Value is not always the easiest thing to define, especially when it comes to homes and real estate. Some may just be looking for the most affordable home, others for the most they can get for their money. We wanted to look at everything that could possibly apply to value—whether it’s the price of the home, monthly fees, or taxes—and find out which communities offer the most for the least.
For this year’s list, we looked at several different factors, including average price per square foot, construction dates, range of amenity options, lifestyle clubs, homeowners' association (HOA) fees, resident reviews, local property taxes, and the cost of living in the surrounding area. You can find out more about methodology, here.
While value means something different to everyone, these 25 communities give residents the most lifestyle for their money.
1. Four Seasons at The Lakes of Cane Bay - Summerville, SC
Floor plans range from 1,320 to 2,626 square feet and include spacious kitchens and open entertainment spaces, so homebuyers know they’re getting the perks of a modern home at a good price.
With a newly built, 20,000-square-foot clubhouse as well as a fishing and boating lake, homeowners here have access to the amenities of a larger community at a more affordable price.
2. Robson Ranch - Eloy, AZ
Robson Communities is known for resort-style amenities. With that and homes in the low $200s, Robson Ranch comes in at No. 2 on our list. Located in Eloy, the community is private and secluded, but also just off Interstate 10, providing easy access to Tucson and Phoenix.
Residents have access to three amenity centers: the main Ranch House, the Sports Club, and the Creative Art Center. There’s also an 18-hole golf course and plenty of outdoor space to enjoy.
3. Solivita - Kissimmee, FL
Solivita is a perennial top 10 finisher on many of our lists, with town-like amenities, modern homes, and an excellent location near Orlando, it has everything that makes a great 55+ community. With plenty of homes available for under $200k, it also has a lot of value.
Homeowners enjoy getting around the community in golf carts, whether they’re headed to the Palms Amenity Complex, Riviera Spa & Fitness Center, Waterfront Galleries, Stonegate Golf Club, Freedom Park, or one of the several neighborhood centers.
4. Magnolia Landing - North Fort Myers, FL
Fort Myers is one of several popular Gulf Coast cities for retirement, and Magnolia Landing offers the best value in the area for those looking for an active lifestyle. Constructed by multiple builders since 2007, this all-ages community plans to have 1,100 homes, and many are currently listed in the low $200s.
The community is golf focused and includes an 18-hole course, putting and chipping areas, a driving range, and The Golf Club Grille. With three builders involved, residents have a choice of single-family or attached homes in over 20 floor plans.
5. Latitude Margaritaville - Daytona Beach, FL
Latitude Margaritaville has taken the concept of an active adult community further than any other with its Jimmy Buffett-inspired lifestyle. It’s done all this at an affordable price and in an excellent location near the water and the fun of Daytona Beach.
The first amenities in the community opened in June, with more (including a private beach club) to come over the next few years. This will inevitably increase monthly costs, but an already low entry point, a friendly tax environment, and a low cost of living will make these resort-style amenities more than worth it.
6. Sun City Grand - Surprise, AZ
One of several Sun City communities in the Phoenix area, Sun City Grand is a 45+ community of almost 10,000 condos, attached, and single-family homes. There’s a large price range here, but plenty of modern, low-maintenance homes can be found in the mid $200s.
Amenities span five clubhouses, and there are plenty of outdoor options, including four championship golf courses; courts for tennis, pickleball, and bocce; plus, several fishing lakes. Active adults looking for more than just a community at a good price will find what they’re looking for at Sun City Grand.
7. Cascades at River Hall - Alva, FL
Back in Fort Myers is Cascades at River Hall, a 55+ community with 20 single-family floor plans and a golf course designed by Davis Love III. With construction still ongoing, homebuyers can expect newer homes with low price tags, some under $200,000.
Spread across two clubhouses, the amenities include fitness centers, an outdoor pool, lighted tennis courts, and of course, an 18-hole golf course. All of this is found in a warm climate near the water that doesn’t break the bank in taxes or daily expenses.
8. Del Webb Charleston at Nexton - Summerville, SC
Located near seaside Charleston, Del Webb Charleston at Nexton is one of the newest communities on the list, and it just opened its clubhouse. Plans call for 1,000 single-family homes in a gated and amenity-rich setting. Active adults will be a part of a growing community in Del Webb Nexton with the opportunity to start the lifestyle from the ground up.
Amenities include the 25,000-square-foot clubhouses, state-of-the-art fitness center, heated indoor and resort-style outdoor pools, and pickleball and tennis courts. The community also boasts plenty of ways to enjoy the outdoors with 60 miles of walking trails and 2,000 acres of greenspaces.
9. Four Seasons at the Manor - Sun City, AZ
Residents in Four Seasons at the Manor get all of the benefits of living in historic Sun City, but with the added bonus of living in a new home. That means having access to all of Sun City’s amenities and lifestyle, as well as living in a true retirement community,
There are seven floor plans in the 140-home community. They range from 1,605 to 2,208 square feet and include two bedrooms, dens, two to two-and-a-half bathrooms, and two-car garages.
10. Del Webb Ponte Vedra - Ponte Vedra, FL
While much of Florida has long been known as a place for active adults, Jacksonville was generally excluded from that conversation. Recently, that’s changed due to a lower cost of living than other Florida cities and a milder climate for those who don’t want too much heat. Several communities have become very popular in the area in recent years, but we found Del Webb Ponte Vedra to have the best value.
Its location within the Ponte Vedra master-planned community means residents have plenty of resort-style amenities, including sports courts, an 8-mile nature trail, a nature preserve, hobby rooms, and even a 377-foot zip line. There are also condos, attached, and single-family homes available.