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What Is An Active Adult Or 55 Plus Community.

David O'Doherty
Published on January 23, 2017

What Is An Active Adult Or 55 Plus Community.


55 Plus, Active Adult, Senior Housing What’s It All Mean

Active adult communities

Are you in that age group where the advertisements for retirement communities start appearing in the mail, on your Facebook feed and in your email folders? Are you confused by the different terms and what may be the right fit for you. There are all kinds  of housing for seniors and anyone over the age of 55, which is the age you have to get to to qualify. There are homes from luxury patio homes with every possible feature and homes that offer more affordable options but still providing an excellent product and quality of life for homeowners. Some of the developments that cater to active adults offer an abundance of recreation, social and exercise activities for residents with some even offering dining facilities almost resort style living. The most common types of senior housing falls into three categories, active adult homes, senior friendly apartments and independent living.

Someone Must Be 55 Or Older

In this article we will just focus on the traditional 55 plus or active adult communities where residents buy a single family home in an age designated community. The classification of 55 and over is the only age distinction that developments are allowed target and exclude those under that age. In order to have that designation the neighborhood must follow certain federal housing guidelines. Most of these communities require that at least one owner of the property be 55 or older, just one. They often have restrictions on how long you can have guests under the age threshold, perfect for parents and grandparents who have that grown up kid that won’t leave the nest! The more amenities for residents the development offers usually coincides with more expensive homes and monthly homeowner dues.

Choices Available To Homebuyers Looking For Active Adult Communities

Depending where you are in the country you might have a limited selection to choose from or you could have every possible option at your disposal. Traditional states and cities where people retire to such as Florida and Arizona, Nevada would have many communities to choose from. As towns grow in states where there is an influx of people relocating to the state developers start catering to the 55 plus and active adult age group. You may find a small neighborhood with a limited number of homes and a simple community center as the only amenity in the place. This often appeals to people who won’t use facilities like a gym or pool anyway and without those expenses the monthly HOA dues would be considerably less. Or you may find a fully inclusive community that does provide a wide range of activities and amenities. A pool, community center, card room, bocce courts, tennis, walking trails and more and in many cases in a gated community.

In these types of communities you can expect to pay more monthly which is well worth it to people who get a lot out of the community features. It is common in these neighborhoods for there to be a lot of socializing, which is not surprising as most people are retired or close to retiring and are done with the responsibilities of children and work etc. Some of the communities will provide a shuttle service to shopping, drug stores, doctor visits and organize trips for the residents to explore local attractions. It may be hard to not be involved in the social aspect of living in a community such as these which is what many people like about them.

Depending on the community you choose the maintenance that is provided should be clearly explained, is it all the exterior maintenance and what does all mean. The larger developers who have been doing these types of communities have very clear descriptions of what is included. It is normally lawn care and maintaining the shrubbery around the house (there’s not a lot of yard in these places). Scheduled maintenance may include cleaning gutters once or twice a year, pressure washing the exterior once a year and most likely snow and ice removal.

Not Everyone Wants To Be In An Age Restricted Community

There are other similar communities that are marketed to the 55 plus active adult home buyer but do not have the age restriction. For example the homes would all be ranch or patio style homes with a first floor master and the main living areas downstairs. They are designed to have very low or no steps, walk in showers, wider doorways and very little to no maintenance yards. The only difference being that a family with children or a young couple could move in next door.

For many retirees this is perfect as they would rather be in a neighborhood with children and young people than have all their neighbors be the same age. It is now quite common to find distinct neighborhoods with these types of homes in larger developments. They may offer multiple types of housing, single family homes, townhomes and apartments along with plenty of amenities for residents. This is popular with retirees who wish to remain fairly close to family but still maintain their independence and lifestyle.  


What Is An Active Adult Or 55 Plus Community.
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