Are you thinking about moving into an Active Adult Community (55+)? Active Adult Communities are not very different from other residential communities – most are designed with low-maintenance in mind, and often are built close to shopping, restaurants and other attractions. The biggest difference is the age requirement.

Residents of Active Adult Communities can enjoy their retirement years without the burden of maintaining a yard or dealing with other exterior home maintenance chores or repairs. Active Adult Communities offer low-maintenance or maintenance-free exteriors, paid for by the resident through their monthly homeowner association (HOA) dues.

Pros

· Amenities – An active adult community will provide you with opportunities to get exercise, socialize, and stay agile into your retirement years. Amenities offered may include pools and fitness centers. The community residents will often organize social events, clubs, volunteer groups, and many other ways to get involved with each other.

· Friends – You will have the opportunity to make friends with other community members. When you move someplace new, it can be hard to make new friends. The benefit to the active adult community life is you may have more in common with your neighbors since many of you are all in a similar stage in life.

· Safety – Some active adult communities are gated, ensuring that only those who are supposed to be there are there. Visitors and guests are checked in and have a place that they are expected to stay. They also may offer well-lit common areas, streets, sidewalks and parking lots. This leads to a more safe and secure community to live in.

· Housing Size – There are various options for floor plans in most active adult communities. This allows for easier downsizing and having a plan that suits your lifestyle. Many people who are at this stage in their life want single floor living, 1 or 2 bedrooms, and less living space. Active Adult Communities are built with this in mind.

Cons

· Help – No “care” services are included in active adult communities. There is no assisted living, healthcare services or on-site healthcare facilities. You can arrange for in-home care if you need it, but there isn’t someone on staff to be there for you. You would need to arrange this yourself.

· Future Earnings – Younger family members can’t necessarily take advantage of your real estate investment. If you are viewing your active adult community residence as a real estate investment, it is important to understand that family members who are under 55 may not be permitted to use the property without a senior present. This can also present a challenge if you are a part-time resident and want to allow someone else access to live there during the rest of the year.

· HOA – We all know the dreaded horror stories of moving into a community with a Homeowners’ Association. Some homeowners’ associations can be very restrictive, or invasive, so it is important to learn what the rules are before purchasing your home in the community. It is advisable to read all the community rules and regulations thoroughly and ask questions for clarification if something seems vague. If you cannot live with the rules, do not buy into the community.

When purchasing a new home, whether it is in an active adult community or not, there are many choices to make and all have upsides and downsides. You need to weigh the best options for your situation and if you need help, reach out to Team Shoberg of MarketPlace Realty.