family, age, home, real estate and people concept - happy senior couple hugging over living house background

Living the 55-plus Lifestyle Dream

April 7, 2022

What is a 55+ community? There is a lot of misinformation on this subject but here is the scoop. The U.S. Dept of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) prohibits housing discrimination because of, among other things, age. The Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA) protects age-restricted communities from being sued by persons who do not meet the minimum age requirements. There are two classifications of exempted communities under HOPA. The first is the 62+ restricted community where every occupant must be 62 years of age or older.

The second, and much more common, is the 55+ community where a minimum of 80% of the occupied units must be occupied by at least one person who is 55 years or older. HOPA requires age verification procedures to be in place to show compliance with this restriction. There are no specific age requirements for the remaining 20% except those established by the governing documents, also called Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions, or CCR’s, for that community. You are well-advised to review the CCR’s of any community you intent to live in with a person under 55 years of age. If a qualified person, 55 or older, is the legal guardian of a disabled adult who does not meet age requirements, this person is exempt from HOPA and any CCR’s. Age “targeted” communities have no actual age restrictions but typically have master bedrooms on the first floor and lawn maintenance included in the HOA dues. All these types of “senior” communities are called “Active Adult Communities,” a title that has no legal definition.

The top reasons people choose the Active Adult Lifestyle are:

“Rightsizing” into typically smaller homes, exterior yard maintenance, and the social aspect of like “aged” people with the time and inclination to enjoy all the amenities and activities available in a 55+ Community with new friends. Think college life for seniors without the exams! Don’t wait until you cannot enjoy this lifestyle to the fullest. I have only had clients tell me they wished they had moved to an Active Adult Community sooner never they wished they had waited.

I first experienced Active Adult Living quite by accident when I moved from Florida to North Carolina to experience 4 Seasons. I moved into a 55+ community and I now know I will never choose any other lifestyle. As a former Real Estate attorney, I transitioned to a realtor and knew I wanted to assist others to achieve the 55+ lifestyle dream that I had found. Once I moved to Hoschton, GA to be closer to my children and grandchildren (this is the number one reason this age demographic moved) I continued my career as a 55+ Community Expert. Did you know there are more than 50 Active Adult Communities in the NE ATL area? I know all of them and they are greatly in size, price, and amenities. I chose Del Webb Chateau Elan for its location close to dining, shopping, and medical venues, “premier” amenities, home values, and rolling topography. My knowledge and experience can find you the community and home that best fits your needs, wants, and budget. I can help you buy or sell any home in any community but my 55+ clients are near and dear to me.

“I Live, Work, & Play in Del Webb Chateau Elan,” Karen Spell, 55+ Community Specialist. To reach me at Funari Realty call 321-279-1384 or visit


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