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retire retire

 

Weekly Edition ~ July 19, 2019

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"If it could only be like this always - always summer, always alone, the fruit always ripe..." ~Evelyn Waugh

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This Week's Community Review:

Tara Woods

North Fort Myers, Florida

North Fort Myers is on the southwestern Florida coast and is the location of Tara Woods, a gated 55+ community with three lakes, two heated swimming pools, tennis courts, a putting green, RV storage and good-looking manufactured homes, many with designer features.

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Previous Weekly Reviews:

Hilton Head Lakes, Hardeeville, South Carolina

Near the South Carolina southern coast, Hardeeville is the site of Hilton Head Lakes, a lakeside single family home community popular with baby boomers. Ameniites include an 18-hole golf course, a waterfront clubhouse, a new amenities center, an activities director and more.

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Songbrook, Eugene, Oregon

Leafy Eugene is in western Oregon and is the setting for Songbrook, an inviting 55+ manufactured home community set amid flowering trees, ponds, green spaces and foot bridges. Amenities include a clubhouse, planned activities, RV storage and more. The sea is just sixty miles away.

Bailey's Glen, Cornelius, North Carolina

Cornelius sits along the shores of Lake Norman in western North Carolina and is the site of Bailey's Glen, a 55+ community with single family homes, condominiums, clubhouses, swimming pools, tennis courts, pickleball courts, croquet courts, dog parks, a lifestyle director and more.

Heritage Bay, Naples, Florida

On the Florida Gulf Coast, balmy Naples is the site of Heritage Bay, a handsome gated golf and tennis community popular with empty nesters and baby boomers. Amenities include 27 holes of golf, seven tennis courts, a large clubhouse, six swimming pools, an abundance of social activities and more. Homes come in many styles and prices.

Westbrook Village, Peoria, Arizona

Outside of Phoenix in southern Arizona, Peoria is the site of Westbrook Village, a large, established 40+ community with Mediterranean-style casitas, condos and single family homes. Homeowners enjoy recreation centers, golf courses, movie nights, ice cream socials and much more.

Tree Tops, Lancaster, South Carolina

Just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, Lancaster is the site of Tree Tops, a wooded 55+ community with a charming village center, a rookery, nature paths, a putting green, an amphitheater, single family homes and more.

Lely Resort, Naples, Florida

On the southwestern Florida coast, lovely Naples is the site of Lely Resort, a beautiful all ages community popular with baby boomers. Amenities include two clubhouses, a lagoon-style pool, a bistro, three golf courses and an abundance of classes. Homes come in a wide range of styles and prices.

Sundance Meadows, Spokane, Washington

Spokane is in eastern Washington and is the site of Sundance Meadows, an attractive 55+ manufactured home community with a pretty setting, a clubhouse, a swimming pool, RV and boat storage, a nearby golf course, mountain views and more.

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Communities by State

Alabama   Arizona   California   Colorado   Florida   Georgia   Nevada   North Carolina   Oregon   South Carolina   Tennessee   Texas   Virginia   Washington  

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Age Restricted Communities 101

The kids have moved out. They have launched themselves into a career, parenthood, home ownership. You decide it's time to downsize. But how? Into where? You're still healthy, active. You're not ready for a continuing care community. The decision can be daunting.

A 55-plus or active-adult community is one option. The only legal exception to non-discriminatory fair housing laws, an age restricted community is run by a homeowners association that offers some exterior maintenance and amenities to its members. Amenities could include a private golf course, sizable clubhouse, 24/7 security, or transportation to and from local hospitals or shopping malls. Housing in such a community can range from modest condominiums to attached homes to luxury estates.

How will you decide? Are you ready for the time it might take? Demand for homes in active-adult communities is on the rise. You'll be competing against other baby boomers, maybe even some Gen-Xers. Start your research a few years before your retirement date. Find a real estate agent that specializes in master-planned communities or senior home purchases. The National Association of Realtors does offer training and certification for senior specialists.

Look at the location. Does it have the right weather? Is it close enough to family? Is downtown too far away or not far away enough? Will you have acclimate? What are local taxes like? Check out the neighbors. Are these the people you want to age with? Make sure you know what services might be available for you as you age. Is your 55-plus community near a hospital, a grocery store, a bank, a pharmacy? Can they get you to the hospital and grocery store once you decide you no longer want to drive? Maybe the community offers grocery delivery? Are there senior fitness classes, personal trainers?

Be sure you understand what amenities you are paying for. Some communities require that you buy an equity membership or hide the cost of that lap pool and golf course in high HOA fees. Inspect your prospective community's activity calendar. Does it have the right mix of leisure and lecture? Are there too many card tournaments and not enough day trips? Do you hate golf, need 39 shuffleboard courts? Is there an activities director?

Understand your prospective HOA. How long is the list of restrictions? Do the board politics give you pause? Will they force you through a long approval process? Will they ask you for bank records and references?

Investigate the community's financials. Are they solvent? How well did they weather the crisis when the housing bubble burst in 2008? And what about the builder? How long have they worked for seniors? Do they understand aging in place? Do they understand the need for zero step entries, wider hallways? Or have they just gotten into the game? Del Webb is credited with inventing the age-restricted community. Keep your eye on what they're building. Other companies to watch are Lennar, Shea, and Taylor Morrison.

Remember, you're not just buying a new house. You're buying a new way of life.

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