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Homebuying Trends — 55+ Communities

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As more baby boomers retire, the trends — including location, home designs, and amenities of 55+ communities — are changing to suit their needs. What was popular in the active adult community of a decade ago isn't necessarily what new retirees are looking for now. Read on to discover what's new in modern 55 and over communities.  

Location

Although many homebuyers relocate just a few miles away from where they're currently living, that's not the case for all retirees. In 2020, 313,000 people 65 and older relocated out of state. The number one reason was to be near family — kids and grandkids.

In addition to being closer to family, they were also looking to live in an area with a lower cost of living. Florida, Texas, and Tennessee were top destinations because there is no state income tax, and these states offer an affordable cost of living. Besides being close to family and living in a reasonable location, retirees looked for areas with plenty to do, including local attractions, parks, entertainment, shopping, and dining.

Dining

Besides having dinner at the country club, boomers love the convenience of ordering in using delivery companies like Door Dash and UberEATS. No longer is it an issue to cook for one or two, instead just like the younger millennials and generation X — convenience wins out every time.

Ordering in has become especially popular lately since some communities are finding it challenging to hire in-house chefs. And when looking for a new home to spend their retirement years, older homebuyers wanted convenient shopping and a variety of dining options from casual to five-star. Going out with friends for a wine-and-dine is a popular pastime, so convenience and variety were essential.

Customization

Although some of the largest 55+ communities like The Villages have various floorplans and home styles, some of the newest retiring boomers prefer to live in smaller communities compared to mega ones. In addition, they want more home customization. Outdoor spaces are a top request, including complete outdoor kitchens, covered decks, and swimming pools.

Technology and energy efficiency are also popular options — from whole house security to voice-activated lighting, thermostats, and solar. 

Wellness Lifestyle

Instead of focusing on medical care, many active 55+ retirees have their attention on wellness. That focus extends into community gardens, eating organic fruits and vegetables, and having enjoyable exercise activities like yoga and Pilates available.

Also, spending time outside and experiencing nature is essential. That's why many 55+ communities are near beach towns in Florida, California, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Top Communities

If you're looking for large, established, tight-knit 55+ communities with incredible amenities, check out these four. They offer mid-priced and luxury homes.

  • The Villages in Florida has 54,186 homes, according to the US Census Bureau.
  • Sun City in Sun City, Arizona, has over 27,000 homes.
  • Sun City West in Sun City, Arizona, has over 17,000 homes.
  • Laguna Woods Village in Laguna Woods, California, has 12,736 homes.

Top States & Cities Retirees Love

55+ communities are popping up all over the country. Check out these five fast-growing towns retirees are moving to and their median home list price as of June 2021.

Fast-Growing Retirement Towns

  • Lakeland, FL: Median home list price is $265,000
  • Traverse City, MI: Median home list price is $329,900
  • Springfield, MA: Median home list price is $300,050
  • Coeur d'Alene, ID: Median home list price is $500,000
  • Wilmington, NC: Median home list price is $580,000

Top Retirement Towns

Here's a list of towns with more than twenty-five active adult communities:

  • Naples, Florida has 49 communities
  • Fort Meyers, Florida has 39 communities
  • Dallas, Texas has 39 communities
  • Las Vegas, Nevada has 39 communities
  • Tucson, Arizona has 32 communities
  • Mesa, Arizona has 28 communities
  • Sarasota, Florida has 29 communities

As you can see, there are more 55 and over communities in Florida than in any other state. It must be all that beautiful sunshine.

One thing for sure, there are many excellent options if you're looking to relocate to a 55+ community. Happy hunting!

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