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Old 10-15-2009, 03:15 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Orchidflower View Post
Boy! how p.o.'d would you be if you bought a home in one of those communities and they didn't get finished or ended up being a vast wasteland of empty homes? Pretty angry I'll bet. What a total drag for the honest homeowners...I pity them.
On the other hand, one of the reasons I suspect people are drawn to a 55+ community is for the peace and quiet that usually comes with older householders, and a "vast wasteland of empty homes" would certainly provide that...

"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)
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Old 10-15-2009, 03:27 PM   #22
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....uh, maybe not THAT quiet I'm guessing. But I could be wrong, ziggy29, and you could be right. I just know I'd be royally pis*ed.

Please consider adopting a rescue animal. So very many need a furr-ever home and someone to love them! And if we all spay/neuter our pets there won't be an overpopulation to put to death.
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Old 10-15-2009, 03:29 PM   #23
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Thanks for all the information shared in this thread about active adult communities, especially the recent posts by Billness. I'm wondering if any has explored the active adult retirement communities that are sponsored or affliliated with colleges and universities. I read a piece about this in the WSJ a few years ago and it peaked my interest. It strikes me that these college affiliated communities would serve two major purposes I have in retirement: (1) keeping up on life-time learning by auditing and taking lots of educational courses or cultural stuff a college might offer, in many cases, free of any charges and (2) being close to a campus with good medical facilities. I've been thinking a lot about Chapel Hill, NC and it seems there might be some active adult communitieis affiliated with Duke or UNC-CH. Any thoughts about this?
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Old 10-15-2009, 03:31 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by billness View Post
Orchidflower, most communities will advertise to make it appear as if every person who lives in the community is a very active 55 year old, but of course we all know that every person is different. From my experience, I have noticed that the age of residents tends to follow the age of the community. For example, you would generally find that a community built between 2000-2005 would have younger people than a community built between 1990-1995. That is because a lot of people first buy in these communities when they around retirement age (55-65 on average). And, many of these buyers make it their last home purchased. That said, if you are looking for a community with a "younger", more active crowd, you will generally find it in a new community. If you are more comfortable with an "older" crowd, you should focus on communities that are a bit more aged.

Regarding restonham's comment about "most of the communities we looked at, to be lowering the average age by 15 to 20 years" that is partially true but a true age-restricted community must have at least 80 percent of the occupants be 55 or older. (See Housing for Older Persons Act of 1995). Therefore, 20 percent of the community can be under the age of 55 and still qualify as age-restricted. In some instances, communities have "lowered" there age restriction to allow 20% of the residents to be 40+ or 45+ or 50+ (varies by community) but the remaining 80% of residents must be 55+. However, these cases are the exception, not the rule.

As far as buying "brand new" versus resale. I would always encourage buyers to purchase in communities where the builder has completed all promised amenities (i.e. clubhouses, tennis courts, swimming pools, golf courses). Or, if not, be sure you are buying from a reputable builder who has a proven track record of delivering on their amenities. In my opinion, 99 percent of the communities that are started (by reputable builders) deliver on their promises but there are rare instances when things fall apart (i.e. Levitt & Sons or Del Webb's La Cresta community near Orlando).

Of course, these are my opinions but I have personally toured over 100 55+ communities, helped over 300 buyers purchase in 55+ communities and devoted the last 2 years of my life to researching and writing about almost every 55+ community in the I hope my opinion is worth something!
How do you find out if there are 55plus communities in areas you are interesting in moving to. I find just googling around isn't doing it.

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Old 10-15-2009, 03:40 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
On the other hand, one of the reasons I suspect people are drawn to a 55+ community is for the peace and quiet that usually comes with older householders, and a "vast wasteland of empty homes" would certainly provide that...
The peace and quiet would be the main attraction of a 55+ community for me. A vast wasteland of empty homes would lower property values, though, so ideally one could have peace and quiet without empty homes.
"You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore." - - - C. Columbus
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Old 10-15-2009, 05:21 PM   #26
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Like Grumpy, I live in an "active adult" community, about which I have posted several times. In general, my wife and I like it - the quiet, the upkeep, the amenities, the activities. There are some negatives - a premium on housing prices, overzealous HOA's (still run by the builder), some silly rules, etc. For the most part, though, it is a good environment in which to age gracefully. As one of the above commentators noted, however, the communities seem to filled with persons about the same age, reflecting their time of retirement and purchase of a new home. Most everyone around me (including my wife and I) are in our early 60's, moderately affluent, and socially extroverted.
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Old 10-15-2009, 06:00 PM   #27
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I would think that by the time people are 45 or so they would very well know if they might be happy in an "Active Adult Community", or if they would rather pass.

Has anyone awakened one morning in Berkeley and said to their bed-mate, "You know Honey, I think we should drive out in the desert today and check out some active adult communities." Likewise, do those who are bound for these communities think, "Gee, maybe we made a mistake, let's go look at a walk-up in the Village again. I just love that drumming in Washington Square."

Our peg shapes are pretty well set.

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Old 10-15-2009, 06:14 PM   #28
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ChrisC: I, too, thought buying into a University setting would be fantastic...until I checked the prices. Then I choked. They charge, for the ones I checked (which I cannot remember which ones they were now), SO much more than an active adult community that I forgot about it. However, that was a couple years ago, and if you find one that isn't ridiculously priced PLEASE post it. I am sure there would be many of us on here that would be interested.
Please consider adopting a rescue animal. So very many need a furr-ever home and someone to love them! And if we all spay/neuter our pets there won't be an overpopulation to put to death.
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Old 10-16-2009, 12:48 PM   #29
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Many active adult communities are catching on to the growing trend of continuing education. For example Sun City Festival in Buckeye, AZ integrated an entire section of there clubhouse to be a center for continuing education. They partnered with the University of Arizona and they offer dozens of classes in everything from math and science to cooking. You don't necessarily have to buy at a community that is in a college town to get the continuing education experience.

ChrisC, if you are thinking about Chapel Hill, I don't know of any big 55+ communities there. However, you should check out Carolina Preserve in nearby Cary. It is a Del Webb community and it is very nice. I visited there last year and they have very nice homes at reasonable prices. They also offer continuing education classes but I'm not sure if they have any affiliation with Duke.

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