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55+ community living?
Old 02-12-2019, 05:53 PM   #1
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55+ community living?

Hi,
I am 63 and wife is 58. Looking to retire in another year and we are looking to downsize again ... one more time before CCRC land when we are older.

Anyway, we've found a perfect house/condo, in a great location, that we can afford.
The only thing is it is in a 55+ community and we are unsure of that.
That would be a new world for us.
Would love to hear from other folks who have made such a move.

Plusses and minuses? ... things to consider?

Thx,
Rob
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:12 PM   #2
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We are quite happy living in our 55+ community even though we were on the young end when we moved in - not so young anymore. Our location is mainly a winter snowbird location with nice houses and some RV lots and pretty landscaping and shared facilities. Folks here are quite active which can be inspiring. Little road traffic (except for construction) which is great. It's generally quiet. There are plenty of social activities mainly in the winter if you are into that sort of thing. We are not, but enjoy the location and nearby parks/nature preserves. We've made some friends here. Many serious travelers are located here so we often have that in common with neighbors and share travel stories.

No yard work is a major draw.

Once folks get older than is comfortable for lots of traveling they tend to stop coming down or move closer to children. So we don't have hardly any folks past 80. New younger people move in.

I would say if there are things that strongly draw you to the location/city independent of the community that is the best thing. A nice comfortable community is then a plus.
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:15 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by albireo13 View Post
Hi,
I am 63 and wife is 58. Looking to retire in another year and we are looking to downsize again ... one more time before CCRC land when we are older.

Anyway, we've found a perfect house/condo, in a great location, that we can afford.
The only thing is it is in a 55+ community and we are unsure of that.
That would be a new world for us.
Would love to hear from other folks who have made such a move.

Plusses and minuses? ... things to consider?

Thx,
Rob
We have friends in Austin, TX that love theirs because there are so many activities to do. And they are cheap.
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:19 PM   #4
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We are considering that too. Do think thru the CC&Rs. If you live without them now, realize that in a community like that you are giving up a tremendous amount of personal freedom. When I was a young accountant I had to read minutes of HOA meetings. Some can be horrible - as picky as planting flowers that are the wrong color or not otherwise on the approved list.



We are going to do it - less yard work. Gated community is more secure when we travel. And NO KIDS. lol.



It is a lifestyle choice. Nothing right or wrong in the choice.
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:23 PM   #5
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We are in a fairly small condo association (200+ units). It is not officially a 55+ community, but there are very few folks under 50. And probably 80% over 55.

Big plus, Rec Center with indoor pool and outdoor pool. Social activities are hit or miss, depends on whether you stay "in the loop" for info. The key for us was to go to the pool in the first summer and be social. Sometimes there is a clique, and sometimes all you need to do to join is to show up.
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:25 PM   #6
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I wonder if the kids would tend to not visit as much.
I also wonder about re-sale value of 55+ property, over the long haul.

We love the town. We are both very active still and not yet into planned activities.
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:28 PM   #7
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Most continuous fun of our lives... but.... not by chance.
Spent a lot of time looking, and looking hard for fun people, and activities. I think we had everything...
Florida, on the Chain of Lakes, Leesburg. 212 miles of shoreline. Marina with 55 slips. We bought a boat and spent lots of time on the water. Fishing, water skiing. Nice big, warm pool, and hot tub. big clubhouse ... dance floor/meeting/dining room... library, exercise room, pool room.
Affordable manufactured homes. Near The Villages, and Orlando. 60 miles to either coast... Daytona/Homasassa.
Constant parties... dances, pot lucks, more activities than we ever had in our lives... Typically $10/$15/couple including band, and endless beer or wine and snacks. Activities planned and managed by resident groups. Often 2 or more major activities/week. Our kids loved to visit us.

We looked at a dozen or more over 55 parks before we found the best one for us... It was a snowbird park for us .. Illinois and Florida, but about half of the residents were full timers. We did the north south thing from 1990 to 2012. We bought into our CCRC in IL in 2004. BTW... we live in CCRC regular homes (villlas), and FWIW, not restrictive.

Resales move quickly.

The only advice I would ever give, would be to look hard for exactly what you want. We found that many folks who had come to the same area as us, and bought in communities because they liked the houses... after a year or so, moved out, and moved into our community because they liked the people. 356 homes. Lake Griffin Harbor.

Not for everyone, I suppose, but it was great for us.
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:28 PM   #8
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I have lived in two 55+ communities. I moved into the first one at age 55. I moved there when I got very tired of having young families next door with all the activity and noise that comes with them.

I live in a large golf community where golf carts are more common than cars inside the gates. It's relaxed, very quiet, and we feel very secure with a security gated manned 24/7. It is easy to meet and get to know people because of the large number of planned activities, but there are certainly some that keep more to themselves, which is fine.

My only suggestion would be to get as much info about the HOA (Homeowners Assoc) as you can. You need to read through their covenants to make sure they are livable for you. Our HOA is VERY strict about everything related to the outside appearance of our homes, which we like actually. It helps to keep our property values high, and homes sell very quickly if they are priced right for the local market. But....it's not for everyone so it is important you clearly understand what you're getting into.

I wouldn't live anywhere else other than a 55+ community at this point in my life.
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:37 PM   #9
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I wonder if the kids would tend to not visit as much.
I also wonder about re-sale value of 55+ property, over the long haul.

We love the town. We are both very active still and not yet into planned activities.
From our experience:

Accept the fact that the kids are not going to visit much anyway. They have a lot going on their lives as well. We only have one, and he lives in Chicago. We go there more than he comes here.

I would not worry too much about re-sale value. A house is not an investment. it is a place to live. As long as you are moving to a fairly nice area, your potential for a loss in value is small. In our case, we figure the next move will be to a LTC facility or mortuary.
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:39 PM   #10
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I wonder if the kids would tend to not visit as much.
I also wonder about re-sale value of 55+ property, over the long haul.

We love the town. We are both very active still and not yet into planned activities.
If the community has facilities they can use when visiting they might enjoy it. Kids with grandchildren visit here a lot and the pool seems to be a major draw.
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Old 02-12-2019, 07:11 PM   #11
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The community is mostly a neighborhood, with 55+ HOA covenants. There aren't common facilities, beyond a gazebo and the common grounds. The activities are mostly run by the residents.

What will I do with my 2 chainsaws, wood splitting maul, rider mower, push mower, etc??
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Old 02-12-2019, 07:34 PM   #12
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We live in a +55 MHP, and are very happy here. It is in Ventura County, CA. There are new manufactured homes for sale in the park for about $250-$270K. Basically 2 BR+den, 2 bath.
With space rent and utilities, we average about $800/month. Our home is paid for, and your property tax should run about $3K or less.
Remember, it is in Southern CA, so we are not part of the 100 million under storm watch
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Old 02-12-2019, 07:43 PM   #13
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The community is mostly a neighborhood, with 55+ HOA covenants. There aren't common facilities, beyond a gazebo and the common grounds. The activities are mostly run by the residents.

What will I do with my 2 chainsaws, wood splitting maul, rider mower, push mower, etc??
You will sell those at a garage sale and be very happy you never need to use them again.
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Old 02-12-2019, 07:50 PM   #14
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I am currently snowbirding in The Villages...I've visited a few times before. The one thing that I think this longer stay has convinced me of is the value of spending a lot of time renting i.e. not making any "irreversible" decisions, before making one.

I am not in the market for moving into a +55 community because I have recently achieved a lifetime goal of living on a lake in the Finger Lakes Region of NY, and I don't want to live in Florida, but I can see the allure.

The Villages is huge, and there are subtle, but important differences in areas, and homes.

OP, I would encourage you to spend some time in whatever +55 community you are considering. Oh, and BTW, I see families here visiting their parents/grandparents. They look like they are enjoying the weather and the visit. I wouldn't totally rule out a visit.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:01 PM   #15
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Most continuous fun of our lives... but.... not by chance.
Spent a lot of time looking, and looking hard for fun people, and activities. I think we had everything...
Florida, on the Chain of Lakes, Leesburg. 212 miles of shoreline. Marina with 55 slips. We bought a boat and spent lots of time on the water. Fishing, water skiing. .....
You are one brave man, to water ski on that lake.
When we stopped by to visit and see your community, there was a huge Gator in the retention pond water area, beside the swimming pool , but about 200 feet away.

I would be too nervous to go in the lake water.
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Old 02-13-2019, 03:33 AM   #16
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HadEnuff,
The Finger Lakes is a beautiful region in NY, IMO.

I am hesitating about the move. The house is awesome but, $530K plus $325/mo, for 2bdrm + den. Actually the HOA restrictions just rub me the wrong way.
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:35 AM   #17
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I am currently snowbirding in The Villages...I've visited a few times before. The one thing that I think this longer stay has convinced me of is the value of spending a lot of time renting i.e. not making any "irreversible" decisions, before making one.

I am not in the market for moving into a +55 community because I have recently achieved a lifetime goal of living on a lake in the Finger Lakes Region of NY, and I don't want to live in Florida, but I can see the allure.

The Villages is huge, and there are subtle, but important differences in areas, and homes.

OP, I would encourage you to spend some time in whatever +55 community you are considering. Oh, and BTW, I see families here visiting their parents/grandparents. They look like they are enjoying the weather and the visit. I wouldn't totally rule out a visit.

The idea of renting / visiting excellent. I live in a master planned community about 45 minutes west of The Villages. Not exclusively 55+ but 90% of the folks are older than 55. Our community differs in many ways from The Villages most importantly because we are more rural. My wife and I enjoy visiting The Villages for shopping and the occasional dinner show. However, we are happy to be where we are at.

Try before you buy as HadEnuff suggested. Good luck!
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:39 AM   #18
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You are one brave man, to water ski on that lake.
When we stopped by to visit and see your community, there was a huge Gator in the retention pond water area, beside the swimming pool , but about 200 feet away.

I would be too nervous to go in the lake water.


Caught in a lie... how embarrassing... I confess... though I do water ski... not on Lake Griffin... though people do ski there. Tell me... did the gator you saw have a yellow streak on his cheek? If so, that was Oscar... he's a fixture in the ponds... he keeps the Nile Perch in check.

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HadEnuff,
The Finger Lakes is a beautiful region in NY, IMO.

I am hesitating about the move. The house is awesome but, $530K plus $325/mo, for 2bdrm + den. Actually the HOA restrictions just rub me the wrong way.
Sorry... I read your post wrong... @530K, you could buy 10 homes in Lake Griffin Harbor... I was in the wrong price class. BTW I also preferred the Adirondak Chain of Lakes. Was originally my first choice for retirement. (but not jeanie's) she was afraid of bears...
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Old 02-13-2019, 08:00 AM   #19
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HadEnuff,
The Finger Lakes is a beautiful region in NY, IMO.

I am hesitating about the move. The house is awesome but, $530K plus $325/mo, for 2bdrm + den. Actually the HOA restrictions just rub me the wrong way.
From what I can tell, that amount of money would buy you more house in The Villages (not suggesting that is where you'd want to live).

There are certain deed restrictions, or HOA restrictions here, and some people love them and some chafe at them, e.g. they control what colors you can paint your house, or your front door, whether or not you can have "lawn ornaments" etc etc

it creates a certain uniformity which some folks find comforting, and others don't like.
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Old 02-13-2019, 08:01 AM   #20
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Caught in a lie... how embarrassing... I confess... though I do water ski... not on Lake Griffin... though people do ski there. Tell me... did the gator you saw have a yellow streak on his cheek? If so, that was Oscar... he's a fixture in the ponds... he keeps the Nile Perch in check.



Sorry... I read your post wrong... @530K, you could buy 10 homes in Lake Griffin Harbor... I was in the wrong price class. BTW I also preferred the Adirondak Chain of Lakes. Was originally my first choice for retirement. (but not jeanie's) she was afraid of bears...

Are you referring to the Fulton Chain of Lakes...1st Lake, 2nd Lake etc?
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