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Gated Communities Features and Benefits

Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, Okatie and Daufuskie Island Gated Communities Features and Benefits Hilton Head Island’s gated communities offer residents greater safety, security, social environments, sense of community, recreational amenities, convenience, property values, prestige and satisfaction than non-gated communities. For these reasons and others, The Gated Communities Specialist® recommends that their clients live and vacation in the area’s fine gated communities. Safety and Security  Gated communities are safer and more secure than non-gated communities. Security gates first became useful on Hilton Head Island when modern residential development began and it became prudent to keep hunters out of the newly developed residential areas. Today, security gates and security guards provide many more valued services. They reduce the traffic and noise from non-residents who would otherwise drive into the community and solicit, use the private amenities and possibly cause crimes. Anybody thinking about crime would rather do their business in a community without security gates. Security guards check your home while you are away, supervise the entry of contractors and delivery trucks, give your guests directions, remove rabid animals and alligators, and perform CPR in case of emergency. The best security is attended by a guard 24 hours a day but some communities have automatic gates with security codes or pass cards. To read about what Security Chief Doug Wilson does, click here. He is Chief of Security for Indigo Run, one of the best and safest communities anywhere. Friends and Sense of Community  Residents of gated communities say that good friendships are what they value most. If you have been a member of a club, you know how this can be true. Residents of gated communities have a bond with other residents with whom they share their experience. Their clubs are right within their communities and provide the perfect social environment to enjoy life: At the tennis center, golf club, fitness center, swimming pool, community celebrations, lectures, committee meetings, trips, volunteer groups and along the walking paths. Gated Community Clubs, Amenities and Fees There is a wide range of impressive amenities and membership programs. You will want to know what amenities are important to you so that you can select a community that has what you want. You can do this quickly with ourCompare Amenities chart. The most popular amenities are security gates, private beach access, private and semi-private golf clubs, clay court tennis clubs, meeting and dining centers, fitness centers, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, equestrian centers, marinas and walking paths. Gated communities have distinctive golf courses created by the biggest name designers. Many of the courses are highly ranked and even world famous. Communities have different kinds of membership programs. You can live in a community where the membership is included and an integral part of the annual association fee or you can live in a community that has optional memberships. When you live in a community with optional memberships, you do not have to join any club or buy any membership that you do not want or need. With most of these optional memberships, you can terminate your membership without a continued financial obligation. All communities have mandatory property association fees of about $1,000 per year. Fees for lots (unimproved property) are typically less. This pays for services that benefit all owners: security, maintenance of the common areas and community management. Higher annual association fees are typically associated with deluxe amenities like indoor heating swimming pools, tennis clubs, large fitness centers and clubhouses with dining, meeting and locker rooms. Golf communities with optional golf memberships usually offer residents who are not members a discounted rate for play. For a list of annual community fees, click here. The highest community association fees are typically for equity memberships in all-inclusive private golf communities. The highest annual community fee in 2007 was $12,500. Another membership plan that some private clubs offer have an initiation fee of about $7,000-$25,000 and then monthly dues. Villa owners within gated communities pay a mandatory monthly fee to their owners’ association called a regime for regularly scheduled maintenance and services. This fee is about $350 per month and is in addition to the annual property owners’ association fee. Villa regime fees pay buildings and grounds maintenance, some utilities, trash pick-up, pest-control, amenities and insurance, but sometimes insurance is paid separately. Some villas have their own swim and tennis amenities. Capital improvements for both villas and communities may not be supported by the standard monthly or annual association fee. Owners may have to pay special assessments as mandated by the Association’s Board of Directors. Communities have addressed the need for reserves in recent years by implementing transfer fees that are typically twice the annual association fee or .025% of the sales price paid by the buyer at closing. The Gated Communities Specialist® will help you evaluate the communities, amenities and clubs you want and revue all fees and costs when you are ready. High Property Values Houses in gated communities command significant price premiums to houses in non-gated communities and maintain their property values better over time. High quality amenities alone can account for higher real estate values as do security gates that provide less traffic, noise, a safer community and more privacy. But gated communities are typically planned communities with a design that integrates security, amenities, convenience and aesthetics. Each of these contributes to the high value of the community’s real estate and the high quality of the residents’ lifestyle. Hilton Head’s planned and gated communities are among the best in the world and is why real estate in these communities commands a premium over real estate in non-gated communities. The building covenants of gated communities and the architectural review of homes is the valuable contribution of Hilton Head’s pioneer community planner Charles Fraser for which he is famous. Great Convenience Gated communities are designed for your convenience. You will become accustomed to having the ocean, your club, your friends and wherever you want to go close by. Many owners own their own golf carts in communities that allow it. In their own cart they can start their round of golf at the hole where they live or pick up a friend on the way to tee off. The resort communities have restaurants within their gates. Many communities have stores and services right outside of their entrances. Examples include the Sea Pines Center, Park Plaza at Sea Pines, the Festival Center at Indigo Run, the Main Street Village at Hilton Head Plantation, the Moss Creek Center at Moss Creek and Belfair Village at Belfair. Hilton Head and Bluffton are decentralized. The hospitals, schools, restaurants, stores, service vendors and entertainment are all close by and conveniently located throughout the area. The Hilton Head airport is mid-Island and the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport is about a 45 minute drive from the bridge to Hilton Head. Savannah, Georgia is 45 minutes away. Beaufort, SC is only one hour away and beautiful, historic Charleston is a two hour drive. Atlanta, Georgia is five hours by car and 45 minutes by air. Prestige and Satisfaction  The benefits to the residents of gated communities are real and valuable. Residents have many reasons to feel good about where they live and it’s typical for residents of every gated community to believe that their community is the best. Of course, they are correct! The residents of these fine communities have earned the prestige that comes with their accomplishments. Contact the Hilton Head Gated Communities Specialist® about which community is best for you. Go Gated!®