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Private Estates/Gated Communities - good?





Hello_World
I've noticed very recently that there are a bunch of 'private estates' popping up.

This is a very new phenomenon to me here, but I am well aware that America and Kenya have long had private estates.

(It may well be there have been ones here for a long time I haven't been aware of, but very few).

So I got to wondering... are they any good? Ok, I get the security aspect, but then again, I could just live in a court and get the same effect.

Does there tend to be a close knit community within the walls of these 'communities', or are they really full of super-scared type people who keep tp themselves?

Do they have negative, exclusionary type consequences for the area at large?

What do you think?
ocalhoun
Hello_World wrote:

Does there tend to be a close knit community within the walls of these 'communities', or are they really full of super-scared type people who keep tp themselves?


In the US, they're usually not a close knit community... more often a community centered around keeping out the 'riff-raff'.
In these gated communities, you'll often find people obsessed about their property value, and the effects of their neighbors on it.
They're full of the kind of people who will look down on you if your lawn has brown spots in it.
(And in worse cases, the kind of people who will use the homeowner's association to fine you if your lawn has brown spots.)
In general, here they're mostly enclaves of people who have very specific ideas about what is 'normal', and want to enforce those ideas on everybody else.
(Unable to do that in the community at large, they retreat into their gated communities, where they can enforce their ideas on others.)
If you take great pride in the appearance of your house, the value of your house, and your economic status, and you want to live in a place where everybody else does as well, these gated communities are the place for you.


Their crime-preventing properties are more due to excluding the poor (who are more often criminal) than to any actual security. For most gated communities, it would be very easy to break in uninvited. (In one occasion, back when I worked in delivery, I simply drove around a gated community's gate -- there was no fence attached to it, and it was in the middle of an open field.)

In summation, the ones I've seen have mainly just been a mechanism to enforce social stratification, a way for the upper-middle class to keep the lower class out where they don't have to interact with them.
deanhills
There are plenty of those in South Africa. I'd say the emphasis is on security. But there is an element of social stratification as well along the lines explained by Ocalhoun. And above all trying to keep the property value as high as possible. Right now of course it is a serious problem as property values are in the dumps everywhere.
Hello_World
I talked to someone from Kenya about them before they meant anything to me, and the emphasis for her was most definately security.

But I could see how this could be a kind of elitist thing like ocalhoun suggested, I wouldn't like to live there then, but I bet my partner would lololol he is always complaining about our neighbours not mowing their lawns and having weeds and stuff lololol he'd be right at home and I'd be so so so out of place.

I had to pick up a 'work aquainance' from one the other day and I pressed the buzzer on the wrong persons house, they let us in anyway lol.

I don't really see how it could keep the 'lower classes' out except by way of high prices, which can happen anywhere. I mean, you could buy one and rent it out, what can they do?

I think that would have a pretty bad effect on the surrounding suburbs, and even target it for theft etc, if they are sitting there like they are better than everyone else... it would make the inequalities more obvious than they are now...

Still, I wonder if they would make a good investment? Then again, if i bought one and thought they were bad for the country, that would make me an evil capitalist lol.

Anyways, thanks for kinda comfirming and clarifying what I thought/think on the topic...

Shame they aren't a community kinda thing. Funny enough, although ugly, I often think it would be kinda nice to live in commission housing flats because they seem to have a community going there...
deanhills
Living in a gated area is expensive - so even if the main consideration for buying in was security, it will be elitist from that point of view. One probably would have to buy carefully to make sure that the properties are fast moving. It would probably be like any other real estate transactions. If there is a real demand for it - and that is easy to check, i.e. there would be a long waiting list to start off with - then it should be easy to sell.

I doubt I would want to live in an area like that however. I just hate the idea of a compound, and to me this is just a sophisticated version of the same thing.
Ghost900
As ocalhoun mentioned very well, the gated communities here in Minnesota are more about keeping the lower class out as well as a little added security. In terms of your question about whether they are close knit, I would have to say no more close knit than any other group of people. I don't think their are really negative aspects to a group of wealthy people living in a gated community and don't imagine it impacts the area to much.

The reasons Kenya does it is probably much more about security as when I went to Tanzania it seemed that any wealthy person had a private wall with broken glass and barbed wire on it. I imagine it is similar in Kenya where the wealthier people decided to make a community wall rather than personal walls as I saw in Tanzania.
deanhills
Ghost900 wrote:
The reasons Kenya does it is probably much more about security as when I went to Tanzania it seemed that any wealthy person had a private wall with broken glass and barbed wire on it. I imagine it is similar in Kenya where the wealthier people decided to make a community wall rather than personal walls as I saw in Tanzania.
Where my sister lives in South Africa there is razor wire on top of the walls, and those who can afford it, electric wiring. There are not many gated areas where she is living and I suspect this is because people who live there are not your super wealthy.
Blaster
I have seen a lot of gated communities. Some are nice yet some serve problems. Try getting a bunch of Emergency Vehicles into a private estate. Its not always the easiest with gated communities. we have done fine without them before so why add something into the mix to just make things more difficult
deanhills
Blaster wrote:
I have seen a lot of gated communities. Some are nice yet some serve problems. Try getting a bunch of Emergency Vehicles into a private estate. Its not always the easiest with gated communities. we have done fine without them before so why add something into the mix to just make things more difficult
Maybe they should work on special access for emergency vehicles being a requirement of the law? I live in a small place in the UAE, and there is special access roads specifically for this purpose as well as the utilities companies.
Think
Blaster
Some of the gates are supposed to open when they hear the sirens... However like most technology it doesn't always seem to work.... Who would have thought...
ocalhoun
Blaster wrote:
I have seen a lot of gated communities. Some are nice yet some serve problems. Try getting a bunch of Emergency Vehicles into a private estate. Its not always the easiest with gated communities. we have done fine without them before so why add something into the mix to just make things more difficult


A fun secret that I learned back in pizza delivery... and which I'll share now just to spite such communities, which I don't like very much.

In gated communities where the gate is opened by a number combination punched into a keypad, there are standard codes to let emergency services in, usually 0911, 1911, or 9111. If you try those three codes, you can get through almost any such gate. (Though the fancier ones will send an alarm out if those codes are used.)

For the radio-controlled ones, you can buy a programmable garage door opener. When you see a resident approaching the gate, use the garage door opener's 'record' function.
Play back that recording, and the gate will open for you from now on.
(Again, though, the fancier ones might be more secure and not use standard garage door opener style devices.)

If all else fails, you can tailgate a resident as they enter. Most gates are made with safety measures to ensure they won't close on a vehicle, so all you have to do is enter the gate's safety zone before the resident's car leaves it. The gate will treat your car and the resident's car as one long vehicle, like a truck towing a trailer would be.
Blaster
Sometimes the code is 1111 or 0000 too... Also you can try addresses of some of the places yet these are harder than entering 911 or such... I'm more of a fan of running through them as most are platic or wood and won't do any damage to my vehicle...
loremar
Actually, thieves are more attracted to gated houses/communities.

It's like treasure hunting for them.
deanhills
loremar wrote:
Actually, thieves are more attracted to gated houses/communities.

It's like treasure hunting for them.
That is so true. I remember in Johannesburg South Africa, that is famous for being called a walled city as most houses are surrounded with tall walls with electric wiring or razor wiring. Once robbers were inside the house, of course no one in the neighbourhood would know what was going on.
User_X
The thing I don't like about some of the the Private Estates/Gated Communities are the HOA's (Home owner associations) You may of heard of the horror story's of the people they hassle because their running around like little Nazi police on their sometimes golf carts & their ticket book out because they have no lives of their own or are so hateful for one reason or another.
That's not all of them of course.

Personally I'd never live in a place where they have a HOA because if I want to paint my house purple I'll do it. I'm sure it would be against the bylaws to do that TO YOUR OWN HOUSE.





























PS, I don't like many HOA's
deanhills
User_X wrote:

Personally I'd never live in a place where they have a HOA because if I want to paint my house purple I'll do it. I'm sure it would be against the bylaws to do that TO YOUR OWN HOUSE.
I thought some of the cities have general design and construction rules that may include painting houses certain colours? They may not only be limited to gated communities.
Hello_World
Definately that is not restricted to private estates.

My (defacto) in-laws built recently and they have really strict rules about buildings where they chose.

Things like house must be x metres from the front, they must have eaves, they cannot have 2 houses in a row with full rendering, the front must be landscaped...

But I'm not sure how they could enforce it after the house is built - I don't think they really can, there at least.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
Once robbers were inside the house, of course no one in the neighbourhood would know what was going on.

I wouldn't count on neighbors knowing what's going on anyway.
Back in Florida, there was a rash of daylight burglaries for a while... they went like so:

Thieves either stole or purchased a legitimate-looking moving truck and uniforms.
They would then pull up to any random house in the middle of the day (when everybody is gone to work or school), break into the house, and start systematically taking everything out to the truck.
Neighbors often saw them doing so, but they assumed they were just legitimate movers... In several cases, neighbors actually helped the thieves take things out of the house.
The group of thieves would then drive away with all that stuff, sell it of as best as they could, and move on to the next town. (By moving from town to town, they were able to operate longer without people catching on to it.)

Hello_World wrote:

But I'm not sure how they could enforce it after the house is built - I don't think they really can, there at least.

They can.
Often, it's written into the deed for the property, so by signing to take possession of it, you also sign in agreement to their rules (and the enforcement of them).
If that fails, local governments do generally have the power to enforce petty laws like that in the name of the 'common good'.

To have any real freedom of what to do with your property, you need to live outside of any HOA... but also live outside of any incorporated town/city limits. (Or at lest be located in a town/city with relaxed rules and no inclination to make new rules.) County, state, and federal laws, at least, usually don't bother with petty regulations like that.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Once robbers were inside the house, of course no one in the neighbourhood would know what was going on.

I wouldn't count on neighbors knowing what's going on anyway.
Back in Florida, there was a rash of daylight burglaries for a while... they went like so:

Thieves either stole or purchased a legitimate-looking moving truck and uniforms.
They would then pull up to any random house in the middle of the day (when everybody is gone to work or school), break into the house, and start systematically taking everything out to the truck.
Neighbors often saw them doing so, but they assumed they were just legitimate movers... In several cases, neighbors actually helped the thieves take things out of the house.
The group of thieves would then drive away with all that stuff, sell it of as best as they could, and move on to the next town. (By moving from town to town, they were able to operate longer without people catching on to it.)
Sounds like a great idea! Twisted Evil
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