Article: "Walkable Retirement Communities are Hitting Their Stride"

@PeppermintPatty there are so many types of 55+ communities as this is a large retirement area. Unless owned by one company, they’re all different. When we were looking, we thought we’d like townhouses. None were available so we got a small, brand new house on a postage size lot. We really have no problems ignoring anyone who is close to us. People are nice, though we don’t socialize with them.

Hindsight, I can see the advantage of a townhouse. Even a condo would be good as long as I had a huge patio. It would be two fewer exterior walls to maintain and the company looks after the roofs and gutters. Little things that were no big deal years ago, aren’t so easy now.

Honestly, the more rules and as long as they’re enforced, suits me fine. All exterior facing window covers are white/beige or dark. Our yards are totally maintained for us. Being judgmental, I’m not impressed by tacky (imo) decorations or uncared for exteriors. Garbage cans are kept inside the garage, etc. The rules are clear. If someone isn’t interested in these, there’re lots of other places to live.

Read all the rules and strata meeting discussions. These tell you things the realtor would never say.
 

@PeppermintPatty there are so many types of 55+ communities as this is a large retirement area. Unless owned by one company, they’re all different. When we were looking, we thought we’d like townhouses. None were available so we got a small, brand new house on a postage size lot. We really have no problems ignoring anyone who is close to us. People are nice, though we don’t socialize with them.

Hindsight, I can see the advantage of a townhouse. Even a condo would be good as long as I had a huge patio. It would be two fewer exterior walls to maintain and the company looks after the roofs and gutters. Little things that were no big deal years ago, aren’t so easy now.

Honestly, the more rules and as long as they’re enforced, suits me fine. All exterior facing window covers are white/beige or dark. Our yards are totally maintained for us. Being judgmental, I’m not impressed by tacky (imo) decorations or uncared for exteriors. Garbage cans are kept inside the garage, etc. The rules are clear. If someone isn’t interested in these, there’re lots of other places to live.

Read all the rules and strata meeting discussions. These tell you things the realtor would never say.
Actually there are 4 large communities all owned by the same company. With these 4 communities there are mobile type homes, semi detached homes and 9 choices of detached house styles to choose from and a variety of different sizes lots. Most of the lots are fairly close together but there ARE a few extra large lots, which are probably more money but something we’d be most interested in. We also will choose one of the bungalows styles which will only be about 1250 square feet with a 13’ x 22’ foot garage and a covered front and back deck.

We have no plans on socializing with our neighbours as that just complicates things. We will be civil & friendly but keep our distance which I suppose is what you are doing.

At first I was worried that we couldn’t have a fence since I didn’t see many but then I saw a few people with them. We’d want a fence just to protect our dogs. I think they can only be chain linked but we will put cedar trees in front if we can.

It’s going to be a huge change for us considering we now have a huge house , large detached garage and 25 acres but it’s too much for us to look after. Im also 5 years older than my husband which is something to consider.

I also am a fan of rules. No loud parties after a certain time, no tacky decorations, no extra cars being worked on for years sitting around or garbage cans suites me just fine also. I’m happy about that part.

Here we have the option to look after own own lawn or have it looked after for us for a reasonable rate. For now we can manage the lawns and gutters while we save to have them cared for later.

There’s a golf course, ski hill, tennis courts, walking trails and all kinds of restaurants and cafes. The only thing above we’d be interested in are the walking paths. We both enjoy walking a lot and so do our dogs of course. Another thing I really like is a community garden. Everyone gets a section they can use for growing vegetables. There’s also a farmers market close by as well as apple orchards, blueberry bushes and wine orchards.

Others have also suggested to read everything and ask a lot of questions.

I like the fact that everything is close by including a hospital. Our closest hospital is about 45 minutes away and is often closed.The next closest one is almost 2 hours away.

This really isn’t my type of lifestyle at all but safety and security have become a major issue for me. I never thought there was such a thing as too much privacy but I was wrong.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your viewpoints on this topic. 😊
 
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I can walk to three parks, a good coffee house, my bank branch, a drugstore, about 6 restaurants, and my dentist. All are with a mile. A large big box supermarket is about 1.5 miles from me on a very busy street.
 
Seems like it has almost everything you‘re looking for as you plan ahead, @PeppermintPatty
It doesn’t. We went to visit this community and it’s a huge scam. There are 4 communities. One is all 55 and over only that has community gardening, theatres, a community social club , golf course, tennis course and skiing all close by as well as trails.

Advertisement: This is a safe and vibrant retirement community perfect for semi-retired or retired empty nesters.

We have a variety of home options, including semi-detached and detached one-level living homes from our varied selection.

  • Pet-friendly
  • Walking trails
  • Community gardens
  • Community social club
  • Underground electrical
  • Municipal sewer and water service

  • When we visit we noticed how close the houses are and asked about prices. We were given a price then got in our car to follow this sales woman to another community that had a row of senior houses in a community with estate houses. The woman had sandals on so we had to show ourselves the lots. She didn’t know where the road ended , where the lot stakes were or how big the lots even were but did say they were $20,000 less since there was no underground electricity.

We were interested in the end lot and when we went there the next day to inquire about it more, the prices had gone up by $25,000. She flat out lied about the quotes she gave us and had her side kick print out a new price list.

Oddly enough the lot in front of the lot we inquired about was an estate lot and some kids from behind this lot came out driving their ATV’s right past us. There was no community club, no community garden or any of the things the senior community offered.
This was just another subdivision with one level houses sold as senior housing so they could jack the price up a couple of hundred thousand dollars.

It was really very disappointing and my husband hated the entire idea. In the end we at least learned that this isn’t something we really want.
 
It doesn’t. We went to visit this community and it’s a huge scam. There are 4 communities. One is all 55 and over only that has community gardening, theatres, a community social club , golf course, tennis course and skiing all close by as well as trails.

Advertisement: This is a safe and vibrant retirement community perfect for semi-retired or retired empty nesters.

We have a variety of home options, including semi-detached and detached one-level living homes from our varied selection.

  • Pet-friendly
  • Walking trails
  • Community gardens
  • Community social club
  • Underground electrical
  • Municipal sewer and water service

  • When we visit we noticed how close the houses are and asked about prices. We were given a price then got in our car to follow this sales woman to another community that had a row of senior houses in a community with estate houses. The woman had sandals on so we had to show ourselves the lots. She didn’t know where the road ended , where the lot stakes were or how big the lots even were but did say they were $20,000 less since there was no underground electricity.

We were interested in the end lot and when we went there the next day to inquire about it more, the prices had gone up by $25,000. She flat out lied about the quotes she gave us and had her side kick print out a new price list.

Oddly enough the lot in front of the lot we inquired about was an estate lot and some kids from behind this lot came out driving their ATV’s right past us. There was no community club, no community garden or any of the things the senior community offered.
This was just another subdivision with one level houses sold as senior housing so they could jack the price up a couple of hundred thousand dollars.

It was really very disappointing and my husband hated the entire idea. In the end we at least learned that this isn’t something we really want.
Unfortunately, this is what I hear too much of the time about 55+ communities in this neck of the woods: not at all what they're supposed to be.
 
Unfortunately, this is what I hear too much of the time about 55+ communities in this neck of the woods: not at all what they're supposed to be.
It obviously started as a good thing but like all good things, there are always those who take advantage. These people wanted $595,000 for a 1200 square foot one floor house on a postage stamp lot. That’s outrageous. It should cost 1/2 that and adding a row of one floor houses to a regular community doesn’t automatically make it a senior community.
 
It obviously started as a good thing but like all good things, there are always those who take advantage. These people wanted $595,000 for a 1200 square foot one floor house on a postage stamp lot. That’s outrageous. It should cost 1/2 that and adding a row of one floor houses to a regular community doesn’t automatically make it a senior community.
So true and frustrating, especially if you're in the situation I'm in, where I finally, finally, finally got my huzz to agree to downsizing (maybe! Depends on the mood he's in) and then you go look at places like that and he's not wanting any part of it. You're right, it is so outrageous, highway robbery.
 
So true and frustrating, especially if you're in the situation I'm in, where I finally, finally, finally got my huzz to agree to downsizing (maybe! Depends on the mood he's in) and then you go look at places like that and he's not wanting any part of it. You're right, it is so outrageous, highway robbery.
Hey Ripley. The good news is that at least your husband is considering it. It’s one step closer. Another consideration is purchasing a condominium with extra security, indoor pool and exercise room etc. There are a lot of nice options out there.
 
Hey Ripley. The good news is that at least your husband is considering it. It’s one step closer. Another consideration is purchasing a condominium with extra security, indoor pool and exercise room etc. There are a lot of nice options out there.
Thanks, Patty, but actually, what we looked at yesterday that he hated was a condo with a pool (not indoor, tho, that'd be too fancy for around here) and clubhouse; it's a really lovely complex but not to him so it seemed especially high-priced and with monthly HOA fees way too high to him for what you get. There are 2 other condo complexes near there so maybe if something comes up for sale there, he might look at it. (There's about 3 other condo complexes in my favorite neighborhood in town but last time I mentioned it, he said, "Stop bringing up that stupid neighborhood; I despise it!" So oooookay then; that limits things.)

And I might've already mentioned, the nearest official 55+ community to us is 2 hours away which would put us even farther away from family than we are now. (I'm so afraid we're gonna die here in this place.)
 
Thanks, Patty, but actually, what we looked at yesterday that he hated was a condo with a pool (not indoor, tho, that'd be too fancy for around here) and clubhouse; it's a really lovely complex but not to him so it seemed especially high-priced and with monthly HOA fees way too high to him for what you get. There are 2 other condo complexes near there so maybe if something comes up for sale there, he might look at it. (There's about 3 other condo complexes in my favorite neighborhood in town but last time I mentioned it, he said, "Stop bringing up that stupid neighborhood; I despise it!" So oooookay then; that limits things.)

And I might've already mentioned, the nearest official 55+ community to us is 2 hours away which would put us even farther away from family than we are now. (I'm so afraid we're gonna die here in this place.)
They are ridiculously over priced BUT I’d rather invest in either a house or a condominium. This isn’t really my idea of my ideal retirement either but things in my life have changed drastically. I’ve even been considering retirement suites where they do all your cooking and cleaning but it’s pricey and it’s only available on a monthly rental bases.

It’s a tough decision knowing what to do.
We made a big mistake moving here. We should have been downsizing but we upsized instead. The house and property are much too big.

Plus right now my in-laws have to move. The mother in law broke her upper thigh and is immobile right now. Their house doesn’t work for them since they have no ramp. They are probably going to be considering a nursing home soon. This is what got us thinking about a one floor home. Even a broken leg can be very dangerous with stairs.

This getting old stuff is for the birds. 🙄😬
 
The Fitbit Watch says between 10,000 and 14,000 a day. thas my Quota, some shopping some just walking out to the Golf Cart,, back and forth stuff and of course looking for lost ball counts up for most of it. Haha..... Sort of hot this summer, hope next is more livable. Lots of ice needed this year.

Yes falls are bad, we have a near 3000 sq foot ranch type home with Lofted ceilings throughout and well filtered air moving around in it. 76 F. inside for comfort. high 90's out there and thas sux. haha Hope all have well filtered air inside their home, is a great asset.
 
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I’ve even been considering retirement suites where they do all your cooking and cleaning but it’s pricey and it’s only available on a monthly rental bases.
There actually are a few of those retirement suites with them doing your cooking and cleaning that you can buy into but the nearest to us is 2 states away.
This getting old stuff is for the birds. 🙄😬
So true, sigh.
 
There actually are a few of those retirement suites with them doing your cooking and cleaning that you can buy into but the nearest to us is 2 states away.

So true, sigh.
There’s probably some around here if I looked around more. I think I’d rather go in stages though and keep downsizing each time. The retirement homes, not nursing homes aren’t too badly priced for couples but we are too young to be looking into those.

It’s a tough transition. We have time to consider all of this even if it means moving across the country again, we will do it.

I wish you the best also Ripley.
Keep in touch.
 
It doesn’t. We went to visit this community and it’s a huge scam. There are 4 communities. One is all 55 and over only that has community gardening, theatres, a community social club , golf course, tennis course and skiing all close by as well as trails.

Advertisement: This is a safe and vibrant retirement community perfect for semi-retired or retired empty nesters.

We have a variety of home options, including semi-detached and detached one-level living homes from our varied selection.

  • Pet-friendly
  • Walking trails
  • Community gardens
  • Community social club
  • Underground electrical
  • Municipal sewer and water service

  • When we visit we noticed how close the houses are and asked about prices. We were given a price then got in our car to follow this sales woman to another community that had a row of senior houses in a community with estate houses. The woman had sandals on so we had to show ourselves the lots. She didn’t know where the road ended , where the lot stakes were or how big the lots even were but did say they were $20,000 less since there was no underground electricity.

We were interested in the end lot and when we went there the next day to inquire about it more, the prices had gone up by $25,000. She flat out lied about the quotes she gave us and had her side kick print out a new price list.

Oddly enough the lot in front of the lot we inquired about was an estate lot and some kids from behind this lot came out driving their ATV’s right past us. There was no community club, no community garden or any of the things the senior community offered.
This was just another subdivision with one level houses sold as senior housing so they could jack the price up a couple of hundred thousand dollars.

It was really very disappointing and my husband hated the entire idea. In the end we at least learned that this isn’t something we really want.
Patty. Where was this place located ? In Canada, and if so, what Province was it located in ? OR was it in the USA ? Your post didn't really make it clear where this place was located ? JImB.
 
We looked in South Carolina, Georgia and North Florida for an end Condo, none. Plenty of middle Condo's. No parking and neighbors on both sides gonna happen. Passed on Condo's after seeing storm damage to some. Purchased a 3000 sq ft. Ranch style home then. Plenty of walking here. Park right across the street with 100 mile bike paths.
 
We looked in South Carolina, Georgia and North Florida for an end Condo, none. Plenty of middle Condo's. No parking and neighbors on both sides gonna happen. Passed on Condo's after seeing storm damage to some. Purchased a 3000 sq ft. Ranch style home then. Plenty of walking here. Park right across the street with 100 mile bike paths.
What are "end" and "middle condos"?
 
What are "end" and "middle condos"?
I think he’s probably talking about a row of townhomes that are all attached together. The end condos would only have a neighbour on one side whereas the middle condos would have a neighbour on both sides.

All the senior homes we saw were all detached.

Anyway I’ve figured out some more options which are actually BETTER! When one door closes, another one opens !!! Yes indeed.
 
I checked out all different options for community senior living and found this awesome place that sound just perfect. It has a heated pool and everything.

There are places you can purchase and there are places you can rent. If you rent, the company that runs this wants to know who your POA is.

It turned me right off. I can’t believe they ask.
What do others think? Is that odd or am I just being paranoid?
 


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