If you’re nearing retirement age – or maybe just thinking about your housing options far in the future – you might be considering age-restricted communities. Also called active adult retirement communities, these are usually gated neighborhoods that only allow people ages 55 – or sometimes 45 – and over to live there. Just as with any other type of neighborhood, there are both benefits and downsides to this option.
Advantages of senior communities
Age restrictions: Many older adults look forward to living among only people who are around their age. If you don’t like the idea of possibly living next door to loud college students or young families, a neighborhood that only allows people 45 or older sounds great.
Lots of activities: They don’t call them active adult communities for nothing. These types of neighborhoods usually offer lots of amenities, from full gyms to great clubhouses with a variety of classes. There’s usually also a pool, spa, and sports courts that are perfect for activities such as tennis, racquetball, and basketball. Some active adult communities also have a lake or are even located on a golf course, leaving residents with plenty to do within walking distance.
Safety: The typical age-restricted community is gated, offering a sense of security for residents. In addition, homes in this type of neighborhood are built with seniors in mind. This means they tend to be single-story floor plans, with bathrooms, kitchens, hallways, and doorways that can easily accommodate a walker or wheelchair.
Disadvantages of senior communities
Age restrictions: What’s a benefit to many seniors is a drawback for others. This is because the age restrictions in active adult communities don’t just apply to the neighbors. They also apply to your family members – including grandchildren – since the rules often state that visitors under a certain age cannot stay overnight. This is something to keep in mind if you plan to have younger visitors for more than a day, which many grandparents do.
The costs of activities: If you don’t plan to use the amenities available to you in an age-restricted community, you might not be happy with the fact that you will still have to pay for them. This is usually in the form of a monthly fee that is higher than the typical HOA fee. Even if you do use the amenities, you might not like that you’ll have to factor this fee in to your housing budget.
Home choices: Most active adult communities have limited options for the homes. They are usually on one level, with two or three bedrooms and one or two bathrooms. So if you’re looking for a two-story house or a basement home, or if you want five bedrooms and three bathrooms, you’re likely better off looking for a home in a Scottsdale neighborhood that offers these types of floor plans.
If you are having difficulty deciding where to move as you get closer to retirement age, come to The Matheson Team for help. We can let you know all of your options when it comes to active adult communities near Scottsdale, or we can show you local homes in neighborhoods that don’t have any age restrictions. Either way, our team is happy to help.
Realtor | Founder
The Matheson Team – RE/MAX Fine Properties
21000 N. Pima Rd., #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85255