Fall foliage reflecting on the water in New Brunswick, New Jersey

If you want a 55+ community but don't plan on golfing, here's where to live to save money.

The prevalence of soaring mountains, trendy suburbs, cities like Morristown and Hoboken, and a proximity to New York City are just some of the reasons why active adults express interest in Northern New Jersey real estate.

Many homebuyers seek retirement communities that have their own courses, but non-players prefer ones without them. Since North Jersey prices can be on the higher end (especially closer to NYC), this is a good way to reduce housing costs.

There certainly is a lot to do up here besides playing golf, anyway. From the stunning Delaware River Gap National Recreation Area on its northwest border to the soon-to-be-opening mega-mall American Dream Meadowlands in Rutherford, North Jersey’s diverse offerings make for a vibrant, rewarding lifestyle.

Health and wellness are also easily prioritized, with some of the best hospitals in the state like Morristown Medical Center, Hackensack University Medical Center, plus all of the options in New York.

There are many compelling reasons to consider homes for sale in North Jersey, and here are some of the best ones (without golf courses) that are worth touring.

The Reserve at Arden Place - Hillsdale

Mid $700s - High $700s

Related Builders Corporation broke ground on this exclusive 55+ community last year, and it will have just 36 new single-family homes when completed. Hillsdale is a woodsy, scenic area near the Hudson River, and local landmarks include Tallman Mountain State Park, Pascack Brook Park, several country clubs, and high-end malls like Paramus Park.

The Reserve at Arden Place offers four spacious models from 2,370 to 2,550 square feet, with three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, and attached two car garages. These well-appointed homes offer first-floor master suites, dens, patios, lofts, and basements. Custom options include stone and granite countertops, and fireplaces, and a homeowners’ association fee provides for snow removal and exterior maintenance.

Paris Square - Northvale

Mid $400s - Mid $600s

This intimate active adult neighborhood of 88 new and resale condos is being finished in prestigious Northvale, just outside of Rockleigh Golf Course and about 14 miles from the Tappan Zee Bridge, which crosses over into New York City.

Builder Northvale Greens provides two home styles in Paris Square, town homes and single family. They range from 1,313 to 2,150 square feet and have two or three bedrooms, two or three bathrooms, and parking or a one-car garage. Desirable touches include cherry cabinets, granite countertops, French doors, and outdoor balconies.

The modern clubhouse has much to offer, including its own movie theater and an exercise room. Outdoor amenities include a putting green, a dog run, a bocce court, and a heated outdoor pool and patio.

Greenbriar at Fox Ridge - Rockaway

Mid $200s - Mid $400s

Greenbriar at Fox Ridge is a newer, gated active adult community, with upscale resale condo homes built by Lennar Homes. Rockaway is in Morris County, about 40 miles west of Manhattan. It's surrounded by parklands, including those at Lake Hopatcong and the Wildcat Ridge Wildlife Management Area. There are also many shopping malls in the area, including Rockaway Townsquare and Rockaway Town Plaza.

The 336 condos are housed in three-story buildings that have underground parking and elevators. The units range from 979 to 1,997 square feet, with one or two bedrooms and one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half bathrooms. The floor plans include oversized balconies, living room/dining room combinations, large dens, and master suites.

Greenbriar has a good-sized clubhouse with standout amenities like an indoor pool, sauna and spa, a fitness center and aerobics studio, a catering kitchen and ballroom, plus an internet cafe and other activity rooms. Outdoor facilities include tennis and bocce courts, an outdoor pool, and a picnic area. There are also plenty of social groups and events, like Jazzercise, poker, movie nights, and holiday parties.

Wanaque Reserve - Wanaque

High $200s - Low $500s

It may be hard to pronounce, but Wanaque Reserve (that’s “wan-a-cue,” by the way) excels at giving active adults the amenity-rich style of living that they desire. Built from 2004 to 2014 by Del Webb, this gated neighborhood has 755 luxury condos on 436 prime acres in Passaic County. It is located just outside of the pristine Wanaque Reservoir Complex and the trails and lakes at Norvin State Forest.

There are three models located in ten different five-story buildings, and the condos range from 1,768 to 2,119 square feet. Residences typically feature two bedrooms, two bathrooms, expansive master suites, dens, and assigned parking spaces.

Resort-style amenities include a 20,000 square foot clubhouse with a modern fitness center, an indoor pool, a sauna, movie theater, computer center, and a ballroom. Outdoors on the property you will find a sparkling outdoor pool and sundeck, plus walking trails, bocce, and tennis. This community is known for its lively activity clubs and events, which cover a wide range of interests for just about anyone.