Homes are expensive wherever you go, and although gated communities are great values, when you make that big decision to purchase a house, you want to make sure you aren’t wasting your money.
This could mean a lot of things. Such as proper house inspections to make sure nothing major comes out of the woodwork down the line. In a 55+ (active adult) community, there isn’t much to worry about on this front. The community itself maintains the exterior of the homes, and it is within their best interest to keep it that way.
This means that the main concern for most new owners of these community homes will be the resale value. Even if they don’t plan on selling it themselves, their kids may want to once the house passes on. This post is here to answer your questions about whether or not 55+ homes are a good investment.
Are 55+ communities a good investment? The value of a home is not just about how much you paid for it. There are a number of factors that could raise or lower the value, and alongside that, the state of the housing market plays a role.
Opendoor has a great post outlining the 8 major factors that influence a home’s value.
If you are in fact looking to sell your home these are great things to keep in mind to make sure you sell it for its full value. If you know anything about 55+ community homes the first half of this list will most likely stand out to you.
As this post will get into in the next section, community homes are built in the best locations with the best designs possible. Along with a myriad of other perks that your community fees support.
This post cannot say anything about the local market, economic indicators, and interest rates because they are too difficult to generalize. Your ability to upgrade and update the home yourself will also be up to the community organizers. Some locations have strict rules about making any significant changes to the houses, while others are more flexible.
In any case, you will have a lot to offer potential buyers if you have the need to sell.
What Are The Benefits Of Owning A Home In A 55+ Community?
There are definitely benefits to owning a home in an active adult community to residents, and thus prospective buyers. We’ll start with number 1 from above and work down the first half of the list.
Because every home is designed and built by the same developers there will be a guaranteed consistency. This means that you don’t have to worry at all about the homes around you dragging down the home’s value. In fact, it will be the opposite.
There will be fewer people living in these homes and no children which means there will be less natural wear and tear. On top of that, the outsides of the homes will always look great because the community will be taking care of them.
55+ Communities pride themselves on their locations. This means you can expect your home to be in a nice, low-crime area. It will be within close distance to medical services and most likely shopping centers or other attractions.
While there will always be plenty of events going on within the community to keep residents entertained, everyone wants to get out every once in a while. When you are choosing your home, look into the location. If there are plans for further developments you may be looking at a sizable raise in home value down the line.
Check out the area yourself keeping in mind the interests of your prospective buyers. Chances are they will prefer having a vineyard nearby over a series of nightclubs. Plus some restaurants to take the visiting family never hurt.
This will of course change based on where you live and how the house is designed. The plus side here is that nicer communities will have larger houses in general. So essentially you get what you pay for.
Even if the house is smaller, keep in mind that there will likely only be a couple of people living in it. Any amount of usable space will have much more value.
These communities are new in general. All of the homes will have been constructed at or around the same time, and with the same level of care.
This means that as long as you pick a reliable community you will have nothing to worry about. By the time you sell the home may not be brand new, but it certainly won’t be dated. As mentioned the wear and tear on these homes is low as well so the condition should maintain over a long period of time.
The next question you may be asking yourself is if it will actually be possible to sell your home when you want to. The pool of potential buyers is naturally lower because only a certain portion of the population is allowed to live there. Though currently, that marketplace for 55+ communities is exploding due to the aging baby boomer population.
This sounds worse than it actually is. It depends on the community, but the entirety of the residents do not have to be over 55+. Once at least 80% of the residents are over 55 the community is allowed to open up and allow residents of any age. This does not mean that the community is required to do this. They may prefer to keep the age range exclusive.
Still, even if that is the case it makes marketing your home easier because you already know who the target buyer is. The neighborhood may even sell itself if it has the proper amenities that someone over 55 is looking for.
Plus, there are always more people retiring and looking to downsize.
In the event that your home is being passed on to your kids, you’ll want to make sure they aren’t getting the short end of the stick. It is highly likely that the community will not let your kids live there if they are under 55+.
As mentioned above, this can depend on the community and its population, but err on the side of caution to be safe. In this case, they will have two options.
Hold onto it until they are of age
Sell it to someone who is
Whatever they decide will be up to them, but should they decide to sell, they will likely be alright. The state of the market notwithstanding, community homes are great for buyers in the long term.
Just like any investment, there is no way to know for sure how yours will turn out. You should always stay informed and up to date on the details of any community that you are interested in.
The communities themselves will have plenty of resources to help you make your decision. It is in everyone’s best interests that the homeowners are happy with their purchase. Even if they are looking to sell in the future.
Reach out to the communities that you are interested in. Check out the surrounding areas yourself. Knowledge will be your best resource as you embark on this journey. What you can be sure about is the security of your investment when you choose the right community.
Here’s a summary of the benefits we’ve explored that you can expect in a community home.