Survey says: Most active adults who move into retirement communities are social creatures, who enjoy spending time with like-minded friends. That factoid may not have been broadcast on a game show, but it certainly is true. And there’s plenty of research to prove that socializing is good for you. According to Psychology Today, socializing provides mental and physical health benefits for people of all ages.
To start with, socializing with others lowers depression and increases overall well-being. Some studies also claim that it improves brain health and can lower the risk of dementia. Socializing can also boost your immune system, which can help fight illnesses and infections. Best of all? Those who enjoy being with others also tend to live longer.
A large number of the active adult neighborhoods on 55places.com have clubs, activities, and events for homeowners. Some really stand out for the sheer number of selections, with everything from singing groups to singles clubs. Today, we're looking at Northern New Jersey to see which caught our eye. Let's take a look at what these communities have to offer.
High $200s - Low $500s
It’s not surprising that we chose Del Webb’s upscale Wanaque Reserve for this list, as this builder has a reputation for its vibrant lifestyle communities. At the heart of Wanaque Reserve is The Lodge with indoor and outdoor pools, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a movie theater, a ballroom, a crafts studio, a bar, and a ballroom. Homeowners also get good use of the bocce ball and tennis courts outside.
With more than 40 lifestyle groups and events to try, no one gets left out of the fun. Favorites include the school volunteer program, book discussions, movie club, overnight trips, drama workshop, and golf club.
This gated property was built from 2004 to 2014 in a picturesque setting about 35 miles northwest of New York City and outside of Norvin Green State Forest. Wanaque Reserve has 755 low-maintenance, resale condos housed in ten five-story buildings. There are three floor plans ranging from 1,768 to 2,119 square feet with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and indoor garage parking spots. Upgrades include dens, granite counters, and crown moldings. The reasonable monthly homeowners' association (HOA) fee provides for landscaping and lawn care as well as trash and snow removal.
Low $400s - Low $700s
Builder K. Hovnanian developed Four Seasons at Great Notch Spa and Club from 2005 through 2018. It's in a scenic part of Passaic County close to Rifle Camp Park, Montclair State University, and Garrett Mountain Reservation.
You’ll find a nice selection of clubs and events to keep you busy here, like the Continuing Learning Club, water volleyball, happy hours, and the Shalom Club. There’s even a full-time activities director on staff to keep everything organized. The 25,000-square-foot clubhouse has an indoor pool with a retractable roof, a fitness center, a dance studio, an indoor spa, a ballroom, a crafts studio, and a fireplace lounge. Head outside to see the tennis courts, bocce ball courts, outdoor pool and patio, driving range, and putting green. The two closest golf courses are Preakness Valley and Paramus Golf Course.
Four Seasons at Great Notch has 814 resale condo and attached homes within its gates, with over a dozen floor plans ranging from 1,426 to 2,907 square feet. They feature two to three bedrooms, two to three bathrooms, and one- or two-car garages. Some of these luxury homes have options like hardwood floors, dens, and gourmet kitchens.
Below $100k - High $200s
Also in Passaic County, Bald Eagle Commons is an established, affordable 55+ neighborhood with 463 resale condo and attached homes. This gated property is about six miles south of the New York state border close to Long Pond Ironworks State Park. Bonus points: There's a shopping center with a restaurant and pharmacy right outside the community entrance.
Homeowners gather at ice cream socials, the annual craft fair, exercise classes, and art classes. They also keep busy with group casino trips, overnight trips, the hiking/walking club, holiday parties, and the travel club. Grange Hall serves as the community clubhouse, and it offers an outdoor pool and spa, a media center, a game room, and an exercise room. The property also has walking trails, bocce, tennis, a greenhouse, and a community transit bus.
Most homes here are condos ranging from 655 to 1,581 square feet with one or two bedrooms, one or two bathrooms, and assigned parking. The select number of townhomes range from 2,175 to 2,414 square feet with two bedrooms, three baths, and attached one-car garages. These comfortable homes may have options like hardwood floors, fireplaces, patios, and vaulted ceilings.
High $200s - High $300s
Located in Morris County, Fox Hills is downsizing-friendly with 672 resale condos. This gated, 55+ community has over 20 lifestyle groups, including book club, line dancing, Chaverim, and water aerobics.
The community was built from 2000 to 2003, just north of Route 80 and close to Rockaway Townsquare Mall and Tourne County Park. Its impressive clubhouse boasts a fitness center, two pools, a ballroom, game rooms, a TV lounge, and sports courts. Residents also spend time together at the outdoor garden, greenhouse, and walking trails.
There are a dozen condo floor plans ranging from 820 to 2,935 square feet with one to three bedrooms, one to two-and-a-half baths, and assigned garage parking. Options include dens, balconies, and breakfast nooks.
Mid $200s - Mid $400s
Completed in 2018 by Lennar Homes, Greenbriar at Fox Ridge is a low-maintenance 55+ condo community in Rockaway. This gated neighborhood has 336 resale condos, a variety of social activities, and a beautiful clubhouse.
The 16,000-square-foot clubhouse is a big draw, offering an indoor pool, spa, and sauna; a fitness center with a dance studio; a ballroom and catering kitchen; and activity rooms. There's also an outdoor pool, bocce ball, tennis, and an outdoor pavilion. Community groups and activities include holiday parties, Mah Jongg, cookie exchanges, yoga, poker, and knitting.
Greenbriar’s condo units are housed in three-story buildings with elevator access and underground parking spots. The condos are sized from 979 to 1,997 square feet with one to two bedrooms and one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half bathrooms. Features include living/dining room combinations, large balconies and laundry rooms, and breakfast nooks.