Front exterior to stucco ranch-style home in Florida. Green yard and plants abound

For many, retirement means Florida and downsizing. Here's where you can get both.

Downsizing comes with tons of benefits, such as lower mortgage and utility payments and less home maintenance. Who needs to clean extra bathrooms and mow large lawns?

The Tampa Bay real estate market offers plenty of opportunities for homebuyers to move into a smaller home, and with the communities we’re looking at today, living simple includes having a lot of amenities to love.

Heather Ridge - Dunedin

Below $100k - High $100s

Condos and attached villas at Heather Ridge in Dunedin are between 815 and 1,480 square feet and have one or two bedrooms and one or two bathrooms. This 55+ community just outside of Tampa and Saint Petersburg is a great option for active adults who want less space and more opportunities for fun and relaxation. It’s also at an ideal price point for buyers looking for affordable retirement communities in Florida.

Pool maintenance, property upgrades, lawn services, and exterior maintenance are all covered by the homeowners’ association (HOA). The 273 properties were built in three phases, which has created three separate neighborhoods with their own pools, patios, and outdoor kitchens. There are also shuffleboard courts and trails for biking, walking, and jogging.

Dunedin is one of the Tampa area’s prettiest and friendliest small towns, and it’s right on the water. In addition to having shops, grocery stores, and restaurants nearby, residents at Heather Ridge can also enjoy easy proximity to Honeymoon Island and its various beaches. The Toronto Blue Jays are also in town every year for spring training baseball.

Bridgewater Landing - Riverview

Mid $200s - High $200s

When staying close to the action is important even during downsizing, consider Bridgewater Landing in Riverview, located just a few minutes from Downtown Tampa and all the city has to offer.

This 55+ community is intimate and comfortable, with only 64 new construction villas and cottages. Homes have two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and attached two-car garages. They’re between 1,500 and 1,781 square feet. Single-story living keeps things simple, and the new homes offer kitchen upgrades and outdoor lanais.

Amenities include the Cambridge Club, which is almost complete, and an outdoor pool and patio. Multi-purpose rooms are available for parties and club meetings, and the landscaping around the community is leafy and inviting, with serene ponds and plenty of parks.

Close to Interstate 75, it’s easy for Bridgewater Landing residents to drive into Tampa for dinner in Ybor or shopping in Hyde Park. Catch a hockey game or a concert at Amelie Arena or jump on a cruise ship for your next vacation out of the Port of Tampa.

Harbor Oaks Place - Clearwater

High $100s - Low $200s

Just across the Tampa Bay and on the Gulf of Mexico is sunny Clearwater, known for its beaches and its golf. At Harbor Oaks Place, 55+ buyers can enjoy maintenance-free condo living in a dramatic high-rise with astonishing views.

Each condo comes with a private balcony, which is a great spot to watch sunsets. Homes are between one and three bedrooms and have between one and two bathrooms. Square footage starts at 1,000 and goes as high as 1,940. There’s covered parking, plenty of storage, and a location that’s hard to beat.

The community has a clubhouse, exercise room, sauna, community room, and library. There’s a pool and a spa, and all the conveniences like grocery stores, retailers, pharmacies, and banks are minutes away.

Harbor Oaks Place is small and inviting and offers some of the best Clearwater real estate. It’s close to the water and Clearwater Beach, where there’s swimming, boating, fishing, and seafood-eating to be done.

Residents can fish off the waterfront dock or watch sea birds like herons, egrets, and gulls. It’s not unusual to see a dolphin swim by. With only 70 units, this 55+ community in Clearwater is a cozy and pleasant place to call home.

Summertree - New Port Richey

Below $100k - High $100s

Summertree in New Port Richey is a larger 55+ community, with over 800 homes in various sizes and models.

Buyers interested in downsizing to a more manageable amount of square footage will want to focus on the Pointe West and Villas neighborhoods, where attached homes have one or two bedrooms and condo associations that cover everything from maintenance to landscaping.

There’s also The Greens neighborhood within Summertree, which is a collection of 80 duplex homes. These properties are smaller in size and include an attached two-car garage. Their HOA dues include exterior painting and roof replacement, as well as cable and sprinkler bills.

New Port Richey isn’t far from Tampa, and it’s close to the water. Summertree is on a 9-hole golf course, and duplex residents have views of the course. The public golf course includes a driving range and a pro shop.

Dozens of amenities keep everyone active. There’s a recreation facility, a library with computers, and an aerobics and dance studio. Gardening plots are available for residents with a green thumb, and two pools provide a great place to cool off in the Florida heat. There’s tennis, shuffleboard, and bocce as well. 

Sea Towers - Saint Petersburg

Below $100k - Mid $200s

Downsize to a waterfront condo at Sea Towers in Saint Petersburg. Just over the bridge from Tampa, this 55+ community offers views of the Gulf of Mexico and Boca Ciega Bay.

Nine high-rise condo buildings house 800 units that are small, manageable, and fun to live in for buyers who envision a Florida retirement on the water and close to shops, restaurants, and cultural activities.

These homes are between 485 and 1,140 square feet and have one or two bedrooms. Some studio models are also available for buyers who are downsizing so they don’t even need a separate sleeping space. Balconies with sunset views are a great trade-off when you’re giving up extra space, and there’s a fishing dock and a putting green on-site.  

The amenities in Sea Towers are vast, from the fitness center to the outdoor pools to the lawn bowling. The real benefit to living here, however, is the city of Saint Petersburg itself. There are beaches, there are golf courses, there are fishing charters and lots of state parks and nature preserves.

There’s also culture. In St. Pete, you can visit the Dali Museum and take a class at the Morean Arts Center. Neighborhoods nearby like the Central Arts District and Historic Kenwood have galleries, great taco restaurants, fine dining, and fantastic shopping.