View of the outdoor shuffleboard courts at Fountain of the Sun in Mesa, Arizona

If you're looking to retire in a gated community in Arizona, here are three active adult communities to consider.

If you’ve decided you prefer to live in a gated community and you’ve narrowed down your search to Mesa in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, there are three gated communities to choose from. As well as being part of the Phoenix urban spread, Mesa is a city in its own right. It’s the third-largest city in Arizona with its own historic downtown, museums, restaurants, shopping, and a population of about half a million.

Mesa is at the extreme east of the urban area. Downtown Phoenix is less than a 25-minute drive from Downtown Mesa, but if you choose to live in northeast Mesa, then you’re just a few minutes from outdoor pursuits, such as hiking trails and other attractions at the 3,648-acre Usery Mountain Regional Park.

Gated Communities

There are several things to think about when debating the pros and cons of a gated community. Many buyers assume that a gated community is more secure. This isn’t always the case. If access to the community is by a gate with a security code, then anyone who has been given the code by anyone in the community (friends, workmen, delivery drivers) has easy access to the community. 

However, a gate with a security code or a guard on duty does prevent casual passers-by, who may be soliciting or up to no good, from gaining easy entry. Some communities also use gates that can only be opened with a key, and only homeowners have a key. Duplicate keys can only be cut in particular places and have to be registered with the Home Owners Association, preventing them from being passed out to delivery people and friends.

That said, here are the three gated communities in Mesa, starting with the largest first. 

Leisure World

High $100s - High $300s

Leisure World has 2,664 condo, attached, and single-family homes for the 45+ active adult looking for an Arizona retirement or a holiday home. It’s located across from the Superstition Springs Center, a large shopping mall with such stores as BestBuy and Walmart. It’s a 20-minute drive from Downtown Mesa and a 35-minute drive from Downtown Phoenix. The outdoor attractions of Red Mountain Park, including sports fields and a fishing lake, are about 15 minutes away.

Leisure World has numerous amenities, with two 18-hole golf courses, a 10,000-square-foot fitness center, three ballrooms, a library, three outdoor pools, six tennis courts, and other courts for bocce, pickleball, shuffleboard, and basketball. Arts and crafts enthusiasts can make use of a woodworking shop, a ceramics studio, a sewing studio, and a general arts and crafts studio.

The price range for homes here, whether it’s a condo, an attached home, or a single-family home, range from the high $100s through to the high $500s. Condos start at just under 1,000 square feet and have one to three bedrooms, while single-family homes range from 1,000 to over 3,000 square feet.

To learn more about Leisure World, request info here.

Fountain of the Sun

Below $100K - Mid $200s

The gated community of Fountain of the Sun has 2,296 attached, manufactured, and single-family homes for the 55+ active adult. It’s a 25-minute drive due east of Mesa’s downtown and ten minutes from the large Superstition Springs shopping mall with its cinemas, restaurants, bars, banks, and major shopping chains. In less than 15 minutes, you can reach Usery Mountain Regional Park and Tonto National Forest.

Fountain of the Sun has its own country club with an 18-hole golf course, clubhouse, pro shop, restaurant, and bar. If you’re not a keen golfer, then the community’s amenities also include a fitness center, a heated outdoor pool and spa, pickleball and shuffleboard courts, a library, and an arts and crafts studio.

The smallest models here are attached homes at less than 1,000 square feet, offering one bedroom, one bathroom, and an attached garage. Larger options are available, with prices ranging from below $100k to the mid $200s. Manufactured homes also start under $100k go to the low $100s. These have two or three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an attached carport or garage. The single-family homes go from 1,220 to 2,100 square feet. The different models offer two or three bedrooms, two to three bathrooms, and an attached garage.

To learn more about Fountain of the Sun, request info here.

Verde Groves

Mid $100s - Mid $200s

Verde Groves is the smallest of the three gated communities in Mesa with 210 attached homes for the 55+ active adult. It’s a 15-minute drive due east of the center of Mesa, and it's a few minutes from a small shopping mall with a Fry’s grocery and fast-food restaurants like Papa John’s Pizza and Wendy’s.

As a smaller community, Verde Groves naturally cannot offer the amenities of the other two Mesa gated communities. However, residents still enjoy the use of a 10,000-square-foot clubhouse, a fitness center, two outdoor pools, a ballroom, a library, a sewing studio, a ceramics studio, and an arts and crafts studio.

The smallest models here are 1,206 square feet with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a two-car garage. There are four other models, the largest being the Summit, which has 1,851 square feet, two bedrooms, a den, two bathrooms, and a two-car garage. Prices range from the mid $100s to the mid $200s, although as with all small communities, suitable homes are not always available for sale. Register your interest with a trusted realtor if you’re interested in a home in this gated Mesa community.

To learn more about Verde Groves, request info here.