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Florida Villas and Vacation Rentals

Renting A Florida Villa, Do I need A Gated Community Or Not?

One of the most common questions I hear being asked by visitors to Orlando, who are looking to book their very first Florida villa is “do I need a villa in a gated community?” Of course this is an issue for the individual, but in my personal experience there is very little difference between gated and non gated communities and certainly not enough for it to influence my decision of where to stay. The following is an attempt to set out the benefits of both types of communities, with a view to perhaps answering at least some questions.


Okay so a gated community can provide an additional level of security and I guess, this is probably the reason for the question being asked in the first place. Having visited a number of gated communities in and around the Orlando area in particular, I have to say that in the main they are well operated and do provide a level of security whereby non residents are screened to ensure that their attendance is justified and appropriate.

Residents within a gated community will normally be provided with either a numerical code, a card or a disc which must be on display within their rental vehicle.

These types of gated communities tend to be made up of a higher proportion of Florida vacation villas, which can in some circumstances be left unoccupied for long periods of time. In contrast non gated communities have in my experience,  a greater number of local residents who to some extent replace the security guards seen at gated communities.

The American Experience.

Non gated communities can offer a more natural experience too. Residing in a community as a holiday maker alongside a higher number of nationals, provides an opportunity to experience what on the face of it are insignificant little things, but can certainly capture the imagination of younger visitors. As a example seeing the stereotypical school bus, seen only on American TV shows suddenly becomes real as it pulls onto your community, sometimes well before 8am to  pick up local school children.

The Rental Costs.

As  a general rule there are no significant differences in the prices quoted for a vacation villa located within a gated community, to that of a non gated community. The price is generally dictated by the capacity of the property, although certain communities such as Formosa Gardens in Kissimmee do attract a premium rate. This is not as a result of it being a gated community, but rather in this specific instance to the fact that this is a very small community of very well appointed and in the main oversized properties.

Planning Ahead.

Although I am unable to provide precise figures, I can confirm that the number of non gated communities within the Disney area of Orlando far out number gated communities. The reasons behind this I guess, only the individual developers know. The issue caused by this is that there are only a limited number of gated communities therefore the number of rental properties available is also limited, so if it is a gated community you want, then depending on how far in advance you book your villa,  you may need to have a back up with regards to your choice of locations.

Does It Really Matter?

Simply put…Yes it does. If you have set your heart on staying within a gated community for whatever the reason, then my advice is go with it.


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