Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Top 5 reasons an over 55 community may not be right for you

Over 55 communities are a great solution for many retirees but they are not for everyone.  In this blog post, we take a look at the top 5 reasons an over 55 development may not be right for you.

  1. Variety (of ages) is still the spice of life.  According to Deborah Diane, Baby Boomer Retirement blogger, “some people like living in a community where there are mixed ages.  They enjoy seeing children in their neighborhood, as well as young couples who are just starting out.”    There is a vitality that comes with a diverse neighborhood.  For some, living among “Seniors only” just doesn’t feel right.
  2. Kids and grandkids not welcome.   Many adult communities have strict covenants particularly on grandchildren.   For some families, it may be a necessity to have grown children and/or grandchildren live with them for an extended time.  Who can predict life’s turns – sickness, divorce, unemployment?  And what greater joy is there than for a grandparent to spend time with their grandkids and help nurture them into successful adults?   In our case, my wife and I made a conscious decision to settle close to our parents, so that our children could enjoy the influence of their grandparent’s love and wisdom.
  3. High fees.  Many over 55 communities have great amenities – golf, swimming, tennis, clubhouses – but these all cost money.   It is not uncommon to pay hundreds of dollars per month in fees.  Do you really want to be paying for a community pool that you seldom, if ever, use?  It’s important to evaluate how much those amenities mean to you and whether you want the long term liability of maintenance and capital improvements.
  4. Cookie-cutter homes on postage stamp lots.   You’ve worked long and hard to reach this point in life and achieve success.   Sure it makes sense to rightsize, (see my blog post on rightsizing your home for a happylife), but do you really want to be living in a row of identical homes where you can reach out the window and touch your neighbor?    There are many well designed adult developments, but there is something to be said for the elbow room and custom home feel of an elegant single family home community.
  5. Tougher resale.   Even if this is the last home you intend to buy, future resale value should still play a role in your decision making.  In an adult community, the rules and regulations imposed by the Condo Association inherently limit your market of potential buyers.  Age restrictions, pet restrictions, fencing/landscaping rules, parking, long term guest bans, etc. are all potential negatives.  Consumer's want choice and flexibility.  

At our Skyview project in Pelham, we attempt to strike the balance between the simplicity and benefits of an over 55 community while keeping fees to a minimum and offering a diverse, vibrant single-family home community in a phenomenal location.   

We offer gazebo areas with sunset views over the mountains, community gardens, open space and hiking trails.  Our lots are smaller than a conventional subdivision, averaging 0.7 acres, but large enough for privacy.    And our ranch model, The Currier, has all the convenience of luxury single story living with an open concept floor plan and the craftsmanship of a true custom home.   Here in New Hampshire we say – “Live free and thrive!”