Feb 25, 2022

What is an active adult community?

Manny Cominsky

At their core active adult communities are no different than other planned residential communities, except active adult communities (also sometimes known as age restricted communities) limit either ownership or rental to people aged 55 and above or else just target people aged 55+ (sometimes known as “age-targeted” communities).  While sometimes confused for retirement communities, active adult communities are designed for a younger crowd of middle-aged individuals still looking to maintain independent living and exciting lifestyles.  Unlike retirement or care homes, active adult communities come in a variety of ownership options - from single family homes (both custom built and pre-built), to multi-family patio style homes, to condos and townhouses.  And most importantly, active adult communities bring uniquely tailored benefits to their residents that are perfect for the 55+ crowd, like resort-style amenities and cultural and outdoor programming.

Many active adult communities feature world class amenities like professional golf courses.

The first active adult communities were built in the 1960’s in Sun City, Arizona by Del Webb.  So while active adult communities might seem like a new and growing fad, and in many ways they are, many active adult communities are built and maintained by trusted and historic real estate brands.  Since the 1960’s, as America’s baby boomer demographic has reached retirement age, active adult communities have grown with the demographic providing a popular option for those looking to ditch the burdens of maintaining a house up north and move to homes perfectly suited for people who are retired.  These communities have become so popular in fact that the Villages, an active adult community in Florida, was the fastest growing metropolitan area in the United States from 2010 to 2020.  The Villages has become such a prominent part of the Florida landscape that it is routinely visited by elected officials, including multiple United States presidents.  

It’s easy to see why active adult communities have boomed over the years, as they are designed exactly with the needs of 55+ adults in mind.  First, active adult communities handle routine maintenance and home exterior care such as painting and yard work.  Moving to an active adult community means saying goodbye to ever shoveling snow or calling a plumber, freeing you up to spend more of your retirement time doing the things you love.  

Next, moving to an active adult community often gives people the perfect opportunity to move into the “right” size home for them.  One of the most popular real estate trends we see in the 55+ crowd is the desire to move into a smaller home from the one they’ve been living in for years, which is often too big due to the fact that it was originally purchased and designed to house more individuals - namely children that are now living on their own.  Rather than continue to manage big family homes, many retirees opt to move into smaller homes that require less maintenance and are perfectly suited for their needs.  For many people, being freed up from the burdens of maintaining a large house frees up time and energy to do things like travel.  

Active adult communities also provide a great sense of, well, community.  Given that everyone at an active adult community is at roughly the same age and stage in life, active adult communities let people live amongst peers. And while family are always visiting active adult communities, the focus on the 55+ community means that at the end of the day the neighborhoods are quiet and perfectly laid out for those at or near retirement age.  At the end of the day, it’s hard to beat living in a neighborhood that was perfectly designed with your needs in mind.

Finally, and maybe most excitingly, active adult communities provide a range of services and activities that are perfectly designed for the 55+ community. While active adult communities often don’t have in-house dining options like retirement homes, they often have clubhouses with nice restaurants and are also often placed close to local amenities and restaurants. And at some of the bigger active adult communities, there are even public town squares with restaurants and shopping. These communities often include golf courses and tennis courts, pools, fitness centers, and clubhouses as well. There’s a reason why so many people feel like they’re on vacation every day living at an active adult community. 

If you want to learn more about moving to an active adult community, give us a shout at info@sunboundhomes.com or check out our services page to see how Sunbound can help you have your easiest move yet.

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