Is a 55 and Older Community Right for Me?
For a lot of people, a 55 and older community can mean spending your retirement living with people your own age, being active, and exploring new hobbies right in your own neighborhood. It sounds a little like the social life of college without the studying. And who wouldn’t want that? What should you know before you buy?
One of the benefits of a 55 and older community is the social aspect. Not only is it easy to meet people your age, but most communities also have planned events ranging from golf to art. We always talk about why location matters in real estate. And this is no different. Think about what you want to spend your days doing? If you love skiing, Florida probably isn’t the best location for you.
Most 55 and older communities are gated and have private security. Find out exactly what kind of security your community will offer. If this is going to be your second home, the extra security can bring big peace of mind when you’re away.
No one under 55 allowed
This one is a given. If you’re thinking about a 55 and older community, you probably consider this a pro. But it can quickly turn into a con. You might not realize how much you enjoyed the sound of kids playing in the street until you don’t hear it anymore. And if there’s a family emergency, it might mean that your adult kids or grandkids couldn’t live with you. There might also be restrictions on how long younger visitors can stay. And that might mean the end of Camp Grandma during the summer.
The old neighborhood
Don’t underestimate the connection you feel with your old neighborhood, especially if it’s where you raised your family. If that’s the case, it might be worth it to keep both homes for now and work your first home into your estate planning. That way it can stay in the family.
All those activities and amenities come at a price, homeowners association fees. Like any home with a homeowners association, there might be strict rules about things like what color you paint your home, how many (and what type of) pets you can have, and what you can plant in your yard. That might be a fair tradeoff for you, but if you’re used to making home improvements on a whim, you might want to think twice.