Condo living doesn't have to mean missing out on all the luxuries and amenities of an active adult community.

Orange County, California is home to a host of 55+ communities, and, because of the active adult lifestyle and sunny environment, condominium living is a specialty.

Condos are an option worth serious consideration for prospective active adult home buyers who are shopping the more expensive housing markets. You may find living in an apartment-style condo considerably less expensive than purchasing and maintaining a single-family home. You have to consider the location and size of the residence, but generally speaking, you would spend less purchasing a two-bedroom, two-bath condo than a three-bedroom, two-bath single-family home in a suburban neighborhood.

Also, when you purchase a condo you only own the inside of the residence. The condo association owns all of the exterior space like common areas, facilities, and yards. That means less maintenance for you to have to worry about.

Condo owners can pick up and go as they please without having to worry about keeping up with landscaping and other exterior maintenance. Professional associations manage condo buildings and the owners pay association fees that take care of the exterior maintenance and repairs, landscaping, and common utilities. Some condo association fees may be higher because they include more services, shared facilities, and common area spaces.

Virtually all 55+ communities and neighborhoods are managed by a homeowners' association (HOA). Condo associations are often more restrictive, governing who you can sell your unit to or if you are allowed to lease your unit. They can also regulate pets, patio furniture, and parking spaces.

In Orange County, a select five active adult communities are known for condo living. Let's take a look at all of them in ascending order from fewer than 100 units to more than 6,000 condos.

Windward Cove - Huntington Beach

Low $200s - Low $300s

Windward Cove condos are located on the west side of Huntington Beach. This is a small neighborhood of only 96 units within an enclosed area and designed for 55+ residents.

The Windward Cove community was first built in 1984 and features one- to two-bedroom condos that range from 540 to 800 square feet of living space. Homeowners' association dues include common area grounds maintenance and a gated entrance. This is a pet-friendly complex with assigned parking.

For recreation, nearby Huntington State Beach spans 121 acres of sand and surf, has a coastal bike trail, game courts, and bonfire areas. The beach hosts an annual jazz festival, Oktoberfest, and Fourth of July fireworks. Huntington Beach golf courses include the Meadowlark, SeaCliff, and Costa Mesa Golf Courses.

Buena Vida La Floresta - Brea

Low $800s - Low $1Ms

Buena Vida at La Floresta – built by Del Webb in Brea – offers two condo collections, Olvera and Solana. There are seven contemporary floor plans featuring the latest trends in new home design with open living layouts, gourmet kitchens anchored by oversized kitchen islands and every day entries. The designs are ideal for in-home entertaining, with integrated covered patios which help connect indoor and outdoor living spaces.

The Buena Vida Clubhouse is an expansive 7,200-square-foot private community center offering indoor and outdoor amenities like a resort-style pool, spa, pickleball courts, neighborhood gathering areas, and more.

Buena Vida residents are close to daily conveniences, shopping, and attractions. Golfers and outdoor enthusiasts have several options nearby including Carbon Canyon Regional Park, Chino Hills State Park, Birch Hills Golf Course, and Black Gold Golf Club.

Huntington Landmark - Huntington Beach

Low $400s - Mid $600s

Huntington Landmark is active living in a beach community. It's less than two miles from the shore at Huntington Beach, also known as "Surf City USA," and host to the International Surfing Museum. Also nearby is the coastal bike trail, the Huntington Beach pier, and downtown shopping district.

Built in 1983, Huntington Landmark has over 1,200 condos. It offers resort-style living, with a clubhouse, gym, pools, spas, putting green and outdoor recreation. The community is also filled with lovely trees, landscaping, large grassy areas, and sidewalks throughout for exercise walks and strolls with pets. And access gates are guarded.

All the rich recreation, entertainment, arts and cultural opportunities Southern California has to offer are close at hand for residents of Huntington Landmark.

Leisure World Seal Beach - Seal Beach

High $100s - Low $500s

Just two miles from the ocean, Leisure World Seal Beach enjoys a nearly ideal year-round climate as afternoon sea breezes cool the sunny coast. Community residences consist of more than 3,000 condos, in five different floor plans ranging from 550 to 1,540 square feet.

Recreation amenities at the community include a well-equipped fitness center, a nine-hole, three-par golf course, tennis courts, bocce courts, and a large swimming pool and spa. There are six clubhouses with lounges, meeting rooms and a dozen kitchens.

Just outside one of the gates is Seal Beach Village, a shopping area that caters to residents' everyday needs like groceries, banking, and medical services. Downtown Seal Beach and Sunset Beach are a stone's throw away. Day trips to Big Bear, Palm Springs, and San Diego are just a two-hour drive.

Laguna Woods Village - Laguna Woods

Mid $100s - Mid $1Ms

Laguna Woods Village is the area's biggest and most popular active adult community with more than 6,000 condo units. The community is situated in the southern stretches of OC, surrounded by newer and more affluent suburbs, and adjacent to the master-planned city of Irvine, and the resort communities of Laguna Beach and Newport Beach.

Recreational opportunities abound in Laguna Woods Village. Avid golfers enjoy a respected, championship level 27-hole course and a separate nine-hole, three par circuit. More recreation is found at two fully-equipped fitness centers and gyms, five pools, tennis courts, bocce and lawn bowling courts, horse stables, and dozens of other year-round venues.

Residents also enjoy making new friends at dinners, dances, civic events and some 250 unique activity groups at seven different clubhouses. Bus service, guarded gates, and maintenance-free living are all part of the appeal of Laguna Woods Village.