Finding just the right living situation for your retirement can be a challenge. With so many great options for seniors available today, you’ll want to make the right choice to suit your budget and lifestyle. Many homeowners will consider living in a 55+ community based on community amenities and overall senior lifestyle. But before you commit to a senior living community, there are a few disadvantages with 55+ you should be aware of before you start your search:
55+ Community Unexpected Restrictions
You might find unexpected restrictions when living in a 55+ community. Some communities may be more than strict when it comes to neighborhood noise from visitors and friends. In highrise buildings, grandchildren running through the halls may be a “no, no”. This can make it challenging to host your family and friends in your home, on your own terms.
Nobody wants to feel isolated, especially as we get older.
Costly Homeowners Association Fees
You might be surprised at just how high HOA fees can be at 55+ communities. While you might be overly impressed when you tour the community center and common spaces, there may be a high cost that comes with these features. The advantage of course is that you won’t have to worry about maintaining anything, but your association and your fees will. At many 55+ communities, iIt’s not uncommon to pay up to $500 or more each month to the homeowners association. If you think you’re ready for 55+, I would weigh the cost vs. how often you plan to use the amenities. You may be paying for something you don’t use or need.
Location Proximity to Family/Friends
As we get older, we want to live somewhere that’s private and quiet, but close to our known creature comforts. In some cases, communities are located far from town, as they require open spaces for their community amenities. Gardens, tennis courts, swimming pools, gyms, etc. require a large geographical footprint that can’t be easily accommodated in urban metropolitan areas. This can keep you away from friends and family who are still living closer to the city. If you tend to spend a lot of time with family and friends, especially if you entertain at home, 55+ communities might be a little “too far out” to suit your needs.
Return on Real Estate Investment
When it comes to real estate, there are a couple of important factors when investing in 55+. It’s a simple fact, whenever you purchase a home, condo, or townhouse that is limited to buyers within a certain age group, if you or your family ever “need to sell” the property, you’re limiting your buyer potential. That means resale value may fluctuate based on supply and demand. Speaking to a local real estate agent might be helpful as they can provide valuable insight into current market prices. And if the market is hot for your current home, you may be able to downsize your living space, and move into a single story apartment rental home with great amenities that compare to 55+.
Another consideration when looking to move into a 55+ community is your financial situation. For example, if you’re looking for a new place to call home and you’ve experienced a foreclosure or short-sale in the recent past, it may be hard for you to purchase a home in a 55+ community. HOA has conditional approvals on community home members. Here’s the good news however, there are single-story apartment home neighborhoods where something like a foreclosure won’t keep you from moving in.
Although many 55+ communities are made up of people across a wide range of ages over 55, some neighborhoods are predominantly occupied with people in their 70’s and 80’s. For folks who are highly physically active and enjoy a more athletic lifestyle, you may struggle to find neighbors who share your same interests while living in a 55+ community. It may make more sense to move into a quiet apartment rental home neighborhood before you consider age-restricted living. Rest-assured there are plenty of diverse neighborhoods suited to your new lifestyle, but without the scales tipped towards older seniors.
What makes 55+ communities wonderful are that they are “communities.” As such, they are designed to encourage a more social lifestyle amongst its residents. But in some cases, communal areas get the majority of the space planning focus versus each private home. As a result, you may start to feel a little cramped. Some units may not include a private outdoor space, an eat-in kitchen, or an attached garage, making it harder to entertain guests or store personal items.
In summary…. 55+ may not be for everybody, just because you’ve turned 55.
But there’s good news. You don’t have to stay in a home that may be too big for your living situation, too much physical or financial effort to maintain, too expensive to keep warm or cool in summer and winter months, etc. In many areas of the United States you’ll find a growing trend of single story apartment home neighborhoods that “act and feel” like you own the space, without all the hassles of homeownership.
Available at any age, find out why so many residents choose Redwood Neighborhood apartment homes vs. 55+ communities. Discover the Redwood Neighborhood advantage here.