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Are there gated communities w/o golf?
Old 09-12-2011, 08:37 AM   #1
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Are there gated communities w/o golf?

We would like to move to a single-family-home gated community after retirement - something with beautiful views. Our desired retirement lifestyle is something like: Primary home in NC, winter home in FL; or, primary home in FL, summer home in a temperate mountainous state. We feel the gated community is necessary because of break-ins.

We don't golf (the golf lifestyle falls into a category called "Simply lovely, but not for us") -yet it seems that every gated community is built around a golf course, which means residents are subsidizing the golfers through maintenance fees. Also, it means one's neighbors are likely to be golf-ish, meaning we will feel like outsiders.

Are there gated communities that aren't built around golf courses? How does one find them without having to contact a real estate agent in every possible town of interest? I haven't had any luck excluding "golf" using search engines. The darn search engine sees the "golf" and ignores the "without"

Thoughts and advice are appreciated!

Amethyst
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:42 AM   #2
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I can't help here (especially since I'm not 55 and most of these are 55+ communities). But I have sometimes wondered the same question; there are times we've thought we might want to consider an "adult" community for various reasons after I turn 55 (mostly for "quieter" communities, fewer cars with cranked up stereos driving by, that sort of thing), but they all have golf - which seems like a waste of fees for someone who doesn't golf; in other words, I'd feel like I was subsidizing golfers. Would love to hear some answers on this well.

(They often also have tennis, but (a) tennis courts ain't nearly as expensive to maintain as golf courses and (b) we probably would use the tennis courts from time to time.)
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:50 AM   #3
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Amethyst, there are far more gated communities without golf than with in this part of the world. Not sure how to easily identify them in a search though...
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:53 AM   #4
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Yes, there are gated communities without golf, but the listing won't say "no golf". You have to browse and read each listing - no other way. Some will have golf but the fees will be separate and there is an up-front one-time charge when the house changes hands. Listing sometimes use code words for these, so you also have to call the listing agents to get all the details about association fees.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:02 AM   #5
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I can not speak for FL, but here in Las Vegas/Henderson, there are many gated communities that are not tied into a golf course.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst
We would like to move to a single-family-home gated community after retirement - something with beautiful views. Our desired retirement lifestyle is something like: Primary home in NC, winter home in FL; or, primary home in FL, summer home in a temperate mountainous state. We feel the gated community is necessary because of break-ins.

We don't golf (the golf lifestyle falls into a category called "Simply lovely, but not for us") -yet it seems that every gated community is built around a golf course, which means residents are subsidizing the golfers through maintenance fees. Also, it means one's neighbors are likely to be golf-ish, meaning we will feel like outsiders.

Are there gated communities that aren't built around golf courses? How does one find them without having to contact a real estate agent in every possible town of interest? I haven't had any luck excluding "golf" using search engines. The darn search engine sees the "golf" and ignores the "without"

Thoughts and advice are appreciated!

Amethyst
Even for non golfers there are some benefits to living near the golf course so it may not be a total waste. They are pretty and ensure open green space; in some areas they may improve resale value. Off-season there may be light hiking, even x-country skiing. Many clubs are open to the public which offsets costs.

Of course there are errant golf balls and unwelcome early morning loudmouths if you are right on the fairway. Just saying it may be wise to keep an open mind as you search. We might find ourselves in a similar situation down the road.
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:18 AM   #7
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Try searching like this:

gated communties -golf

works in google, and should work in most other search engines.
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:31 AM   #8
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Does it have to be gated ? Gated communities IMO give a false sense of security . There are plenty of non gated communities that are very well maintained . They usually come with a clubhouse ,pool and tennis courts .I could never see the advantage of a gate , My sister lives in one and when I visit I'm stopped by the 90 year old guard . I then say whom I'm visiting and away I go . I could say any name and get access . Some of them have a code you punch in and someone in the development has a garage sale or a party and that code is passed around .
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:42 AM   #9
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Does it have to be gated ? Gated communities IMO give a false sense of security . There are plenty of non gated communities that are very well maintained.
Sure, that can be the case some times, and in my potential future situation a gated community isn't a must.

And while the "gate" itself can create a false sense of security, I'd imagine its presence creates a self-selecting sample of residents who are particularly concerned and diligent about neighborhood security and are thus more likely to participate in and embrace "neighborhood watch" type programs.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:02 AM   #10
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And while the "gate" itself can create a false sense of security...
+1

You sparked a memory of my former CEO who was awakened in the middle of the night (in his gated, manned by a security guard 24/7 neighborhood) by a guy trying to steal the car keys from the nightstand beside his bed. The thief had been in his house for some time, had loaded up the CEO's car with all the goodies it would hold, and helped himself to a beer and a snack from the kitchen fridge before beginning his search for the keys to the Lexus...
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:16 PM   #11
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When we were scouting for a house, one item on DW's wish list is a gated community. I don't care one way or another. She changed her mind after we found out that access to the gated community is easy. On some of them, the gate was just left open. Or you can just follow a car that have access to the gate. Or pretend that you are entering the passkey and wait till a car opens the gate. For guarded gates, we just tell the guard that we are taking a look at a property for sale.

We were also told that "bad guys" will tend to go after the houses in the gated community rather than outside because presumably they are richer and have nicer and more expensive stuff.

Anyway. the house we fell in love with is not in a gated community.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:05 PM   #12
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They went after our house, even though it has a security system with a motion detector and screaming alarm!

While I know better than to believe blindly in the effectiveness of gates, rent-a-guards, or anything other than a dragon behind a moat filled with alligators, I do believe in "levels of security" - things that work together to make it harder for bad guys. If we're leaving our house for 3 months at a time, we have to do something, and we can't afford to hire a guard on our own dime.

Plus, what's wrong with living where people have nicer houses and more stuff?

Amethyst

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W
We were also told that "bad guys" will tend to go after the houses in the gated community rather than outside because presumably they are richer and have nicer and more expensive stuff.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:15 PM   #13
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Amethyst, we live in a gated non-golf community in Florida. There are lots of them. We also have a house in the NC mountains that is our vacation home, and hopefully soon, half the year home. The NC community isn't gated, but we do have a locked cattle gate at the bottom of the driveway. It isn't possible to drive onto the NC property without going up the driveway, so we're pretty secure there. Rather than mess with an alarm in NC, we just don't leave anything of great value up there. Someone could steal the appliances and furniture I suppose, but we do have insurance.

Florida and NC sound like the perfect 2 places for great weather in retirement. We were in NC for 2 weeks and it was typically around 75 in the day and mid 50's at night. It hit 94 in north Florida on the way home. But come January, it might be 15 or 20 degrees for the high in NC and it will be 75 to 80 here. Can't beat that!
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:49 PM   #14
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Plus, what's wrong with living where people have nicer houses and more stuff?
Now there's a question. Maybe if we put our heads together, we can think of some disadvantage. (Please excuse me if the question was intended to be ironic.)
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Old 09-12-2011, 05:07 PM   #15
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67walkon, which part of N. Florida (or town, if you don't mind identifying it on-line)?

I lived in S. Florida years ago but know little about the northern part of the state. But if there are lots of non-golf gated communities, it sounds like we need to look into things there.

I guess north Florida has hurricane season just like the south, though

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Amethyst, we live in a gated non-golf community in Florida. There are lots of them. We also have a house in the NC mountains that is our vacation home, and hopefully soon, half the year home. The NC community isn't gated, but we do have a locked cattle gate at the bottom of the driveway. It isn't possible to drive onto the NC property without going up the driveway, so we're pretty secure there. Rather than mess with an alarm in NC, we just don't leave anything of great value up there. Someone could steal the appliances and furniture I suppose, but we do have insurance.

Florida and NC sound like the perfect 2 places for great weather in retirement. We were in NC for 2 weeks and it was typically around 75 in the day and mid 50's at night. It hit 94 in north Florida on the way home. But come January, it might be 15 or 20 degrees for the high in NC and it will be 75 to 80 here. Can't beat that!
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:16 PM   #16
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We have decided against Hot Springs Village (AR). We don't play golf and it has lots of golf (I have forgotten the # of courses, but golf is huge).

I did have a story about the level of security. When we visited last November, we missed noticing the entry gate and drove right through. A few yards down the road we realized our mistake and turned around. By then, two guards (closer to 60-70 years old) were out in the middle of the road. They did not even smile when we made some hilarious wisecrack about missing the gate.

The real estate agent had put our name on some list and after they checked DH's license, they let us go through. We were impressed with, if a bit freaked, the seriousness of it all.

I especially like the idea of a gated community (DH doesn't care). We don't want the golf either, so this info you are getting is interesting to me. We do want the gated community near things to do. HSV is just too far out....we want easy access to movies, plays, ballgames, etc.
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:01 AM   #17
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A great community IMO is Lakewood Ranch .It is a master planned community that extends from Sarasota into Manatee county . There are many separate developments within Lakewood Ranch so you can find any type of housing you would like .It has several restaurants ,shops ,a hospital,a movie theater and endless clubs you can join.It's a quick drive to Sarasota for museums ,the opera , live theater and tons of restaurants . Some of the developments include golf courses but there are many without them . It's about a thirty minute drive to nice beaches .
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:03 AM   #18
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There are also many gated communities that are built around a golf course but aren't affiliated directly with the golf course so don't require a golf membership or any golf related fees. The golf course that I belong to is like that. It's a private course that is not tied to any real estate. There is a 55+ gated community around the back 9 but based on the number of homes there I would guess that no more than 10% of the homeowners are also golf members. I would stay away from buying any fairway lot that has any possibility of getting hit by wayward golf balls.
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Old 09-13-2011, 02:01 PM   #19
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We actually live in south Florida-it was 94 when we went through Jacksonville on Sunday. It rarely gets as hot on the SE coast of Florida as it does inland, nor does it get as cold. The gulf stream moderates the temps along the coast.

Probably what they call the Treasure Coast is better than South Florida for most of us. That would be from Martin County north to maybe the Melbourne area. Housing in that area is much more affordable than SoFl and the people are generally much nicer. My son bought a house in the Melbourne area that is a short walk from the beach for under $200,000, and that was before the market really bottomed out. His house has a 2 car garage, probably 1700 or so SF and is on a really small lot. It's probably a 5 minute walk at most to get to the beach from there. Right now, I bet you could buy similar houses for 10% to 15% less.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:33 PM   #20
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I live in a 55+, gated non-golf course community in San Antonio. For my wife and I not having a golf course was a plus. We don't play and didn't want to have to support the course in our monthly fees. Generally, it's safe and a highly pleasant place to be (even in the atrocious summer heat of Texas). Although the community itself is highly walkable (with four miles of paved trails in the greenbelts), shopping, hospitals, etc. are about three miles away, which mandates a car for every trip outside the development. That's a bummer.
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