North America is in the midst of a grey wave – a huge demographic shift as Baby Boomers get older, retire, and start searching for housing options that will fit their new lifestyles. As more and more couples and singles rethink their housing options once their children have grown up and moved, there’s been a boom in what people are calling adult lifestyle communities.
What Are Adult Lifestyle Communities?
Retirement lifestyle, 55+, adult lifestyle communities – neighborhoods designed for older adults approaching their retirement years go by many different names depending on where you live, but they all offer a similar experience.
These developments are neighborhoods where homeowners tend to be older. Some may have actual age restrictions on who can live there, others are marketed toward empty-nesters and older adults who are looking for a quieter pace in an area that’s not so family-oriented.
They tend to be places where it’s easier to get to know your neighbors. They’re retired or getting closer to it, too. Adult lifestyle communities are not the kinds of places that empty out each weekday morning.
Condo-style townhome developments may offer maintenance-free living, but in many cases, buying a home in an adult lifestyle community works just like homeownership anywhere. Typically there are some neighborhood rules about exteriors that help maintain everyone’s property values. Interior maintenance generally remains the responsibility of the homeowner.
Houses in adult lifestyle communities also tend to be designed with more thought to accessibility. Bungalows and bungalow townhomes are the most prevalent, as the single-story with optional basement is easier to get around in the long-term.
Unlike other types of retirement living arrangements often targeted at older seniors, these are not neighborhoods that provide healthcare services or common dining facilities. They’re neighborhoods just like any other but targeted toward older adults.
A Place to Find Your Dream Home
You hear a lot about empty nesters choosing to downsize from a suburban home into a condo, but making that move can be a culture shock for a lot of people. Not everyone wants to move into a smaller space, and it’s not always practical – especially if you’re the type who wants to spend more time hosting and socializing at home.
It’s also a time when many are more financially stable than they’ve ever been, with equity in their homes or even with mortgages fully paid off. For some, it’s an opportunity to move into the home of their dreams.
That’s led to the emergence of custom homes in adult lifestyle communities, where you can purchase either move-in ready homes or work with a developer making sure you get the materials, appliances, and fixtures that you’ve always wanted. It’s an opportunity to work on the perfect home in an amazing community. For more information on custom homes, you can visit Blythwoodhomes.ca to see how one developer is working with their clients to build comfortable, energy-efficient custom homes.
Does It Make Financial Sense to Buy a New Home Now?
This is a big question as it can have a major impact on your retirement savings, budget, and long-term financial health. If you’re already mortgage-free, you have significant equity in the home you already have, or your property values have risen significantly since you bought, you can use the funds to purchase your next home.
There are a lot of advantages to paying cash for your next home rather than getting another mortgage. Heading into retirement without a mortgage can help you keep your monthly costs down, making it easier to stretch your retirement budget further.
The downside is being overexposed with so much of your money in your property. But you need to live somewhere, and if you’re using your home to live in, only paying for maintenance and property taxes means freeing up money in your monthly budget.
Moving into an adult lifestyle community doesn’t always have to happen near retirement either. Many are not actually age-restricted but appeal to people who are looking for a more relaxed lifestyle.
What Does Your Dream Home Look Like?
Your dream home doesn’t have to be a McMansion. Spacious bungalows and townhome bungalows are one of the most popular home designs in adult lifestyle communities. You can find plenty of room both inside and out in a tasteful design completed with high-quality craftsmanship.
The most important feature is a quality build. Look to the reputation of the builder and ask them about the materials they use.
Maintenance-Free Living Has Real Perks
What does your retirement plan look like? If there’s a lot of travel, wine tours, days at the golf course, or pursuing new hobbies, a maintenance-free townhome is definitely worth looking into. Anyone sick of dealing with exterior maintenance, or who doesn’t plan on having the time to keep up with it all can get the best of both maintenance-free living and homeownership.
When you’re away traveling, you don’t have to make arrangements for shoveling the driveway, mowing the front lawn, and keeping the exterior of your home from growing unkempt. It’s a great idea for anyone who plans to spend their retirement on the go.
Living in a Great Community
Finally, there’s an appeal to adult lifestyle communities that has to do with where they’re located. The people they tend to attract have a lot more freedom to relocate. They don’t have to be close to jobs, which means they can choose communities for their amenities and charms. They can also live further away from high-cost real estate markets, meaning their budgets go further.
Moving to an adult lifestyle community is a chance to get away from the rush hour traffic, live somewhere that’s going to be quieter and more peaceful with neighbors who enjoy a similar pace to life, and live somewhere you’ve always dreamed about.
Adult lifestyle communities are growing in popularity for a reason. Retiring doesn’t have to mean downsizing and today’s retirees are seizing the opportunity – and the freedom – to move where they want.