The word “leisure” appears often in the names of retirement communities (and with good reason). Active adult neighborhoods are built to meet the needs of people who have put in their time and are now ready to enjoy the better things in life. In New Jersey alone, you have six "leisure" communities, including Leisure Village East and Leisure Village West. Both are in Ocean County, only 10 miles apart from one another.
Deciding between these two can be tricky, but we've put their important information together here to make things easier. After comparing their locations, home designs, amenities, and lifestyles, you'll be armed with the information you need to make the right choice. It helps to know that both are gated neighborhoods with resale attached homes in the same price range. Here's everything else you need to know.
This well-established, gated 55+ community was completed in 1974, and it has 1,412 attached homes priced from below $100k to the high $100s.
Lakewood is 10 miles inland from NJ’s coastline and the Atlantic Ocean. It's also close to other bodies of water like Toms River and Silver Bay. The closest beaches are at Windward Beach Park, Beachwood, and Manasquan.
Just minutes from the Garden State Parkway and Route 70, Lakewood is also easy to get to. The nearby Town & Country Shopping Center has a Costco, a bank, and a Home Depot. Drive a bit farther and you’ll run into restaurants, sporting goods stores, a Trader Joe’s, a ShopRite, a Best Buy, and a Marshalls. The closest hospitals are Ocean Medical Center and Monmouth Medical Center.
Also, you won’t have to travel far to find fun things to do. Top-notch golf facilities are close by, including Eagle Ridge Golf Club and the Toms River Driving Range. There are many public parks in the area, and when the weather is cooler, you can head to the Lakewood Historical Museum or take your grandkids to Insectropolis.
Leisure Village East Real Estate
There are five resale attached models ranging from 630 to 1,690 square feet with one to two bedrooms, one to two baths, and either a one-car garage or an assigned parking spot. All homes include screened-in porches and plenty of storage space.
Some homes have options like gourmet kitchens with upgraded countertops, paver patios, new floors, new appliances, and eat-in kitchens. The monthly homeowners’ association (HOA) fee covers trash and snow removal, lawn maintenance, and other community services.
Amenities and Lifestyle
Leisure Village East offers highly sought-after indoor and outdoor amenities to keep homeowners involved and active. First, there's the 9-hole golf course, which was built when the community opened. Also, there’s the 18,790-square-foot community clubhouse, which has an auditorium, meeting rooms, a fitness center, a woodworking shop, and an outdoor pool. Residents can also spend time playing bocce and shuffleboard. There's also a community bus as well as several lakes on the property, including one that's boat accessible.
There's a large selection of group activities and events at this community, such as ladies’ golf, dance club, Italian American and Jewish American Clubs, garden club, line dancing, ceramics, computers, and Tai Chi. Neighbors who travel together can go to JFK International in New York City or Newark International.
Leisure Village West is also established and gated, but it's a bit newer, built from 1972 to 1993. It's also larger, with 2,692 resale attached homes priced from below $100k to the high $100s.
Manchester is farther south than Lakewood, about 12 or so miles from ocean beach towns like Seaside Park. It's also near Barnegat Bay, so opportunities for fishing are everywhere. Just outside of the property, there's a shopping plaza with a bank, restaurants, a Lowe’s, and a ShopRite with a pharmacy.
The intersection of Route 9 and the Garden State Parkway is minutes away, as is the Indian Head Shopping Center, which has a Home Depot, restaurants, and banks. In addition to being near the same hospitals and airports as Leisure Village East, Leisure Village West is close to a community medical center, Ocean County College, a Walmart, and the Ocean County Mall.
Leisure Village West Real Estate
If you want more floor plans to choose from, Leisure Village West has over 20 ranging from 737 to 2,013 square feet with one to two bedrooms, one to two-and-a-half bathrooms, and one- to two-car garages or nearby parking. Some of the available homes for sale have upgrades like large patios, updated windows and appliances, granite kitchen countertops, sunrooms, and new flooring.
Amenities and Lifestyle
Leisure Village West also has an HOA that collects reasonable monthly fees to cover the costs of snow removal, landscaping, and common area maintenance. And since it's nearly twice the size of Leisure Village East, it's not surprising that it has two 9-hole golf courses, Willow and Pines.
The main clubhouse is Willow Hall. There, you’ll find a performance hall, a crafts studio, a lounge and catering kitchen, an outdoor pool, bocce ball, and shuffleboard. Club Encore is smaller, but it has its own performance theater, photography studio, exercise room, outdoor pool, and bocce ball, pickleball, and tennis courts. Leisure Fair, the third clubhouse, has additional multipurpose rooms for residents. Additional amenities include walking trails, RV parking, and three lakes on the grounds.
Like its counterpart, Leisure Village West has an impressive selection of clubs, activities, and events for its residents. Top choices include clubs for singles, fishing, gardening, chess, photography, investments, softball, volleyball, and of course, golf.