"It will be our faces you see, not our backs." ~Volodymyr Zelensky
Today's Community Review
Heritage Pines, Cary, North Carolina
Cary is a prosperous city in North Carolina's Research Triangle and is the setting for Heritage Pines, a cozy 55+ community with single family homes, town homes, a clubhouse, walking trails, a swimming pool, a spa, tennis courts and more.
Previous Community Reviews
Providence Point, Issaquah, Washington
Issaquah is nestled in the Cascade foothills in northwestern Washington and is the site of Providence Point, a leafy, settled 55+ condo/town home/duplex community. Amenities include a town hall, a coffee house, a garden, tennis courts and a putting green. Residents gather for art sales, book sales, happy hours and more.
La Casa del Sol, Davenport, Florida
In central Florida, Davenport is home to La Casa del Sol, a casual, cozy 55+ rental cottage community tucked beneath tall trees next to a lake. Amenities include a putting green and a clubhouse. Activities are many, and major theme parks are just down the road.
Ironwood, Casa Grande, Arizona
Casa Grande is in southern Arizona and is the setting for Ironwood Village, a gated 55+ duplex community with single level homes, Mediterranean architecture, a clubhouse, a resort style swimming pool, a croquet lawn and more.
Swansgate, Greenville, South Carolina
Greenville is a shopping and dining hub in northwestern South Carolina and is the setting for Swansgate, a cozy, gated 55+ community with patio homes and condominiums. The grounds are wooded and dappled with streams, mature trees, a pond and a gazebo. Amenities include a clubhouse, a swimming pool, walking paths and more.
West Neck Villages, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach is in southeastern Virginia and is the site of West Neck Villages, an attractive 55+ community with single family homes and condominiums clustered in villages around a golf course. Activities include outdoor concerts, exercise classes, wine tastings and more.
Pretty Naples is on the southwestern Florida coast and is the location of Vineyards, a large, gated community popular with baby boomers and empty nesters. It has 40 neighborhoods, single family homes, attached homes, a 70,000 square foot clubhouse, golf courses, swimming pools, eateries, planned events and more.
Tigard is outside of Portland in northwestern Oregon and is the location of Summerfield, a pretty 55+ community with single family homes, town homes, condos, an executive golf course, a clubhouse, many planned events and more.
Oaks at Wildwood, Georgetown, Texas
An inviting city outside of Austin in the pretty Texas Hill Country, Georgetown is the setting for Oaks at Wildwood, an cozy 55+ community with stone/brick condominiums, a well-appointed clubhouse, a heated swimming pool, a book club, a wine club, a sense of privacy and more.
Lake Griffin Harbor, Leesburg, Florida
In Florida's Lake Country, Leesburg is the site of Lake Griffin Harbor, a lakeside 55+ manufactured community with a marina, a swimming pool, a conservation area, planned events and more. Pets are welcome.
Selbyville is in southeastern Delaware and is the setting for Bayside, a lovely resort community overlooking a bay. Homes feature coastal architecture, and amenities include a golf course, swimming pools, a waterfront area and much more. Oceanfront beaches are four miles away.
Four Seasons at Gold Hill, Fort Mill, South Carolina
Outside of 13,000-acre Lake Wylie in northern South Carolina, Fort Mill is the site of Four Seasons at Gold Hill, an inviting 55+ community with single family homes, town homes, a nice clubhouse, a swimming pool, a garden, tennis courts, a putting green, a bounty of activities and more.
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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.
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az index request 4/5/23 in but not ranking fees not optimized