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Old 02-21-2010, 06:38 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
1,259 posts, read 1,762,915 times
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Three of the most secure areas in town are Alamo Heights, Terrell Hills and Olmos Park. No gates, real security is knowing the police and fire department are 2-3 minutes away.
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:13 AM
RGJ
 
1,902 posts, read 4,026,356 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dopo View Post
Everytime I see a gated neighborhood, I wonder who paid for the streets and sidewalks inside the gated area.
If the whole city paid for it, the whole city should be able to use those streets and sidewalks.
Almost without exception, inside gated communities the streets were paid for by the developer and are maintained by the HOA
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:45 AM
 
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Thanks, everyone, for all this info ... very helpful. You'd think paying big property taxes would cover road construction & maintenance, etc. Helotes would be a little too far a commute for work because work starts at the crack of dawn. No one here is a morning person, unfortunately. Hard enough to get up by 6:00 AM. HOAs have their advantages but the possibility of being dictated to like that bothers me for some reason when I'm paying a mortgage and not rent. Also, they can foreclose on you if you get too delinquent with your fees, just like with property taxes.
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Old 02-21-2010, 10:03 AM
 
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If there's a pool and other amenities, I wouldn't mind paying a HO fee. I guess it can be a great thing unless it morphs one day into something intrusive. Great point about rent. I also have a tenant in a small house I own out west. Never raised the rent in over 10 years but refi'd the property so now the rent income more than covers the PITI. Have a house I left in another state before recently moving here. Nice house in a really nice area and on the market for sale. The offers I've been getting have been disgusting. Tens of thousands less. Like I don't have a mortgage and a realtor to pay. I'm going to rent it out at a loss before I let everyone screw me. My realtor keeps pressuring me to lower the price and I keep lowering it. I put thousands into the property and just want to get what I originally paid for it plus a few dollars back because he doesn't charge a low flat rate, if you know what I mean. He's afraid I'm going to rent it and he won't make any money.
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Old 02-21-2010, 10:10 AM
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Location: Ohio
16,822 posts, read 33,209,949 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swbound View Post
HOAs have their advantages but the possibility of being dictated to like that bothers me for some reason when I'm paying a mortgage and not rent.
HOAs enforce deed restrictions. If you're comfortable with the rules in your deed restrictions, you have nothing to fear from an HOA.

If you don't agree with the rules in your deed restrictions, you shouldn't be buying that home in the first place.
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Old 02-21-2010, 10:54 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
8,400 posts, read 20,161,843 times
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Agreed, about the only thing worse that living in a community with a HOA is living in a community without one!

A close second is living in a community with a HOA that doesn't enforce the deed restrictions...
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:32 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
37,981 posts, read 55,740,290 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swbound View Post
the possibility of being dictated to like that bothers me for some reason when I'm paying a mortgage and not rent. Also, they can foreclose on you if you get too delinquent with your fees, just like with property taxes.
yes! The HOA provides you with that what the city should; that's why you pay taxes. But here you have a classic case of double dipping: you still have to pay taxes to city AND fees to HOA for providing you with the exact same service you pay the city for. City get your taxes and do nothing (isn't that clever!). Accordingly, local governments began promoting subdivision development as a means of improving their cash flow.

Why some people choose to live in gated communities?
That's the trend of new riches. Like McMansions. Is the "status symbol" that goes along with owning a home that is protected; symbol of upper-class, wealth and luxury. That's the feeling of modern version of the old walled castle where only certain elite people are allowed in. Of course, if you have the money, you can move into a gated community which is not true of old castles but there’s still the feeling that you’re living in an exclusive place. It’s something of a status symbol that people can show off.
Regardless of the level of protection and type of gated community a home is in - homes behind gates all share one thing in common and that is they tend to have higher price tags than similar homes outside of gates.

Why would one want to pay high asking prices and costly HOA fees for things such gate guards, private security, roads and maintenance?
Most roads are deemed private, and you may have to foot the bill to fix those potholes or repave a bumpy road. As far as security goes, the safety of gated communities is dependent upon the quality of the system in place, as well as the surrounding areas. And there’s a good chance the community won't be patrolled by a sheriff unless the HOA approves such action.
So, many of gated communities create false feeling of ( pretty much non existing ) security.
When you move in a gated community you should know the rules because you are not in sole control over your own often very expensive property. HOA might not approve your selection of plants, the color of your house, the additions you might want to make, the ownership of dogs - they might have say so what size and breed is ok, or not. The restrictions might include a car in a driveway, the size of your flag, or flushing your toilet between midnight and 5 am

With so many cons like: waiting in line to come to your home, limited time contractors may visit your home, needs to call down to the gate every time a visitor is expected, longer commute - since gated communities are typically located farther away from businesses, living with the sometimes strict rules, invasion of privacy in the sense of being monitored, false sense of elitism, because money does not always equal class and good taste - I think that drawbacks of living in a gated community actually outweigh these perceived benefits.
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Old 02-21-2010, 03:17 PM
 
26 posts, read 50,742 times
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Elnina, excellent points, thank you. I didn't think of all of those valid considerations. I've always had a security system in my house for the past 10 years and that also gave me a discount on my homeowner's insurance. Worked for me, in addition to other deterrents. THANK YOU, EVERYONE, FOR ALL THE ADVICE ... I LEARNED SOMETHING FROM EVERYBODY!
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Old 02-21-2010, 03:35 PM
 
84 posts, read 136,674 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scuba steve View Post
There are manned ones all over the northside. I can think of at least a half dozen without even trying.

Nice, I'd prefer a manned gated community. Do you know of any manned gated apartment complexes in the area? The apartment finders don't go into that much detail.
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Old 02-21-2010, 05:04 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
37,981 posts, read 55,740,290 times
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I am not sure if any of the San Antonio gated apartment complexes are actually manned. Condos are more likely.
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