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The Appeal of Gated Communities

The appeal of gated communities in the Lakes Region has been present since the founding of some of the earliest communities along Lake Winnipesaukee. Original motivations centered primarily upon security and safety. This appeal, while still present, has been by and large replaced by the desire of a property owner to have greater privacy and a greater increase in property value. The exclusivity of membership in a private community where a visible effort has been made to provide a safe environment for families sharing similar values is a powerful desire. Private communities that have well established rules for construction, maintenance and use serve to protect the value of homes of the members. This added emphasis of additional security and preservation of value is a strong incentive for post-9/11 baby boomers.

The international development efforts have experienced tremendous growth fueled by retirement and second homebuyers seeking to maximize their value of their fixed income projections. In Panama, Mexico and many Asian states entire communities have been designed from the ground up incorporating their own power supply, sanitation and security infrastructures. X-pats have migrated to take advantage of rather huge income gaps between the haves and have-nots within the host country. Political stability of host countries and environmental issues have taken distant secondary positions to financial interests with the result there are a number of ill-defined risks for the buyer.

Lake Winnipesaukee has competed directly for the second homeowner market with those emphasizing other domestic locations. Our region has not experienced the wide speculative interests of Florida and Sun Belt real estate and as a result has presented a more reliable economic forecast of value and worth. The wide disparities of construction efforts around the periphery of the lake do however skew appreciation expectations lowering or raising appreciation rates due to the proximity of more expansive dwellings.

Which brings us back to the subject of this blog. Premier gated communities along Winnipesaukee such as Grouse Point and the newer community of Meredith Bay present to the discriminating buyer well-conceived master plans that provide stable predictable environments for their families and their investment. These well-financed residential projects designed by experienced development groups take much of the stress out of the buyers decision concerning their major investment. And a good deal of the concerns of property maintenance can be eliminated from the buyers equation. Over the course of time Im certain we will see similar development efforts of various profiles. The interest is not and never will be limited to only the wealthier of the second homeowners. The desire to physically and psychologically lock out the outside world remains as strong a motivation for the second homebuyer as it always has.

Jferriman@spencerhughes.com (603) 520-5385

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