If the very idea of moving into an active adult community has you worried that you may not be able to afford it, don't worry. There are many communities in the U.S. that offer attractive homes at budget-friendly prices. Take Pennsylvania, for example. Out of its 231 active adult neighborhoods, there are plenty of options with homes for sale priced at $175k and under. While they aren't right on the outskirts of the larger cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, living close to a major metropolitan area may not be your cup of tea.
Pennsylvania also has a lower cost of living than its neighboring states of New Jersey and New York. Also, compared to the national average, it's only one percent higher. The income tax rate is a flat 3.07 percent, and the sales tax is 6 percent (groceries, most clothing, prescription drugs, and residential heating fuels are exempt). Retirees also benefit from the state’s tax laws because retirement income like social security, 401(k)s, pensions, and IRAs as not taxed.
Now that you have the facts, you may want to consider retiring in Pennsylvania. Here are four of our favorite 55+ communities with affordably priced homes in the $175k range.
Below $100k - Mid $300s
An active lifestyle community that houses multiple condo buildings, Oak Hill is separated into three communities: The Tower at Oak Hill, Oak Hill Estates, and Oak Hill Terraces. These buildings offer a range of options, from studios to three-bedroom condos. Interior features include open kitchens; vinyl, wood, or carpet flooring; plenty of natural sunlight; and spacious bedrooms. Built between 1964 and 1973, Oak Hill has a total of 643 condos available on a resale basis.
Residents have access to a variety of amenities, including two fitness centers, outdoor pools, and recreational facilities. Also, thanks to a homeowners’ association (HOA) that takes care of the common area, lawn, and road maintenance, residents of Oak Hill can lead a low-maintenance lifestyle, allowing more free time to participate in many of the on-site social activities.
Mid $100s - Mid $200s
Carlisle is about 30 minutes west of Harrisburg in Cumberland County. It's a mid-sized borough close to the Appalachian Trail and home to Dickinson College (with continuing education classes). Creek View is about 20 minutes from the center of town, and the community offers 305 new and resale single-family homes.
There are 18 well-designed ranch floor plans ranging from 1,202 to 1,750 square feet with two to three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and attached one- or two-car garages. Options include dens, porches, and comfortable morning rooms. The association fee provides for water, sewer, and trash removal. Property amenities include a fishing pond, a barbecue area, an RV parking area, a walking trail, and a private clubhouse. Popular group activities include Wii competitions, horseshoes, potluck dinners, and card games.
Mid $100s - High $100s
Closer to the Reading area in Berks County, Douglass Village will have 302 new and resale manufactured homes when work is completed. These energy-efficient, ranch-style homes are offered in eight floor plans with two or three bedrooms, two bathrooms, deluxe master suites, gourmet kitchens, and attached one- or two-car garages. Douglass Village’s HOA fee covers trash and snow removal, lawn care, and common area maintenance.
The modern clubhouse has a catering kitchen, a gathering room, a dining area, an exercise room, and a game room as well as a heated swimming pool, a patio area, and walking trails. Douglass Village also gets bonus points for having a Walmart Supercenter, a post office, and restaurants just outside of its entrance. Nearby attractions include Blackwood Golf Course and Coventry Mall. Also, Pottstown is only a few miles away, and it's full of shops, services, and restaurants.
Low $100s - High $100s
A suburb of Lebanon, Myerstown is a friendly borough with a population of around 3,000. Arbor Gate was built from 1997 through 2005, and it offers 378 resale single-family homes. It's a land-lease community, meaning that home purchase prices are lower, but homeowners pay monthly land-lease fees.
There are 10 floor plans ranging from 1,234 to 2,058 square feet with two or three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and attached one- or two-car garages. Some have features like decks, fireplaces, and patios, and the monthly homeowner’s association (HOA) fee covers trash removal, sewer, and common area maintenance.
Arbor Gate’s Lakeview Center is a hub for activity, with craft and game rooms, a ballroom, a catering kitchen, a coffee shop, a beauty salon, and an exercise room. It's often the site for social activities like potluck dinners, aerobics class, and 1950s and 1960s dances. There’s also a large fishing lake on the grounds, and nearby outdoor attractions include Lebanon Valley Golf Course and Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area.