Things to Consider When Buying in a 55+ Community
So you decided on a 55+ community and now need to consider what house to buy. What floor plan, new or resale, what location, lot or home location within the community.
My wife and I were not mindful of many of these considerations before we bought our home in a Del Webb community, but through the process we became more knowledgeable about them. There is no right or wrong answers, but just some considerations that may be beneficial if you are beginning the process of buying in a 55+ community.
Floor Plans – My wife and I thought we wanted a ranch with a basement. Then we heard lofts were cheaper and that sounded good for awhile. We ended up buy a larger ranch with a sun room in our 55+ community.
It’s hard to know what you want to begin with. It’s a process of looking at a lot of floor plans. Then it may even come down to availability or which one you can get a better deal on. There are many great floor plans in 55+ communities so enjoy the process.
New or Resale – Everyone loves a brand new home, but there are differences between new homes from the builder and a resale.
A new home is a spec home being built by the builder or one you contract to have built for you on a lot you have picked out. Many people prefer a new home so they go for a premium. Many times the builder /developer will not negotiate the price and every option you add will add to your price. The new home is usually being built in the current “new” section, so your neighbors most likely will be new too and may be more open to making new friends.
A resale home is one that was owned by another owner and is being offered for sale. There are resales even in new communities that are still being built out. With a resale you are more likely able to negotiate the price with the seller. Many resales are cheaper than the new homes in the same community. With a resale you will be moving in a more established section and the neighbors have been there for awhile. The owner may have made some improvements already and the landscaping is more mature. There is no mud on the street from the builders, or loud noises or workman on your street.
Location within the community. It may depend if you buy a new home or a resale. How close to the clubhouse and the ball fields? Will you be in the back, center or front of the community? Again, no correct answers, just considerations. How far to the entrance? Also there is a difference between an interior lot and a lot facing out towards green space and woods (or deserts). Exterior lots may have more wildlife but many have unwanted wildlife like snakes too.
Many 55+ communities report people moving once or twice in the same community. I have already heard of that a few times in my community. When we visited The Villages in Florida the agent said moves within the community are common.
So do your research and decide on a home that feels right for you. Be flexible. Later you can always move within the community.