Buying in deed restricted Subdivisions does require a bit of extra homework, so check out their financial situation with their management and meet the president of the association to make sure you see eye to eye. The association will likely do a background check before accepting you into their Subdivision, so be prepared to fork out a few dollars for that. Also, make sure to get a copy and read over all rules and regulations of the Subdivision before signing off on the deed.
For the most part of it, there are two types of Subdivisions in the Naples area.
Subdivisions that are gated, highly deed restricted. Subdivisions that aren’t gated and are not deed restricted.
It really depends on you and what kind of lifestyle you are looking for in SW Florida. I used to live in a gated, deed restricted Subdivision and for security, close proximity to neighbors, a community clubhouse and pool, it was fine when I was single. But, as my family grew and my hobbies expanded, we needed more space, some acreage and we relocated a few miles away to the Golden Gate Estates Subdivision where there are no deed restrictions.
Any Association lawyer will tell you that deed restricted Subdivisions have their fair share of legal problems, from neighbors disagreements, to maintenance issues, to balancing their books with the foreclosure crisis. But, if you are not going to occupy your home for most of the year, I would suggest a gated Subdivision for security and peace of mind.