My childhood is filled with memories of hot summer days spent outside playing street cricket with my brothers and riding my bright pink bicycle around the neighbourhood with the girl next door. My mother would attempt to usher in our tired, grubby bodies at dusk as we would plead for one more ride around the block or ‘just five more minutes’ with our friends.Twenty-odd years later, billboards featuring smiling young children playing care-free have come to symbolise the promise of safe, secure, happy living, now only possible in a security estate. As someone who would never dream of allowing her ‘future kids’ to play in the street, I understand the pull. Who wouldn’t want to raise their family where their kids can evade the consequences of crime?Here’s the problem - the term ‘security estate’ can be used loosely to describe a cluster of homes within a boundary wall. As a potential buyer, you need to ascertain what security measures the estate has in place to protect the residents. After all, an estate with an un-manned gate provides a vastly different level of security than an estate with 24-hour security patrol and fingerprint access control. Do your research to ensure the estate lives up to the picture on the billboard.At HelloHouse we go further than the billboard. We do our best to give you the full picture of each development, and this includes listing all security features. Whether you want to live in a high-level security estate* like Helderfontein Estate or a would prefer a moderate-level security estate, we give you the information you need to make an informed decision. All developments being marketed as security estates are labeled as such under the ‘Lifestyle’ tab on HelloHouse.Today I have friends living in some of the high-level security estates in the Western Cape. I am encouraged when I see their children’s bikes in the front garden, their low walls and the anomaly of their burglar bar-free windows. Perhaps modern development will allow my children to share in the joys of my childhood one day.*It’s good to remember that estate levies are influenced by services such security patrol and armed response, so if you want all the bells and whistles you’ll need to be willing to pay for them.