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retirement communities retire

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"It will be our faces you see, not our backs." ~Volodymyr Zelensky

"Israel was not created in order to disappear - it will endure and flourish." ~John F. Kennedy

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Today's Community Review

Falls of Ocala, Ocala, Florida

Ocala is in north central Florida's horse country and is the setting for Falls of Ocala, a mellow, modest 55+ manufactured home community with a recreation center, a swimming pool, planned activities, reasonable HOA fees and more.

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Previous Community Reviews

Jubilee at Los Lunas, Los Lunas, New Mexico

Los Lunas is outside of Albuquerque in rugged west central New Mexico and is the site of Jubilee at Los Lunas, a stylish, Southwestern-themed 55+ community with single family homes, a lovely lodge, a swimming pool, tennis courts, walking trails and more.

The Resort at Glade Springs, Daniels, West Virginia

In scenic southern West Virginia, Daniels is the locale of The Resort at Glade Springs, a lush vacation destination with single family homes for sale and a wide array of amenities, including a lake, restaurants, three championship golf courses, hiking trails, tennis courts and much more.

Spruce Creek Golf and Country Club, Summerfield, Florida

Summerfield is in north central Florida and is the setting for Spruce Creek Golf and Country Club, a large, gated 55+ community with single family homes, patio homes, a meandering golf course, a golf club, two clubhouses, tennis courts, swimming pools and more.

Trilogy at Vistancia, Peoria, Arizona

Outside of Phoenix in southern Arizona, Peoria is the setting for Trilogy at Vistancia, a handsome 55+ enclave within a larger, all ages development. Homes are single level, and amenities include a golf course, clubhouses, a center for higher learning and more.

Pelican Pointe, Gonzales, Louisiana

Not far from New Orleans in southern Louisiana, Pelican Pointe is an all ages community with two golf courses, a restaurant, a clubhouse, tennis courts and a 55+ neighborhood, The Greens, which has town homes and single family homes.

Venetian Isles, Boynton Beach, Florida

Boynton Beach is along the Intracoastal Waterway in southeastern Florida and is the site of Venetian Isles, a beautiful large 55+ community tucked around ponds and canals. Single family homes and attached homes are for sale, and amenities include a clubhouse, an arts studio, a resistance pool, a putting green and more.

The Villages Golf and Country Club, San Jose, California

About an hour southeast of San Francisco, San Jose is the site of The Villages Golf and Country Club, a large, established 55+ community with a dozen neighborhoods, two golf courses, four clubhouses, an equestrian facility, a good variety of home styles and more.

Cottages at Autumn Lake, Savannah, Georgia

Savannah sits on Georgia's northern coast and is the site of Cottages at Autumn Lake, a cozy community with town homes, a lakeside pool, an airy clubhouse and the beautiful beaches of Tybee Island just a few miles away.

Treviso Bay, Naples, Florida

On Florida's southwestern coast, balmy Naples is the site of Treviso Bay, a beautiful resort-style community with a variety of home styles, a championship golf course, a sports complex, an expansive clubhouse, manicured grounds, ponds, parkways, trails and more.

Swansgate, Greenville, South Carolina

Greenville is a shopping and dining hub in northwestern South Carolina and is the setting for Swansgate, a cozy, gated 55+ community with patio homes and condominiums. The grounds are wooded and dappled with streams, mature trees, a pond and a gazebo. Amenities include a clubhouse, a swimming pool, walking paths and more.

Ceres Gleann, Dallas, Oregon

Dallas is outside of Salem in pretty northwestern Oregon and is the setting for Ceres Gleann, a snug 55+ community with single family homes, a clubhouse, an adjacent golf course, neighborhood groups and more.

Compass Pointe, Leland, North Carolina

Near the North Carolina coast, Leland is the site of Compass Pointe, a beautiful age-targeted, resort-style community with single family homes, an amenity center, 45 holes of golf, two swimming pools, a lazy river and more.

Riviera Golf Estates, Naples, Florida

Beautiful Naples is on the southwestern Florida coast and is the site of Riviera Golf Estates, an established, mellow 55+ community with single family homes, condominiums, mobile/manufactured homes, a clubhouse, an 18 hole golf course, swimming pools, plenty of activities, an activites director and more.

Windsor Lakes, The Woodlands, Texas

North of Houston in southern Texas, The Woodlands, a huge master-planned development, is the setting for Windsor Lakes, a gated 55+ neighborhood with single family homes, attached homes, an expansive clubhouse, an activities director and more.

Mill Pine Village, Sandown, New Hampshire

Sandown is in rural southeastern New Hampshire and is the setting of Mill Pine Village, a wooded 55+ modular home development with a community center, walking trails and more.

Greenbriar, Clearwater, Florida

Clearwater is on the central Gulf Coast and is the site of Greenbriar, an established, modest 55+ condominium community with a clubhouse, a heated swimming pool, planned activities and tidy, tropical landscaping.

Woodlake Village, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

Charming Murrells Inlet is on the northern South Carolina coast and is the site of Woodlake Village, a welcoming 55+ community with single family homes and duplexes. Residents enjoy a clubhouse and a good selection of activities and events.

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Communities by State

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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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