Is Your Tropical Property Better Suited In An Enclosed Setting Or On its Own?
You sunbathed, shopped, toured, trekked and ran the gamut of Phuket’s long list of activities while you were here as a tourist. You fell in love with the sultry ocean breezes and casual, carefree lifestyle of the tropics.
The next step is perhaps considering settling down on the island full-time, or at least be a part-time ‘snow-bird’ to escape the chilly western winters during high season. Therefore, your shopping tastes transition from malls to real estate agencies to hone in on what’s the preferable environment when buying a house.
The two common scenarios are either living in a gated community or having a standalone house. These two options both indeed have their pros and cons. Therefore, considering what’s best suited for you and your newly acquired Thai abode may be of significant importance.
Regarding a house that stands on its own, a top concern is security. This comes into play for both full and part-time residents for obvious reasons. However, this consideration becomes two-fold when part-timers leave the property vacant for weeks or months at a time.
Especially in this high-tech era, security cameras/systems play a fortuitous role where even when the owner is away, their house can be monitored on the fly from anywhere. Additionally, homeowners obtain extras such as – decorative window-bars, electric fences and even dogs as deterrents. These typical one-off purchases are attractive for those who don’t wish to incur a monthly fee that is standard for gated communities.
Furthermore, houses in a non-gated community allow the owner/s more freedom on how to maintain and even decorate their homes. They don’t have to abide nor conform to any regulations that are commonplace in enclosed neighbourhoods.
Plus, outside maintenance services for the pool, garden, housekeeping and utilities can be specifically handpicked. Owners are then not locked into the providers that are contracted out by the communities’ associations, even if they’re of questionable efficiency. Yet, hiring such private contractors may cost more where they don’t offer a ‘group rate’ per se. Interestingly though, if the property is indeed well taken care of, the ‘overall’ costs can often be lower than their gated counterparts.
On the flipside, gated communities offer homeowners less worry in many aspects. Most, if not everything’s managed by the community’s on-site office. This is a welcomed feature however, especially for part-time residents if anything of concern should arise during their absence.
Gated community fees on the island can range anywhere from 10,000 Baht up to 25,000 Baht+ depending on the community itself and its location. Understandably, these fees can easily exceed these figures for high-end luxury estates with more personalized services, and where a lower number of residents are splitting the total costs.
Amenities in these enclosed neighbourhoods that include gyms, saunas, recreation rooms, tennis courts, garbage disposal, etc., are popular elements that many standalone homes don’t have. Then of course is the standard 24hr security, which bodes well for these residents, plus the neighbourhood-watch community feeling that many people experience in such areas.
Choosing what’s best for your personal preferences may entail more than what initially meets the eye. Thus, selecting a reputable Phuket real estate agent who knows the lay of the land, and who can trustfully guide you to the best options available.