Historic Court Square in Charlottesville, Virginia

Many retirees are heading to Virginia for a cozy lifestyle in these charming 55+ communities.

Many retirees are finding their new homes in Virginia, according to the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center. The study found that the number of adults over 60 grew in many Virginia counties, including the ones around Charlottesville. The findings suggest that people who made their homes in the north don’t want to move all the way to Florida, and those living in the crowded I-95 corridor want to move to quieter, calmer rural communities in the Mid-Atlantic.

Central Virginia and the Charlottesville area meet those needs for many active adults. The Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains offer outdoor activities spanning from hiking to biking to fishing. Small towns like Lexington, Culpepper, and Staunton feature main streets with shops and restaurants, while larger cities with universities like Charlottesville and Harrisonburg provide cultural venues and events.

Although Charlottesville has a higher cost of living than surrounding areas, prospective homebuyers can still find affordable active adult communities in the area. The average home price in Charlottesville is under $300,000, which is about half of the average price in Northern Virginia.

Here are the top four most affordable communities in central Virginia.

University Village - Charlottesville

Mid $200s - High $800s

University Village is the only 55+ community within the city limits of Charlottesville. This 94-unit condominium building provides residents with the best of college-town living alongside an active adult lifestyle. Residents can walk to coffee shops and shopping centers, while the downtown mall is just two miles away.

In addition to the attractions in lively Charlottesville, residents can also take advantage of the condo building’s amenities. Residents have access to an exercise room, an indoor pool, meeting and craft rooms, and common spaces like a library, dining rooms, and a garden and patio.

The homes offered for resale at University Village make the most affordable list because homebuyers get great value for their money. One-bedroom and two-bedroom condos start in the low to mid $300s.

The Villages at Nahor - Palmyra

Mid $200s - High $300s

Located 15 miles southeast of Charlottesville, The Villages at Nahor is an intimate community that will include 102 homes when complete. Southern Development began construction on the age-restricted community in 2008, and currently offers new and resale homes in four models.

The attached and single-family homes range from two to four bedrooms and provide residents with plenty of space. Residents can take full advantage of their yards, patios, and gardens, without having to worry about upkeep. The Homeowners’ Association fees take care of lawn care, landscaping, and common area maintenance, in addition to snow and trash removal.

Residents also enjoy swimming in the outdoor pool, socializing and meeting other residents at the clubhouse, and enjoying the greenspace of the community, including a garden, walking trails, a gazebo, a picnic area, and a playground for grandkids.

Village at Meadow Pointe - Harrisonburg

Mid $200s - High $300s

The greater Harrisonburg area, located about forty miles northwest of Charlottesville, is home to a number of active adult communities, including the Village at Meadow Pointe. This 55+ neighborhood includes 136 homes built by Oak Crest Builders from 2003-2007. Homebuyers can find two-bedroom, two-bath attached homes from the mid $200s to mid $300s.

In the community, residents enjoy getting to know neighbors at the activity center. The Village at Meadow Point is also just minutes from James Madison University, Downtown Harrisonburg, shopping malls, and golf courses. Although located close to town, residents experience the natural beauty of the region at the ponds, trails, and greenspaces in the neighborhood.

Downey Knolls - Elkton

Low $200s - High $200s

Located just outside Harrisonburg, Downey Knolls offers adults over 55 the opportunity to build a new home in the Shenandoah Valley. Builder BBWL began construction on the intimate community in 2014 and offers new single-family and attached homes starting in the low $200s.

The ranch-style homes range from 1,000 to 1,400 square feet, with two to three bedrooms. The builders plan to add a clubhouse and a 9-hole golf course to the community. However, residents can already take advantage of all the natural beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities in the area. Within a ten-minute drive, Downey Knolls residents can hit the slopes, tee off at the Massanutten Resort, or take to the hiking trails of the Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive.