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Old 05-08-2015, 04:37 PM
Location: NC Piedmont
3,911 posts, read 2,878,179 times
Reputation: 6291


Originally Posted by ipoetry View Post
A golf course brings up the value of your real estate, it's a huge green area which keeps the subdivision from feeling crowded and cookie cutter in appearance. I love walking by it and on it in the winter. It's serene and worth the extra cost. It's the same reason why someone might pay an extra $30,000 for a lot that backs up to woods.
It's definitely a "different strokes" decision.
The courses around me sell memberships for a yearly cost that is higher more than most HOA fees; lots more. I know it is less when they roll it in since they get non golfers to subsidize the golfers, but it still doesn't seem right if you could care less about the course.
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Old 05-08-2015, 06:18 PM
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,872 posts, read 13,550,446 times
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Originally Posted by johngolf View Post
Being a senior (73 and retired at 62), I have looked at a lot of places. I put them in two groups:

1. One lives on their own as in their own home. The amenities to do things are there and one either takes advantage of them or not ... As to how active one wants to be is a choice one makes. If not wanting to be active, then choose a place that has few activities. I believe one poster said they went from a very active community (loaded with amenities) to one that had much less and they preferred the much less style. To each his own.

2. Continuing Care Retirement (CCR) where the next level of life services you may/want need are available. Theses places are more aging in place facilities then known for offering amenities. Their levels of offering can vary from totally independent living (can buy services as wanted) in a private home upto and including bed ridden. One can be as active as they want but generally one needs to go outside the facility to be such ...
Continuing-Care Retirement Communities are the most comprehensive. They are generally large campuses that offer multiple types of living and one can enter at any level and then move to other options as personal needs dictate. There are many such places throughout the country. In some, people start out buying condo-style residences where they can live totally independently (or some have the option of offering meal plans for people who would prefer to eat with others in a dining room). When these residents age and need medical care, they can move down the street to another building that offers either temporary nursing care or continuing care for the remainder of life.

In some of these places the options are amazingly diverse and comprehensive. I know a man who has a management position with a place called La Posada in Green Valley, AZ. I have visited there and was astounded by the variety of living arrangements. La Posada has condo-style independent living in a variety of choices: apartments in multi-level buildings with amenities on-site; garden homes (which are single-level attached townhomes from 1,000 to 1,600 sq. ft. with patios); or what they call Park Centre homes (single family residences with elegant appointments ranging in size from 1,600 to 2,200 sq. ft.) People can have their own cars and come and go as they please.

La Posada also has assisted living on the same campus, which ranges from one bedroom suites to single rooms where the residents have complete meal service and physical assistance. La Posada has a sophisticated separate facility for people who have "memory care issues." They also have care for people who can benefit from therapy, as well as facilities for people who need advanced, permanent medical care.

The 110-acre campus of La Posada has indoor and outdoor pools (and the only therapy pool in Green Valley), tennis, a huge gym, a yoga studio, hiking and biking activities, a meditation garden with a maze, an art gallery with revolving exhibits, a lending library, classrooms for continuing education, and studios for arts and crafts activities. They also have a coffee house, a barber shop, and a great consignment shop (furniture and home accessories) which are open to the public and a weekly farmer's market. The setting is gorgeous and the structures are attractive.

Interestingly, the most popular living arrangements there currently are the large, single-family homes which are being purchased as quickly as they are built, last I heard. They also have a rental program for people who want to try out living there before they commit financially.

I know I sound like I am doing an advertisement for La Posada but it really did amaze me when I visited. The only problem is, a place like that costs a fortune to run and it is only for people of a certain means. But for those who can afford it, it's top-shelf living for people from age 55 to the day a resident dies.

Other mixed use facilities also exist across the country. I knew a woman who lived in such a place in Kankakee, IL, operated by her religious denomination. When she was a widow downsizing from a large home, she bought a two-bedroom condo in a lovely building on the facility's campus. Since she owned the condo she was allowed to remodel and decorate it to her liking. She put in a brand-new kitchen and had a guest room for visiting family and friends. The building also had a dining room where residents (and their guests who paid by the meal) could dine if they wished. Her choice was to have breakfast and lunch in her apartment and then go to the dining room for dinner. When she hit her mid-nineties she began to have some severe health issues that caused her to move to a different building where she received medical care. Her extended family came to visit often and were able to stay in her condo. She only had a short stay in the care facility until she passed. It was a great set-up for her entire family since they never had to worry about her safety or having any medical assistance she might need.

A continuing-care retirement community would be a great option for the OP if she can afford it. She could be independent for as long as she wished but have the care options to fall back on when her body started to fail. People who condemn all retirement facilities as "creepy nursing homes" need to be educated as to what the options are today. Because the options are enormous and some present a far more attractive way of life than trying to struggle alone.
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Old 05-08-2015, 06:46 PM
Location: Dover, DE
1,802 posts, read 3,834,769 times
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MaryleeII...........Here is another thread with a lot of good info. If you do a search for 55+ on this forum as well as in other states you will also find a lot of good info.

55+ Communities

I, myself, have posted a lot about them. We lived in Sun City Carolina Lakes in Indian Land, SC (near Charlotte, NC) for 7 years and 3 weeks ago moved to another 55+ in Dover, DE. We never even considered anything else. I could go on and on but I won't bore you. Just be aware that there are those who hate them who may respond. No matter what anyone tells you the only one who can decide if they are right for you is YOU. You need to try and check out the ones you are interested in and see if you can rent a house there for 6 months or so and see if you like the lifestyle. There are some who actually have 3-5 days stay for a taste.
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Old 05-08-2015, 07:18 PM
Location: Idaho
4,625 posts, read 4,464,781 times
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Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
...I would check out the demographics carefully...
How would one go about determining the demographics of a 55+ community, other than hanging out at the clubhouse and tally who comes and goes?

I've been researching one development where you purchase a stand-alone house and take out a 36-year lease for the land it sits upon. The lease is renewable and upon a sale, the old lease is cancelled. The 'glossy' web site for the development states that the age at first purchase is between 55 and 62.

I'm trying to find the negatives about the place and punch holes into the idea of it being a good fit for me as my retirement home. I like the idea of minimal yard work. There is no HOA, but the almost $300/month land lease fee includes trash, sewer, water, neighborhood WIFI, and "amenities". I assume electricity and natural gas are paid directly to the utility by the homeowner.
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:53 PM
Location: Florida
5,245 posts, read 3,014,518 times
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Generally the 55+ rule says one person in the household has to be over 55. Most also have a limit like "no one under age 18. If you inherit one, you can own it, but you can't live there unless Grandma moves in with you.

The rules are often written into the CC&Rs as recorded on the deed.
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:58 PM
Location: Texas
2,847 posts, read 1,959,388 times
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The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.

what is often referred to as the 80/20 split, HOPA states that the minimum standard to obtain housing for persons who are 55 years of age or older status is that at least 80% of the occupied units be occupied by persons 55 years or older. There is no requirement that the remaining 20% of the occupied units be occupied by persons under the age of 55, nor is there a requirement that those units be used only for persons where at least one member of the household is 55 years of age or older. Communities may decline to permit any persons under the age of 55, may require that 100% of the units have at least one occupant who is 55 years of age or older, may permit up to 20% of the occupied units to be occupied by persons who are younger than 55 years of age, or set whatever requirements they wish, as long as at least 80% of the occupied units are occupied by one person 55 years of age or older, and so long as such requirements are not inconsistent with the overall intent to be housing for older persons.
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Old 05-09-2015, 04:56 AM
Location: NC Piedmont
3,911 posts, read 2,878,179 times
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Originally Posted by volosong View Post
How would one go about determining the demographics of a 55+ community, other than hanging out at the clubhouse and tally who comes and goes?
Good question, because that is the only way to truly get a sense for what it is like. Even if you get your hands on the demographics, you would just find out who the amenities are available to, not who uses them. Newsletters can help, as they typically have pictures and reports on recent activities as well as the calendar of future ones. But really, the only way to know what people commonly interact is to go there and see. Even then, you may visit on an atypical day and within months things could change anyway. There is always a roll of the dice. But you try to be as well informed as you can.
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Old 05-09-2015, 06:46 AM
Location: Orlando
1,986 posts, read 2,635,623 times
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Originally Posted by volosong View Post
How would one go about determining the demographics of a 55+ community, other than hanging out at the clubhouse and tally who comes and goes?
This is an issue no matter where you go, not just in 55+ communities. You have to be as diligent as possible in your research. Try to visit the place at different times of the day. Google the name of the community and see if anything comes up. Ask questions in the local C-D forum. Search the local newspaper for any references to the community. Read the community's newsletter. See if you can talk to any of the residents who are out walking their dogs, sitting by the pool, etc.

Of course, that will only give you a snapshot of the community as it is now. There's no telling what it will be like in the future, but then there never is, is there?
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Old 05-09-2015, 01:01 PM
14,260 posts, read 23,987,654 times
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The best way to find out about a 55+ community is to rent a place for a few months or so.
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Old 05-10-2015, 10:11 PM
322 posts, read 676,870 times
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I am 60 and applied at two of them in one town that mysteriously had immediate openings while the good places have waiting lists of years. The managers were bullying, old biddies who obviously wanted more elderly tenants that they could push around and who had kids who put them in there. They both gave me the brush off. I would never want to live there with them as managers.
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