If you’re an older individual, you might have decided your large home – a place where you’ve raised your children or cared for aging parents – now has too much space. Many older adults have come to this conclusion and have decided to downsize.
Rather than opt for a single-floor ranch house or a condo, consider active adult communities, designed for those 55 years of age and older. These communities tend to have single-family, detached homes ranging from 1,500 to 2,000 square feet located on a quarter-acre or smaller lot. Inside, homes often include two full bathrooms and three bedrooms.
Active adult communities may further encompass condominiums, townhouses or custom-built homes. Beyond the structure, what’s unique about these developments?
No matter how the community is configured, it’s typically based around single-floor living. As such, your property usually features laundry facilities and the master bedroom on the ground floor. To get inside, you don’t have to climb as many steps.
The interior, possibly with an open floor plan, may have features ideal for people living with age-related conditions. Particularly, your home may have rocker or toggle light switches, lever handles, seats in the shower and wider doorways. Plus, the smaller lot may be arranged in such a way to minimize yard maintenance or, as most of the grounds are considered a common area, the community’s managers maintain them for a fee.
Contrary to common assumptions, active adult communities are not retirement communities or nursing homes. Rather, many residents continue to work full- or part-time jobs. Additionally, families may be allowed to live there. If you still have children living with you or take care of your grandchildren, they aren’t barred from also calling the community “home.” In this setting, most households have one adult who’s at least 55 years of age.
On the other hand, age-restricted communities appear similar in design and concept but have these rules in place. Per HUD’s Fair Housing Act, 80 percent of occupied units must go to someone 55 years of age or older. As well, anyone under 19 years old cannot live in the community as a permanent resident.
Whether you live in an active-adult or age-restricted community, you may be expected to pay additional fees for:
- Garbage collection
- Maintenance of grounds and shared facilities
- Cable TV and internet services
- Any shuttle services offered off grounds
The “active” element also plays a key part in the community’s character:
- Activities – including physical, cultural and social – are regularly held in the community’s common areas.
- The type of activities offered varies. Some may be more physical, with recreation facilities located on the community’s grounds. Others may be communal, including anything from scrapbooking and ceramics to bridge and movie nights.
- Communities may offer continuing education classes, either in their common facilities or in partnership with nearby universities. Classes may range from bird-watching to history and language learning.
If you’re looking for an active-adult community in Connecticut, consider By Carrier’s Castle Heights. To learn more about our properties, community and services, give us a call today.