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As you tour potential active adult communities, it is important to have a list of questions ready. These questions are extremely beneficial in making your final decision on where to retire, so they are well worth taking the time to think about before you meet with community managers.
Here are some of the most important things you should consider asking while touring an active adult community:
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- What are the sizes of the different community housing options?
- Is there a homeowner’s association fee?
- What additional fees should I pay monthly?
- Can you let me have a copy of the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs)?
- What benefits do the housing options offer?
- What is the best way to move around the community?
- What services can I access from home?
- Are pets allowed?
- What recreational activities can I engage in?
- What are your upcoming projects within the community?
- Finding the best active adult communities for your family
What are the sizes of the different community housing options?
Several 55+ communities allow active adults to share similar passions and be part of a broad range of interests, beautiful homes, and attractive amenities. You get to have a lot of choices in the floor plans. Typically, there are fully or semi-customizable to incorporate your unique tastes and cater to your needs. Custom homes in such communities are commonly one to two-storied, with the main bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom on the ground floor for increased accessibility. Be sure to tour the model homes or those in different stages of development to know which one suits you best.
Is there a homeowner’s association fee?
Homeowner’s associations (HOA) can vary from community to community. Some HOA fees may include maintenance of the common areas (parks, pools, roads, etc.,) while others may not. Ask what the HOA fees cover to have a clear idea of your expenses after moving in. Also, understanding the bylaws, rules of the community, and reserve funds are critical if you hope to retire on a budget.
What additional fees should I pay monthly?
Modern active adult communities have several benefits like landscape maintenance, fitness centers, clubhouse, hangout spots, and 24-hour surveillance. Based on the community, you may be charged a monthly fee for these provisions. Apart from these, you may also pay management fees and common area electricity charges. Make sure to inquire about any potential hidden costs, such as condo fees for parking spaces, storage units, etc., to find an ideal 55-plus living option that meets your needs without breaking your retirement savings.
Can you let me have a copy of the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs)?
CC&Rs are the rules that all residents of an Active Adult Community must follow. These can include age restrictions on moving in, specific guidelines for maintaining property and landscaping, and other restrictions. Before signing the agreement, ask for a copy of the CC&Rs to know what you’ll be accountable for in the community.
What benefits do the housing options offer?
The primary purpose for many individuals choosing an active adult community is to have a life they always dreamed of, without any stress. That is why some active adult communities offer advantages like year-round landscape maintenance, watering of the front yards or courtyards. With a close-knit circle of friends of the same age group, you build meaningful and authentic relationships.
Since you will be living in a gated community, you will always have maximum security. Some managements go a step further and offer to take care of your home when you are away. This “lock and leave” program allows you to pack your bags, leave on holiday or visit your grandkids on a whim. So, knowing what types of amenities are offered helps you narrow down your options for housing options.
What is the best way to move around the community?
Communities that sprawl over 50-60 acres usually have excellent transportation routes. You can use your car to get around or go for a walk to nearby places. There will be walking and biking trails in active adult communities nestled amidst nature. Many retirees walk, jog or bike to keep themselves fit and get the best quality retirement living experience.
In other communities, amenities like the gym, pool, etc., are easily accessible from all the houses. Other than using your own vehicles, you can find out if there are options that the community provides, such as a shuttle service to the nearest golf course outside the community.
What services can I access from home?
An active adult community is ideal for people who want to retire in a place they can call home. So, it is understandable that you don’t want to give up your habits like going for a weekend shopping trip to a store close by. For this reason, ask the management if there are restaurants, malls, pharmacies, and banking centers in the immediate vicinity. If you want to continue your lifestyle, it is better to choose the ideal community for you; in this example, something with proximity to the city.
Are pets allowed?
You should ask management or other residents about pet policies if you have a pet that is an integral part of your life. Some active adult communities do not allow pets or charge extra for them. So, it’s essential to know where they stand because it can be heartbreaking to part with your pets after moving into the community.
What recreational activities can I engage in?
Hobbies are vital to people planning to retire yet lead a healthy and active lifestyle. So, find out if the community offers plenty of opportunities to bond with other residents and for recreation. Standard facilities in the best active adult communities are a fitness center, swimming pool, outdoor fireplace, golf course, catering kitchen, community entertainment area, and walking trails.
What are your upcoming projects within the community?
Often, prospective buyers make a decision based solely on the existing facilities. But if you ask about the future additions the community plans to have or already has in the works, you will be better informed. For example, a new construction, although small-sized, may still be planning a central hub for the occupants to socialize and have fun. If you like to interact with people regularly, this cozy setting may be perfect for you.
Finding the best active adult communities for your family
No matter how many times you speak to the management over the phone, it is crucial to visit the location and check for yourself. Watching the current homeowners in a particular community will give a clear sense of their lifestyle. Explore the facilities like the fitness center and pickleball court, or the proximity to outside entertainment spots like the golf country club, library, or movie theater.
Ladera builds lifestyle-rich custom homes for 55-plus individuals that want to retire in a peaceful and independent living setting. When you visit Ladera’s active adult communities in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, ask your tour guide the above questions. The management teams at our retirement villages will be happy to answer all your queries.