Want to leave New Jersey for the winter? These local communities make it easy.

As winter approaches, many active adults start dreaming about warmer climates. While not everyone hates the cold weather, those who dislike chilly temperatures and snow have the option of turning into snowbirds.

Snowbird has been a buzzword in regards to retirement. The term is generally defined as one who travels to warm climates for the winter. For today’s 55+ population (and even some younger ones!), this means having two homes: One for winter and one for summer. With so many affordable options out there for homebuyers, having two places to call home is not only desirable, it's very doable. Here are a few affordable New Jersey active adult communities that may allow room in your budget for a second home.

Covington Village - Lakewood

Below $100k - Mid $100s

Condos are a great option for snowbirds, and Covington Village is a gated, active adult community with 360 of them. Built from 2005 to 2012 by Matzel Development, these cozy units are sized from 890 to 1,165 square feet, have one or two bedrooms, and one or two bathrooms. Upgrades include granite countertops, hardwood flooring, and covered terraces.

A 12,000 square-foot clubhouse features an exercise room, library, day spa, outdoor pool, saunas, and activity rooms. Homeowners take advantage of the local offerings, including beautiful Lake Shenandoah County Park, Eagle Ridge Golf Club, and many other parks and recreation areas. It is also close to major airports in Newark, New York City, and Philadelphia. 

Gardens of Pleasant Plains - Toms River

Below $100k - Mid $100s

This well-established community of 437 attached and single-family homes was built from 1968 to 1974, and it has a desirable Toms River location, along with a laid-back, relaxed atmosphere. The majority of homes in Gardens of Pleasant Plains are single families, but there are a limited number of duplex units that include two bedrooms, one bathroom, and a garage. The single-family homes have two bedrooms, one bathroom, and a garage.

A homeowners' association fee provides for common area maintenance and clubhouse access. Toms River is a very popular area for active adults, with close proximity to the New Jersey beaches, many golf courses, excellent medical facilities, the Toms River Country Club and outstanding shopping and dining options. 

Holiday Village East - Mt. Laurel 

Below $100k - High $200s

This sprawling active adult community in Burlington County is almost like a town in itself. Holiday Village East has 963 condos, townhomes, and single-family homes, plus a large clubhouse with an exercise room, activity rooms, and a library. Outdoors, there is a pool and patio, four tennis courts, two bocce ball courts, 12 ponds, all in an expansive, park-like setting.

Holiday Village East was developed from 1990 to 2001 by J.S. Hovnanian & Sons, who built 13 floor plan options. The condos are sized from 950 to 1,364 square feet with one to two bedrooms, one to two bathrooms, and lot parking. The patio homes are 1,282 to 1,537 square feet with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a one-car garage. Single-family units range from 1,260 to 1,828 square feet with two or three bedrooms, two to three bathrooms, and an attached one- or two-car garage. 

Bald Eagle Commons -  West Milford

Below $100k - High $200s

It is not easy to find affordable homes in North Jersey but at these prices, Bald Eagle Commons is an excellent choice for snowbirds. Built from 1995 to 2005, this gated 55+ community has 463 condo and attached homes. The majority of these are condos, they range from 655 to 1,581 square feet and have one or two bedrooms and bathrooms. The attached homes range from 2,175 to 2,414 square feet with two or three bedrooms, two to three bathrooms, and attached one-car garages.

Bald Eagle’s clubhouse, called Grange Hall, has many activity and meeting rooms, while outdoor pursuits center around a lovely pool and spa, tennis courts, shuffleboard courts, horseshoes puts, and nature trails. West Milford is in a bucolic, rural area about an hour from the Delaware Water Gap, near Long Pond Ironworks State Park, several state forests, and a few historic sites. It is also just 45 minutes from New York City.

Marlboro Greens - Englishtown

Low $100s - Low $200s

This established, active adult gated community of 341 resale condo and attached homes was built from 1986 to 1988 by the Karnell Group. It has a reputation for lovely landscaping and beautifully kept grounds. Marlboro Greens’ condos range in size from 1,080 to 1,332 square feet and have one or two bedrooms, at least one-and-a-half bathrooms, and a garage space or assigned parking spot. The townhomes range from 1,220 to 1,508 square feet with two to three bedrooms, two-and-a-half to three baths, and a one-car garage or assigned parking spot.

Residents spend high-quality time at the community clubhouse, working out in the exercise room or socializing in the activity rooms. There is also an outdoor pool, tennis facilities, and a playground. A homeowners' association fee provides for lawn maintenance and snow removal, so snowbirds will have no worries while they are elsewhere basking in the sun.