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Why People Live in Gated Communities

Sep 2, 2007
What do you think of when you hear the words "gated community"? According to the US Census Bureau:

- There are approximately 7 million households living in gated communities in the U.S. That's about 6% of the total households in the country.
- About 4 million households in the U.S. are in communities where access is controlled by entry codes, key cards, gates or security guards.
- Gated developments are growing in popularity in places like Atlanta and suburbs of Washington D.C.
- Nearly 40% of new home construction in California is in gated communities. The percentage of new construction within the walls of gated communities is rising nationwide.
- The top gated communities in Cherokee County are among the most sought-after neighborhoods in the metro-Atlanta area.

What is it that makes homes in gated communities like Laurel Canyon, The Orchards and Lake Arrowhead such popular choices with new home buyers? Homeowners in the top gated communities in Cherokee County cite the same reasons that their fellow homeowners from around the country give when asked "Why buy a home in one of the top gated communities in Cherokee County?"

The reasons cited most often include:

Leisure and Recreational Opportunities
Gated communities offer many opportunities for leisure and recreation, especially those built on a master plan that emphasizes leisure time activities. Community centers offer recreational and fitness facilities available to residents, as well as classes and social activities on a regular basis. The top gated communities in Cherokee County include facilities for tennis, swimming, boating, hiking, biking, fishing and water activities and more.

Master planned gated communities like Lake Arrowhead are specifically planned to be offer easy access to amenities and needs like dining, recreation, community involvement and shopping. While critics of gated communities in general bemoan a lack of community involvement among those who live in gated communities, actual experience tells a far different story.

In Lake Arrowhead, for instance, the community turned out en masse last spring to help rebuild the home of a local family that was destroyed by fire. "Everyone seemed to want to be a part of this project," said the director of ABC' s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, who put together the project. Faith Tipton-Smith, the homeowner, said "It just goes to show how much love there is in the community."

The Amenities
Many choose to live in gated communities for the amenities that they offer. Depending on the community, those amenities might include public docks for lake access, mountain hiking trails, water parks, a security guard at the gate, fine dining at local restaurants and a membership to the community clubhouse. Among the amenities that will be offered at the top gated communities in Cherokee County are a world class golf course, junior Olympic sized swimming pool, family access water park and a full service marina.

"Nice Neighborhood"
Most residents in gated communities cite "living in a nice neighborhood" as a major reason for choosing a gated community for their new home. Having an active homeowner association contributes to the upkeep and maintenance of the community. Roads, walkways and paths are well-maintained and homes are kept up in accordance with the standards of the community. "I know that the neighborhood is always going to be a nice neighborhood," said one long-time resident of a local gated community.

Many residents choose to live in a gated community for the safety it provides. That safety is far less about protecting the community from crime than it is about more general concerns. The gates keep pass-through traffic out of the community, offering the children and pedestrians safer streets and keeping speeders at bay. Security gates, guards and cameras deter thieves and other criminals from entering the community as well, reducing the risk of crime.

Property Values
Homes in gated communities tend to maintain their property values. The attention of the neighborhood association to maintenance and repair keeps the surrounding neighborhood beautiful, and maintains the property values of all community residences.

Natural Beauty
In Cherokee County, the top gated communities are situated on some of the most beautiful land that the country has to offer. Many home lots offer stunning views of the mountains and lakes, and make the natural beauty of the environment a key factor in home selection. Because development companies make preserving that beauty a priority, residents in communities like Lake Arrowhead and Laurel Canyon can choose homes and home sites that make the most of the stunning natural beauty of the North Georgia countryside.
About the Author
Lake Arrowhead is an exceptional residential lake and golf community so close to the conveniences and attractions of the south's largest urban center, yet so very far away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Visit http://www.lakearrowheadga.com for more information.
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