Archive: March 2009
In recent decades the number of age-restricted communities around the country has skyrocketed. From an industry that didn’t exist in the 1960’s, the number of age-restricted communities across the U.S. morphed into an industry that now stretches into the thousands. Commonly referred to as active adult communities, 55+ communities or active retirement communities, the number of these communities is expected to increase as their popularity among older adults grows and as more Baby Boomers reach retirement age.
Last week, Del Webb announced the cancellation of the proposed Carolina Ridge at Ingleside in Denver, NC. The recent downturn in the economy, the depressed real estate market and Del Webb’s inability to reach an agreement with Lincoln County officials on sewer tap fees all led to their decision to abandon the project. The news was disappointing to a number of people who had expressed strong interest in Del Webb’s newest planned community. Despite the disappointment, the news does not come as a surprise based on the years of difficult negotiations between the builder and county officials about the increased sewer tap fees from $5,000 to $10,000. At the time Del Webb contracted the land, Lincoln County was charging $5,000 for sewer tap fees but has since raised their fee to $10,000. Del Webb argued that they should be allowed to tap the sewers at the lower amount that was in place at the time they contracted the property. County officials maintain that since Del Webb never prepaid for the lower fee, it would not grant their request.
When searching for an active retirement community, there are many factors to consider. Besides the usual price, location, amenities and lifestyle options, many people have a preference of living in new construction communities versus communities that only offer resale homes. There are many pros and cons to each type of community (info on new versus resale homes). With the recent real estate slowdown, many builders have put plans on hold for new communities or scrapped plans altogether. As a result, new construction retirement communities in southern California are not as plentiful as they were in the past. But if southern California is your retirement destination, and you are determined to find new construction, check out these communities where there are still plenty of new construction homes.
Moving to an active retirement community is an exciting time for most older adults. It means picking up from living in a neighborhood you know and love and moving to an new, unknown community. Ideally, the move should be smooth and easy. Before you know it, you will be making new friends and keeping busy with the abundance of activities available. While we certainly hope that your move to an active adult community comes without any hiccups, be certain to ask your agent some important questions before you sign any contract. Here are six questions we feel are vital to ask your agent before purchasing in a retirement community.
Waterfront Lifestyles International is offering a unique idea for retirement living that is anything but your typical retirement community. This boutique maritime lodging company is now taking reservations for retirement condos on a cruise ship. Each week, the 300-foot Alegria will make weekend cruises to attractions such as shuttle launches, shopping excursions in Palm Beach, the Bahamas and will take a once a year trip to Central America. All cruise expenses are included in the Resident’s Care fee including meals and entertainment on board the ship. Residents only have to pay for cocktails, casino charges, spa fees and purchases in the gift shop.
Is Florida’s domination in attracting out of state retirees coming to a close? A recent analysis by the Associated Press found that the number of driver’s license applications from outsiders has tumbled 30 percent in the past five years. After reaching more than 585,000 newcomers in 2003 the number declined to only 410,000 in 2008. The rate of population growth also showed a dramatic slowdown last year. Over the past decade, population growth for Florida was between 2 and 2.5 percent but dropped to 0.7 percent in 2008. Furthermore, a study conducted by the North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement noted that in 1980, 26.3 percent of all people age 60+ who moved across state lines chose Florida as their destination. By 2005, that number dwindled to 16.6 percent.
If you are considering a move to an active retirement community you have probably considered a number of metrics when choosing your destination. Obviously, factors such as proximity to friends and family, the climate, cost of living, the type of home and lifestyle weigh significantly when making a purchase decision. Retirement communities come in all different varieties that range from mega-resort style country clubs to intimate neighborhoods with no amenities. As evidenced by the popularity of communities such as The Villages in Florida or the many Sun City communities across the country, it would seem that larger communities are the favorite of most retirees. That begs the question, when choosing a retirement community, is bigger really better?
There seems to be a lot of debate about what Boomers really want in their new homes. On one hand, some would argue that a home built for retirees should allow for aging-in-place, a relatively new concept in home design that means building a home that adapts to meet the changing needs of aging home owners. The emphasis is placed more on building a home with the most practical features versus the most popular features. Homes equipped to age-in-place are often built with subtle modifications such as wider doorways, raised commodes and vanities, wheelchair accessible features and grab bars in the bathrooms.
Moving to a retirement community can be a daunting thought for many Baby Boomers. The thought of selling the home you have lived in for many years, leaving neighbors, friends and family is enough to deter many retirees from making any kind of change at all.