As you get a little older and are thinking about buying a new home, you might wish to entertain the idea of moving into an active adult community. Age-restricted communities can be immensely enjoyable to join. You'll have neighbors who are roughly the same age as you, which can make it easy to form friendships in a short amount of time. When you shop for a home in a 55+ community, it's important to go over each of the details of every house that you visit, just as you would when buying in any community. However, in this unique form of living, you'll also want to assess some other details.
Programming For Residents
One of the best things about buying in a 55+ community is that there's a real community feel — it's not just an average neighborhood. Such communities often have a community center of some nature that plays host to all sorts of events for residents. When you evaluate an area, make sure to peruse the programming that is offered. You should have no trouble getting a sample calendar of events for a given month from your real estate agent, who can contact the community's homeowners association on your behalf. The more 55+ communities you consider, the easier it will be to compare the programming and find the community that is right for you.
You might not immediately think about assessing the traffic situation in a neighborhood that you're considering visiting, but this is important in 55+ communities. This situation can differ from community to community. For example, some age-restricted neighborhoods are gated, which means that traffic will be light. In such situations, residents will often use golf carts to travel around the area, which can make for a pleasant community feel. Check the speed limits in each community, as you want the roads to be safe when you're driving or out walking or bicycling.
Because homeowners associations govern many 55+ communities, you need to carefully consider the rules of each community you visit. Although different HOAs commonly have the same goals, they can go about things in different ways. Some HOAs have a long list of requirements and are strict about enforcing them; others are a little more lax. There's no right answer here — you need to find what works for you. For example, if you're passionate about keeping the exterior of your home tidy and are frustrated with those who do not, an HOA with stricter guidelines might be best for you.