Active Adults Seek Green Living and Eco-Friendly Communities

Can you spot the $207,744 difference between these identical homes?

Financing is the difference!

Get the details in The 62+ Loan Homebuyers Guide.

55places Mortgage is a joint venture between Mutual of Omaha Mortgage and 55places.com.
Details here.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get Weekly Updates

I agree that 55places and its affiliates, partner providers or agents may call, text, or email me about my inquiry, which may be made with automated means. I understand that my consent is not a prerequisite for buying a property. I may revoke my consent at any time by contacting optout@55places.com. Message/data rates may apply. I also agree to 55places.com’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

There are many 55+ communities that are committed to using sustainable building materials and helping active adults embrace eco-friendly living.

As climate consciousness rises across the world, those over 55 are increasingly looking for sustainable and green housing alternatives. Some of the biggest builders of 55+ communities are seeking sustainable materials, eco-friendly appliances, and green building techniques. Here’s what you need to know about green and eco-friendly communities.

How do those over 55 feel about green living?

Closeup on the hands of an older man as he repots a vegetable seedling
Those over 55 are more likely than any other age group to recycle, avoid single-use plastics, and buy in-season produce.

While younger people may be the current face of the environmental movement, recent studies show that older adults are very climate-conscious. One study from the U.K. found that those over 55 were more likely than any other age group to recycle, avoid single-use plastics, and buy in-season produce. They also turn down home thermostats at a high rate, use energy-saving light bulbs, and reduce air travel. A study from Brazil also found that baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) had a greater awareness than other age groups of environmental sustainability, while a survey of 2,000 participants found that female baby boomers were the most likely to say they actively try to practice a greener lifestyle.

Many homeowners have also seen the financial benefits of eco-friendly practices. Solar panels can decrease energy bills, and water-saving appliances (like low-flow toilets and tankless water heaters) reduce water and sewage costs. Even simple fixes like new windows, good insulation, and lowering a thermostat when not home are green practices that reduce energy costs.

In housing and homebuying, greener living can offer a lot of elements that those over 55 are looking for. AARP found that many over 45 want to live in a community where they can walk to amenities, including parks.

For a new home, prospective homebuyers should look for a LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, designating that a building has environmentally sustainable elements. Homebuyers may also want more energy-efficient appliances with the Energy Star rating, sustainable building materials, or a community garden.

What is an eco-friendly community?

A hand holding a house silhouette with moss on it in a field of grass
Some communities will have energy-saving upgrades even without an LEED certification.

An eco-friendly community is generally designated as a community where many of those “green” elements are considered a priority. They’re built and maintained in a way that reduces the carbon footprint of homeowners. A New York Times article emphasizes that the two best ways to evaluate the eco-friendliness of a community is by looking at LEED and Energy Star certifications. Energy Star is a label designated by the government for energy-efficient appliances. The LEED certification comes in four levels, and it shows that buildings have used recycled materials, have windows for natural light, and even choose drought-resistant plants in landscaping.

However, some communities will have energy-saving upgrades even without an LEED certification. These can include low-water-use toilets, geothermal heating, solar panels, and community gardens.

How are eco-friendly homes built?

Exterior view of a modern house with a garden and rooftop solar panels
Many of the leading builders of active adult communities are exploring how their new homes can incorporate eco-friendly elements.

Many of the leading builders of active adult communities are exploring how their new homes can incorporate eco-friendly elements and encourage green living. Last year, PulteGroup—one of the nation’s largest builders and the owner of Del Webb—announced the expansion of their Smart Neighborhood designs. These homes include, “rooftop solar panels, in-home battery energy storage, and enhanced energy-efficient building features throughout, including improved insulation, advanced heating and cooling systems, LED lighting, and a higher efficiency electric heat pump water heater.”

Although this represents a small portion of PulteGroup’s homes, they’re expanding their green offerings in many new communities. Del Webb’s green new homes include features like high-efficiency HVAC systems, low-emissivity windows, LED lighting, Energy Star appliances, tankless hot water systems, and programmable thermostats. Homebuyers can also customize interior design elements like cabinets, flooring, and countertops, allowing them to choose the most eco-friendly building materials.

Similarly, Lennar Homes offers many green features in their new homes like solar panels, low-flow toilets and faucets, tankless water heaters, Energy Star appliances, green building materials, high-efficiency lighting, and programmable thermostats.

Shea Homes is proud to be a leader in new, green homes. For many years, they’ve been offering their net-zero homes, which result in little or no cost for electricity. Their comprehensive design provides homebuyers with 14 energy-efficient options at no extra cost that can save homeowners up to $40,000.

Here are several active adult communities offering eco-friendly homes and promoting green living.

Trilogy at TehalehBonney Lake, WA

High $300s – Mid $600s

A blue sky over a park with a children's playground in Bonney Lake, WA
At Trilogy at Tehaleh, prospective homebuyers can experience green living with eco-friendly homes.

Trilogy at Tehaleh, built by Shea Homes, is an age-restricted neighborhood within the master-planned community of Tehaleh in the Seattle-Tacoma area. At Trilogy, prospective homebuyers can experience nature and green living with eco-friendly homes.

The community has a trailhead with access to ten miles of hiking trails, and the single-family homes have eco-friendly features like large windows for natural light, tankless water heaters, and smart home technology. Homes start in the high $300s and offer one to three bedrooms, two or two-and-a-half baths, attached garages, covered patios, and open living spaces.

Request more information about Trilogy at Tehaleh here.

Trilogy at Monarch DunesNipomo, CA

High $500s – Low $1Ms

A blue sky over the picturesque golf course at Trilogy at Monarch Dunes in Nipomo, California
Residents enjoy the verdant community, which includes walking trails, vineyards, and a Tai Chi garden.

Trilogy at Monarch Dunes is another community created by eco-conscious builder Shea Homes. Located in Central California, this community is minutes from the coast, wineries, and other attractions.

Starting in the high $500s, homes in this community have many of the eco-friendly elements that come standard from Shea Homes. Prospective homebuyers can find attached and single-family models in a range of sizes and layouts. The smallest homes offer 1,500 square feet, while the largest offer 3,500 square feet. Residents also enjoy the verdant community, which includes walking trails, vineyards, a Tai Chi garden, a sculpture garden, and golf courses.

Request more information about Trilogy at Monarch Dunes here.

Esplanade at Lakewood RanchLakewood Ranch, FL

Mid $200s – Low $800s

Palm trees behind the community sign for Esplanade at Lakewood Ranch in Lakewood Ranch, Florida
Lakewood Ranch has the benefit of being the biggest green-certified community in the country.

Located within the master-planned community of Lakewood Ranch, Esplanade at Lakewood Ranch is an active lifestyle community with over 1,000 homes planned. Also, Lakewood Ranch has the benefit of being the biggest green-certified community in the country.

Half of Lakewood Ranch is set aside as greenspace, giving residents plenty of places to hike, walk, bike, and enjoy the outdoors. Esplanade is also very walkable, with shops and stores within the master-planned community. The homes start in the mid $200s and offer a number of customizable features. The single-family homes range from 1,600 square feet with two bedrooms to 3,500 square feet with three bedrooms and a den.

Request more information about Esplanade at Lakewood Ranch here.

The Atrium at Metro WestFairfax, VA

Mid $400s – Low $600s

Rendering of the condo buildings and community courtyard at The Atrium at MetroWest in Fairfax, Virginia
Eco-friendly home features include Energy Star appliances and heating/cooling systems.

The Washington, D.C. area is another one of the most eco-friendly and liveable places in the United States, according to AARP. The Atrium at Metro West is a new condominium community that provides easy access to public transportation, restaurants, and grocery stores. Also, the community encourages an eco-friendly active lifestyle.

Built by PulteGroup, homes in this community start in the mid $400s and range from about 1,100 to 1,500 square feet with one to two bedrooms. Eco-friendly features include Energy Star appliances and heating/cooling systems.

Request more information about The Atrium at Metro West here.

Sun City FestivalBuckeye, AZ

Mid $200s – High $500s

A sidewalk leading down a tree-lined street in Sun City Festival in Buckeye, Arizona
This 45+ community offers an active lifestyle with green living in mind.

Sun City Festival is the newest Del Webb community in the Phoenix area. With over 7,000 homes planned, this 45+ community offers an active lifestyle with green living in mind.

The 22 floor plans are all intended to be energy-saving, while new technologies and construction methods reduce energy waste and promote conservation. Residents can also select Energy Star appliances and eco-friendly finishes for the home interiors. New single-family homes range from the mid $200s to the high $500s and offer one to four bedrooms.

Request more information about Sun City Festival here.

Can you spot the $207,744 difference between these identical homes?

Financing is the difference!

Get the details in The 62+ Loan Homebuyers Guide.

55places Mortgage is a joint venture between Mutual of Omaha Mortgage and 55places.com.
Details here.

We're here to help! (800) 928-2055

Call us to speak with a customer service representative.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get Weekly Updates

I agree that 55places and its affiliates, partner providers or agents may call, text, or email me about my inquiry, which may be made with automated means. I understand that my consent is not a prerequisite for buying a property. I may revoke my consent at any time by contacting optout@55places.com. Message/data rates may apply. I also agree to 55places.com’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Popular 55+ Havens: Gated Communities Near Houston, TX

Many active adults looking for Texas homes for sale in Space City have their sights set on gated 55+ communities. If you want to learn more about gated 55+ communities in the Houston area, we’ve highlighted six popular communities that provide easy access to the city as well as all the benefits of living in a gated neighborhood.

Moving to Texas? Everything Retirees Need to Know

The Lone Star State offers a way of life that’s as vast and varied as the state itself. Whether you have your suitcase packed or you’re just beginning your research, we’ve compiled this handy guide of everything you need to know about moving to Texas.

Twilight view of Downtown Houston, a good place to retire.

Is Houston a Good Place to Retire? Discovering a Texas Retirement Haven

Retirees looking for homes for sale in Texas will find that this vibrant city has much to offer. Whether you’re thinking of moving to Houston to live near family or you simply want a change of pace, active adults can explore multiple active lifestyle communities in H-town. Read on for five reasons to retire in Houston.

The outdoor patio at Heathergate at Oxford Valley in Langhorne, Pennsylvania.

New Active Adult Communities Added to 55places.com

In this comprehensive roundup, we bring you the latest additions to 55places.com—a trusted resource for exploring active adult communities. Over the past 30 days, several new communities have joined the ranks, each offering different amenities and locations.

Aerial view of Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina.

Active Adult Communities Near the Beach in Wilmington, NC

There are many different reasons to live in historic Wilmington, North Carolina. Thankfully, for active adults who want to retire near the area’s sandy shores, there are a number of incredible communities to consider. Here are four of the best active adult communities near Wilmington’s scenic beaches.

A red line separating an image of Myrtle Beach in South Carolina and Wilmington in North Carolina.

Wilmington vs Myrtle Beach: Where Should You Retire?

It’s no secret that North and South Carolina are highly sought-after destinations for 55+ adults. Among some of the states’ top retirement destinations are the towns of Wilmington and Myrtle Beach. The two beach towns each have their own charm and offer residents a variety of different amenities.

About 55places

We’re changing the way people 55 and older are searching for their perfect next place. With a national network of hand-selected real estate experts, plus comprehensive information, unbiased content, and on-the-go insight about thousands of communities across the country, we’re a trusted resource paving the way from here to home. Whether you’re interested in a low-maintenance single-level residence, an active lifestyle or age-qualified community, an intimate enclave, or anything in between, we can help you make your next move the best one yet.

Scroll to Top