There are different real estate options to consider if you are fifty-five and retiring. One of the most ideal choices is purchasing a new house in a retirement community. In general, a retirement community is a specific neighborhood which is built for adult home buyers who have attained the age of fifty five and are looking for a lifestyle community.  Not to be confused with retirement homes, 55+ communities can range from apartments to condos to single-family homes in a gated community.  Homes in these types of communities are on the rise due to the baby boomer generation.

Here are the most important things to consider if you are thinking about investing in a house in a retirement community.

Pros of 55+ Communities 

There are many benefits to living in a 55+ community.  First and foremost, there are lots and lots of activities.  Depending on the community, you can enjoy access to activities such as golf, tennis, swimming, art studios, theatre, gardening, clubs and other social activities. These activities allow for residents to socialize with others of similar age and provide a sense of community.

The majority of the communities are gated and have private security.  The security allows homeowners to have peace of mind that most thieves will be deterred and there will be less crime than a traditional neighborhood.

Since this is a retirement community, the neighborhood is typically quiet as the residents are not throwing “wild parties”.  Additionally, you will not find as many children to watch for in the street unless grandkids are visiting residents.

The social aspect is very appealing as you will be living around lots of people your own age in which you likely to have things in common.

Cons of 55+ Communities

Some individuals do not want to live in a 55+ community as they feel that there is a negative stigmatism that society would classify them as “old”.  Also, if you are 55, you may not want to live in a neighborhood where the majority of the neighbors are in their 70’s (depending on the neighborhood).

As a result of all of the amenities offered, the homeowner’s fees can often be expensive. Many retirees do not feel that the benefits of the community outweigh the fees to have them.

Some individuals may also prefer to live in a community in which there are various ages.  Sometimes people like seeing the children ride their bikes in the neighborhood or seeing and talking with the young newlyweds down the street.

Choosing the Ideal Home

There are numerous factors that home buyers must consider before investing in a house within 55+ communities. First, you must choose the right housing type to match your requirements. The two most popular options are condos and single family homes. The latter option is more advantageous in terms of size and privacy. However, condos require less maintenance, and they can be found in more convenient and accessible locations.

When you identify the right type of housing, you should compare the financial implications of each. Consider both the initial purchase price and the long-term cost of living, particularly with regard to the amenities. You should also check the management style, resident rules and security protocols set in place to support the residents. We recommend that you also review the community financials to avoid any type of surprises in monthly homeowner’s fees.  Also, review the activity schedules to ensure that they have the type of activities available that you will want to enjoy in retirement.

Finally, explore the community, current residents and the surroundings and make certain that it matches your long-term preferences.