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Old 03-07-2009, 10:23 PM
Location: NW Las Vegas - Lone Mountain
15,756 posts, read 33,428,962 times
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Originally Posted by faithfulFrank View Post
You might want to recheck that.
Most 55+ communities allow up to 30% of owners to be under 55...as young as 19 in fact.
My wife and I were younger then 50 when we bought a few years ago...we were not even asked......(maybe we just look much older...?? ).

With home prices plummeting and mortgage rates low, if you are close and you know what you want, it may be worth considering.

Frank D.
It may have come up elsewhere but a certain degree of caution is required in allowing occupancy by families with no one over 55. The federal housing laws require that 80% of the homes must have an occupant over 55. If not the development cannot discriminate against families and for all practical purposes loses its status. And it is highly improbable that once lost it can be regained.

What can happen is that someone wants to move a grandkid in or such and hires a lawyer who knows the way around the housing law. Not only can you lose the exemption but you can be compelled to pay the other sides legal fees if you can't demonstrate compliance with the 80% number.

Many of the Del Webb communities in the west reserve the exceptions for those who are widowed by the conforming spouse and such.
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:23 PM
633 posts, read 802,023 times
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Although I don't reside in a 55+ comm. myself my parents do, and my employment allows for me to be a regular and frequent visitor.

Actually my wife and I are eagarly awaiting the move to this comm. or another 55+. IMO it is hard to beat--putting all things in perspective. As some have mentioned the HOA's can be provoking, but if this is the case with us we will simply comply as we know the advantages of common sense restrictions. We don't expect to have our cake and eat it too and in todays world undisciplined 'free spirits' can dominate and foul up an orderly neighborhood.

IMO these neighborhoods will grow in popularity as many retirees would not be comfortable in places where residents do things "because they can". Judging the decline of American society of the last decade or so I can't imagine an improvement, thus enhancing the value of living in a restricted community also.
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Old 03-13-2009, 04:10 PM
Location: South Southern PA
12 posts, read 24,688 times
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I currently live in a "gated" community and have all those rules... while putting up
with all those idiots who think they know when I should mow the grass!
I go to work with all those rules...(there are also idiots there)
So I guess without asking anymore questions - a 55+ community is not for me.
I don't want to pay someone (anymore) to tell me what to do - I think I'd like to
make my own decisions and my own rules. I know the grass can't be 8 inches high and I know when and how to rake leaves!!!
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:23 PM
189 posts, read 638,022 times
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Default The Moving Bug

Originally Posted by normie View Post
I used to feel that way when I was younger. Moving becomes more and more difficult as you age. By the time you are ready for a retirement community, most people will not want to move again. IMO, of course.
Originally Posted by normie View Post

ps. I'm a big fan of 55+ communities. I still own my house in a "regular" community in Virginia, and regularly travel between the two homes because I have family there. I love my Virginia neighborhood, but my 55+ community is an oasis. It's really nice to live with other seniors and to have all these facilities right here.

I'm almost 63 and on my 9th house, with at least another one in my future, probably soon. I've always loved moving. Have missed some houses and towns more than others, but I just love the adventure of finding a new life. I have no one to worry about except me and my two pups.

There's been some discussion about how old you have to be to live in a retirement community. I signed up to have a house built in Sun City TX (Georgetown, north of Austin) when I was 52. They generally advertise that you have to be 55 or "better", but will (or would then) let a 50-year old move in provided they were building a new house. For some reason beyond my comprehension, they would not let me buy a resale. I retired when I was 50, so I thought the pettiness over age was a little unfair, but maybe it was a legal issue for them; I don't know. I lived there 2 years then moved back to Colorado, as the TX heat, bugs, and taxes got to be intolerable, plus I wanted to ski again.

Retirement communities are secure because neighbors watch out for each other. However, there's an element of depression that comes from an atmosphere of silence when it's summertime and all the snowbirds are up north. Not only that, it seems to be a constant round of "who's in the hospital and who died." My Dad lived in a retirement neighborhood in Ft. Myers back in the 80's. It seemed every week he was telling me on the phone who died, and some were his friends. He got sick of it and cleared out -- to Sun City Tucson where most of the people were younger than he by that time. Due to ill health, he only got to live there 3 years, then passed away. But he enjoyed the time he had there in his beautiful new home.

I am going to Prescott Valley, AZ, in early April to see if I think I'd like living there.......been in contact with a realtor there for months, and I'm addicted to studying all the floorplans and listings he's been sending me, along with other research I can do on the internet. I have two sets of friends there who think it's a great place, so we'll see. Most of the communities there are "mixed age", but mostly retirees, so they say. I'm ready for some new territory to explore and people to meet. Prescott Valley has great weather year-round, and is always at least 20 degrees cooler than Phoenix. One of my friends there is almost 70 and leads ATV trips into the mountains nearby all through the year -- he sends me his digital photos of the trips on a weekly basis. That's proof enough that the weather there supports outdoor activity 365 days a year.

Right now, I have a gorgeous 180-degree view of the Rockies out my back windows, but this area holds little for me as a single person. A gorgeous view is nice, but does not provide a life if there's nothing to do year-round. Wish me luck, everyone, cause I'll need it. Finally, I hope you all find your personal place of contentment. I've thought about Florida, but I've become a westerner, having lived out here for 27 years (originally from NJ). Otherwise, I think I'd look into Frank D's Plantation cause it sounds like a great place. Who knows? If AZ doesn't appeal to me, maybe I'll end up trying Florida out someday. Never say never, right?
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:26 PM
189 posts, read 638,022 times
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Originally Posted by staywarm2 View Post
Possibly the advantage to being in one of the larger 55+ communities would be the variety of people and number to chose from for friends, i.e., the Villages in FL.

It's scary to think of downsizing and moving to one of these places and then being lonely or unhappy. Personally, living among gossipy, cliquish people would be my idea of hell...

Donsabi is one of the few people who have posted on this forum who actually have lived full time in one of these places. The 55+ communities are such a new setup that not many people have that much experience to give us. I wish more people would offer information.
Okay, here's some more input from me about 55+ living.

I'm a single retired woman and very independent. I live with my two dogs. In 1996, at the age of 52, I moved to one of the Sun Cities (in Texas). One day, a woman approached me at the social center, as she knew I was new. She seemed friendly, but then asked me, "Do you golf?.....Do you play bridge?.....Do you play tennis?" I answered NO to all 3 questions. Then she said, "Well, then, honey, you're going to be totally isolated here!" I was really put off by that attitude. I'm not a "country club" or "afternoon tea with the ladies" type at all -- and I hate pettiness. What I did join at Sun City was the Woodworker's Club. Of course, all the snooty women lifted their eyebrows to that. Truth is, my father was a carpenter, I love carpenter work, and I love to be around that activity. The fact that most of the members were men had nothing to do with it because I don't date and am very happily single. There were, however, 14 other women members of the Woodshop.

The point here is: the big communities have more activities scheduled than you can count. Almost everyone can find something they like to do -- or you can just do nothing -- your choice. Ignore the other stuff and the gossipy women. I had good friends there, and still think about moving to another senior community, especially now that I'm older and would fit in better with the ages. Chronological age really means nothing -- it's the person and the backgrounds of the people that mean something. You just work at finding your own niche. I'm 62, and I have several very good friends in their 80's.

The major reason I would have for locating back into a senior neighborhood is the feeling of belonging to something bigger than my house, my property, my backyard. Right now, I live in a "normal" subdivision, and I feel like I'm living on an island. The people next door are from TX and don't speak to me unless I talk to them first. All I hear is their 3 yappy terriers. I just finished painting my house in beautiful colors with an eye to staging it, selling it, and getting out of here to a real life again. The mountain scenery out back is gorgeous, but it's not enough.

By the way, when I sold my house in Sun City, I lost the investment I'd made in improvements, plus had to pay the realtor, so renting sounds like a mighty good idea to me, at least for your first year. Rash decisions are almost always wrong decisions.

Last edited by FiftyFiftyAboutCO; 03-24-2009 at 04:28 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 03-25-2009, 04:45 PM
Location: home...finally, home .
8,236 posts, read 18,519,100 times
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50-50: , "Well, then, honey, you're going to be totally isolated here!"

Well, then (and I am your age exactly) I would be isolated there too as I do not know how to play bridge (I can play Scrabble ), golf or tennis. They has to be happy mediums for people who do not care for those BIG THREE activities. I also am looking for a senior community, though. I just don't know where ~~~~~~~

People may not recall what you said to them, but they will always remember how you made them feel .
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:31 PM
Location: Two Rivers, Wisconsin
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I lived in a controlled environment before I moved to Wisconsin and while it wasn't bad, I can't say I'd ever do it again. I'm 61, soon to be 62, and I really felt I'd rather live in a small house in a mixed age neighborhood rather than everyone older.

Somewhere down the road, I may sell my house and live in an apartment then I might want a senior building. I like living where there are signs of life, moderate amount of traffic, kids playing, people out walking, etc. Just my personal preference, some people like gates, one road in, one road out, I can't live that way,.
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:35 PM
Location: NW Las Vegas - Lone Mountain
15,756 posts, read 33,428,962 times
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Maybe I can offer some thoughts and anecdotes about 55+ developments.

By background I am a retired engineer who was then dragged in RE by a bored wife. Joined up in 2000 and been at it ever since. Will likely continue unless old age makes it unworkable. We have been eligible for the 55+ communites for well over 10 years. We do not however live in one nor are we likely too. But what we do is sell real estate more than half of which is located in 55+ developments...primarily Sun City Summerlin in Las Vegas.

We find the vast majority of people come and enjoy it. But about 5 or 10% gives up after a year or two and goes home. Homesickness is the big cause. Particularly people who have lived all or most all of their lifes in a specific place the toll can be high. In Las Vegas we also lose another 10 or 15% who decide the temperature is too much. They however may move somewhere else and not home. We have had three customers who moved on to senior citizen complexes in TX. I am not sure they did not jump from the frying pain into the fire but that was their call.

The people who seem to come out the happiest are the ones who join and do things. Many end up going and coming all day long pursuing their various goals.

The sedentary and non-joiners however may also find the place rewarding...apparently because these communities are very safe places. People are always on the lookout for anything unusual. That leads to very low crime and a feeling of safety to the residents.

The happy ones often have a large circle of friends and acquaintances. They visit and do things with each other. Many of those who chose to leave appear to lack this support.

I also believe these developments are not good for those who are actually failing and likely to continue to do so. These communities lack the facilities and the accomodations for those who are seriously ill or infirmed. In fact they may be bad for you...much of Sun City Summerlin is relatively steep and there are lots of stairs and opportunities to trip and fall. Not good for those who can be seriously harmed by such an event.

Sometimes the outcomes are really intersting. One is the long term outcome of the trophy wife. We know a couple where She was 30 when she picked him off at 55. They are now past 35 years...the funny part is she is failing and he is going strong. She still does the bimbo get up and has kept her body up. But it is now clearly he at 90 helping her at 65...and I think he may well outlast her.

The value of these homes moved very slowly over the 90s. It generally took 5 years before you could cover the costs of a sale. Things took off in 2002...doubled by 2006 and are now back to 2002 or a little higher. Those who bought from 2004 to 2007 have pretty much taken a beating. But those who have owned from before 2002 still have equity.

One interesting side light is that the big fancy expensive houses went up only about 30% and have come back down about the same. So the expensive home buyer was hit far less than the low end one.
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:51 PM
Location: Beautiful Upstate NY!
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My dad lives in an independent living complex in NJ, for which one spouse must be at least 55. While there are many things to do there (woodworking, art, computer lab, trips to NYC, etc, etc) my dad pretty much keeps to himself, but is extremely happy there. He has a small circle of friends which he dines with and socializes. While I'm approaching 52, I would never fit in there...at least not in the near future. I might revisit the idea when I'm in my 80's.

I visit with him once a month...every first weekend....take him shopping, go to church (on the campus) and take him out to eat to a local restaurant (he says he likes to get off campus now and then). One thing that amazes me is the gossip network...and these seniors (especially the women) can be a vicious with rumors and cliques, as the cheerleader lookers were in high school...and maybe worse!

Women outnumber men by a large number...and if my dad wanted some fun...he would have many takers (one 80+ woman has even approached him directly for some intimacy!) Oh well...God bless 'em.
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Old 03-26-2009, 10:50 PM
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We bought a home in Solivita in 2004. We planned on spending 6 months in Solivita and 6 months in our other home in upstate NY. We fell in love with this community and the many friends that we made. In 2008 we sold our upstate home, bought a second larger home in solivita and use our first home as a totally furnished rental. This community has something for everyone. We are busy all the time, really enjoying life.
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