Business

The call of the gated community

By Tameka Gordon Assistant business co-ordinator tamekag@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, January 06, 2013    

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The need for added security has spurred the popularity of gated communities in Jamaica.

These high security, high end homes have also seen a boost in popularity due to the continuous rural to urban drift.

One form of gated communities includes townhouses which, in themselves have become a new trend.

Apartments are another type of communal homes that provide a greater sense of security.

According to realtors, home ownership becomes more affordable through the communal arrangements with these types of dwellings.

"People benefit in the sense that land use is maximised, which drives down the cost of the development, making it cheaper for buyers, as GM realtys' Gregory Mayne explained to the Wealth Magazine's Home sweet Home team.

"Gated communities extend right across all income brackets simply because the unit costs get so low, he said.

More people are therefore able to afford the units.

By Mayne's reckoning, the benefits of town houses and apartments also extend to the spread in the maintenance of the property.

"The onus is on all occupants to ensure that the property retains or even increases in value, Mayne said adding that the shared maintenance cost can also act as a pull to these types of homes.

The security bonus of gated communities may come at great cost but this is obviously balanced by the sense of peace afforded by the facility by Mayne's reckoning.

Apartments and townhouses are strata managed and the rules for occupancy form a cushion to the human tendencies that may create challenging situations.

"Most communal homes have rules such as no pets allowed or even children for those units that cater to the older generation."

The basic difference between apartments and townhouse lies in the structure of the dwelling with apartment typically carrying only one entrance at the front.

Townhouses however have both a front and rear entrance.

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