Archive: April 2009

    by Bill Ness on April 27th, 2009No Comments

    Over the last several decades, the average home size in active adult retirement communities has increased each year. Last year, the National Association of Home Builders noticed the long-standing trend of “bigger is better” finally halted. In mid 2008, the average size of a new construction single family home was 2,629 square feet compared with just 2,343 square feet at the end of 2008.
    In just two years, the oldest of the Baby Boomers will be turning 65. As this group approaches retirement, they are expected to migrate in large numbers to new towns and cities across the country. Between 2010 and 2020 the senior population is expected to grow by 36 percent. This graying of America's largest body of citizens is not expected to spread evenly across the map. Boomers are expected to gravitate towards areas of the country that provide a low cost of living, mild climates, culture or activity, reasonably priced real estate and adequate health care. US News & World Report recently compiled a list of the 20 top cities where Boomers are most likely to retire.
    On a recent tour of the active adult communities around Arizona, I had the opportunity to observe the transformation of the popular Del Webb Sun City communities that lie northwest of Phoenix. Since the grand opening of the acclaimed Sun City community in 1960, Del Webb has opened three additional Sun City communities in the same region. Each community has unique characteristics that differentiate it from the others. With hundreds of homes for sale in the four Sun City communities in this region, it can be an overwhelming task to narrow down your search to the community and home that works best for you.
    This week, I am heading out to Arizona -- the state where the 55+ active retirement community as we know it was started. I plan to tour many of the more popular active adult communities around Phoenix, Tucson and Green Valley. Along the way, I plan to chat with many residents about their experiences in the various communities and to meet with local real estate agents about the state of the retirement market in Arizona.
    In the last 50 years the popularity of active adult retirement communities has boomed across the country. In 2010 the famous Del Webb’s Sun City Arizona will celebrate its 50th birthday. Del Webb (the man) has been praised as the founder of 55+ active adult living. There are over 50 Del Webb age-restricted communities currently under construction across 21 states. Plus, there are a couple dozen Del Webb communities that were built in the last several decades that are now filled with happy 55+ aged homeowners. Surprisingly, Del Webb was not the man who originated the concept of 55+ age-restricted living -- he just perfected it.

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