Fave Lifestyles

​The Front Gate – how to get on the other side.

This article could have several titles. I could call it “The Rant about GPS walk” or “The Value of Security” or a “Good Idea gone South” Any one of these titles could define the story I’m about to tell.

Recently my husband and I spent a few weeks in Phoenix & Palm Desert. It was great to be in the sunshine and warm weather. The areas are desirable to people like us that want to escape the rain, snow, or cold in the winter months. Many second homes are part of a growing & popular trend to own a second home in the Sun. I have to say, the idea is attractive to me as well. Who knows, it could be in our future. Also, it might be the next article I write, “Things to consider in buying a Second Home.”

It started with the best of intentions. My husband loves to Golf & I love to be supportive of his love for Golf. Thus, we take these vacations with Golf as a priority. While Mike Golfs, I accept that opportunity to do my thing. I use the time to enjoy coffee with a friend, go shopping, get a massage, sit by the pool, or take a long walk. It seems the best way to do something appropriate during COVID times was to walk on this vacation. In Phoenix, I had a good friend & we could walk every day some 5-6 miles. Very ambitious! Happy to walk on a warm sunny morning, I joined her & for a week we did a good job walking the neighborhoods & my friend was the guide. Fun time, lots of good chats, and laughs. After a few days, I had to get some new walking shoes. Side note here is …get the right walking shoes, socks, sunscreen, water bottle & hat.

Moving on to Palm Desert, my friend was not there to guide me through the neighborhoods, and that leads me to the point of this story. Mike went off to Golf & asked if I would meet him for lunch when he finished. Oh, by the way, it’s only 5 miles from our condo. I love to eat lunch with him in those beautiful Golf course restaurants. I said yes, no problem. I then proceeded to set my GPS on my phone to the address of the Golf course. I got my new shoes on & was ready to go. About halfway into the 5-mile walk, I discover that one of the streets GPS sent me to had a security entrance. I met up with a guard at the gate who said, “no way, lady. You can’t walk through here.” Dang, it! The GPS tells no info on gated entries. There are many gated communities in Palm Desert as there was in Phoenix. Guess what? On my journey, gates were all guarded by not one but two or three at the entrance to greet me. Not only that, walking to a street where I can pass freely will require an extra mile to be able to get around the community. Heck! I was ill-prepared for that extra distance, nor the time it was going to take.

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It was an opportunity for me to think about Gated Entries in general how all the extra services add to the overall cost of a home purchase. Plus, what value there is for a homeowner in having these services.  Then as HOA (homeowners association) maintains and adheres to the established Bylaws, rules, and CC& Rs (Covenants Conditions & Restrictions), the community homes’ value grows even more attractive to home buyers.

As a homeowner, the value of not letting people in that don’t belong there is keeping you safe & secure. Plus, the community looks from the outside as beautiful and well maintained. I had plenty of time to think about the benefits as I continued my walk.

My list of what came to mind follows:

  • Exclusivity- the community is for 55+ Golfers, Tennis, etc.
  • Safety and security – No one will gain access without a pass.
  • Extra Privacy-no lookie lou folks
  • A higher sense of community among owners
  • Integrated Lifestyle – people owning with common interests like Golf
  • No Soliciting -hard for someone without an appointment to access
  • Quieter -no through traffic or speeding cars
  • Higher Property Values with all the added extras, i.e., pools, tennis courts, clubhouses, etc.
  • Eco-Friendly -planned communities to share services
  • Higher Standards – Rules in place to cover home care and activities

In the end, I did reach the destination for lunch after 6.5 miles of walking. I was hungry.  Thankfully Mike called & offered to pick me up, or I would have ended up with an 8-mile walk.

A little ranting, a plan with issues for sure, and in the end, I am happy for the experience, and I would love to buy one of the homes in the Gated Community.  How about you?

Teresa Barthol

Teresa Barthol

Realtor - Managing Broker



Teresa Barthol


Teresa Barthol -Managing Broker with eXp Realty Seattle.  Brings 22 plus years’ experience to consult with clients about real estate in the 3rd and 4th quarters of their lives. .  With longevity in Real Estate Teresa loves to share her optimistic problem solving skills, creative out of the box thinking along with her enthusiasm for great outcomes. “Believe,” she will say, your desires in life will be realized. Teresa focuses on Lifestyles to Live within the four walls you call home.

With Guest Authors: 
Marcelle Allen from Dreamosity
Elisa Hawkinson - How2GetOrganized!
Karen Herold - Wise Transition


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