55 & Over Communities In OC
For many people, it seems like a lifetime away when we will be 55 years old, but suddenly it happens!
The best thing to do is plan ahead and start thinking about what city in OC you’d like to live in once you are 55 Plus.
There are many active retirement communities in Orange County that would make a great place to call home.
The age limit is not always set in stone as some can accept people at 50 years old, or 60 could be minimum.
Most seniors living in these communities are in fact retired and spend their days having fun.
Great Option For Retirees
Retirement communities are an attractive option for older homebuyers who want a simple and safe life.
If you are serious about buying a property in a 55 and over community then Please Read the Info Below.
Buying what could be your last condo is a lot different than buying your first home, so plan ahead.
We have covered every topic imaginable to help you decide what 55 + community in OC is right for you.
From price, amenities, rules, neighborhoods, etc., the buying process can be complicated.
The Best 55 Plus Communities in Orange County
Huntington Landmark – Huntington Beach
Leisure World – Seal Beach
Monarch Summit – Laguna Niguel
Bay Cliff Village – San Clemente
Tips For Buying a Home Or Condo In 55 + Communities
Visit the community during the off-season –
Get a feeling for what it’s like as weather changes, etc. and neighbors leave town for the winter.
A lot of folks love Orange County during the summer months when the community is active and warm.
Even though the weather in OC is nice year round, it can rain in the winter and it can get somewhat cold.
Consider the positive and negatives –
One of the first things you’ll need to think about is what type of place you want, a condo, home, mobile home?
Single family homes offer more privacy and typically better appreciation over the years, but more upkeep as well.
Condos are easier to manage and might have lower monthly bills on AC, cleaning, etc. due to smaller square footage.
Find Out About The Community Management
Buying a condo or house in a 55 and over community with crappy management can be a nightmare.
We all hope that the management teams are competent and reliable, but before you buy you want to research them.
Many management companies appear great on the surface, but later on they lose interest in their residents.
Learn What’s Required Of You
When you buy a property in a retirement community you sign an agreement that explains what you and community can expect from each other.
If you haven’t lived in an HOA or condo within a community organization you might be surprised to see how it really is.
From parking restrictions, to painting your house, to even having Direct TV on your roof, the rules can be crazy.
Some communities don’t allow children to live there, or require both husband and wife to be over 55, etc.
The Fair Housing Act has an exception called “housing for older persons” that lets community discriminate based on age.
Understand The Overall Cost of Living In The Community
Some adult living communities do make the residents purchase a membership to live there.
There are typically costs associated with the management, landscape, amenities and more.
The more stuff the community offers, the higher the fees you are liable to pay, so ask questions.
Compare At Least a Few Communities Before Buying
Once you decide what your future retirement plans are going to entail, it becomes easier to pick a spot to buy at.
There are of course many factors that will determine where you end up buying a house or condo, so be patient.
Of course price, location, amenities, weather, and management will all affect your decision, so be realistic and open minded.
Really Examine Your Homes Amenities
Enjoying the actual community is great, but don’t forget to focus on the property itself.
Are the doorways in the home set up to be wheelchair accessible, is bedroom on 1st floor?
As you get older these things become crucial and are very hard to change, so plan ahead.
Over 55 housing has different features than traditional housing so look into all those questions.
Even having a bathroom that is handicap accessible can become a big deal as your relaxing years pass by.
Talk To The Neighbors
There is no better way to get the inside scoop and truth then speaking to those people who live there already.
The people living in the community probably own their condo or home and will ultimately be in your life.
We all want our neighbors to be friendly and part of your new life, but life doesn’t always work that way.
So it’s wise to meet as many neighbors as possible before you buy and see what the vibe and people are truly like.
Research The Approval Process
A lot of the 55 and over communities will want to make sure you are going to be a good fit.
If the community considers itself to be “exclusive” then they will be very picky.
They might even ask for your financial records and personal references and who know what else.
Again best thing is to ask your buyers agent for help or ask the community management ahead of time so your prepared.
You don’t want to be waiting months and months to get an answer.
Understand Your Financing Options For Your Purchase
Are you planning to pay cash or get a 15 year mortgage?
Are you thinking about putting down 25%, or maybe a reverse mortgage interests you?
There are so many financial options for homebuyers that you can get overwhelmed.
Talk to your agent, look into all your options, and educate yourself before making any decisions.
Look Ahead At Re-Sale Values
Although you might plan on staying in your new house forever, it doesn’t hurt to look at having to sell the unit one day.
Even though most seniors don’t plan on selling their house they just bought, you never know what life holds.
So do a little research on the last 10 years, and see how long houses take to sell, what appreciation has been, etc.
Research The Neighborhood and Amenities
Each 55 Plus community is unique and offers different amenities for their residents, so do some homework.
Some offer golf, tennis, community center, gym, walking paths, pool, etc., and some don’t offer much at all.
Other 55 plus communities offer knitting, painting, bingo, etc., so check the calendar to see the options.
Get Familiar With The Local Surroundings
Even the the 55 + community might be heaven in your eyes, the surrounding area and neighborhood could be very different.
You don’t want to buy a good property in the wrong area so do your research and ask your agent for help.
Most people just focus on the actual community and forget they have to live with the people nearby, so look at:
- what is crime and safety rating of city
- how close are grocery stores, restaurants, banks, etc.
- how close are freeways and other travel roads
- how close is nearest hospital and pharmacy
- is noise an issue, airport nearby, etc.
- are there schools close by, might have loud children close by
- what is the walk-ability of the immediate area
Is It A Good Investement?
Many seniors (or those over 55 years old) simply decide to buy a home on condo in a 55 and over community based on lifestyle, etc.
But you also want to think about the longterm investment and financial situation of owning a property in a 55 + community.
Is it better to rent a home for now or should you buy?
Rules and Regulations In 55 and Over Community
Any community or HOA living situation will have rules and regulations for those who rent or buy property there.