By Lauren Maxie
At NC Planning we have many clients who choose to live in neighborhoods that are specifically designed for residents that are aged 55 and up. As an estate planning firm in North Carolina that focuses on long term relationships, we talk to our clients regularly. So many of them tell us how much they enjoy living in their communities and are so happy they made the decision to move into one.
Have you ever heard of a 55+ community? We thought we’d spread the word and share the love about these unique neighborhoods so more folks in our local area know that they are an option to consider that delivers a ton of upside.
In this article, we will describe what a 55+ community is, get into the benefits of living in one, provide key ways to find 55+ communities, and share a few top picks for 55+ communities in The Triangle.
What is a 55+ Community?
A 55+ community is a neighborhood or multi-residential property that is specifically designed for older adults. 55+ communities have governed age requirements that stipulate and verify the age of residents in order to purchase or lease a home in the community. There are other rules and regulations that are typical of 55+ communities in NC including home upkeep and maintenance, pet restrictions, visitor and guest policies, and homeowner association governance. All of these are meant to make the community a safe, comfortable, enjoyable place for residents to live.
Benefits of Living in a 55+ Community
The benefits of living in a 55+ community are wide and varied. Of course, every resident will find their own unique perks to living in a community like this, but there are some advantages that we regularly hear our clients report as being a big part of the upside to living in a 55+ community.
55+ communities are specifically designed with the needs and desires of older adults in mind. It is common to find a host of amenities such as a golf course, recreational center, fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, and walking paths. Additionally, many 55+ communities offer residents a robust schedule of organized activities so residents have ample opportunities to socialize, stay active, and engage in hobbies and new skills.
If you are a retiree or are planning your future retirement, a 55+ community is an excellent choice to consider. Being connected to and close to others in a similar stage of life with so many accessible amenities has many positive impacts on quality of life and well being.
How to Find a 55+ Community
Identifying 55+ communities is easier than it’s ever been. If you are beginning to consider a 55+ community and performing research on your own, major real estate apps and websites like Trulia and Zillow offer the option to filter your home search for 55+ communities.
There are also many resources online that provide round ups of 55+ communities in specific geographic areas. These lists are great to review as they provide descriptions that highlight things like what amenities are available, architectural styles of the communities, size of the communities, and of course, the locations.
If you are working with a real estate agent to find your next home, let them know you want this kind of community so they can narrow your search based on that qualifier. If you are considering which real estate agent or office to hire, be sure to ask about their experience with and knowledge of 55+ communities so you can choose an agent that can provide inside information and guidance.
Top Picks for 55+ Communities in The Triangle
The Triangle and in fact, the entire state of North Carolina has many 55+ community options. As mentioned, we have clients that live in local 55+ communities and we have the pleasure of collaborating with many of these communities on things like social and educational events. Here are a few that we know from first-hand experience are top picks in The Triangle.
Carolina Arbors is a beautiful and highly engaged community with many planned activities thanks to the efforts of their Activities Director and other staff. On their site they describe their community as, “a welcoming, diverse, active lifestyle 55+ community. Located in the renowned Triangle, anchored by the thriving cities of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, our thoughtfully planned community is rich with amenities, and the best of North Carolina is within easy reach!”
Carolina Preserve in Cary is a 55+ community that has been distinguished by the Community Excellence Award given by the Community Associations Institute (CAI). On their site, they share that this community has “1360 homes, a 35,000 square foot clubhouse, state-of-the-art fitness center, tennis, pickleball and bocce courts, indoor and outdoor pools, pottery and dance studios, and over 120 clubs.”
Located in the heart of Durham, this 55+ community is not only gorgeous, it strives to make daily life feel like a vacation. According to real estate firm Lisa Ellis & Company, you should consider Creekside at Bethpage, “If you’re looking for a retirement lifestyle that’s the perfect balance between country beauty, suburban community, and big-city fun.”
With myriad benefits, 55+ communities are worth strong consideration if you’re thinking about where to reside leading up to or during retirement. Lucky for us here in The Triangle, there are many such communities that offer unmatched beauty, connection, and engagement.