Article: "Walkable Retirement Communities are Hitting Their Stride"

Is that just a NYC idea. We purposely chose a location in easy to reasonable walking distance for stores and activities. I have a nice car. I prefer to walk.
When I lived in NYC, I used to walk from Battery Park up to Central park several times a week. So much more to see, especially in the shops.
 

That's true @PeppermintPatty . I used to despise that my neighbors were so close. I wanted the space and privacy. But now I see it as an advantage. Most of us have been here while our kids grew up and left home so now this section of the neighborhood is like a senior community.
Stores aren't walkable but Wal-Mart is two and a half miles down the road.
 
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Whoa! The highest HOA fee for the fanciest-schmanciest condos here is about $500/month. Guess I'll stop complaining about the prices around here.
Here you couldn’t rent a house like this for under 2,000 a month but these aren’t rental. They are for sale only. Senior apartment rentals are very expensive here in Canada.
In fact, living accommodation whether that’s apartment buildings, townhomes or detached housing is a lot more expensive here in Canada and I have no idea why.
 

Here you couldn’t rent a house like this for under 2,000 a month but these aren’t rental. They are for sale only. Senior apartment rentals are very expensive here in Canada.
In fact, living accommodation whether that’s apartment buildings, townhomes or detached housing is a lot more expensive here in Canada and I have no idea why.
You wonder why it costs more to live in Canada ? Pressure from the HALF a million new immigrants that Justin is allowing in EACH YEAR. Competition creates a low supply. Brampton is a perfect example of houses that have 3 or 4 generations of immigrants living in them A 3 bedroom house with 15 people ( adults and kids ) living in it.

Even small towns in Ontario like Smith's Falls, or Timmins have almost zero rental vacancies. Just this morning my Wife pointed out a house for sale in Wilmott Township , north west of the KW area, for just under a million dollars. I looked at it, and to be honest, it wasn't much to look at.

My Wife's younger son Mike (age 48 ) says his cohort are resigned to never owning a house in the GTA. Most of them are sharing a 3 bedroom apartment with 3 or 4 others, and paying at least a thousand a month in rent, each. These are mid 30's professionals, many with a University degree and years of working experience in their fields.

Canada cannot sustain this level of Immigration. We simply do not have the housing stocks to be able to house the masses arriving each month. JImB.
 
You wonder why it costs more to live in Canada ? Pressure from the HALF a million new immigrants that Justin is allowing in EACH YEAR. Competition creates a low supply. Brampton is a perfect example of houses that have 3 or 4 generations of immigrants living in them A 3 bedroom house with 15 people ( adults and kids ) living in it.

Even small towns in Ontario like Smith's Falls, or Timmins have almost zero rental vacancies. Just this morning my Wife pointed out a house for sale in Wilmott Township , north west of the KW area, for just under a million dollars. I looked at it, and to be honest, it wasn't much to look at.

My Wife's younger son Mike (age 48 ) says his cohort are resigned to never owning a house in the GTA. Most of them are sharing a 3 bedroom apartment with 3 or 4 others, and paying at least a thousand a month in rent, each. These are mid 30's professionals, many with a University degree and years of working experience in their fields.

Canada cannot sustain this level of Immigration. We simply do not have the housing stocks to be able to house the masses arriving each month. JImB.
Supporting and offering more to imigrants than our own citizens has ALWAYS been a problem anywhere that’s attractive which includes the US and UK. Other countries I know little about.

I can remember only once in my lifetime seeking government assistance for a month or two due to circumstances or mistakes I made and getting it was a nightmare. Oddly enough new immigrants have much more opportunity in our country which I never could understand.

The United States have the exact same problem though and their housing isn’t nearly as high as ours. Certain areas in Canada definitely cost more though. Quite often it has to do with employment opportunities. Lack of employment makes paying for housing impossible which is why many move to other provinces.

Building supplies have all increased since the pandemic. Some of it is legit but much of it is BS. It is being used as an excuse to increase the price.

It’s sad that very educated kids can’t afford to live on their own. Many have opted to live in their parents basement.

Another reason is bank interest rates.

House prices rise in Canada as interest rates remain high | Canada Immigration News
 
I wanted to make a few points regarding the 55 plus communities. I live in Central Florida. These communities are numerous. Each a little bit different than the other depending on your taste and priorities.
Our community offers 3 types of homes: small like 1400 sq. Feet, medium 1600 to 1900 sq. Feet and large up to 3500 sq. Feet. They all are one story home that could be custom built to your likes. Our maintenance fee is rather low for the services provided (sports, pool, social hall, travel and excursion director, high speed internet, mowing/edging of each residence plus common grounds)
This type of community offers you a great break on your property taxes as well.
The value of the houses remains really high and sales right now typically take about 30 days days or less. (One year ago it sold as soon as it hit the market.)
I would disagree with the realtor cited above however, you have to look at your location to make that judgment. Here, this type of community is in high demand, perhaps not so much in other states or countries.
 
I wanted to make a few points regarding the 55 plus communities. I live in Central Florida. These communities are numerous. Each a little bit different than the other depending on your taste and priorities.
Our community offers 3 types of homes: small like 1400 sq. Feet, medium 1600 to 1900 sq. Feet and large up to 3500 sq. Feet. They all are one story home that could be custom built to your likes. Our maintenance fee is rather low for the services provided (sports, pool, social hall, travel and excursion director, high speed internet, mowing/edging of each residence plus common grounds)
This type of community offers you a great break on your property taxes as well.
The value of the houses remains really high and sales right now typically take about 30 days days or less. (One year ago it sold as soon as it hit the market.)
I would disagree with the realtor cited above however, you have to look at your location to make that judgment. Here, this type of community is in high demand, perhaps not so much in other states or countries.
Hi Rossana,
How much space is between houses?
If they are close, do you still get a sense of privacy?
Do you hear your neighbours ?
Is there a sense of community watch? In other words, do you all watch out for each other?
Do you feel safer with so many others area you?
Do you keep to yourself or have you made friends?
Is there a large variety of walking trails to choose from?
If you chose a house with some privacy but later got built around, is it easy to move to another house within the community?
House values staying high and the fact that they are always in demand is reassuring.
I like the fact that everything is within reasonable distance.

Sorry for all the questions. Please don’t feel obligated to answer them. I’m just trying to get honest feedback from someone who lives in one.
 
@PeppermintPatty,
The community is now all built out. They had different size lots available as well as different locations (facing the woods, near the social hall, facing the water, etc)

It does feel like living in a single family home. We do have strict rules regarding the architecture and landscaping. We are a gated community and we also have a neighborhood watch. It is safe and I feel very safe living here.

The community is very quiet. No, I do not hear them. Neighbors are very friendly. We help each other out and watch for each other, but at the same time we respect each other's privacy and independence. It is a good balance. There are a lot of sports, activities and clubs, if you choose to participate. I have been living here 10 years already. We moved twice within the community. The first house we bought was new but a little too small, so we decided to have a larger one built to our specification. The construction is very good quality (which is not always the case in Florida!)

You would be surprised but people, even in an advanced age, move a lot around here!

If you consider this type of community, I would recommend that you look at all the documents and the financials. Look at the different forums as well. Most of them have their own forum or chat on nextdoor.com. It will give you a good idea of the community.

My only complaint here is the growth surrounding us . They are building a lot and traffic is becoming a serious problem but everything is near by which helps.

If you are considering Florida, make sure you can obtain property insurance. It is getting difficult to find and the premiums are presently very high.

We have been in Florida for a very long time and lived in different parts of the state, so feel free to ask any question you might have. I hope this answer some of them.
 
If you are interested in these type of properties, you might like to get in touch with a realtor that specializes in 55 plus communities. A good place to look is at 55places.com
I'd love to but even if we could afford it, no way would my husband ever; he thinks those kind of places sound awful. Oh, well, would've been nice.
 
@Rossana

They have different lots and about 7 different models of houses to choose from including getting a custom made one.

The houses are very expensive for what you get but people aren’t just paying for a house, they are paying for all the trails and activities that come with being part of the community.

I’m not considering traveling to Florida and purchasing anything in the US. We live in Canada and there are many senior communities here. The place we are looking, there are 4 senior communities , all fairly close by and all completely different.

There are strict rules about what you can and can’t do with your land. For instance, you can build a shed but it has to match your house completely.
I think these are gated communities also. Is a gated community something that needs some type of card to get in or is guarded with a security guard?

That’s great that you don’t actually hear your neighbours and that they are friendly but respect your privacy.
How long did it take for then to build your 2nd home and did you lose any money off your first?

The house construction is very good. Top builders are used as well as top quality products.

Are you saying that if I join next door.com , I can look up about these senior communities and find out more from others who live there? That would be great.

I’ve visited Florida in 1990. It’s a beautiful state. My parents owned a Condo down there and were snowbirds. They went down 6 months of the year for 30 years. They travelled a lot.

Anyway, thanks for answering all those questions. That was quite the request and is greatly appreciated.
 
There’s no way I would ever live in anything like this but for safety and security reasons, I’ve reconsidered.
I'd love to live in a place like this; living in a place I'd like so much seems so unreal, I have to stop myself from daydreaming about it; daydreams that have no chance of coming true are a heartbreaking waste of time.
 
You are paying extra for the preferred community.
We were only willing to buy in a 55+ community when we retired. As much as many hate HOAs, we wanted to live in a community with rules. We’d had enough of living in a hodgepodge of neighbours. Yes, we paid more for a very small lot with a very small house. People are friendly but respect others’ privacy. Our one requirement was to be in a couple of kilometres walk to downtown/shopping/recreation.

Patty, I can’t remember how big your pets are. There’s often a rule about small pets only.
 
@PeppermintPatty
Some communities have a guard others not. Ours does not. We used to have a clicker to activate the gates, now we have a sticker placed on the windshield of our cars. We also received an individual special code to enter. Visitors or vendors will call you from the gate to enter the property. UPS, Fed Ex, and Amazon have their proper codes.
HOAs are very strict. The documents are long to read. We are not allowed to have sheds nor fences. A lot of projects around the house necessite the approval of the architecture committee. (It can be quite annoying at times, but it protects the general look of the community too.)
Our home took 7 months to be built. It was in 2016, there was quite a lot of contruction going on. We made some changes in the plan, that took a little longer to be processed.
 
We were only willing to buy in a 55+ community when we retired. As much as many hate HOAs, we wanted to live in a community with rules. We’d had enough of living in a hodgepodge of neighbours. Yes, we paid more for a very small lot with a very small house. People are friendly but respect others’ privacy. Our one requirement was to be in a couple of kilometres walk to downtown/shopping/recreation.

Patty, I can’t remember how big your pets are. There’s often a rule about small pets only.
Well that’s interesting.
Do you like it?
Do you feel safe where you are?
Do you like your neighbours?
Is there anything you don’t like or would change if you could?
Did you purchase a house already built or did you have one built for you?
How long did it take for you to get it?
Do you use the walking trails?
Is there anything you miss living there?

We have two small dogs.
We had German shepherds a long time ago but not any more.

Thanks Jules.
 
@PeppermintPatty
Some communities have a guard others not. Ours does not. We used to have a clicker to activate the gates, now we have a sticker placed on the windshield of our cars. We also received an individual special code to enter. Visitors or vendors will call you from the gate to enter the property. UPS, Fed Ex, and Amazon have their proper codes.
HOAs are very strict. The documents are long to read. We are not allowed to have sheds nor fences. A lot of projects around the house necessite the approval of the architecture committee. (It can be quite annoying at times, but it protects the general look of the community too.)
Our home took 7 months to be built. It was in 2016, there was quite a lot of contruction going on. We made some changes in the plan, that took a little longer to be processed.
Thanks Rossana
You aren’t allowed to have sheds or a fence?
How do those with dogs keep them safe?
We are allowed to have sheds. They just have to match the house so have to be approved first?

A 7 month wait isn’t too bad.
Do you have a back deck or front deck?
Do you have houses in front of you it behind you or do you have a meadow or forest near uou?
Do you ever feel boxed in?
 
No fence and no shed. We have a great amount of dogs living among us. We had 2 aging mini dachshunds when we moved here. We took them for long walks on a leash. People are very good and considerate about picking up after their dogs. We help each other with the animals if someone is sick or unable to care for them. There is also a large public park with a doggie park across from the main entrance. We can circulate in golf carts around the community and dogs love that too!
We have 2 lanais (porches). One in front quite large, the other in the back much larger, then an open porch next to that one. The 2 lanais are screened in. We have 2 cats now and they enjoy going out there a lot. We placed a doggie door on the french door, so they can easily access the back lanai.
In the first house we had woods behind us. Here, we decided on planting tall vegetation, no house behind us. We definitely did not want to be on the water (as we did when we lived in Tampa) because of the wildlife. (Huge alligators)
I have houses in the front but the distance is good between us and we all have quite a lush landscape, so this is not a problem.
I do not feel boxed in here but do in other communities that I visited.
 
Ah but it IS.

https://woodlandsofdewitt.com/

The 10 Largest Active Adult Communities in America
https://www.55places.com/blog/the-10-largest-active-adult-communities-in-america

The not-for-profit senior living organization National Senior Campuses reported nearly 22,000 senior living units across the United States in 2021.Mar 22, 2023

The 10 Best 55+ Communities in the United States [2023] | RetireBetterNow.com

https://www.retirebetternow.com/blog/best-55-communities-in-the-united-states/

Retirement Communities in the U.S. by areas

https://www.bestguide-retirementcommunities.com/

Retirement Communities in the US - Number of Businesses | IBISWorld

https://www.ibisworld.com/industry-...inesses/retirement-communities-united-states/

There are all kinds of successful senior retirement communities in the US. If we have it, of course they’ll have it.

There’s probably less expensive ones if you look around.
I just looked it up and the nearest 55+ community (expensive or not) to us is at least 2 hours away, which would put us even further away from what little family we've got left. That's one of the problems of living out in the middle of nowhere when you're old.
 
I just looked it up and the nearest 55+ community (expensive or not) to us is at least 2 hours away, which would put us even further away from what little family we've got left. That's one of the problems of living out in the middle of nowhere when you're old.
Well if your husband is never going to go for it, you are just teasing yourself but here’s some more to tease yourself with. 😂
I’m not sure where you live , nor am I asking but maybe there are places closer.

https://rlcommunities.com/communities/florida/pebble-springs-retirement/?msclkid=304d5ed8e2f11cff81973a043fd4a5d8&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=PBS: Comp&utm_term=community homes&utm_content=Competitor

https://www.thevillages.com/

https://www.55places.com/florida

https://smartasset.com/retirement/retirement-communities-in-florida

https://www.realestatewitch.com/best-retirement-communities-florida/

https://www.floridaforboomers.com/25-most-popular-retirement-cities/

Here are 18 - mobile home retirement communities more in your price range
Ripley
https://sunlightliving.com/mobile-home-retirement-communities-in-florida/


https://www.55places.com/blog/most-affordable-retirement-communities-florida
 
No fence and no shed. We have a great amount of dogs living among us. We had 2 aging mini dachshunds when we moved here. We took them for long walks on a leash. People are very good and considerate about picking up after their dogs. We help each other with the animals if someone is sick or unable to care for them. There is also a large public park with a doggie park across from the main entrance. We can circulate in golf carts around the community and dogs love that too!
We have 2 lanais (porches). One in front quite large, the other in the back much larger, then an open porch next to that one. The 2 lanais are screened in. We have 2 cats now and they enjoy going out there a lot. We placed a doggie door on the french door, so they can easily access the back lanai.
In the first house we had woods behind us. Here, we decided on planting tall vegetation, no house behind us. We definitely did not want to be on the water (as we did when we lived in Tampa) because of the wildlife. (Huge alligators)
I have houses in the front but the distance is good between us and we all have quite a lush landscape, so this is not a problem.
I do not feel boxed in here but do in other communities that I visited.
Your place sounds ideal. That’s really nice how you care for your pets. I like people who take real good care of their kids and their pets. It says a lot about them.

The doggie door for your cats to go out into the covered porch areas is so cute.
Alligators? That’s one thing I wouldn’t like about Florida. I forgot about those things.
I would be so scared for our dogs I probably wouldn’t let them out alone. Lol.

That’s great that you have nobody behind you. I’m hoping we can get an end lot or a lot backing onto a meadow or a forest. That would be wonderful, especially considering the last two properties we’ve had plenty of forested property to wander on.

A lush landscape of vegetation offers the nicest type of privacy.

Your senior living home sounds wonderful Rossana. Thank you for sharing what you have with me. It’s inspiring information.
 
I like where I live, it has much to offer. BUT it isn't senior friendly in the sense that I live on a narrow two lane hilly road that lacks sidewalks and street lights. So taking a walk can be hazardous to one's health. However, there is a lovely park a few miles away so I drive there and bring my dog with me so we can have some exercise.
 


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