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55+ Active Adult Community: Is it right for you?

When you reach the age of 55, you have a new lifestyle choice that previously wasn’t available.  A 55+ community is an active adult community designed to serve residents who are at least 55 years of age.

Is an active adult community right for you? Here are some questions to help you determine the answer to that question.

Do you want to live in a community of people your age?

You’ll be in a community of peers who are at the same stage of their lives—in pre-retirement, working part-time, fully retired or empty nesters. They’ll likely share your interests and experiences, and their schedules will sync with yours, too.

Are you looking for a low-maintenance lifestyle?

While interior maintenance and daily upkeep are the responsibility of a homeowner, maintenance-free exteriors are usually provided through your homeowners’ association (HOA) dues. This allows you to spend your time doing things you love – not maintaining a yard or worrying about your sprinkler system.

Are you looking for amenities?

Active adult communities provide you with many opportunities to socialize, exercise or relax by the pool. This includes a clubhouse, pools, fitness centers, tennis and pickleball courts, bocce, card rooms, cafes, social clubs, organizations and volunteer groups.

Do you want to feel a sense of community?

Perhaps you’ve had your fill of noisy neighbors, parties late into the night, shooting hoops in the driveway, and small children active on the street. If you’re looking for more serenity, a 55+ active adult community is likely a better choice.

Types of 55+ communities

The search for the right kind of 55+ active adult community is as important as what area you will relocate to. Fortunately, there are options to suit every desired lifestyle.

55+ communities offer a range of housing options including:

  • Single-family homes
  • Villas
  • Condominiums
  • And more

In all cases, you’ll privately own your home, but outdoor maintenance is generally included in the homeowners’ association or condo fee.

The different types of communities offer a broad range of choices designed to make relocation more enjoyable than if you were to buy and live in a standard community. Buying at this stage in life is considerably different than buying your first home, and it’s best to account for some factors that are unique to later in life and the communities that cater to 55+ buyers.

Working closely with a real estate agent who holds the Seniors Real Estate Specialist® designation will understand your unique needs, goals, and considerations to help you find the perfect type of home and community.

Benefits of 55+ communities

One of the most common questions we are asked is what are the benefits of living in a 55+ active adult community?

  • Age-restricted: You’ll move to a place where you’ll live among people of similar age, stage in life and interests.
  • HOAs simplify living: HOAs include an array of services within their monthly fees so you don’t have to worry about managing many services on your own. A majority of HOAs include cable with premium channels, internet, alarm monitoring, landscaping and irrigation, power washing and painting of the exterior of the homes, acid washing the roofs, clubhouse and gated entry.    
  • Amenities and clubhouses for an active lifestyle: You can benefit from amenities designed to promote physical health, fun, and social interaction—such as state-of-the-art fitness centers, resort-style pools with lounge areas, cabanas, spas, clubhouses, cafés, tennis and pickleball courts, card rooms and walking paths. 
  • Safe and secure communities: Many communities are gated with secure entrances for safety and privacy
  • Friendships and social groups: Moving to a new city or state can be difficult, but 55+ active adult communities make it easy to get social and make new friendships. You’ll meet a new group of people with similar interests and hobbies.

Pet-friendly: Most 55+ communities welcome pets—and some communities even hold pet-related events like “yappy hours” or have treats in the lobby.

Choosing a condo, villa or single-family home

When thinking about your next home, where do you see yourself? Do you see yourself in a condo, villa or in a single-family home? That is one of the key determinations you should make before beginning the search for a new home.

Is a condo, villa or single-family home the best option for you? The answer depends on your budget, lifestyle and personal preference. For instance, do you mind sharing walls or common area spaces like elevators? You may have neighbors next to you, above you, or below you. If you value privacy and enjoy more space, a single-family home may be a better choice.

Also, consider your lifestyle. Do you have a large family that may visit often? If so, you’d want to have enough space for everyone. On the other hand, if you live alone or only with your spouse and don’t necessarily need a lot of space, a condo or villa may be a better choice.

Ultimately, only you can determine which property type is best for you to consider, but by doing research and working with an experienced real estate agent, you’re sure to find something that suits your preferences.

Choosing a new home or a resale home

With active adult communities rising in popularity, it has prompted more development within Palm Beach County. You’ll likely discover that you can move into a new construction home in the community you wish. Choosing a new home or a resale is a personal decision but can be guided by weighing the pros and cons of each.

New construction homes

  • You can select the details and personalize your home without complicated renovations
  • It’s more energy-efficient since it was built with the latest technologies, features, and materials
  • New homes are sold with a warranty to provide an extra layer of protection
  • There may be less competition for buyers
  • Higher resale values, as a 5- or 10-year-old home will be more desirable than a 25- or 50-year-old home

Resale homes

  • You don’t have to wait for your home to get built and you can quickly move-in
  • Some enjoy the home-building process, while others aren’t so enthusiastic about it. Buying a resale home avoids the construction hassle
  • Resale homes are typically more negotiable on pricing and closing dates
  • Add-ons – such as window treatments and light fixtures – are already installed before move-in 
  • You can see exactly what you’re going to get in terms of clubhouse, ambiance, and neighbors

Benefits of Working with a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES)

The Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES) designation is a Realtor who is dedicated to the real estate needs of maturing adults; whether they’re relocating, buying, selling or refinancing. SRES agents have completed extensive training on senior-specific real estate challenges and needs.

Benefits of working with a knowledgeable SRES realtor include:

  • We became an SRES by choice. Quite simply, we enjoy helping seniors navigate life’s transitions
  • We can offer a customized approach to your living situation that fits in with your overall life plan
  • We’re aware of options like senior-based communities and aging-in-place needs
  • We’re empathetic and don’t shy away from challenges, Instead, we help you find solutions.

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