Ask 10 people what downsizing means to them and you might get 10 different answers. Some retirees have their hearts set on a new townhouse while others might be in the market for a condo, and then there are those who will not settle for anything smaller than a single-family home but want a lower mortgage. South Jersey in general and Camden County, in particular, are good places to start your search because of their affordable housing costs and desirable location in the Delaware River Valley.
Living in Camden County means that you are close to Philadelphia and the Jersey Shore. The county is also well-known for its beloved shopping and strip malls, small boroughs like Haddon Township and Collingswood, and top-tier universities and hospitals.
Property taxes can run a bit higher in New Jersey, so it is important to check these when you are doing your research. Keep in mind that taxes in 55+ communities may be lower when compared to other residential neighborhoods, though. On the plus side, the state sales tax is low at 6.63 percent (groceries and clothing are exempt), and the gas tax is among the lowest in the country.
If you are considering Camden County real estate, have a look at these four communities. They are all well-priced and in convenient locations that put you near everything you need to maintain a low-maintenance lifestyle.
High $100s - Low $200s
This intimate 55+ neighborhood is 15 minutes from the Ben Franklin Bridge to Philadelphia and has 50 resale condos on a property built from 2011 to 2014 by D'Anastasio Corporation. It is near the charming borough of Merchantville, home to the famous Aunt Charlotte’s Candies and Pinsetters Bar & Bowl. And if you like to golf and shop, Pennsauken Country Club and Cherry Hill Mall are both only minutes away.
The Maples has two three-level condo buildings, both with elevator access. The three models range from 1,186 to 1,297 square feet with two bedrooms, two baths, balconies, and lot parking. Homeowners also have access to a storage area, and the monthly homeowners’ association (HOA) fee covers trash removal and common area maintenance. One of the buildings also has a community room with an exercise facility, kitchenette, and patio as well as a meeting room for social events.
Mid $100s - Low $500s
Also near the Cherry Hill Mall, The Plaza Grande at Garden State Park offers resort-style living with 608 new and resale condos and an impressive list of amenities. It was built from 2005 to 2013 by TSV and D.R. Horton Builders with a total of 14 floor plans. These range from 861 to 2,370 square feet, with one to two bedrooms, one to two-and-a-half bathrooms, and one-car garages. You can expect to find options like dens, balconies, and walk-in closets in some of these thoughtfully designed condos.
At the heart of this community is the Grande Club with its state-of-the-art fitness center, movie theater, dining room, sports bar, outdoor pool, arts and crafts studio, and tennis courts. Community events and groups include game nights, yoga, water aerobics, dinners, and tennis club.
This exceptional community is also adjacent to the Market Place at Garden State Park, an upscale shopping center with a Wegman’s, Nordstrom Rack, Cheesecake Factory, Starbucks, and Home Depot. And when it’s time for a day out with the grandkids, the Garden State Discovery Museum is an excellent choice.
Mid $200s - High $400s
This gated, established 55+ community is in a prime location close to Woodcrest Country Club, the Voorhees Town Center, and Eagle Plaza. Between all three, Centennial Mill homeowners have easy access to golf, a slew of restaurants, a movie theater, shops, and grocery and liquor stores.
This Del Webb-built neighborhood was completed in 2007 with 401 resale attached and single-family homes. The four townhome models range from 1,643 to 1,823 square feet with one or two bedrooms, one to two-and-a-half bathrooms, and attached two-car garages. The eight single-family models range from 1,927 to 3,065 square feet with two to four bedrooms, two to three bathrooms, and attached two-car garages. Some models offer tray and cathedral ceilings, upgraded cabinets, and hardwood floors. Centennial Mill’s HOA fee covers exterior maintenance, lawn care, snow removal, and common area maintenance.
The impressive list of indoor and outdoor amenities includes a sports center with a fitness facility, indoor pool, spa, massage room, and sauna. There’s also a community center, with game and activity rooms as well as a library. Out on the property, you can find a putting green, outdoor pool, walking trails, tennis courts, and bocce ball courts. Residents also keep busy by attending groups and activities like Zumba, frisbee golf, Broadway shows, holiday parties, and group trips.
Low $100s - Mid $200s
If you value privacy and affordability, Kings Run at Haddon Heights is a small, budget-friendly 55+ community that was completed in 2009 by First Montgomery Group. It is conveniently located near Interstate 295, the Lawnside Village Shopping Center, and Haddon Lake Park.
There are 66 resale condo units offered in six floor plans ranging from 650 to 1,495 square feet. These cozy homes have one to two bedrooms, one to two bathrooms, and private balconies or patios. There is also an on-site parking lot. The welcoming clubhouse has a community room, game room, exercise area, and a lounge, and it is the site for community events like yoga classes, Wii bowling, and book club.