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Old 05-22-2015, 06:17 PM
 
494 posts, read 882,382 times
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I was vaguely aware that there might be some kind of state listing in Florida that I've looked at in the past, so I just did a quick search and this site popped up:

Directory of 55+ Housing Communities / 55+ Housing / Resources / Home - Florida Commission on Human Relations

It's clear from the info there on what the list does and doesn't include (at the time I'm posting, there are statements that say both that their listing may not be exhaustive and also that they are relying on the representations made by each community, not independently verifying a community's status) that for some people (depending what they're looking for in a retirement community) it doesn't cover every place they may want to look into (also it should be noted that it isn't intended to include communities that may cater primarily to a retirement demographic without looking to be a 55+ community in the legal sense).

But it seems like an excellent starting place. In particular, NEg, it includes some smaller communities (to the extent that those smaller communities know about this list and are proactive about registering to be on it) that may not have the extensive amenities of some of the larger communities.

If you click on the 55+ Communities Directory link on that page, the search options include search by county, which is very useful for people who have already pinpointed the area they want to look in (i.e., people I am very jealous of! ):

Housing Directory - Florida Commission on Human Relations

It's just a listing of communities, not like some of the commercial sites that will then link you to descriptions of communities and info on homes currently for sale. So you would then need to do more research using other sites, but at least you have the name and location of a large number of communities.

Something worth noting for anyone who may be interested in buying a home in a 55+ manufactured home community is that they vary in whether someone is buying a home on a lot that they'll be renting from a business, or are renting the lot from a resident-owned community (that may have some "owner" lots and some "rental" lots within the same community), or own their own lot within a resident-owned community similar to in an HOA, or are part of a resident-owned condo form of ownership of the lot, or own a share and/or proprietary lease in a co-op . . .there are many different variations on that type of ownership, so each home purchase needs to be researched individually. I mention this just because I noticed this listing (again, at least at the time I'm posting) includes some of both.

Might be worth looking into whether any other states have something similar, wouldn't surprise me if some do.

One thing to be aware of in searching for a home based on amenities (including cost savings due to fewer amenities) is that the situation with amenities can change over time. While many communities seem to just go on with the status quo, I've noticed that in some communities someone (or group of someones) suggests adding new types of amenities (not just maintaining existing ones), and so there can be contention between those who feel they signed on for paying for a certain level of amenities versus others who either want their community to remain desirable by keeping up with changing times (e.g., some have decided to offer Wi-Fi on the premises, which didn't exist at the time many of these communities came into existence so is obviously a "new" amenity) or who want their community to change to offer activities they personally would prefer.

I've come across this a few times in researching communities. Following the details has shown me that while you can do your due diligence about a community in the present, things can change after you buy. (It is concerning to me when I see original documents have been amended to require a lesser degree of owner approval of certain things. Although in some cases this may be just due to frustration of a board with being unable to get things done due to uninvolved owners, at the same time it would make me uneasy as an owner to not have as many other owners' eyes/votes go into decisions that are made that affect everyone.)

Being in an association has its advantages but some disadvantages too (trade-offs I've been trying to weigh for my own situation for a while--condo is the right scale for me, especially as an eventual retirement home, but some added financial risks come with that form of home ownership compared to non-HOA single-family homes).

Last edited by City__Datarer; 05-22-2015 at 07:45 PM..
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Old 05-23-2015, 05:41 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
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For communities in the Southeast try www.realestatescorecard.com It does not show all the communities, but it does show how they scored them for amenities and shows how the actual residents scored them.
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