Earlier this year, U.S. News and World Report magazine named the Charlotte area as one of the Best Places to Live in America (#14 on the list). The magazine noted Charlotte’s moderate climate, manageable housing, and living expenses when compared to bigger cities, and a variety of restaurants, free events and activities among those things that make the Charlotte area highly desirable.
The factors also make the Charlotte area an ideal place to retire, too, as the magazine also noted (#22 on the Best Places to Retire). For those aged 55+, the Charlotte region has a growing number of active adult communities. Still, choosing the best housing community to meet your needs can be daunting.
Here are a few of our tips for choosing an active adult community:
- What can you afford? Transitioning into retirement can be a challenge. While costs often decline, so does income. And life expectancy is increasing. So, it’s essential to do a thorough review of your finances and projected income in retirement to choose a community that will be affordable not just now, but in the future.
- Are there additional, ongoing fees? Buying a home in the community is just the first step. Most communities are likely to have HOA fees, and some may have additional charges for activities or classes. It’s important to understand all of the extra expenses that community may have to assess how those costs fit into your retirement finances accurately.
- Do the homes meet your living needs? Like buying any home, it is crucial to determine those features that are most important to you. Open floor plans, outdoor living, and energy-efficient appliances are often at the top of the list for those looking for homes in active adult communities. It’s also good to confirm quality construction and a variety of floor plan options that give you choices now, and might even be more appealing for resale.
- How well do the amenities and activities match with your interests? Many active adult communities offer clubhouses, pools, tennis courts, fitness facilities, and golf courses. Other communities may cater to those seeking more social experiences through a club, volunteer options, dances, dinners, and similar social gatherings. Those bigger ticket offerings (i.e., tennis and golf) often come with a higher dues and fees, so it’s best to make sure the offerings align with your needs and interests when choosing a community.
- Are there age restrictions or limitations on long-term guests? Keep in mind there are federal and state regulations that play a part in the defining the community’s composition. Plus, some communities might have additional rules for younger visitors. This means you could have limitations on guests under the age of 19, including how frequently they can visit and how long each visit can last. Make sure you review the community’s HOA rules and by-laws before committing.
There are so many things to consider when purchasing a home. Buying a home in an active adult community is no different. In fact, there are often many more things to consider as a few of our tips above suggest.
If you’re thinking about relocating to an active adult community, we can help you navigate the process and find the best community and home for your unique needs.
Jennifer Tuttle is NC Real Estate Broker, SC Real Estate Agent, and a REALTOR®. Trained as an accountant specializing in taxation her passion for design caught up with her and she transitioned to a successful career as a personal assistant, and later a photo stylist. She combines her love of numbers and design and a passion for helping people into her real estate career. In her spare time, you might also find her on the lake, at the beach, or teaching a yoga class.