Should You Choose a New or Existing Retirement Community?

Should you buy into an existing established retirement community or one that is brand new and being built?

If you buy into a developing retirement community, you may be able to choose floor plans, wallpaper, paint, plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures, and appliances to fit your personality and lifestyle, and may have some say in the landscaping of your yard as well. A newly constructed home, designed and/or decorated to your specifications, can be a wonderful way to begin this new phase in your life.

However, many seniors would rather move into a fully decorated and landscaped home with a homier, permanent feel. If you decide to retire to an existing 55+ community, you can find resale homes with established lawns, trees, and shrubs, as well as additions and home improvements that have been made by former owners. You will also avoid the noise and inconvenience of ongoing construction, and can move into a quiet, settled lifestyle immediately.

An Opportunity to Socialize

Another positive aspect of buying in a new 55+ community is the opportunity to meet other new residents. If residents are all moving in within a few months of each other, you will be surrounded by people eager to meet others and make new friends. An older, more established community may already have groups of friends and social circles, requiring more time, effort and personal investment before newcomers feel like an accepted member of the community.

On the other hand, when you look into an existing community, you may be able to get a good feel for the social atmosphere you would be moving into, because you can meet potential neighbors before making your decision. Furthermore, there may be existing clubs and social organizations that you can join, as well as an established network of community services, so you do not have to do all of the research and create your own social network from scratch.

Financial Considerations

It is likely that, all other considerations being equal, older homes in existing retirement communities will be more affordable than newly constructed homes. The homes for sale in established communities will be resales, which may make the sellers more negotiable on price. A good idea is to choose a good buyer's agent to help you find a home at a great price. You may know up front what homeowner association fees and property taxes will be, too, because they are already set. In addition, renting a home is sometimes an option in established communities, while most newly developed 55+ communities are looking for prospective residents to buy the home and property. Renting can be a good way to get a feel for the neighborhood if you are not 100 percent certain of your decision to move.

Whether you opt for a new and modern retirement community or an established and settled one, you will be moving into the next exciting phase of your life. The most important factor to consider when choosing a home and neighborhood is how your surroundings will complement this new retirement lifestyle.

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07 Sep 2016


By Robert Fowler
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