Research should be the first step when investing in the gated estate lifestyle

“Do your homework thoroughly before you buy into secure gated estate living. If you don’t, your lifestyle dream could turn out to be your worst nightmare.”

That’s the advice to first-time estate buyers from Jeff Gilmour, President of the Association of Residential Communities (ARC).

“Homes in lifestyle estates generally come with price premiums that average 30 per cent compared with like-on-like properties on the ‘outside’.

“Therefore, mistakes can be that much more costly if you fail to carry out fundamental research on the estate itself before closing the deal on your home purchase,” says Jeff.

His checklist for investing in a gated estate begins with the Home Owners’ Association (HOA):

Run through the financials of the HOA. Ensure that it is financially sound, holds adequate reserves, and is compliant with its fiduciary responsibility and articles of association

Establish what levy increases there have been over the past three years, and what the policy is going forward.

Be aware of the estate’s rules, regulations and architectural guidelines (to avoid unpleasant surprises after taking occupation)

Verify that the HOA is well run and applying best practice in the management of the estate. (Membership of ARC will automatically tick this box)

Confirm that the HOA is constantly updating and enhancing implementation models in line with the estate’s strategic plan.

Make sure that the all-important social aspects of living on the estate form part of the HOA agenda. These include the clubhouse, walking trails, play parks and sporting facilities.

Furthermore, Jeff recommends a walk or drive around the entire estate to   ensure that it is in good shape:

Start with the main gate, which should be well organised and manned by helpful uniformed guards.

Examine the green areas and parks. Is there a feeling of consistency? Are they proportionally developed across the entire estate? This will indicate either a well-implemented master plan or a haphazard approach

Clean and well maintained roads, walkways and pavements will confirm that an efficient maintenance plan is in place.

There should be consistency of architecture and design across the entire estate. Homes that are half built, or inconsistent with the overall guidelines, should be seen as a warning flag.

“Above all,” says Jeff, “look closely at the security system – including the electric fence, surveillance cameras, presence of security vehicles, roving patrols and proactive policing.”

“A recent countrywide ARC survey showed that security is the biggest single factor that motivates investment in gated residential estates,” he adds.

The survey also established the sheer size of this aspect of residential living. For instance, gated estates have assets of R800-billion under their management, and pay annual rates of R4,7-billion. Their collective annual levies total R8-billion!

ARC is focused on assisting HOAs to manage residential estates more efficiently. In the process, the primary aim is to protect and grow the value of residents’ homes.

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 19 Feb 2018
      Possibly one of the biggest sources of contention between landlords and tenants surrounds the rental deposit. “Most tenants rely on getting their rental deposits back when moving, so that they can use it to pay a deposit on their new home. Having it withheld or even having large amounts deducted can lead to a lot of distress,” explains Bruce Swain, CEO of Leapfrog Property Group.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      Situated approximately halfway between Johannesburg and Pretoria, Midrand was established in 1981 and forms part of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality. It has become one of the major business hubs in the country with major pharmaceutical, textile, telecommunication and motoring giants situated within its boundaries.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      The PayProp Rental Index Annual Review of 2017 shows that the rental market suffered from much volatility during the year. It kicked off with rental growth spiking in January with weighted year-on-year growth (YoY) growth peaking at 8.3% before dropping to 6.34% in July, dipping down to less than 5% in November and then experiencing a slight uptick at 5.75% in December.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      While most homes in cluster complexes, estates and other gated communities come with at least one garage or carport, residents would often like additional permanent parking or storage areas for things like trailers, bikes, boats and caravans.
    • 16 Feb 2018
      Whether you own a property in a sectional title complex or are looking to invest in one, the financial standing of the body corporate is the single most important thing that can affect your investment or your buying decision.
    • 15 Feb 2018
      One positive consequence of the financial crash in 2008 was the rise in consumerism, especially in the property market, where buyers have steadily become more knowledgeable and more value conscious.
    • 15 Feb 2018
      While most homeowners will take the agent’s commission into consideration when they are trying to determine what the will get out from the sale of their property, many often forget to factor in the other costs involved in a home sale, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
    • 14 Feb 2018
      The forecast for the national rental market in 2018 remains a mixed bag of good news and bad news. Although rentals are expected to rise slowly as the challenges of home affordability and tighter lending criteria tighten their grip, it’s a double-edged sword as the market also will come under increasing pressure from factors like declining disposable income levels.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us