Gated community vs. Independent villa

When planning to buy a home, you may find yourself confronting the question whether to go for a gated community or choose an independent villa. Both options have their own distinctive advantages and disadvantages, and you should take a decision based on your specific needs and preferences. For example, if you have a particular blueprint in mind for your dream home, an independent villa would be suitable for you. However, if you are looking for amenities, then buying a home in a gated community will be best for you. Here are some of the other important factors to consider before finalizing your decision between a gated community and an independent villa.

Location:

The choice between gated community and independent villa will depend a lot on the city or town where you plan to buy your home. For example, if you are planning to buy a home in any of the top cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune, and Hyderabad, living in a gated community would be better. An independent villa in a top city can cost several crores. Moreover, it would be difficult to find land at your preferred location. However, in case you have made up your mind for an independent villa, you can think about Tier II cities in India, where you can buy land at relatively affordable rates.

Legal hassles:

In view of the increasing number of property scams and disputes, buying a home in a gated community seems like a wise decision. Your builder would probably have a dedicated legal team to look into the various legal requirements. This significantly reduces the risk of legal disputes. On the other hand, if you buy land for your independent villa, you will have to hire your own legal consultants, which will increase the cost of ownership. If you enter the deal on your own, it would involve a considerable risk.

One vs. Many:

If you consider an average gated community, there must be hundreds of people living in it. Taken together, it gives residents of gated community more clout in their immediate ecosystem. For example, there are various decisions that are taken by local municipal authorities and the collective voices of residents in a gated community can help influence such decisions in a favorable manner. Resolution of everyday issues related to water and electricity supply and other problems also gets expedited in case of gated communities.

Home improvement:

In the future, it is possible that you may need more space in your home or you may want to make some design changes. If there is any such probability, you should choose an independent villa. Making such changes would not be possible in an apartment as it would be complex. In case of an independent villa, you will have the freedom to add new rooms, add new floors and carry out other design changes.

Pesky neighbors:

When you buy your home in a gated community, there’s a 50:50 chance that you may either get a good or a bad neighbor. What if the neighbor plays loud music that you don’t like? What if you don’t like the smell of the food they cook? What if you have pets and your neighbor doesn’t like it and vice-versa? On the other hand, if you choose an independent villa, you can steer clear of all types of neighbors, good or bad. You don’t have to compromise, as you can choose the type of friends and guests that enter your space. Such exclusivity is difficult to achieve in a gated community.

Security:

Living in your home would be a joyful experience only when it is secure. From a security perspective, buying a home in a gated community would be better since it would be guarded by trained professionals and have 24/7 automated surveillance systems. An independent villa can also have these, but the homeowner would have to bear the entire cost. Homes inside a gated community also benefit from the theory of probability. For example, if there are hundred homes inside a gated community, the probability of a theft taking place in your apartment would be 1/100 or .01. Independent villas face a comparatively higher security threat.

Rent and resale:

Apartments in a gated community can be given on rent and sold quite easily. In comparison, it may be difficult to rent or sell an independent villa. The simple logic is that there are more takers for apartments as compared to that of independent villas. The deal size of an independent villa would be much bigger, something that is likely to lengthen the sale process. In case of apartments, you can easily get many buyers from middle and upper-middle class groups.

Maintenance cost:

In case of gated communities, you are legally bound to pay the maintenance charges irrespective of whether you use the amenities or not. For example, you may not be using the swimming pool, but costs related to the same may still be there in your maintenance bill. Similarly, there may be other amenities that you may not be using, but still paying for. In case of an independent villa, you will have better control over maintenance costs.

Social life:

Gated communities are bustling with energy, created by the vibrant group of people residing there. It provides the right setting for an urban, sophisticated way of life. In comparison, an independent villa can lead to an isolated existence unless you have a large family or have friends and relatives that keep visiting quite frequently. It can also be about personal choice, since some individuals prefer solitude whereas others prefer to share their space with other people.

It’s quite clear from above discussions that your personal needs and preference will dictate your decision for buying a home inside a gated community or choosing an independent villa. It is advisable that you take inputs from your family members who would be sharing the space with you. You can also ask for tips and suggestions from your friends and colleagues. Take your time to think over all the aspects in detail, so that you can make the right choice and do not have to rue your decisions later.

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