Among the reasons so many active adults choose to live in 55+ communities is the security and peace of mind provided by controlled access to the property. This controlled access provides a number of benefits, including:
- Peace of mind: Communities that are guard-gated and patrolled monitor all traffic in and out. Only verified residents have freedom of access, and residents are able to control who may visit them, creating a sense of security.
- More privacy: Since traffic from outside is limited, gated communities provide a greater feeling of privacy for residents. Unwanted solicitors, vendors, and other non-residents cannot freely enter.
- A sense of community: Along with social activities, group recreation, and community festivities, guarded gates and security patrols contribute to a sense of community among residents.
- A better resale price: Controlled access, along with professional maintenance and premium amenities, add to the value of individual homes. If you decide to sell one day, you’re more likely to get a better price.
Orange County, California (one of America's prime destinations for active adults) has five of the largest and most popular 55+ communities with both guarded gates and security patrols. Let's take a look at what else these communities have to offer.
Mid $100s - Mid $1Ms
Laguna Woods Village is the area's biggest and most popular active adult community, and in many ways, it has been the prototype for the active adult lifestyle in America. Recreational opportunities abound in Laguna Woods Village. Avid golfers enjoy a championship-level, 27-hole golf course as well as a separate nine-hole, par-3 circuit. More recreation is found at two fully equipped fitness centers and gyms, five pools, tennis courts, bocce and lawn bowling courts, horse stables, and dozens of other year-round venues.
Residents also enjoy making new friends at dinners, dances, civic events, and the over 250 activity groups at seven clubhouses. Bus service, guarded gates, and maintenance-free living are all part of the appeal of Laguna Woods Village.
Low $500s - Mid $900s
Casta del Sol is a bucolic neighborhood of homes on tree-lined streets that wind up and down a cluster of hills in central Mission Viejo. Many of the single-family homes overlook Lake Mission Viejo or enjoy views of the Casta del Sol Golf Course, both of which adjoin the community.
There are two recreation centers offering pools, whirlpool spas, a gym, tennis courts, a chipping green, walking trails, a competition-level shuffleboard facility, meeting rooms, a billiards room, and an 18-hole golf course just outside the guarded gates. There are over 30 clubs, organizations, and activity groups at Casta del Sol, among them the travel club, political club, bridge club, square dancing, choir, and more. Group tours and outings are often scheduled.
Mid $100s - High $500s
Just two miles from the ocean, Leisure World Seal Beach enjoys an ideal year-round climate as the afternoon sea breezes cool the sunny coast. Community residences consist of more than 6,600 condos and co-ops in 10 floor plans ranging from 550 to 1,540 square feet.
Amenities in the community include a well-equipped fitness center, a nine-hole golf course, tennis courts, bocce courts, and a large swimming pool and spa. There are six clubhouses with lounges, meeting rooms, and a dozen kitchens. A health care center, a shuttle bus service, and guarded gates add to the amenities.
Low $500s - Mid $800s
Palmia has the look of a Mediterranean resort, with graceful palm trees framing 900 pastel homes. This planned development in the foothills at the northern end of Mission Viejo is comprised of detached homes and attached condos in 30 floor plans all built on 211 acres of the former Rancho Mission Viejo.
For recreation, a 12,000-square-foot clubhouse called Club Palmia houses club rooms, card rooms, a library, a billiards room, and a complete exercise facility. A pool, whirlpool spa, tennis courts, and an 18-hole putting course are adjacent. Security patrols cruise the grounds, and guards monitor gates.
Mid $300s - Mid $600s
Huntington Landmark can rightfully call itself a beach community. It's less than two miles from the shore break at Huntington Beach, also known as "Surf City USA," and it's host to the International Surfing Museum. Also nearby, there's the coastal bike trail, the Huntington Beach Pier, and the downtown shopping district.
Built in 1983, Huntington Landmark has over 1,200 condo homes. It offers resort-style living with a clubhouse, a gym, pools, whirlpool spas, a putting green, and outdoor recreation. The community is also filled with trees, landscaping, large grassy areas, and sidewalks throughout for exercise walks and strolls with pets. Access gates are guarded.