Everything You Need to Know About Adult Communities
Active adult communities are a great way to spend your golden years. These are communities explicitly designed with the baby boomers and other 55+ generation in mind. Most folks in this age live full and energetic lives and enjoy the fun social aspects of being surrounded by people who like and do the same things as you.
The communities are typically located near metro areas or nearby suburbs areas. The minimum age is about 55 for at least one member of the household qualifying. Other communities restrict ownership to those age 62 and older.
Types of Adult Communities
Adult communities can be divided into two main types. These include:
- Age-Restricted Communities
- Age-Targeted Communities
Age-Restricted Communities - These adult communities are aimed at people 55+. The Fair Housing Act under the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) specifies that the housing must include a person 55+ in at least 80% of the occupied units. Anyone under the age of 19 is restricted from being a permanent resident.
As a member of these adult communities, you enjoy an active, independent yet communal lifestyle, with various activities and amenities that keep you healthy and occupied. Some of these facilities include:
- Club House
- 18-Hole Golf Courses
- Tennis Courts
- Fitness centers
- Billiards and Card Rooms
- Swimming Pools and Spas
- Continuing Education Classrooms
- Banquet and Ballrooms
- High-tech Media Centers
- Restaurants and Game Rooms
- Basketball Courts etc.
The homes in these adult communities tend to be age appropriate single-family houses, townhouses or even condominiums. The outdoor maintenance is included in the homeowners association or condo fees.
Age-Targeted Communities: They are similar to age-restricted adult communities, but the homes are not strictly age restricted. This means that other age groups can be members giving the residents a more vibrant feel.
There is also another category of 55+ communities known as Leisure Communities. Homes in adult leisure communities have a resort like a feel mainly designed for empty-nesters but with no age restrictions. Members enjoy various activities and amenities including clubhouses, golf courses, etc. The homes are designed for a changing lifestyle yet in a way that supports a full and energetic life for the empty nesters.
Benefits of Living in Adult Communities
- Resort Like Living. There are always fun-filled activities within walking distance or through an easy commute.
- Being surrounded by similar people or a community that enjoys the same activities that you do. This might include people who garden, travel together, read or enjoy golfing together.
- Little or no yard maintenance. The lots sizes are much smaller, and the homeowners association takes care of mowing lawns, watering gardens, trimming trees, snow removal, etc.
- Single-story-living. The homes designs take the baby boomer generation in mind. Some of these features include single story and wheelchair accessible houses.
- A mix of play and work. Most people in the 55+ generation continue enjoying work, and thus the homes are designed with a separate office, den or workspace.
Buying a Home in Adult Communities
Majority of the baby boomer generation typically pay cash for their new homes. You may want to later consider a reverse mortgage in which case it's best to seek proper legal advice before your purchase.
Another consideration is to hire a real estate agent who understands the 55+ generation. If you have a trusted real estate agent, you can use them since they'll have better connections.
Ask your agent first to register you before visiting because some of the communities have strict regulations.
Other tips to keep in mind before buying a home in an adult community:
- Talk to the neighbors before you buy
- If you have questions about seller disclosures, hire a lawyer
- Visit during the weekends to see what goes on
- Arrange your financing as it'll save you lots of headaches in the long run
- You can visit just for the experience to get a feel for the community. Ask your agent to make those arrangements.
- Go over the homeowner association documents and read any minutes of what has been passed
- Remember to ask about utilities and other associated costs of home ownership
- It's also important to ask for a home warranty
- Also, consult with a tax accountant to determine if the home purchase fits into your retirement plans.
Adult communities can be a great way to spend your golden years. You'll not only be surrounded by like-minded individuals but people who enjoy the same activities that you do. Check out some of the most popular active adult communities and pick a place that meshes your lifestyle.
Consider the kind of activities and weather that you like. Maybe it's golfing, or hiking, or biking or water skiing. You already know and understand what is essential to you in a community.
Some of the popular states for adult communities include Georgia, Arizona, Delaware, South Carolina, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Florida, etc.
Pick a community and start exploring!