"I've been on a diet for two weeks and all I've lost is 14 days." ~Totie Fields
Today's Community Review:
Fredericksburg is outside of Washington, D.C. and is the location of Virginia Heritage, a beautiful 55+ enclave within the larger development of Lee's Parke. Single family homes are for sale and amenities include a large clubhouse, two swimming pools, walking trails, a woodworking shop, lighted tennis courts and more.
In lush northwestern Oregon, Portland is the site of King City, an established, wooded 55+ community with condos, town homes, single family homes, a clubhouse, two swimming pools, a putting green and a long menu of activities and groups.
Outside of Raleigh in central North Carolina, Garner is the site of The Tapestry, a stylish 55+ community with attached homes for sale. Amenities include a lodge, a pet area, walking paths, a clubhouse, neighborhood gardens and more.
On the southeastern Florida coast, Port St. Lucie is the setting for Valencia Cay, a 55+ community with pastel-colored single family homes, a spacious clubhouse, a swimming pool, an event lawn, an activities director and much more.
On the southwestern Florida coast, Ft. Myers is the site of Cinnamon Cove, a gated, age-targeted community with condominiums, town homes, single family homes, three lakes, four swimming pools, a spa, a plethora of activity groups and more.
Nestled on a historic farm and dotted by hills and pastures in central North Carolina, Fearrington Village is a community popular with baby boomers and empty nesters. Amenities include a Village Center, garden plots, tennis courts, a swim and croquet center and an eclectic mix of homes.
Tucson is in southern Arizona and is the location of Mona Lisa Village, a quiet, small 55+ town home community with adobe buildings, a clubhouse and a swimming pool.
Age Restricted Communities 101
The kids have moved out. They have launched themselves into a career, parenthood, home ownership. You decide it's time to downsize. But how? Into where? You're still healthy, active. You're not ready for a continuing care community. The decision can be daunting.
A 55-plus or active-adult community is one option. The only legal exception to non-discriminatory fair housing laws, an age restricted community is run by a homeowners association that offers some exterior maintenance and amenities to its members. Amenities could include a private golf course, sizable clubhouse, 24/7 security, or transportation to and from local hospitals or shopping malls. Housing in such a community can range from modest condominiums to attached homes to luxury estates.
How will you decide? Are you ready for the time it might take? Demand for homes in active-adult communities is on the rise. You'll be competing against other baby boomers, maybe even some Gen-Xers. Start your research a few years before your retirement date. Find a real estate agent that specializes in master-planned communities or senior home purchases. The National Association of Realtors does offer training and certification for senior specialists.
Look at the location. Does it have the right weather? Is it close enough to family? Is downtown too far away or not far away enough? Will you have acclimate? What are local taxes like? Check out the neighbors. Are these the people you want to age with? Make sure you know what services might be available for you as you age. Is your 55-plus community near a hospital, a grocery store, a bank, a pharmacy? Can they get you to the hospital and grocery store once you decide you no longer want to drive? Maybe the community offers grocery delivery? Are there senior fitness classes, personal trainers?
Be sure you understand what amenities you are paying for. Some communities require that you buy an equity membership or hide the cost of that lap pool and golf course in high HOA fees. Inspect your prospective community's activity calendar. Does it have the right mix of leisure and lecture? Are there too many card tournaments and not enough day trips? Do you hate golf, need 39 shuffleboard courts? Is there an activities director?
Understand your prospective HOA. How long is the list of restrictions? Do the board politics give you pause? Will they force you through a long approval process? Will they ask you for bank records and references?
Investigate the community's financials. Are they solvent? How well did they weather the crisis when the housing bubble burst in 2008? And what about the builder? How long have they worked for seniors? Do they understand aging in place? Do they understand the need for zero step entries, wider hallways? Or have they just gotten into the game? Del Webb is credited with inventing the age-restricted community. Keep your eye on what they're building. Other companies to watch are Lennar, Shea, and Taylor Morrison.
Remember, you're not just buying a new house. You're buying a new way of life.
Webwerxx, Inc. Copyright (c) 2006-2021.
All rights reserved. No part of this electronic publication may be reproduced in any way without the express written consent of Webwerxx, Inc. Reproducing any original part of this publication without written permission from Webwerxx, Inc. is plagiarism. Numerous attempts were made to verify the accuracy of the information contained in this website, but some information may have changed since each article and/or report went online, and Webwerxx, Inc. is not liable for inaccurate information contained in its articles and/or reports.