55 Plus Communities
The kids are gone. You're healthy. And a second life awaits you. What next? You may find 55 plus communities to be just the right move.
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These communities are focused on active seniors who want to live a maintenance-free lifestyle in a community of their peers.
Common Features and Amenities
While all 55 plus communities are different, here are some of the features you may find in your search:
- Multi-purpose club house
- Gym/Spa/Fitness center
- Golf course
- Walking and hiking trails
- Billiards room
- Tennis courts
- Indoor/outdoor pools
- Hobby and crafts room
- Elevator for apartments/condos
- Lap pool and hot tub
- Laundry facilities
- Intercom access
- Gated entry
- Fenced perimeter
- Fire sprinklers
- Easy access to shopping and groceries
You may also find are home convenience features like walk-in closets, larger bathrooms, extra-wide hallways, lower cabinets, higher placed electrical outlets, one-level living, and doors with handles rather than knobs.
A Community for Everyone
Whatever your living needs and budget are, you'll probably find a 55 plus community to suit you.
- 55 plus townhomes
- 55 plus apartments
- 55 plus golf communities
- 55 plus luxury homes
- 55 plus resorts
- 55 plus modular homes
- 55 plus RV communities
- 55 plus manufactured homes
The Marketing of 55 Plus Communities
As you search, you'll find these communities advertised as 55 plus or maybe even 62 plus. There are two distinct types of "age" retirement communities: "age-qualified" and "age-targeted".
The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) says "age-qualified" communities must include at least one person who is 55 plus in a minimum of 80% of the occupied units. In addition, not anyone under 19 can be a permanent resident.
"Age-targeted" communities are not age-restrictive. Anyone of any age can live in these communities. But they are generally marketed to seniors.
Selecting the Right Community
As you begin your search for a 55 plus community, make a list of features and benefits you'd like. Then add to that list with these considerations:
Request a copy of the homeowner association rules and bylaws. These always contain interesting bits of information that may affect your decision to live there.
For instance, are pets allowed? If so, is there a maximum size (dog)? Can you keep the dog outside behind a fence? Can you have a fence? Can you build additions like a deck or patio? What are rules for visitors and children? Can you have a motor home in your driveway? What are the rules for leasing your property? What are the exterior painting rules (doors, shutters, etc.)? Can you hang a flag during holidays?
What does the homeowner's association fee cover? When and by how much is it expected to go up?
Ask for a copy of the homeowner's association budget statement. This will show what the budget is for yearly expenses (homeowner's fees, water, electricity, maintenance, etc.) and usually compare the current year with past years. Look for any glaring differences in line items for year to year. Did the homeowner's fees offset all the expenses?
Who is the property management company? Find out how they handle maintenance requests and other potential issues that may arise. What is their turn-around time with requests?
Talk with current residents. How do they like living there? What is their experience with the property management company, homeowner's board, etc?
What is the builder's reputation? This is especially pertinent for a newer community. Has the builder had quality problems with other communities? If so, will these problems come out in this community?
Ask to see the Master Plan, if it's a newer community. How many more units will be built? What if these units don't sell? Will they be reduced in price thereby making your property potentially worth less? Will they be rented?
How does the community create a sense of socialization among its residents? Are there holiday parties, movie nights, poker clubs, wine tastings, cookouts, cooking classes, and the like?
If you're ready to put aside your home maintenance chores and live in a neighborhood of your peers, a 55 plus community may be the ideal arrangement.
Search the assistedseniorliving.net database for the nearest communities.