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Tips for choosing a 55+ active adult community

10.10.17

As your birthdays move you closer and closer to 55+, you might be looking at your home and thinking it’s time for a change. Whether you’re retiring, the kids have moved out, or just ready to right-size your life, you have some things to consider with this move. Around this age, people begin looking at age-targeted communities, a place where they can be closer to their peers and people at the same stage of their lives.

As you ponder your options, here are some tips for choosing a 55+ active adult community that will meet your expectations.

1.    Make a list of what you need nearby. Just because you’re ready to move to a new home doesn’t mean you have to leave your comforts behind. Ask yourself which people and services you need within close proximity of your new home. Families, friends, doctors, mechanic, hair salon, coffee shop, and the deli that knows exactly how you like your sandwich could influence your choice of location. List them in order of priority.

2.    Choose the style of home you want. Do you want the privacy of a single-family home, the low-maintenance of a condominium, or are do you want both? Some people opt for a condo because they don’t want the hassle of exterior maintenance. Epcon Communities typically includes some of these services in the HOA fee, so if you would prefer a detached, single-family home with low-maintenance, that solution exists. If energy efficiency is a consideration, new homes are typically 30% or more efficient than an older home, which translates to a lower cost to operate.

3.    Determine the community amenities that matter. An active adult community is usually more than just a neighborhood of dwellings. The developer has included amenities to encourage the 55+ residents to participate in the “active” description. A clubhouse can be a great place to get together with other residents—for club meetings, pot luck dinners, social events, and recreation. Other popular community amenities can include a swimming pool, walking or hiking paths, and recreational areas like a bocce ball court.When visiting a 55+ community, ask about the amenities and pick up an events calendar.

4.    Get to know the management and HOA. Active adult communities will likely have a property management company. Their job is to be available to support the residents and make sure the property is maintained. The Homeowners Association (HOA) acts as the governing body of the community (and the property management company’s “boss”). The HOA makes the rules and the HOA Board enforces them. Talk to residents about both the management company and the HOA so you can get a feeling for how the neighborhood is managed. Ask what is covered in your HOA fee and get a copy of the regulations before you commit to the purchase.  

5.    Visit with the neighbors. Knock on a few doors and get a sense of the friendliness of the people who could become your neighbors. Great neighbors add immeasurable value to your home!

There are so many plusses to living in the right 55+ community. Make sure you take the time to get to know what you can expect before you buy your new home!