Active Adult Communities

7/20/2020 | By Seniors Guide Staff

If you’re looking into retirement living options, you may have come across a 55+ community, or age-restricted community. These communities are a housing option for active, independent seniors who may want to downsize or want to simplify their living situation. 55+ communities might feature apartments, condos, townhomes, standalone houses, or a combination of home types. They’re aimed at active seniors who don’t need special care. Most communities offer amenities like clubhouses, pools, and gyms. Many have golf courses and other outdoor recreational areas, and many feature organized activities for residents. Many age-restricted communities also offer services like housekeeping, laundry, interior and exterior home maintenance, and even extras like pet walking and meal delivery.

Do homes in a 55+ community cost more than other homes?

Just like any real estate, the cost varies by location. There are age-restricted communities all over the country, and the price of homes in these communities reflects the general value of real estate in the area. In one of the most popular and well-known 55+ communities, The Villages, near Ocala, Florida, manufactured homes start at about $130,000. Small two bedroom homes start at about $171,000, and go up from there. Homes in The Villages top out at about $1.4 million. In Sun City Hilton Head, South Carolina’s largest 55+ community, two bedroom homes for sale start at about $190,000 and go up to about $795,000 for three bedroom, three bath homes.

One benefit of buying a pre-owned home in a 55+ community is that the residents usually take good care of the home. There are usually no children living in the house, and only one or two residents at a time, so wear-and-tear on the homes is minimal.

But it’s not all about the house, as Kathy Sperl-Bell, senior real estate specialist from Delaware says. “We try to tell people to focus more on their lifestyle and less on the house,” she writes. When you buy into a 55+ community, you’re buying into the lifestyle and the community.

What are the costs of a 55+ community?

Make sure to factor in all of the costs of living in a 55+ community, not just the price of the home. Research property taxes for the state and county. In addition, to take advantage of the amenities the community offers, you’ll be expected to pay monthly fees, like HOA (homeowner’s association) fees. For example, at The Villages, the amenity fees are $162.00 per month. Including insurance, taxes, and utilities, the average monthly cost of living at The Villages comes to about $1,010.17 per month. Another example comes from South Carolina, where Sun City Hilton Head’s fees average about $600 per year.

Can someone buy a home in a 55+ community if they’re not over 55?

Costs at popular age-restricted communities are rising as demand for the homes goes up. You might be thinking ahead and considering buying into a 55+ community before you retire. As long as someone living in the home is over 55 (or 50, or 60 – whatever the community’s age restriction is), you can live in the home. For example, if you, the homeowner, are not over 55, but your elderly parents live with you, that’s fine. You will have to go through an application process to buy the home; therefore, the management of the community will be aware of your living situation. There may also be rules about grandchildren staying with you, especially for extended periods of time. Make sure to read all of the community’s rules and regulations before you make up your mind.

Seniors Guide Staff

Seniors Guide has been addressing traditional topics and upcoming trends in the senior living industry since 1999. We strive to educate seniors and their loved ones in an approachable manner, and aim to provide them with the right information to make the best decisions possible.

Seniors Guide Staff