How Do I Find an Active Adult Retirement Community?

Q&A with a Reader

I am interested in retirement simple living in a small manufactured home or park model in an active retirement community.

How can I find the right community?

It should be affordable.

The climate should not be extremely cold or extremely hot all year.

It should be in the U.S., particularly in Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Arizona or New Mexico.

Thank you,

Donna

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Hi Donna,

Thank you for taking the time to write.

I have some links here that you can research to get lots of information on active adult communities. There are many of them around, especially in the sunbelt of the US.

If you Google Active Adult Communities you will get pages of listings. For narrowing down your results, just put in a state and many will show up for that location. Then you can communicate with those communities directly, getting more pertinent information for your needs.

On our Housing Page there are several listings for active adult communities, including Top Retirements which offers a directory of active adult communities for the nation and for the states you listed in your email.

The more you know about what you want, what is important to you (climate, international airport, restaurants, activities), how much you want to pay for the manufactured home, if you want to own the land underneath the home or lease the land, and whether or not you want a small, medium or large community, the easier it is to find your “perfect place.”

We recommend that before you purchase a home in one of these locations, that you go to visit in person and stay a season or two. There is no rush. You need to know if you like your neighbors, the community itself, and if it is close by the things that are important to you such as grocery stores, movie houses, an airport or anything else that might be on your list. If you can, purchase from a previous owner and you will save some money. The best time to look for houses for sale is just before the annual lifestyle fees or rent is due. For many personal reasons (illness, a death in the family, becoming elderly, not being able to afford two homes anymore, etc.) people might choose to not renew their lease and their home goes up for sale.

Another important decision to make is whether or not you want to own the property on which the home sits or if you will be comfortable owning the home and leasing the property. The difference in these two options are thousands and thousands of dollars – not just at the time of purchase, but also in the cost of annual home insurance. Find out what your maintenance responsibilities are. If you own the land, chances are that the maintenance requirements are higher. If you lease the land, often the community has a budget which pays for tree trimming, watering and so on.

Take your time. It’s exciting to be looking for a community where you might fit in and have a good time for years to come.

Good luck. I hope you find this information to be useful to you.

All the best,

Akaisha

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About Retire Early Lifestyle

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired two decades ago at the age of 38 and began traveling the world. As recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel, they have been interviewed about retirement issues by The Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, The Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement newsletter, nationally syndicated radio talk shows and countless newspapers and TV shows nationally and worldwide. They wrote the popular books The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.
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