When buying and buying real estate, it is always a good idea to visualize your perfect home. Homeowners have different needs at different times in their life, especially as they get older. By the time buyers hit the Middle to Late Middle Ages, they would have already lived in a variety of homes. Considering a residence that meets all of their needs – without the undue hassle and ownership of home ownership – may sound very appealing to them.
Specialized communities for “active adults” – often referred to as “55 plus” or “over 55” – stem from the Fair Housing Act of 1968 (FHA), which prohibited discrimination against housing based on race, sex, religion or age.
In 1995, Title VIII of the FTA was changed with a derogation for more than 55 parishes to allow for parish agreements that limit the age of residents and to allow communities to market to homebuyers specifically over 55 years of age.
Home buyers over 55 are attracted to ADA-compliant, low-maintenance, and often single-story housing options with no obstacles or stairs at the starting points. These communities provide services such as lawn and outdoor maintenance, gardening, and snow removal. In short, things that homeowners in this age group want to avoid or may not be able to do.
Some communities may offer concierge services that are included in the homeowners association fees that provide a sense of security. Most of these communities are closed and have security guards on site. The most desirable communities will have a health facility on the premises that will be looked after around the clock.
A sense of belonging to other residents of the same age group prevents isolation. For this reason, there are typically clubhouses, leisure centers, gyms, swimming pools (indoor and outdoor), parks, and trails in over 55 communities.
Upscale communities will offer golf courses that add attractiveness and prices to the units. Even if a resident doesn’t play golf, the existence of a golf course usually means an upscale community.
Man-made lakes and rolling hills of lush greenery on the golf course also offer pleasant views and a sense of openness. Units overlooking the golf course are most desirable and are usually sold first in these communities.
In addition to golf courses, theaters and auditoriums, music rooms, community gardens, meeting rooms, classrooms, woodworking shops, sewing centers, art studios with pottery ovens and classes, there are also gyms and fitness centers that offer classes, shuffleboard and bocce courts, as well as tennis and basketball courts, the options for everyone Kind of resident offer.
Holiday parties and seasonal activities (indoor and outdoor), depending on the weather and time of year, are also attractive offers for buyers. This resort-like community appeal is a draw for residents who are about to retire, have already retired, or are simply looking for a lifestyle that isn’t as family-oriented as it may have been when raising children.
For those unwilling or unable to cook daily meals, some communities even offer more than one restaurant or bar, both casual and more formal dining options. A library is often part of the 55+ community, and many offer interfaith opportunities for worship or individual denominations.
Actual housing options within the community can be simple, single-story, one-, two-, or three-bedroom homes, with one to two and a half bathrooms, each with a private outdoor area, patio or deck, and fully equipped kitchen.
The square footage for a one-bedroom unit is typically around 1,000 square feet. Two bedroom units will range from 1,100 square feet to approximately 1,150 square feet. There is a demand for easy-care interior fittings, as well as bathroom handrails and easy-to-use door and kitchen fittings.
Individual parking garages, some with storage rooms, or a central parking garage with assigned parking spaces complete the appeal. Guest parking spaces are available for visitors at certain locations. Golf carts are widely used for transportation for both golfers and those who do not wish to travel within the community. This mode of transportation requires a parking space and a power source as they need to be electrically charged in order to work.
Low property taxes are always desirable for residents over 55. Schools and extracurricular activities are escalating taxes, pushing over 55 communities to locations where these amenities are less in demand. Sunbelt areas add to the resort feel that buyers in this age group find attractive.
Over 55 parishes are designed for independent living – hence the label “active adults”. If health care is an issue, a community near a health facility or hospital is preferable.
As a realtor, when advising buyers about this particular type of community you need to make sure they know that they are buying not just a home but a lifestyle as well. Homeowners’ associations help maintain this lifestyle, and as homeowners themselves, you get a voice in their governance.
One final point to understand is that visitor Children under 55 years of age are allowed to live in the homeowner’s apartment. They are usually limited to the number of consecutive days they are allowed to visit. All Saying: As a broker, it will be extremely beneficial to your clients to explain these rules and regulations in detail.
Gerard Splendore is a licensed real estate agent with Warburg Realty in New York. Connect with him on LinkedIn.