When the real estate game turns into a buyer’s market, finding the perfect retirement community can be easier than usual. What happens, though, when there are two that check all the boxes? That requires a closer look at both properties. Comparing floor plans, prices, community amenities, lifestyle activities, and location is the best way to narrow down your decision.
Holiday City at Berkeley and Silver Ridge Park are two active adult neighborhoods that have a lot in common, with some differences worth pondering. Both are located in one of South Jersey’s most desirable regions: Ocean County. This is close to Jersey beach resort towns including Long Beach Island, and New York City and Philadelphia are also within driving distance.
Prices and Property Information
One of the main differences between these two 55+ communities is size; Holiday City at Berkeley has 10,636 resale single-family homes, while Silver Ridge Park offers 3,169. Both have similarly priced homes, with Holiday City ranging from below $100k to the low $300s and Silver Ridge Park just slightly higher, from below $100k to the mid $300s.
Holiday City was built from 1969 to 1996 and has five subdivisions:
- Holiday City at Berkeley I & II - 3,236 residences.
- Holiday City Carefree - 1,600+ homes.
- Holiday City West - 1,800+ homes
- Holiday City South - 2,500 homes
- Holiday City Heights - 1,500+ homes
Each of these has its own homeowners’ association (HOA), clubhouse, swimming pool, and activities. Holiday City also has its own retail establishments, banks, restaurants, and amenities for homeowners to use.
Silver Ridge Park was built from 1968 to 1986 and has four neighborhoods: East, North, West, and Westerly. These also have individual HOAs and clubhouses, and like Holiday City, residents are entitled to use all of the community amenities.
Floor Plans and Options
Holiday City Berkeley has 20 single-story floor plans, ranging from 757 to 1,852 square feet, with one to three bedrooms, one to two bathrooms, and one- or two-car garages. Many of these comfortable homes have been renovated, and some have options like dens, en-suite bathrooms, and gourmet kitchens with quartz countertops and stainless-steel appliances. The reasonable HOA fees provide for lawn service and common area maintenance.
Silver Ridge’s five floor plans range from 1,082 to 1,514 square feet, with two bedrooms, one to two bathrooms, and one- or one-and-a-half-car garages. You can find options like hardwood floors, dens, private patios, quartz countertops, and Florida rooms, and the community’s HOA fees cover lawn care, snow removal, and common area maintenance.
Amenities and More
Holiday City Berkeley has six clubhouses throughout its subdivisions, and each also has a swimming pool. Homeowners have access to all of the community’s indoor and outdoor amenities. Whether it be crafting in the studio, playing pickleball or bocce ball, or watching a movie in the media room, there's plenty to enjoy throughout the year. The clubhouses also serve as gathering places for group activities, like the camera club, line dancing, and exercise classes. There’s also an auditorium with a stage at Holiday City Berkeley, plus a community transit service.
Silver Ridge also has a community bus service and four clubhouses. The main one has an outdoor pool and patio, along with a meeting room and a hobby room. Favorite clubs and activities include holiday parties, the singles club, and the garden club.
These two dynamic 55+ communities are just under three miles apart from one another, so this comparison is apples to apples. Both are in Toms River, which has an appealing downtown area, restaurants, museums, and nearby golf courses like Bey Lea and Eagle Oaks. You'll find countless shopping outlets in the area, like Walmart, Dollar Tree, CVS, Shoprite, and clothing stores, since Routes 37 and 9 are so close. The Ocean County Mall is also a short drive away, and there's also a movie theatre just minutes down the road.
Top area medical care is provided by Hackensack Meridian Health, with hospitals in Brick Township and Stafford Township and urgent care centers. And in addition to being close to so many beaches, both of these active adult communities are on the outskirts of Double Trouble State Park and Cattus Island County Park.
A Few Conclusions
We've done the research, and there are some main takeaways to think about. Holiday City at Berkeley is over three times the size of Silver Ridge Park, but both are large enough to have a small-town feel. Holiday City has more floor plans, but it was built around the same time as Silver Ridge.
These communities have enough clubhouses to accommodate their residents, though you will find a few more amenities at Holiday City since it is bigger. Social butterflies can appreciate all of the group activities that both neighborhoods offer as well as the proximity to the Jersey shore and other attractions.