Differences in Active Adult Communities

May 17, 2020

While this will be a discussion of the differences in these types of communities I will start with the similarities. 55+ Communities and Age Targeted communities are both considered Active Adult communities (the differences are explained in the first Blog in this series – “What is a 55+ community?“)

What they have in common

Many active adult communities typically have single story floor plans. If homes have two stories, they have the Master Bedroom and Bath on the first floor, or a “master-down” layout, as some call it.

Additionally, most active adult/ 55+ communities have HOA dues which include lawn maintenance and access to a variety of in-community amenities.

How are 55+ communities and age restricted communities different?

The differences in these communities can vary widely including things like:

  • Home size – Both square footage and number of bedrooms
  • Location -I will discuss further in the next blog of this series
  • Style of homes – Villas, Patio Homes, Condominiums, Town homes, and stand alone homes. Some communities have a mixture of styles.
  • Community size – from a cozy grouping of 10 homes to a sprawling subdivision of 100,000 or more.
  • Age of properties – are there new construction options? Does the community have resales only, or both.

While all of these differences are things to consider, what sets all of these communities apart are the types and kinds of amenities offered. The lists can often be extensive. We have seen amenities in communities like:

  • Clubhouses
  • Art Studios and Wood Working Shops
  • Indoor and Outdoor Pools
  • Pickleball and Tennis Courts
  • Boccie and Horseshoe venues
  • Community Gardens
  • Golf courses
  • Onsite restaurants and bars
  • and so much more.

Additional Active Adult Community Amenities to Consider

While a Life style director is not an amenity, if a community has one, they are an important part of insuring an active life style.

Is a community Gated or not? If security is a top-priority or you think you might travel often, looking for a gated community might be something to consider.

It is important to note all of these amenities and features contribute to the cost of the homes. A Premier community that has all or most of the listed amenities and features can have an increased home values of upwards of 20%. The HOA dues also reflect the cost of maintaining these facilities.

Prioritize your wishlist when shopping in Active Adult Communities

When looking for your next home in an Active Adult Community, it is best to prioritize your wish list by which features you most desire. Doing so will save you time as many communities will be eliminated from your search. In my area (Lake Norman, just outside of Charlotte, NC) there are 59, yes 59, Active Adult communities.

If you do not prioritize your wants and needs within your budget for your new home, starting the search for the best communities for you to consider will be overwhelming and time consuming. In this specific situation, where the market is full of options, working with a 55+ Real Estate Specialist can prove invaluable in saving you countless hours of research. They will know all of the above features and more for the communities in their area and given your list of priorities, help you quickly narrow down that search.

Free Community Evaluation and Comparison Chart

If you’re feeling overwhelmed keeping up with notes and information on the various communities you’re considering, I have developed a free community evaluation and comparison chart that you can print and use at home.

Keep following along as we take a deeper look at the process of purchasing a home in an active adult community. In the next Blog of this series, I will discuss “Where to buy your home in an Active Adult Living Community”.


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