It’s a familiar feeling: You think you’ve found the perfect 55+ community in the right location, but then you see that the house you love has an inflated price tag. Aargh! One of the keys to a successful retirement is living within your means and not worrying about monthly payments, so finding the right home that’s within your budget is paramount (and not as hard as you think).
New Jersey may not be the most affordable state on the East Coast, but there are surprisingly affordable homes throughout Ocean County. Its proximity to the shoreline and endless acres of open space makes its residents feel like they’re always on vacation. Better yet, there are towns with homes for sale, like Manchester, that have endless resources and recreation geared towards active adult lifestyles.
Manchester is within the New Jersey Pinelands, and it’s a drivable distance from Atlantic City, New York City, and Philadelphia. Its downtown area has specialty shops, grocery stores, restaurants, a library, banks, veterinarians, and other services. It’s also just 12 miles from Toms River, which has a vibrant downtown and access to Barnegat Bay.
Manchester, NJ real estate is in great demand, and these active adult neighborhoods with homes for sale under $150K are all established properties with impressive amenities.
If you prefer a smaller, tight-knit community, Leisure Ridge could be just the ticket. Located near the intersection of Routes 70 and 571, this gated development has 183 resale single-family homes offered in four models. They’re sized from 1,330 to 1,682 square feet with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and one- or two-car garages. Upgrades may include underground sprinkler systems, fireplaces, and eat-in kitchens. Also, the monthly homeowners’ association (HOA) fee provides for snow removal, lawn care, and security.
Leisure Ridge homeowners can be found socializing at the private clubhouse, which has an outdoor pool and patio, a fitness room, game rooms, bocce, and tennis courts. They can also travel about six miles south down Route 571 and run into Surf n’ Stream Campground, Indian Head Shopping Center, and the public, 18-hole Bey Lea Golf Course.
Larger in scale, Leisure Knoll is a gated 55+ neighborhood with 1,626 resale single-family homes on a large property with its own ponds, lakes, walking trails, putting green, and mature landscaping. It’s close to the intersection of Route 70 and Ridgeway Road, less than two miles from a shopping center that has a Shoprite, a Lowe’s, a dollar store, a bank, and a restaurant.
There are over 15 models, ranging from 980 to 1,728 square feet with two bedrooms, one bathroom, and attached garages. Options may include enclosed porch rooms, updated master bedrooms and bathrooms, gas fireplaces, and sliding doors that open to large back yards. The reasonable HOA fee covers lawn maintenance and snow removal.
Sporting types will enjoy Leisure Knoll’s clubhouse, which has an outdoor pool, a fitness center, shuffleboard, and tennis. Groups gather inside and elsewhere to participate in the Art Appreciation Club, the Camera Club, bible study, the Veterans Club, pool parties, crafting, and other activities.
Leisure Village West
You can get great value for your money at Leisure Village West, a well-liked gated community with 2,692 resale attached homes, two golf courses, and three recreation centers. There’s so much to do here that you may never want to leave, but there are plenty of nearby attractions like beautiful Crossley Preserve and Popcorn Park Zoo (your grandchildren will love it).
This 55+ neighborhood features more than 20 attached floor plans, ranging from 737 to 2,013 square feet. They have one to two bedrooms, one to two-and-a-half baths, and either garages or nearby parking. Some feature screened porches, upgraded bathrooms, stainless steel appliances, and semi-enclosed patios. The monthly HOA fee covers common area maintenance, landscaping, and snow removal.
Both of the 9-hole golf courses have reasonable greens fees, but they’re just part of the wide range of recreational opportunities at Leisure Village West. The main clubhouse, Willow Hall, has crafts studios, a performance hall, bocce, an outdoor pool, and shuffleboard. Club Encore also has a pool, a spa, another performance hall, a photography studio, pickleball, and other sports courts. With four gathering rooms, Leisure Fair is perfect for group activities and meetings. There are over 30 activities and clubs for every interest, so rest assured that you’ll find like-minded friends to share your interests with.
Only 10 miles from the bays in Lacey and Bayville, Whiting Station offers 332 resale single-family homes on a scenic property that’s just 10 miles from the Garden State Parkway. It’s also quite close to Harry Wright Park (a season pass is only $10), several houses of worship, groceries, medical offices, and pharmacies.
There are 10 floor plans, ranging from 1,000 to 1,800 square feet with two bedrooms and bathrooms, open floor plans, and attached garages. Some models include porches, dens, decks, and fireplaces. The HOA fee covers lawn care, snow removal, common grounds maintenance, and sprinkler systems.
The community clubhouse has a large banquet room, a multi-purpose room, a fitness center, a relaxing outdoor pool, plus shuffleboard and tennis courts. Well-attended events like community dinners, exercise group, holiday parties, brunches, and game nights keep everyone active and engaged. Homeowners also take advantage of the community bus.