One of the first things to know about South Jersey is that it's very different from North Jersey (many feel that the two are actually different states). While the north is more heavily populated and closer to The Big Apple, the south can be a bit more laid-back, and its major metro area is Philadelphia. Southern NJ real estate can also be more affordable with homes for sale in retirement communities topping off around the mid $500s.
With miles of frontage along the Atlantic Ocean, Delaware Bay, and Delaware River, much of SJ is close to water, and its central areas are highlighted by acres of state forests, including Wharton State. With all this natural beauty, you would think that South Jersey is mostly rural, but it's not. Small towns like Collingswood and Hammonton have charming restaurants and shops; more developed areas like Cherry Hill and Glassboro have upscale shopping centers like Cherry Hill Mall and top hospitals like Jefferson University Washington Township Hospital.
If you’re in the market for a South Jersey active adult community with new construction homes, there are over 20 neighborhoods that fit this bill. Here are four of our favorites.
Mid $100s - Mid $600s
The Fairways at Lake Ridge is an Ocean County active adult neighborhood that's built to please. The Kokes Organization broke ground here in 1997, and there are two attached and over 25 single-family models on this gated, wooded property.
The attached homes range from 1,352 to 1,508 square feet with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and attached one-car garages. The single-family models range from 1,308 to 3,048 square feet and offer two to three bedrooms, two to three bathrooms, and attached one- or two-car garages. Options include eat-in kitchens, stainless steel appliances, private patios, and spacious master suites.
The homeowners’ association (HOA) fee covers snow and trash removal as well as exterior and common area maintenance. The Fairways’ 16,000-square-foot clubhouse offers a friendly cafe, an arts and crafts studio, a catering kitchen, a ballroom, an indoor pool, an exercise room, and a computer room. Outdoor perks include a second swimming pool, bocce and tennis courts, and walking trails.
The long list of clubs and activities includes day trips, a singles group, movies, Zumba, and softball. This vibrant community is quite close to Eagle Ridge Golf Club and Lake Shenandoah Park. In Downtown Lakewood (five miles away), you'll find grocery stores, houses of worship, a library, medical offices, and shops.
Below $100k - Mid $100s
Moving south towards Atlantic County, you'll find The Oaks of Weymouth, an affordable 55+ neighborhood that will have 625 new and resale single-family homes upon completion. The property was originally developed in 1984, and its homes have been finished by multiple builders. The seven floor plans range from 1,422 to 1,640 square feet with two to three bedrooms, two baths, and driveway parking. Options include fireplaces, eat-in kitchens, Corian countertops, and dens.
The private clubhouse has a business center, a grand hall and catering kitchen, activity rooms, and a well-equipped fitness center with lockers and a sauna. Friends and neighbors meet here for craft club, game nights, line dancing, and yoga. There are also sports courts and an outdoor swimming pool.
The Oaks of Weymouth is located within the Pinelands Preserve, a natural area marked by acres of forest. It's only 18 miles from Atlantic City and even closer to Estell Manor Park which offers boating facilities, fishing, hiking, biking, camping, and year-round programs.
Low $300s - Mid $300s
Venue at Smithville Greene will have 452 new single-family homes when finished by builder Lennar Homes. Homebuyers can choose from three models, sized from 1,728 to 1,936 square feet with two or three bedrooms, two baths, and attached two-car garages. Features like spacious master suites, flex rooms, and eat-in kitchens make these homes comfortable and elegant; the largest model can be customized with a second floor.
Work is underway on the exclusive clubhouse, which will have a heated outdoor pool and patio, plus pickleball, tennis, and bocce courts. The inside area will feature an exercise room and aerobics studio, a sports lounge, a coffee bar, and additional activity rooms.
Venue at Smithville Greene is just outside of historic Smithville, a charming town that has unique shops and the famous Smithville Inn restaurant. There are also paddle boats, a train, and other recreational activities here. The closest Walmart is five miles away, and the entire area is full of restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, and specialty shops.
Mid $200s - Low $300s
The Preserve at Weatherby is also on the younger side, started in 2017 by Mckee Builders. This gated Gloucester County retirement community will have 239 new single-family homes when completed, along with some very desirable amenities. There are four single-level models ranging from 1,498 to 1,796 square feet with two or three bedrooms, two baths, and attached two-car garages. The home designs feature open layouts, wide entryways, and access-designed bathrooms.
This must-see 55+ community shares its amenities with Four Seasons at Weatherby, which is a minute or so away. The contemporary clubhouse has its own ballroom, catering kitchen, crafts studio, and activity rooms. It also has a refreshing outdoor pool; a putting green; and tennis, bocce, and shuffleboard courts.
There are also clubs for dining out, books, bird watching, photography, travel, Wii, and photography. Woolwich is a bit more rural than the other three communities we’ve described here, but it has a new and inviting town center, and it's also just half an hour from Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware.