A home in a New Jersey 55+ community is easier to find than you might think. (Image via Shutterstock.com)

Where does North Jersey end, and where does South Jersey start? Ask ten Jersey residents, and you will get ten different answers. For our purposes, we’ll say that South Jersey starts around Trenton and goes down from there. There’s also Central Jersey, but that’s another story.

With 128 active adult communities, South Jersey is a magnet for 55+ adults. Many of these neighborhoods vie for space near the state’s east coast, which is studded with beach towns. Going “down the shore” on hot summer days and throughout the rest of the year is a favorite pastime for lucky locals. There are around 130 miles of beaches, and they all have special personalities, from Victorian-themed Cape May to exciting Atlantic City to mellow Long Beach Island.

Other 55+ communities enjoy close proximity to Philadelphia, our nation’s first capital. Depending on where they live, homeowners can drive over any of the bridges and get into the city for world-class medical care, theater and museums, festivals, shopping, and an unbelievable array of restaurants.

In between the coast and Philly are the Pine Barrens, or “The Pines,” a heavily forested area that covers a good portion of seven South Jersey counties. Hikers, bikers, anglers, and anyone else that loves the great outdoors will find endless outdoor recreation activities in all of the many state forests here. Wharton State Forest is the biggest and offers trails, rivers, and lakes for canoes and kayaks, plus wildlife observation opportunities.  

Though it has magnificent beaches, pristine parks, and forests, and a prime location near both Philadelphia and New York City, living in South Jersey can be quite affordable. As you go further north towards NYC, the prices tend to get higher. One of the best things about South Jersey is that active adults can easily find a reasonably priced, low-maintenance abode that suits their needs.

Read on to learn about some of our favorite communities below, all with homes priced at under $150k.  

Covington Village  Lakewood

Below $100k - Mid $100s

One of the most inexpensive active adult communities in NJ, Covington Village was built from 2005 to 2012 by Matzel Development. This mid-sized neighborhood has 360 condos spanning 35 wooded acres in Ocean County. There are four models ranging from 890 to 1,165 square feet and one to two bedrooms and bathrooms.

The private, 12,000 square-foot clubhouse has its own movie theater, banquet hall, exercise room, saunas, and library. Friends here gather to watch football games, brunches, and parties. Outdoors, there is a pool and spa, bocce, and charming ponds.

The Fairways at Mays Landing - Mays Landing

Below $100k - Mid $100s

Believe it or not, you can live at a South Jersey retirement community that has a golf club for under $150k. The Fairways at Mays Landing has its own affordable, 18-hole golf course in addition to many other stellar amenities. Built from 1999 to 2005 by Hometown America Communities, this Atlantic County neighborhood has 465 single-family homes. There are many different models, with the smallest at under 1,000 square feet. Most include two bedrooms and bathrooms, an attached garage, and appliances. 

The homeowners association fee provides for common ground maintenance and a municipal fee. There is a private clubhouse with a heated indoor/outdoor pool, an exercise room, and a ballroom. And in addition to that golf course, there is an outdoor pool and a community shuttle.

Leisure Knoll - Manchester

Below $100k - Low $200s

With 1,626 single family homes, this expansive, gated neighborhood has an enviable Ocean County address, friendly residents, superior amenities, and attractive pricing. Leisure Knoll offers 15 different floor plans, sized from a cozy 980 up to 1,728 square feet. The majority of these homes include two bedrooms, one bathroom, first-floor master suites, and attached garages.

The community clubhouse is a hub for activity, with a fitness center, library, and activity rooms. Residents head outside to enjoy the outdoor pool, shuffleboard, tennis, and bocce courts. There is also a putting green, and numerous lakes, ponds, and trails. An activities director helps manage Leisure Knoll’s many social clubs and events, like fishing, bowling, poker, golf, bingo, and more.

Leisuretowne - Southampton Township

Below $100k - High $200s

This aptly-named, 55+ community has 2,255 attached and single-family homes, built by Orleans from 1971 through 1986. Located between Wharton State Forest and Brendan T. Byrne State Forest, Leisuretowne has a 24-hour monitored, gated entry and outstanding amenities. The homes range from 1,000 to 2,300 square feet, usually with two bedrooms, one or two bathrooms, and an attached garage. 

Leisuretowne has two clubhouses, with activity rooms, a fitness center, and a catering kitchen. There is also an outdoor swimming pool, tennis, shuffleboard, bocce, and a driving range. Residents have the added benefit of a community bus, which has regular stops at area shops and restaurants. Many of Leisuretowne’s social groups also use the bus for club events and trips.