Affordable 55+ Communities and More

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

April 22, 2014 — This request came in from one of our members, and it seems like a good one: “Could you please do an article on 55+ retirement developments that are under $200,000. There are so many great places to look at but most aren’t affordable to us.”

The happy answer to this question is that there are all kinds of 55+ and active adult communities with homes available for less than $200,000 – sometimes far below. In this article we will first explore different strategies for finding an affordable community, then list some of the developments found in our database.

1. Existing communities usually offer the lowest prices. There are several reasons why homes in older active and 55+ communities are the least expensive option – with homes often well below $100,000. For one, a new home offers a blank slate for buyers to fill out their dream. Builders help that luxury to happen in exchange for the opportunity to make a fair profit. As time goes on the price of the home depends on many factors, though. Perhaps it is discounted because it isn’t brand new anymore, or because it can’t be modified/customized as easily. The community facilities might not be quite as up to date, or as shiny-new. But note that most communities offering new homes usually have an inventory of previously owned homes as well.

Another big reason why established communities are less expensive is that their homes and infrastructure are starting to show wear and tear. The kitchens might be dated, the roads have cracks, and the elevators creak. The same can often be said about the inhabitants. Active communities start out with everyone about the same age. Fast forward 20-25 years and community residents will have aged as a group. Baby boomers might be turned off by the “older” composition of the community, which gets reflected in the prices. Note that some of the best buys in this market are in communities more than 30 years old. In this case the original buyers have mostly turned over and a younger group, willing to update homes purchased at a discount, is starting to take hold. See our related article with quotes from our faithful contributing member, Old Nassau: “Budget Buyers See Opportunity in Older Active Communities“.

2. Manufactured homes are less expensive. Many people are turned off by the concept, but the reality is that factory built homes can offer all of the quality and features of a stick built home. It’s just a lot more efficient to build a home in a factory and then ship it to the site for final assembly. Folks looking to save should investigate communities that feature manufactured homes.

3. Stay away from the coasts and other expensive real estate. It is unlikely that you will find a bargain community in a town where the real estate is high priced – land is too expensive for that. For example if you are looking in Southern California or Fairfield County, Connecticut, there just aren’t many bargains. But if you explore areas like Florida, South Carolina, and parts of Arizona and New Mexico, you will have more affordable options.

4. Think about the value of the amenities you are paying for. Generally, but not always, the greater the number and the more lavish the amenities, the higher the entry cost. Many times the value provided by the amenities is a bargain – you get facilities and services that would cost you much more if you had to purchase them individually. In our experience HOA fees can vary tremendously. If too high or unusually low, they can even have an inverse effect on real estate prices. Some communities offer more of a “pay for play” model – for example, if you don’t play golf you don’t have to help support that activity. Along with the price of your home, monthly fees are an important consideration in your decision to purchase in one community vs. another. Make sure you understand what community fees you will have to pay, plus any assessments, before you buy anywhere.

Bargain communities
At Topretirements we have reviews of just under 2,600 communities. They are loosely arranged into 3 categories of pricing: lower priced, intermediate, and luxury (many communities have homes in more than 1 category). When we used our Advanced Search to find those categorized as lower priced, we found 505 communities. Note that this categorization is somewhat subjective: some of the communities setting up listings with us have different ideas than others about what is lower priced and what is intermediate. In our opinion lower priced should mean not much more than $100,000. It is probably fair to say that more of the 2,600 communities in the Topretirements.com database are priced below $200,000 than there are places costing more than that.

Not surprisingly, the inexpensive active and 55+ communities are mostly found in the states with generally lower real estate prices. Florida has 192 lower priced communities in our data base, whereas (higher priced) California has 40. You can easily use Advanced Search to look for lower priced communities not only in a particular state, but you can also select by amenity, type of community (condos, independent living, carriage homes, etc.), and size. That way you can create your own custom search and see what the possibilities are when selecting the requirements that are important to you.

Start with our Advertisers
For the record we have at least 10 featured advertisers at Topretirements.com that are classified as offering lower cost homes. These outstanding communities help support this website, so we are proud to salute them for offering homes for less than $200,000:

Holiday Island (Holiday Island, Arkansas). Located in the Ozark Mountains, this planned community at the edge of 53,000 acre Table Rock Lake has 2 golf courses and a marina. Homes start at $50,000 and go to over $300,000.
Hot Springs Village (Hot Springs, Arkansas). The world’s largest gated community has resale homes from $100,000. There is a dazzling array of amenities.
Tellico Village (Tellico Lake, Tennessee). “It’s better at Tellico Village” for its 7,000 residents who enjoy living on the lake as well as amenities that include three championship golf courses and state-of-the-art wellness facilities.
Lost Dutchman (Apache Junction, Arizona). Lost Dutchman is a vacation-style, 55+ manufactured home community. New homes start at $60,000. It has three community centers and a wide range of fantastic amenities.
Serendipity (Fort Myers, Florida). A friendly, vibrant community with a small-town atmosphere featuring lovely homes, lush landscaping, and resort-style amenities. Rentals or new homes to purchase from $60,000.

The clubhouse at Sun City Apple Valley

Sun City Apple Valley (Apple Valley, California). This brand new active community with golf course and many other amenities has homes starting in the high $100’s.
Royal Palm Village (Haines City, Florida). This gated 55+ community of manufactured homes features Venice-like canals and ponds with scenic lakes, park areas and nature preserves. Pre-owned homes from $15,000 and new ones from $60,000.
Gulfstream Harbor (Orlando, Florida). Discover resort-style 55+ living with shimmering lakes, scenic surroundings, beautiful homes and resort-style amenities. New homes from the $80’s and resales for much less.
Alston Park (Bluffton, South Carolina). New single family homes start in just the $160’s and come with impressive included features, beautifully landscaped yards with sprinkler systems and a 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty.
Lawton Station (Bluffton, South Carolina). This private, gated community features award winning one and two-story single-family homes ranging from the $190’s to the $300’s.
Crossroads by Jensen Communities (Aiken, South Carolina). Residents enjoy a carefree lifestyle at Crossroads, a community for people 55 and over in Aiken. Crossroads is an affordable gated Manufactured Home Community.

A random sampling from Florida
The communities listed below have an “intermediate” price point, with at least some homes for sale for less than $200,000. They represent just the tip of an iceberg – there are hundreds if not thousands more to choose from. We’ve just concentrated on a few communities in Florida, our apologies for the many we had to leave out! Note: We’ve pulled most, but not all, of these sample communities from our advertisers at Topretirements.

Century Village (Florida). There are actually 4 Century Villages on the east coast of Florida near Boca Raton. These are older communities with extensive amenities, and sometimes problems. But one thing they are is inexpensive, often well under $100,000. In fact, younger buyers are moving in and reclaiming older units.

Solvita in Kissimmee, FLorida is an example of a community with new homes that sell from the mid $100’s. It has extensive amenities.

Indian River Colony Club, another fine Topretirements advertiser in Melbourne, FL, has homes available for even less than $100,000.

On Top of the World in Ocala, FL has homes from the mid $100’s. This is a very large community with some of the most extensive amenities anywhere, over 250,000 sq.ft. of them.

Palmer Ranch in Sarasota, Florida features homes from the mid $100’s.

Valencia Lakes is a community of new homes in Tampa with all kinds of exciting amenities. They have some units available starting in the high $100’s.

Looking West
Our database shows 50 lower priced communities in Arizona, including the likes of Sun City Grand in Surprise, with its hundreds of clubs and an unbelievable list of amenities. In California, where real estate is usually priced out of sight, there still are many communities where you can buy a home for less than $200,000 (use our Advanced Search to find them). Leisure World Seal Beach is one example. This long established community offers a 9 hole golf course, amphitheater, 6 golf courses, and 24 hour gate security – yet small co-ops can be purchased for as long as the low $100’s.

Bottom line
The happy fact is that among the 1000’s of active adult and 55+ communities that there are to choose from, the majority offer homes for sale below $200,000. In fact there are many communities where the average home is closer to $100,000. Use the tools provided in this article to find a community that works for you.

Comments: Do you live in a lower cost community, or do you have ideas for others that Topretirements members should consider? What do you consider affordable? Please share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

For further reading:

Affordable Places to Retire on the Coast
Budget Buyers See Opportunities in Aging Active Communities

Posted by Admin on April 21st, 2014

68 Comments »

  1. A few other big players in the active-adult community arena: Del Webb/Pulte(www.delwebb.com); K. Hovnanian (www.khov.com); Robson(www.robson.com).

    The MetLife Mature Market Institute found that while consumers 55 and over “were generally happy with their current homes, residents of age-restricted active-adult communities had the highest satisfaction rates.”

    Guess there’s a reason active-adult communities have been around for more than 50 years!

    Jan Cullinane, author, The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement

    by Jan Cullinane — April 22, 2014

  2. Hi, does anyone have any information about Sebastian, Florida ? Beach Cove is a name that keeps coming up, Thank you

    by Virginia — April 22, 2014

  3. It’s not always just about price either. Like the article states, it’s really important that you consider the amenities and services included in your rent.

    If you’re looking at manufactured homes, it’s important to note that there’s a difference between land-owned communities, land-lease communities, and co-ops. So make sure you find out what type of community it is.

    Remember: Just because the home is cheap, doesn’t mean the lot rent is cheap, so make sure to ask!

    by Rachel K. — April 22, 2014

  4. We are interested in Tellico Village,but are wondering what the status of the POA lawsuits are. In 2012 the homeowners in some neighborhoods brought a suit regarding misappropriation of funds–details are hard to find but it seems to have been about the use of POA funds to subsidize facilities in the development that are open to the public on a for profit basis. And there was a separate suit regarding the development of Rarity Bay/Rarity Pointe. Does anyone have any information on this and on whether these issues have been resolved?

    by danne love — April 23, 2014

  5. I am female, 65, and single, currently renting a 1 bedroom apartment in RI – having recently downsized from a home. I am having a terrible time trying to dig out from the internet ‘cheap’ living places with some amenities for 55+. Being alone, I have one small income, and I am trying to make my savings last. THANK YOU for this article – and how about places like this in the Carolinas? I will be investigating the places mentioned in Florida.

    by Chris M — April 23, 2014

  6. Does anyone have retirement information in Jacksonville, Florida? thank you

    by Lorraine — April 23, 2014

  7. Don’t forget Green Valley, Arizona. This primarily active 55+community with tons of recreational and social amenities for one low annual fee has plenty of homes for sale in all sizes, ages, neighborhoods, etc. that are for sale between 70 and 150k.

    by mike t — April 23, 2014

  8. Lorraine…

    A few to consider close to Jacksonville: Nocatee (it’s a newer community and has an active adult community – Del Webb Ponte Vedra – inside a larger master-planned community); Sweetwater; and World Golf Village (St. Augustine, but pretty close to Jax).

    by Jan Cullinane — April 24, 2014

  9. Chris – You might want to take a look at Top of the World in Florida (I think it’s Coral Springs – this is the older community). They have 2 bedroom, 2 bath and 1 BR 1 Bath apartment style 55+ condos in a huge community. It’s aging, but I know someone who has a place there and there is a very active social life especially for singles. Everything from State clubs, bookclubs, line dancing, water exercises, pool tables, card games, golf, vacation trips, etc. I have bookmarked it, and have seen one-bedrooms sell in the 30s, and 2 bedrooms that haven’t been renovated yet in the 50s. Of course, they also go up into the 80s-low 100’s, and I saw a Penthouse unit going for close to $200,000. I think the catch is that their HOA fees are relatively high, but it covers the pool, huge community center, insurance on the buildings and other stuff so maybe it is worth it. A big negative (for me) is the weird entry past a giant globe and so much odd statuary that it feels like a cemetery. The buildings are have country names and some supposedly architectural reference to the country, which is like being in an amusement park. Anyway, people who live there have told me they like it and it’s certainly not a budget-breaker.

    by Ted — April 24, 2014

  10. Jan: Just curious – Do you have an opinion that you can share on the book Leisureville? (I noticed you mentioned Del Webb…of course, it’s hard to talk about planned communities without bringing up the Del Webb options!).

    by Sharon — April 24, 2014

  11. Does anyone have any opinions of active communities in Illinois?

    by Linda Mccaffrey — April 24, 2014

  12. I just finished reading the book Leisureville – The Villages have been on my list of places to check out in Florida. After reading the book and learning about the sinkhole activity that has been occurring in The Villages (some just this past week), I crossed it off my list of places for consideration.

    Editor’s Comment: Leisureville is a very entertaining but mostly one-sided book, written by someone a little too young to appreciate it (IMHO). Before you buy into everything in the book you should read these 2 articles:
    http://www.topretirements.com/tips/best_communities/the_villages_-_facts_and_opinions.html
    and
    http://www.topretirements.com/blog/active-adult-communities/why-len-and-ann-think-the-villages-is-the-perfect-place-to-retire.html/

    by Tom — April 24, 2014

  13. Tom – Yes, that’s one of the things that raised red flags for me too. In fact, there were quite a few red flags mentioned in the book which concerned me, such as the developer’s financial arrangements. Funny — I don’t recall spending as much time researching the home where I lived for 30+ years and raised children as I’m spending on research for my last 20 years by myself.

    by Sharon — April 24, 2014

  14. Try Hawthorne in Leesburg, Fl. Been here 8 years love it resident owned 130 activities and marina – prices from 30s up see web site central Florida – security, EMTS ON SITE 24/7 etc

    by RAYMOND — April 25, 2014

  15. Lorraine, in the Jacksonville area, have you looked at Penney Farms?

    by Tim — April 25, 2014

  16. Danne,

    I don’t have any information on what you mentioned concerning Tellico Village, other than having heard only very positive feedback on the community.

    I do know that Rarity Bay is under new ownership. Here’s a link so that you can learn more; hope it’s helpful to you.

    http://realestatescorecard.com/news/real-estate-news/tennessee/update-rarity-bay-tellico-lake

    by ella — April 25, 2014

  17. Hi Sharon,

    Leisureville is based on The Villages (Florida). The author (Blechman) doesn’t like active-adult communities, needless to say. Blechman wrote a clever book denigrating the concept of an age-targeted community. But, the concept has lasted for 50 years, and more are being built. I visited The Villages when doing research for my book(s), and have to say I met many people who volunteered, worked, contributed to the greater community, traveled, and were quite worldly – not the picture Blechman paints at all. Single women have told me they moved specifically to The Villages because of the many opportunities for social support. And, there is a price point for almost everyone. Here is a review of a book that counters Blechman’s book: http://www.lakesidepress.com/fictitious-reviews/TheVillagesReview.htm. To reiterate what many wise people say on this site: one size doesn’t fit all; there are many options for relocation. (By the way, I’m not a realtor or associated in any way with Del Webb or represent any community.)

    by Jan Cullinane — April 25, 2014

  18. We are interested in knowing more about Tellico Village as well. Any one out there to give us the “real deal” both pros and cons? It is a beautiful area and the organization of the website is so much better than say Fairfield Glade re: groups and activities. Newcomer’s club seems very organized, etc. Any suggestions on how to try it out on a month or so basis…more than the commercialized “stay and play” package?

    by Carol Smith — April 25, 2014

  19. Mike, I wasn’t very impressed with Green Valley. It is hardly green at all, pretty desolate and arid. I have read stories about potential water problems in the area. Yes they claim there is some great aquifer there but the water level is dropping. Does this mean they would be building more de-salinization plants in the future? and piping it to AZ.? Did I miss something while there?

    by Mark P — April 26, 2014

  20. Carol,
    Just a thought. Why don’t you inquire whether they have a rental on a short-term-basis you can try?

    by ella — April 26, 2014

  21. Another 55+ community near Patrick AFB. Indian River Colony Club in Viera, FL. Anyone have any info about this community.

    by Vickie — April 27, 2014

  22. Has anyone heard of any 55+ communities in northwest Washington?

    by Alma — April 27, 2014

  23. We will try that, Ella. We have a motorcycle and toy hauler so will at least camp close by for a bit this summer. Husband has made contact via email with the mc club. Great places to bike, hike, etc. hopefully we will meet people and learn more…Would love if someone from Tellico would post, but if you are there, you are probably not looking at these sites!

    by Carol — April 27, 2014

  24. Ted – Thanks for your help, that On Top Of The World is in Clearwater. I feel like starting a discussion for people like me, but I realize I am by far in the minority. Single, female, not a snow bird – will not be maintaining another home up north, want something small, do not want to do yard work and outside maintenance, need an elevator if in a condo apartment type building. Would rather live on the Atlantic Coast, than the Gulf in FL. I’ve also been searching for places in the Carolinas. Would rather stay within easy driving distance of the coast, the ocean. I’m spending hours everyday online, searching. Most things I click thru to are homes in the $150’s to $200’s, yes nice, and I could, but not what I want to spend. Not what I really need – do not need a 2 car garage! One car would be lovely! I’m finding it hard to imagine living in a trailer-manufactured home, year round, throughout the hottest summer months. Wouldn’t that be awfully, awfully hot?

    Vickie – I too came across Indian River Colony Club. They see to have a military quota they want to maintain and I am not ex-military. I wonder how much that costs a month, as they, if I remember correctly, say they take care of everything – which appeals greatly to me!

    by Chris M — April 27, 2014

  25. Alma, try this site: http://www.trilogylife.com/

    by Jan Cullinane — April 28, 2014

  26. Chris M,

    Have you considered Palm Coast, FL? Right by the ocean, priced right, and a nice community. Condos and single-family homes.

    by Jan Cullinane — April 28, 2014

  27. I have lived and loved all over the world, settled down in Mesa, AZ some 20 years ago. Love the hot and dry weather. NO bugs to speak of and no rain problems. Many years ago I lived in VA, loved it. Now in my 70’s I need to get away from the desert I love; breathing problems, agent orange related. Need to be near a vet. hospital. Looking to go back to the Richmond area but maybe not in the city. I’ve looked at the N.C. and VA border towns. Not necessary to be in a 55 +. The cost of living in general is 10 to 15% cheaper.
    Small town life would be nice, weather seems to be tolerable. Border states have a definite advantage, tax and everything else; you have a choice. Any thoughts or comments. Looking at South Boston, or Emporia. Later, Charlie

    by charlie brown — April 28, 2014

  28. Does anyone have any info on living on or near the coast how often do items such as pipes, roof, heat or air conditioner need to be replaced or other related house items, I would be very grateful.

    by CB — April 28, 2014

  29. Chris M.
    Look at Wynmoor in Coconut Creek, FL. An older community, but the residents are a variety of ages. Tons of amenities. I do not think they allow dogs, but if that is not an issue, it is an option. Also a very nice mobile home (and RV) park called Golf View in the same area has reaaonable prices.

    by Elaine — April 28, 2014

  30. PS to Chris M.
    there are a number of single females on the list, but a find that you can get good info on the regular blogs.

    You may wish to read Jan Cullanine book about retirment for single women.

    by Elaine — April 28, 2014

  31. Chrlie Brown why, at 70, do you feel you need to get away from the desert? Curious, as I am in my 70’s and looking to move to the desert?

    by Svenska — April 29, 2014

  32. Is anyone familiar or living in Solivita located in Kissimmee, Florida? My husband and I just received a brochure and thinking about checking them out.

    by Patti — April 29, 2014

  33. Patti,
    My cousin lives there and absolutely loves it. She considers her friends there ‘family’ and hopes to spend out her life there. She couldn’t be happier. Check it out!

    by ella — April 30, 2014

  34. Savannah Lakes Village, McCormick, SC. We recently bought a house in SLV for under $150,000. The 1800 sq ft home built in 1997 is also on one of the two golf courses. Everyone is very friendly, and they come from various states. We have indoor and outdoor pools, kiddie pool, tennis courts, etc. we’re 35 mi from Evans, GA and 45 mi from Augusta. Ya’ll check us out!!

    by Kay — April 30, 2014

  35. Ella,
    Thanks for your response. I have made plans to check out the models when we visit Disney in July.

    by Patti — April 30, 2014

  36. Hi Patti
    I am also about to look at Solivita. If you want the name of a great realtor
    you can call Georgia Pizzarelli at Artistain Florida Real Estate 863-496-4289, she lives at the property

    by jackie — May 7, 2014

  37. Jackie, Thanks for the realtor information. We have an appointment in July for a quick tour of the homes before we spend a few days in Disney. This tour should give us an idea if we will come back in 2015 to spend a little more time. Please let me know what you think after you visit. Thanks again!

    by Patti — May 8, 2014

  38. Kay, Is Savannah Lakes Village a 55+ only community, or is it for all ages? We are primarily interested in a 55+ community. Thanks!

    by Valerie — May 9, 2014

  39. Valerie, Savannah Lakes Village is open to any age, however, the MAJORITY are over 55. We are 63 and 64, and feel that most of the folks are older than us. However, everyone is very active–most play tennis and golf. The Villagers are also very friendly! If anyone has questions about Savannah Lakes Village, McCormick, SC, you may email me at Kay.potter68@gmail.com.

    by Kay — May 11, 2014

  40. Just returned from a week in central FL checking out 55+ communities. The Villages we thought was it and then found out they will not finance with VA. Went to Stonecrest a couple miles from the Villages and not for us. Also, Spruce Creek Country Club HOA fees low but not building any new homes only preowned for sale. Then off to Cocoa Beach to look at the Atlantic side. Since NASA has been cut it has really hurt Cocoa Beach and Daytona so we were told by the locals. Then back to central Fl. Visited Solivita and liked the community but not outside of the community. Everything 20 mi away. Hoping to buy our home in TRILOGY in Groveland, FL. 25 mi north of Disney. Just outide of Trilogy everything clean and new a BJ’s, Kohls, Ross, TJ Max, JC Penny and plenty of restaurants. We were really impressed and found out the SHEA home corp took this over and are building smart homes at a reasonable price. Smart homes meaning solar, and keyless entry etc. 2 bed with den starts around 211k. Just sharing our experience. This site has really helped us with our research.

    by Vickie — May 12, 2014

  41. Vicki, do you have information on Vitalia at Traditions the sister community of Solivita? The homes are reasonably priced and the new 24,000 sf clubhouse is opening next month. The Traditions planned community is beautiful and shopping and restaurants are only a mile away and even more 3 miles away. The beach is close about 20 minutes and you are so close to I 95 it is easy to visit nearby cities like Vero, Stuart, Palm Beach Gardens within 30 minutes. I have a home there and the community is fun and selling homes at a record pace.

    by Barbara — May 12, 2014

  42. Just clicked on and also called the listed site in today’s email = Knoxville TN, Sherrill_Hills_

    LOL/ the “cheapest” 2 br living is $5100.00 a month!!!!

    Sure hope I am rich in my next life = Hmmm, supposed to inherit a “MANSION”
    Just have to wait until then.

    You Retirees must have a lot of money and deep pockets and Yes I am jealous.

    Robert

    by Robert — May 12, 2014

  43. Robert, RLC certainly doesn’t sound cheap…saw this in a Raleigh, NC newpaper since one is starting there…”Rental rates at RLC’s newest community in Knoxville, Tenn., start at around $2,530 per month, which includes most utility costs, three daily meals, weekly housekeeping, social activities and transportation services. RLC also has financing options available” So some who need meals, etc may find it cost effective. I would be curious about the average age of residents.

    by Elaine — May 12, 2014

  44. Barbara, did a little research on Vitalia but really wanted to be in central FL Since my husband is retired military we were interested in checking out Patrick AFB near Cocoa Beach. One of the main things we like about Trilogy is the solar and the smart home concept.

    by Vickie — May 12, 2014

  45. Robert: I agree! Very bad planning on my part so I have no one to blame but myself.

    by Kathy — May 12, 2014

  46. Robert, I so agree with you. Most of these places are outrageously priced, and fees, insurance and whatnot add up. Even when one has the money, it doesn’t mean one has to squander it on overpriced communities. Its true, chances are you get what you pay for, but that should be within reason. Do your research, making sure you know if and how often these rates are increased. Happening upon a “community meeting” were residents were outraged about yet another hike, made us look deeper.
    We like to spend our money the way we wish to.

    by Godsgirl — May 13, 2014

  47. Can anyone tell me about living in Trilogy, Rio Vista, CA? I wonder if it’s too isolated.

    by Celecel — May 13, 2014

  48. Looking for info on Encanterra, San Tan Valley, AZ…….anyone have knowledge about this area…southeast valley of Phoenix/Mesa.

    by Cindy — May 14, 2014

  49. Hi, We would sincerely appreciate it if anyone who is a resident of Lakeside Crossing in Conway, SC could please weigh in on how you feel about living there in this community? We have already visited the property, so we are aware that it is manufactured housing and that the residents, as such, don’t own the land — they only lease it. However, we would really appreciate hearing from anyone out there who is either currently living there, or from anyone who may have lived there previously. Thanks in advance for any information that you are able to give us.

    by Valerie — May 14, 2014

  50. Godsgirl is right about the pricing. I truly believe most ALL of the 55+ communities are over
    priced and that pricing is based on the fact that retires have been saving and the developers
    see us as cash cows and that we should all just say NO! I can’t see how the average retiree can
    afford the home, pay the exhorbitant HOA fees, medical, food, gas, and travel?! Nope, I’m doing
    my research and won’t fall prey to their greed, even if I have to retire in place and remodel!

    by Dave — May 14, 2014

  51. Dave = Ditto. I think most people overlook the park rental fees because of some of the amenities?? If one pays i.e., $400.00 a month lot rent that $4800.00 a year in rent out the window!! Yes, you have a swimming pool and club room but blv me ur paying for it.

    Why not purchase a small home say in NE TN/ no State tax and really low RE tax.
    Small home would probably run you about $500.00 a year (stay outside of city limits)and the money u save on lot rent would really allow u to take a nice vacation every year.

    At least that is my thoughts. Lived in Great modular home parks and know from experience.

    Choices – it’s all about choices isn’t it?

    Good Luck,

    Robert

    by Robert — May 15, 2014

  52. For Cindy..Encanterra is pretty, but a bit far out from things, I much prefer Trilogy at Vistancia in the North! Depends on whats important to you.

    by LORALEE — May 15, 2014

  53. My husband and I are seriously looking at Solivita. We did their “Discovery Days” last July. We looked at Trilogy in Clermont and Del Webb in Orlando as well. Those communities were not as established as we want. Solivita seems to be the right size with residents who live there year round, two great club houses as well. I just rented a town home there until the end of the year as I will be working for Disney. We are hoping our home in IL sells and we’ll be ready to purchase at Solivita then.

    by Diane — May 15, 2014

  54. Dave/Robert – in regard to your comments on land lease communities. We are buying a place in Arizona where the land lease is about $550 a month. The house costs us $99,000 (1,500 sq ft). Similar homes in +55 communities where you own the land go for about $225,000 and up. So I save on: (1) property tax; and (2) price of the home. I get the same amenities in my land lease community.

    I’m near a big city, reasonably priced golf courses, lakes, etc.

    You’re right that it’s all about choices.

    by glenns — May 15, 2014

  55. Diane – my husband and I are going to check out the homes at Solivita in July when we are on a Disney vacation. Since you are currently renting a townhome you are familiar with the area. I have seen some comments that the surrounding neighborhoods are not safe and it is far to go to stores. Do you find that to be true?

    by Patti — May 16, 2014

  56. We were looking for a 55+ condo community in the Palm Springs (general) areas, but find nothing but “old” places with rather high HOA fees. I’d prefer something less than 10 years old but apparently the areas are built out. Is anyone aware of a newer community?

    by John H — May 16, 2014

  57. Glenns, What big city are you near?

    by Elaine — May 16, 2014

  58. Patti, We talked to a lot of people about the area outside of Solivita and I checked out the crime rate as well which is higher than the norm. Residents in Solivita are not concerned with the area outside of it, but the competitors like to talk a lot about it. Trilogy is close to a prison, Del Webb shares the main entrance with an established trailer park – so I think you have to look around for yourself and keep asking questions. The county is building a 10 mile highway right outside of Solivita that will connect to I-4. The highway will be completed in 2015. I currently live in the suburbs of Chicago. There are plenty of places I wouldn’t drive to at night. There is a Publix is 3mi away on Cypress Pkwy. The Millenium Mall and the Prime Outlet Malls are about 30 miles away. I don’t know of any shopping close to Solivita

    by Diane — May 17, 2014

  59. Any affordable communities around Virginia Beach or Norfolk, VA?

    by Gale Sellers — May 17, 2014

  60. Diane – thanks for the information.

    by Patti — May 18, 2014

  61. Elaine – we’ll be in Gold Canyon which is about 40 minutes to Phoenix.

    by glenns — May 18, 2014

  62. I’m 62 and retiring next year.Wanting to move back to Charleston, S.C. Are there many 55 and active rental properties?

    by Elizabeth — June 1, 2014

  63. Would love to see more information for NC….Coastal,Triangle,College Towns etc.
    We love the out doors, Art,Biking Lakes, Forest. We are not golf people.
    We are looking to Leave LI,NY by April 2015. Any help, web-sites

    by Roseann — June 5, 2014

  64. I am 45 an my spouse is 55, an we are looking to leave Long Island, NY and move to South Florida. We have been researching neighborhoods and was wondering if anyone on this list can provide me with some Info, or personal experience about Tamarac. I am in the process of selling my home in NY, and must be on a budget for buying a home down there. I was offered a wonderful offer for a home in Tamarac, and that is why I am seeking out as much info as possible about the area. It is a 55+ community and is in the Mainlands 5 section. I just want to make sure that the area is safe, and the surrounding areas to go shopping are just as safe. Of course one must define safe, but don’t want to run from bullets because of rive by shootings, and want to be able to go for a jog in early morning or in the evening and wish to return home without a knife in my back or a bullet wound, Just kidding, just trying to explain that I wish to be in a area that is quiet, safe, tranquil, and your neighbors are concerned home owners who don’t think car parts all over the front lawn are lawn ornaments.
    Thank You Kindly
    dashn1

    by dashn1 — June 6, 2014

  65. Dashn1, I like the east coast of FL and spent time in that area (my folks lived in Coconut Creek and Pompano). I am a single woman and felt safe in all but one small area of Pompano. Walked all the time alone, but you need to visit the area of the house you are considering. Felt safe driving as well. Most areas for local shopping or restaurants and the malls feel very comfortable. It is very built up unless you are right up against the Everglades. Have not been in the area for over 2 years now. Try looking at the Sun-Sentinal on line to get a better feel for the area. http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/?track=ss-nav-main-broward

    by Elaine — June 7, 2014

  66. For those of you considering retiring in AZ, today, June 17, the temperature is 110 deg. It is so hot it is like putting your head in an oven. The humidity is so low also – sometimes only 8-10%. So think it over and come to AZ in the HOTTEST time of the year – June-September. If you can handle the extreme heat, then maybe AZ is for you. If you’re fair-skinned tho, better think twice about moving to the desert.

    by Kathleen Trgovich — June 17, 2015

  67. Kathleen,
    I agree with you. We are going to rent Aug September and October to check out the “dry heat”. I really enjoye AZ and hope to move in the near future. Green Valley area.

    by Casey — June 18, 2015

  68. Does anyone have any recent information re Lakeside Crossing in Conway, SC? We read that Lakeside was sold a few months ago by its former developer Sobel Co. to Sun Communities, Inc. and that there was also some kind of a dispute between Sobel and the current residents of Lakeside regarding their HOA (or land/lease fees). The dispute concerns the fact that those residents who have lived at Lakeside Crossing the longest are paying a disproportionate HOA fee (sometimes as high as $577 per month) as compared with the newest homeowners (who were paying only paying $199 per month) and are looking for a more equitable arrangement. Just wondering if anyone has heard if the new owner is doing anything to remedy this situation…

    by Valerie L. — June 18, 2015

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