How do I Pick the Right Gated Community in Carlsbad?
Home buyers in Carlsbad, and those relocating here, sometimes are interested in one of our gated communities. But unless you know a specific community you want to live in, the question arises…how do I choose the right gated community for me? There are a number of them in Carlsbad’s 4 zip codes and they vary in a number of ways.
The issue of choosing a gated community is really no different than deciding which house to buy – it’s another set of parameters to consider and evaluate. And as any buyer should do, it’s important to consider your particular housing needs, and of course your budget, among other things, before you get started as these will play into your decision making when considering different gated communities.
Here are the key things you should think about when trying to decide which gated community is right for you.
DETACHED HOME VS. ATTACHED (i.e., condos, town homes, twin homes)
Deciding on whether you want, or need, a detached single family home compared to a condo, town home or twin home will narrow down the choice of gated community – it’s either one style or the other. Some buyers are open to both while others have specific preferences due to cost, lifestyle, size, and other issues.
What you can afford and what you want to spend, as with any home purchase, are critical factors that will separate out some gated communities from others.
Prices will vary within a given community given the size and style of the homes, location, and views. Understanding your financial situation will help you to evaluate your ability to afford entry level pricing in Carlsbad’s gated communities, which can vary from about $275,000 for a 1-bedroom condo (April 2018) to over $2,000,000 for semi-custom homes with views.
For example, you might love Aviara Point in South Carlsbad with its ocean and golf course views, but entry level prices in 2018 are above $2 million currently (but no community pool).
As a prudent buyer you should, of course, plan ahead and get pre-approved, and evaluate your personal budget so you know what you can afford before starting your search.
If you have preferences for location in Carlsbad – in the La Costa hills, near golf courses, by the beach, close to Carlsbad Village – this will also impact which gated communities to consider or even if a gated community is in the area.
If schools are important, and for a vast majority of buyers they are, it’s essential to know that children in Carlsbad will attend 1 of 3 different school districts depending on location (Carlsbad Unified, Encinitas Union Elementary [K – 6] and San Dieguito Union High School District [7 – 12], or San Marcos Unified).
For example, if you want your child to attend one of the Carlsbad Unified Schools, that will limit the list of gated communities that might work. Do your due diigence - I recommend checking with the school district, and using the boundary maps on the district website, or a school locator app if there is one, since MLS listings may not include the school district or could be wrong (trust me, I’ve seen it). Here’s the locator for Carlsbad schools.
HOME OWNERS ASSOCIATION (HOA)
Unfortunately if you are opposed to having an HOA, then a gated community is not for you, since all gated communities in Carlsbad have HOAs, and fees. There are opinions about pros and cons about HOAs, of course, and these vary from person to person, and HOA to HOA. Here's an update on Carlsbad homes for sale with HOAs.
AMENITIES IN THE COMMUNITY AND NEARBY
You will find some similarities among gated communities, but you should think seriously about the amenities you want to help narrow down or eliminate the choices.
Is a community pool a must? Not all gated communities have them. A club house? Tennis courts? Hiking and walking trails? Tot lots or playgrounds? An exercise facility? How about plentiful guest parking (some gated communities have limited parking, including on the streets)? Do you need parking for an RV?
A related consideration that may be important is proximity to other amenities such as shopping, dining, the services we need on a regular or periodic basis, and recreational options (golf, the beaches, health clubs).
BE PREPARED FOR TRADE-OFFS
As with any home purchase there are going to be some trade-offs when buying in a gated community.
Because the number of gated communities is limited, you will probably find that no one particular neighborhood gives you all that you want, so deciding on the most important issues to you and your personal situation – how it feels, pricing, size and styles of homes, location, lot size and room for an outdoor lifestyle – will help you find the community that delivers that you truly want and need.
You might, for example, find the home that you feel is the best but it’s in a neighborhood without a community pool. Or the homes you fall in love with close to the beach have very small yards.
Buying in a gated community MAY be your priority, to provide a feeling of security or for other reasons. And you may be willing to trade off some other issues to achieve that particular goal.
WHAT'S MY ALTERNATIVE?
If you can't find just the right house in a Carlsbad gated community, consider other properties that can provide the lifestyle you want and need that are not in gated communities. You will find that while the inventory is somewhat limited, but improving in our Spring market, that there are a number of communities that may offer all that you want, except that gate! And you will find there are more homes in ungated communities than in gated.
Please call me at (760) 840-1360. It would be my pleasure to help you sort through these important home search issues and find the gated, or ungated, community and home that best fit your needs, budget, and lifestyle in Carlsbad.
Search for Carlsbad homes for sale (gated and ungated, attached and detached properties) by clicking on the photo to the right and see the complete inventory, updated 27/7/365.
Or ask me for a personal list of homes in the neighborhoods that interest you!
And if you are considering selling your home in a gated community, or an ungated one, no doubt there are buyers in our Spring market who would love to make it theirs. Let’s talk about your home’s market value, your plans, and what we need to do to get it sold as quickly as possible and for the best price.
Check out the Carlsbad housing market report for March 2018 to better understand current market conditions.