Richmond VA Townhouse News

The Many Faces of a 55+ Community


RVA Property Group

10/2/2018 4:13 PM

Gone are the days when 55+ communities mean tranquility and quiet — today’s retirement communities have resort-style amenities such as hike and bike trails, in addition to assisted living to ensure residents are safe and can live independently.

No matter your interests and pace, there’s a 55+ community that fits your preferences. Below are the many types of retirement and active adult communities available to 55+ homebuyers.

Age-Restricted Communities

These types of communities have age restrictions, which means that at least 80 percent of residents must be at least a certain age. There are some caveats to this: say you’re 50 and your spouse is 58. If the minimum age is 55, you can likely move into the community since your spouse meets the age requirement.

Age-restricted neighborhoods can have single-family homes, condos, townhomes, manufactured homes or a mixture of these types of homes. The nice thing about age-restricted communities that are located within a larger master-planned community is that residents “can live in a gated age-restricted community within a larger community with diverse age groups close by,” says Linda Mamet, vice president of Corporate Marketing at TRI Pointe Group.

An age-targeted community is like an age-restricted community, except there’s no minimum age and advertising and other materials are aimed at a certain age segment.

Modern age-restricted retirement communities focus on providing retirees with an exciting and social lifestyle. Designed to promote physical and social activities, amenity packages frequently include community sports centers and community-wide tournaments, golf courses, excursions and nature trails. Another feature that is attractive to active adults is maintenance-free living like yard maintenance.

Retirement Communities

Residents don’t have to be retired to live in a retirement community; in fact, many are 10 or more years away from retirement. However, these types of communities typically focus on the 55+ buyer, but do not always have an age restriction.

“Retirement and planning for retirement affects what kind of home they are shopping for,” Mamet says. “Those who are 55+ continue working well into retirement, so they are choosing to live in areas where they can live in communities without the kids and they can focus on the things they want.”

These types of communities are attractive to active adults and empty nesters who want many of the fantastic amenities found in regular communities, such as parks and sport or fitness centers, and who still want to be active throughout their retirement. These communities have single-family homes, condos, townhomes or combination of all types of housing.

Even though the type of community they want to retire in does not limit these 55+ home shoppers, they do have specific needs for the kinds of homes they want to buy. Homes that attract 55+ buyers maximize their free time and help provide them with a low-maintenance life. This freedom means that homebuyers can live a lock and leave lifestyle.

“There’s a high interest in the lock and leave lifestyle, in the MPCs (master-planned communities), there’s a lot of thought about how to help them control the home via smartphone,” says Mamet. “There’s a community in Maryland that has a lock and leave package that offers a connected home and home automation tech.”