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retirement communities retire

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"It will be our faces you see, not our backs." ~Volodymyr Zelensky

"Israel was not created in order to disappear - it will endure and flourish." ~John F. Kennedy

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Today's Community Review

Seasons at Prince Creek, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

On South Carolina's northern shore, charming Murrells Inlet is home to Seasons, a 55+ neighborhood within the popular all ages development of Prince Creek. Amenities include a large clubhouse, a PGA - TPC golf course, a lifestyle director and more. Single family homes, most with a view of a fairway, water or woods, are for sale.

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Previous Community Reviews

Ocean Ridge Plantation, Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina

In the little coastal town of Ocean Isle Beach, Ocean Ridge Plantation is a wooded, gated community with a variety of home styles, five golf courses, a lovely clubhouse, a private beach club and more.

Verde Groves, Mesa, Arizona

Outside of Phoenix in southern Arizona, Mesa is the setting for Verde Groves, cozy nicely manicured 55+ community with patio homes, a clubhouse, two heated swimming pools, a greenbelt, quiet streets and more.

Riverwood Golf and Country Club, Port Charlotte, Florida

On the southwestern Florida coast, Port Charlotte is home to Rivewood Golf and Country Club, an amenity-rich waterfront community with tennis courts, an 18-hole golf course, a dog park, a private offsite beach club, a junior Olympic-size pool, nature preserves and more.

Preserves at Cumberland Village, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

In bucolic southcentral Pennsylvania, historic Gettysburg is the location of Preserves at Cumberland Village, an intimate 55+ community with single family homes, town homes, a clubhouse, tennis courts, walking trails and plenty of social events.

The Oasis, Menifee, California

Menifee is in Southern California and the site of The Oasis, a large, gated 55+ community with single family homes, a clubhouse, an adjacent golf course and grounds dotted with crape myrtles, palm trees and pine trees.

Century Village, Deerfield Beach, Florida

Deerfield Beach is on the southeastern Florida coast and is the setting for Century Village, a large, established 55+ condominium community with a wide range of prices. Amenities include two clubhouses, 16 swimming pools, a golf course and more.

Gatherings at Wellington, Manassas, Virginia

About an hour outside of Washington, D.C. in northern Virginia, Manassas is the site of Gatherings at Wellington, a stately 55+ condominium community with a clubhouse, tennis courts, walking paths and neighborhood events.

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.

Tara Woods, North Fort Myers, Florida

North Fort Myers is on the southwestern Florida coast and is the location of Tara Woods, a gated 55+ community with three lakes, two heated swimming pools, tennis courts, a putting green, RV storage and good-looking manufactured homes, many with designer features.

Garden Park at Daybreak, South Jordan, Utah

South Jordan is a nice, sunny city about 20 miles south of Salt Lake in northern Utah and is the site of Garden Park at Daybreak, a handsome 55+ neighborhood within a larger development. Homes come in many styles, and amenities include a spacious clubhouse, a swimming pool, gardens and more.

St. James Plantation, Southport, North Carolina

On the southern North Carolina coast, Southport is the location of beautiful St. James Plantation, an all ages community that markets to baby boomers. A wide range of home styles in a wide range of prices are available, and amenities include a marina, a private beach club and 81 holes of golf.

Valencia Cay, Port St. Lucie, Florida

On the southeastern Florida coast, Port St. Lucie is the setting for Valencia Cay, a handsome 55+ community with pastel-colored single family homes, a spacious clubhouse, a swimming pool, an event lawn, an activities director and much more.

Solera at Stallion Mountain, Las Vegas, Nevada

In southern Nevada, lively Las Vegas is the location of Solera at Stallion Mountain, a stylish 55+ neighborhood within a larger country club development. Mediterranean-style single level homes are for sale, and amenities include a large clubhouse, a swimming pool, a spa, tennis courts and an adjacent golf course.

Bulle Rock, Havre de Grace, Maryland

Along the Chesapeake Bay in northern Maryland, gated Bulle Rock is an handsome community on the grounds of an old thoroughbred farm. Single family homes, town homes and condos are available, and amenities include a championship golf course and a huge clubhouse with a restaurant, tennis courts, swimming pools, a fitness center and more.

Crane Lakes, Port Orange, Florida

Port Orange is on the northeastern Florida coast and is the site of Crane Lakes, a 55+ manufactured home community with lakes, a golf course, a fishing pier, a clubhouse, two swimming pools, a restaurant and more.

Traditions, Surprise, Arizona

Surprise is outside of Phoenix in southern Arizona and is the location of Arizona Traditions, a 55+ community with single family homes, an 18 hole golf course, a large clubhouse, swimming pools, bocce ball courts, tennis courts, bicycling trails, a woodworking shop, a stained glass studio, a fitness center 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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