordinary community-based living which existed in developing nations.
The researchers have found that the concept of living in a gated community existed in China during Sui Dynasty about a Millennium back. Gated community living came into existence with a motive of bringing differentiation in the hierarchical order of feudal etiquette. The enclosed residential area of ordinary people was called as li fang which was separate from those of the king’s family and their close ones. Each residence was separated by a compound wall for privacy and people lived as a closely knit social unit. With the evolution of Yang Dynasty, this concept of Li-fang disintegrated giving rise to other forms of urban construction such as apartments, streets, independent homes etc. In Tang period, more than a millennium ago, it was found that more than one million residents lived closed neighbourhood separated by walls. Gates closed off at night, and guards made sure people stayed within the compound walls and off the streets.
In India, the concept of gated community living can be related to those of slum living where people live in close knits. This type of living is still seen in areas of Mumbai and other cities. In Islamic states too people lived in gated communities with high raise walls. However, these walls were brought down during colonialism to avoid any plans for resistance while residing behind these walls.
Why do buyers prefer gated communities in the modern day living?
The history of gated community living indeed motivated the modern day real estate developers to come up with such kind of living for the elite class. Gated communities exist in almost every country now giving a sense of prestige living in the minds of people. It has created an importance for its own and here are some of the reasons why gated community living is preferred by most of the home buyers:
1. A Peaceful and Safe environment
With noise and chaos filling modern lifestyle, people long for calmness after coming home from a long day at work. This is available in gated communities as most of the homes are located in a peaceful serene environment away from main roads or crowd filled streets etc. Most of the gated communities are designed with a lot of open space filled with trees, gardens or parks. Eg: Opaline Sequel apartments on OMR with sea-facing views have a lot of open space and great 3-tier security.
2. Comfort and Luxury
Gated communities offer a wide range of amenities like Gym, park, Swimming pool, Yoga, Super Market etc. There are also cafes and badminton courts in few communities and some of them offer even golf carts for the older people to move around the campus. With the busy modern day life, one can avail all these facilities within the gated community.
3. Sense of security
There is a sense of security too for the people living with highly secured infrastructure like CCTV monitoring, IP-based entry & exit and other amenities.
4. Better utilities and no maintenance headaches
With gated communities come back up power, treated water facilities, solar-powered heating systems, and many other essential amenities which are very important to live life comfortably. There are also concierge personnel hired to maintain these facilities which is a big relief for the home buyers.
5. Opportunities for social interaction
Gated communities present a lot of interaction opportunities like social gatherings during festival times, children of various families playing together, opportunities for similar age groups to attend yoga, gym together or go for morning jogs together etc. This, in turn, inculcates a sense of togetherness and gives them happy moments to cherish.
Some of the challenges faced in a gated community
1. Price factor:
With security and all the amenities, there is some cost and the residents have to pay maintenance fees to the association to take care of the infrastructure and security.
2. Security features:
For a new visitor or guests who visit a gated community for the very first time, it can be alienating to make them undergo multiple layers of surveillance. This can be a little frustrating, but the safety of the residents needs to come first.
3. Location of the gated community:
There are some gated communities which are located at some distance. Some of the gated communities are usually situated away from business centres to provide a peaceful environment. Hence, commuting distance can be higher, but is more than made up by having all the amenities in one place.
Although there are certain limitations like the ones stated above, the amount of comfort and social status provided, outweighs the small cons. This is proven by the high selling index for gated communities in recent times. Also, the amount of time residents save with all the amenities in one location, make them a popular and preferred choice by home buyers across the world.