Many homebuyers who follow trends in active lifestyle real estate like to keep an eye on what’s “best,” from the best coming soon communities of 2020 to the 50 best-selling age-restricted communities of 2020. These rankings tend to highlight some of the biggest, largest, and most popular active adult communities in the country. Yet, plenty of retirees can better picture themselves in a small 55+ community instead.
Small 55+ communities are defined as those with 200 or fewer homes, and many active adult neighborhoods across the nation meet this threshold. Some active adults prefer a smaller community for the opportunity to get to know their neighbors better, for an increased sense of security, or for a location closest to family.
To discover which small 55+ communities are some of the best, we tallied up internal data such as average reviews from residents, the number of homes sold, and the frequency of online views. The communities featured on this list span the entire country from coast to coast, appearing in the states of Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, California, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Illinois. With these parameters in mind, here’s a closer look at the 25 best small 55+ communities.
Below $100k - Mid $100s
After much review, the Villages of Willow Run, an age-restricted community in Eastern Pennsylvania with 150 single-family homes, earns the distinction as one of the best small 55+ communities in the country. For active adults who want to live in a small 55+ community near Philadelphia, Villages of Willow Run is a top choice.
The tight-knit community offers ranch-style homes and amenities that include a clubhouse, an exercise room, and an outdoor pool. Residents can also reach the world-class city of Philadelphia within 45 minutes.
Mid $500s - High $600s
Another popular small 55+ community near Philadelphia is The Villas of Newtown, located just 35 minutes from the heart of the city. This age-restricted community plans to include just 127 ranch-style attached homes upon completion, with both new and resale homes available.
At The Villas of Newtown, residents enjoy a low-maintenance lifestyle thanks to a homeowners’ association (HOA) that takes care of lawn care and snow removal. With more free time, residents can make use of the community’s amenities, which feature a clubhouse with indoor and outdoor pools, a fitness center, and a grand ballroom.
Mid $200s - Low $300s
As one of the best small communities in Southern New Jersey, Horizons at Barnegat offers a tight-knit age-restricted neighborhood that supports an active physical and social lifestyle. Located in Ocean County, New Jersey, the 55+ community Horizons at Barnegat consists of 164 single-family homes.
The amenities at Horizons at Barnegat include a 4,500-square-foot clubhouse with an exercise room, a card room, and an outdoor pool. The full social calendar of activities, clubs, and classes includes offerings such as happy hours, holiday parties, art shows, board games, dinner clubs, and poker.
Mid $300s - High $400s
At Four Seasons at South Brunswick in Middlesex County, active adults can find a small 55+ community with 192 single-family homes and a range of luxury amenities. Built between 2004 and 2007 by developer K. Hovnanian, this age-restricted community offers spacious one- and two-story homes that range from 1,500 to 3,430 square feet.
In addition to desirable floor plans, residents enjoy amenities such as a 7,000-square-foot clubhouse with an exercise room, a game room, and a card room as well as an outdoor pool. At the clubhouse, residents can participate in social activities such as book club, card club, singles group, and travel group.
5. Mirabella - Bradenton, FL
Low $300s - High $400s
Active adults searching for small 55+ communities with homes for sale in Florida can find what they’re looking for at Mirabella, a gated age-restricted community located in Bradenton. Since breaking ground in 2015, the community offers new and resale attached homes for sale with plans for 160 attached homes total.
The low-maintenance townhomes, which range from 1,524 to 1,764 square feet, also include all lawn care, which allows residents to have more leisure time to use the amenities. With so many desirable features and a Southwest Florida location, Mirabella takes a top spot on this list for its positive reviews.
Mid $400s - Mid $500s
Located in Mercer County in Central New Jersey, Elements at West Windsor is a luxury age-restricted community with 156 single-family homes. More than 115 acres of open spaces, including woodlands, farmlands, and walking trails, surround the spacious homes, which range from 1,805 to 3,068 square feet.
A full-time activities director coordinates a social calendar with activities and clubs such as fitness classes, painting club, bridge, theatre club, and pot luck dinners. Many of the activities take place at the clubhouse, which offers 10,000 square feet of amenities.
Mid $200s - High $200s
Thanks to an HOA that takes care of all lawn maintenance and snow removal, residents of Stirling Glen can live a low-maintenance lifestyle in a small age-restricted community. This gated 55+ community located in Southern New Jersey’s Gloucester County plans to include 195 single-family homes upon completion.
At Stirling Glen, interested homebuyers can find a range of amenities and lifestyle activities to explore. The clubhouse features amenities such as a fitness center, a card room, and an outdoor pool and patio.
Low $800s - Low $1Ms
Auberge at Del Sur, a gated 55+ community located in the master-planned Del Sur development in San Diego, is one of the most luxurious small 55+ communities on this list and perhaps in the country. Renowned builders Lennar Homes and CalAtlantic Homes finished construction on this 55+ community in 2017, which consists of 196 single-family and attached homes total.
High $200s - Low $300s
Residents of The Orchards of Roswell, a gated 55+ community with 158 attached homes, can reach downtown Atlanta within 30 minutes. The convenient location surrounded by daily conveniences and within proximity of Atlanta makes The Orchards of Roswell one of the best small 55+ communities.
The low-maintenance attached homes offer approximately 1,562 square feet of living space. The community’s amenities feature a clubhouse with an exercise room, gathering spaces, and an outdoor pool and patio.
Low $100s - Mid $100s
For a sought-after maintenance-free lifestyle, active adults can consider The Village at Linwood, a well-established gated 55+ community in Linwood, New Jersey that consists of 188 condominium homes. The low-maintenance condominium lifestyle gives residents more freedom to enjoy their leisure, spend time with family, and travel for extended periods of time.
The Southern New Jersey location also puts residents within 20 minutes of Atlantic City and the Atlantic City International Airport. Residents can also enjoy amenities and lifestyle activities close to home.
Low $200s - High $200s
The extensive amenities at Four Seasons at Forest Meadows, a 55+ community with 197 single-family homes, include a clubhouse with a fitness center, a card room, an arts and crafts studio, a billiards room, and social gathering spaces. The outdoor amenities continue with a pool, patio, tennis court, bocce ball court, and walking and biking trails.
Four Seasons at Forest Meadows also offers an impressive lineup of activities, clubs, and classes. Some of the regular social events include mystery dinners, magic shows, craft sales, community barbecues, and pool parties.
12. Wedgewood Place - Brick, NJ
High $200s - Low $300s
Wedgewood Place is a tight-knit 55+ community located in Brick Township in Ocean County, a desirable area of Southern New Jersey. The well-established community, which consists of 145 single-family homes, offers affordable resale homes for sale that range from 1,581 to 1,625 square feet.
The homes also provide a sought-after low-maintenance lifestyle since the HOA covers all lawn care, sprinkler systems, and snow removal. Instead of landscaping or mowing, residents can spend their free time using the amenities and participating in activities, events, and clubs.
13. Carmella - Mechanicsburg, PA
High $200s - Low $300s
Based on the positive reviews, residents seem to agree that Carmella has plenty to offer for active adults looking for low-maintenance attached homes for sale in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. In addition to amenities such as a clubhouse, the tight-knit 55+ community plans to include 190 attached homes upon completion.
The attached homes, which offer maintenance-free living, range from 1,513 to 2,566 square feet with two or three bedrooms, two or two-and-a-half bathrooms, and attached two-car garages. Some homes feature dens, great rooms with gas fireplaces, first-floor master suites, and second stories lofts and guest suites.
Mid $500s - High $700s
With resort-style amenities, abundant lifestyle activities, and luxury floor plans, Regency at the Woods of South Barrington connects residents to many of the features found at larger active adult communities, but in a smaller neighborhood setting. The gated 55+ community, located in the master-planned South Barrington development, includes just 156 single-family homes.
Residents of the community have access to amenities that include their own private neighborhood amenities as well as those found throughout the master-planned development. With 13 five-star reviews, interested homebuyers can see what current residents have to say about the community.
Low $300s - High $400s
The location of Haverford Place in the northwest suburbs of Chicago puts residents within 45 minutes of downtown and 20 minutes of O’Hare International Airport, connecting active adults to some of the best outdoor recreation, entertainment, and shopping opportunities in the area. Builder Ryland Homes finished construction of the 55+ community in 2009 with a total of 184 single-family homes.
The ranch-style single-family homes, which come in 10 unique floor plans, range from 1,878 to 2,202 square feet with two or three bedrooms, two or three bathrooms, and attached two-car garages. The amenities feature a 4,000-square-foot clubhouse.
High $200s - Mid $400s
Active adults who want to retire in Virginia can find a luxury lifestyle at Four Seasons at New Kent Vineyards, a 55+ community with 155 single-family homes located within the master-planned New Kent Vineyards development. The desirable floor plans, designed for main-level living, range from 1,434 to 3,238 square feet.
Residents of the age-restricted neighborhood have access to their own clubhouse as well as the world-class amenities found throughout the development. The resort-style amenities include an additional clubhouse, aquatic center, 18-hole championship golf course, and even a winery.
Mid $300s - Mid $400s
With 182 single-family homes, the gated 55+ community Renaissance at Cranbury Crossing boasts an abundance of amenities within a small neighborhood setting. Along with a variety of floor plans to choose from, residents enjoy amenities and social activities coordinated by a full-time lifestyle director.
The 7,200-square-foot clubhouse offers amenities such as an exercise room, an arts and crafts studio, and a card room. The outdoor amenities include a pool, a patio, and athletic courts for tennis, bocce, and shuffleboard.
Mid $400s - High $500s
Four Seasons at Sterling Pointe is a small 55+ community in Franklin Township, New Jersey with 189 single-family and attached homes. With floor plans from both K. Hovnanian and Sterling Properties, interested homebuyers have plenty of choices to find the residence that’s right for them.
Some of the desirable amenities at Four Seasons at Sterling Pointe include an 8,000-square-foot clubhouse with a fitness center, a fireplace lounge, an arts and crafts studio, a card room, and multipurpose gathering spaces that host activities and clubs. During the warmer seasons, residents can enjoy an outdoor pool and patio.
Mid $200s - Low $300s
Located just 25 minutes east of Downtown Nashville and 15 minutes from the international airport, The Cottages of Providence provides residents with close proximity to Music City. The small 55+ neighborhood, located in the master-planned community of Providence, consists of 116 attached homes with access to amenities and social activities.
The one-story attached homes range from 1,358 to 1,927 square feet with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and attached one- or two-car garages. Features in some homes include dens, spacious master suites, and private patios.
Low $200s - Mid $200s
At The Villages at Oak Tree, active adults can find affordable homes for sale near Charlotte, North Carolina. With 173 single-family and attached homes, the community offers an age-restricted lifestyle in a small neighborhood, all within 30 minutes of the heart of Charlotte.
Residents of Villages at Oak Tree have access to several amenities, including the convenient availability of on-site storage for boats and RVs. Additional amenities include a clubhouse, an exercise room, and walking and biking trails.
High $300s - High $500s
Four Seasons at Historic Cranbury is a 55+ community with 138 single-family and attached homes in Cranbury, New Jersey. The attached homes range from 1,491 to 2,176 square feet, and the single-family homes range from 1,883 to 2,356 square feet, providing plenty of options for those seeking homes for sale in Middlesex County.
The amenities at the age-restricted community feature a clubhouse with an exercise room, a fireplace lounge, a bar, a game room, and multipurpose gathering spaces where activities and club meetings take place. Outside, the amenities continue with a pool, a patio, a tennis court, and walking and biking trails.
High $100s - Mid $200s
The gated 55+ community Cascades at Southern Hills is one of the best small 55+ communities in Florida. Located in the Tampa Bay area less than 20 miles from the Gulf Coast, Cascades at Southern Hills will include 190 single-family homes upon completion.
In addition to amenities that include an amenity center, a fitness room, and a pickleball court, residents also have access to amenities found throughout the master-planned Southern Hills Plantation development. These luxury amenities feature a 20,000-square-foot clubhouse, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a restaurant, a resort-style outdoor pool, and an 18-hole Pete Dye golf course.
23. Pine View Estates - Howell, NJ
Low $200s - Low $300s
In Monmouth County, New Jersey, the 55+ community Pine View Estates allows active adults to live in an age-restricted neighborhood surrounded by daily conveniences. Within 75 minutes, residents can drive to Atlantic City, New York City, and Philadelphia, providing access to everything these world-class cities have to offer.
Closer to home, residents can enjoy plenty of amenities and activities. The clubhouse consists of a fitness center, a card room, a computer area, a catering kitchen, and multipurpose gathering spaces as well as an outdoor pool, a patio, and tennis courts.
24. Southern Meadow - Magnolia, DE
Low $100s - Low $200s
There are plenty of popular active adult communities in Delaware, but those who want to find a small 55+ community in Central Delaware should explore Southern Meadow. Built between 2007 and 2015, this 55+ community consists of 120 single-family homes as well as an array of amenities and lifestyle activities.
A clubhouse, an exercise room, an outdoor pool, walking trails, and fishing ponds represent the top amenities found at Southern Meadow. At the clubhouse, residents gather for social events and activities, including poker, craft nights, bingo, fitness classes, and support groups.
Mid $300s - High $300s
The Pointe at Turnbury, a gated 55+ community with 190 attached homes, cultivates a resort-style lifestyle for its residents. The low-maintenance attached homes range from 1,844 to 2,508 square feet with luxury features such as vaulted ceilings, spacious open concept floor plans, and first-floor master suites.
At the clubhouse, residents can enjoy 7,500 square feet of amenities that include a fitness center, fireplace library, game rooms, and a salon. Regular social events include game nights, holiday parties, movie nights, and barbecues.