Look around many of the suburban areas, and you are likely to find
age-restricted communities catering to adults who have hit the
magical age of 55.

At this age you may be thinking of retirement or are ready to put
in a few more years on the job. What you may be looking for is a home
that is less maintenance, affordable, meets your needs (instead of
the needs of kids who have long left the nest), and offers
convenience items all in one package. That is just what 55+
communities, also known in some places as “active adult” or
“lifestyle communities,” offer.

Forget preconceived notions about “senior living.” These
are not nursing homes or assisted living facilities. They are simply
sub-developments that traditionally offer affordably priced living
and amenities to an age-restricted group. Some communities will even
allow individuals ages 18 and older to live in the homes, provided
there is at least one other individual in residence who meets the age
requirement.

55+ housing offers many advantages to interested individuals:

* Cost factor:Many 55+ homes are priced considerably lower than
homes of similar sizes that are not in age-restricted communities.
For individuals on a fixed salary or preparing for retirement, this
feature alone can be a major advantage for purchase.

* Proximity to friends and family: Active adult homes are cropping
up in suburban areas all around the country. Their popularity and
availability has grown as more baby boomers reach age 55. Because of
this, individuals can still live close to friends and family – and
continue all of their social visits – but have the convenience of
adult living.

* Amazing amenities: Active adult communities are more than just
homes. They typically are built on a sprawling campus complete with
clubhouse, pools, exercise rooms, and nature trails. Most offer
recreational activities such as craft classes, movie trips, card
games, and much more.

* Desirable home designs: New homes are being built with open
floor plans in a variety of styles. Many feature single-level living,
to eliminate the need for scaling steps. Energy efficient materials
and many other features make these homes desirable and attractive.

* Security and safety: Many communities are gated with announced
visitors and have private security patrols. Some are located in close
proximity to hospitals and other medical care in the event there is
an emergency.

*Social gatherings: It’s easy to meet friends of similar ages and
like-minded interests in a 55+ development.

*Transportation convenience: If you don’t like to drive, that’s
taken care of in an active adult community. Transportation to stores,
places of worship, and even doctors’ appointments can be arranged,
with costs generally covered in monthly association fees.

* Maintenance-free: For those who want to forget about snow
shoveling or lawn mowing, 55+ communities are perfect. Dues cover
most exterior maintenance, such as snow removal, trash pick-up,
lawn/garden maintenance, pool care, and general grounds maintenance.
Depending upon the development and ownership of the home, interior
repairs may also be covered.

News reports suggest now is a good time to buy a home. If you are
55 years of age or older, now may be the right time to buy a home in
an active adult community near you.


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