The Best Central Florida Communities for Downsizing

Exterior view of a condo building on the grounds of Gatherings of Lake Nona in Orlando, Florida.
Let's explore some options for active adults who want to downsize in Central Florida.

5 minute read

As the golden years approach, many individuals consider downsizing as a liberating lifestyle choice. Central Florida, known for its warm climate, vibrant culture, and abundant recreational opportunities, is a popular destination for active adults seeking a relaxed and fulfilling retirement experience.

By highlighting some of the best communities that offer amenities, convenience, and a close-knit community feel, we can help you find your perfect community in Central Florida. Whether you’re seeking a quiet lakeside retreat or an active adult community with a range of social activities, Central Florida offers a variety of options to suit different downsizing preferences.

So, let’s embark on a journey to discover the best Central Florida communities for downsizing and find the ideal place to embrace a new chapter of life.

Gatherings of Lake Nona – Orlando, FL

Mid $300s – Mid $400s

A water feature beside the community sign for Gatherings of Lake Nona in Orlando, Florida.

Orlando real estate is always in high demand. For active adults who want to downsize to condo living, Gatherings of Lake Nona offers condominiums in four models.

The condos offer two or three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an attached one-car garage. Ranging from 1,368 to 1,805 square feet, the homes are spacious yet easy to maintain. They have large master suites and walk-in closets as well as a covered patio and balcony space. With 216 units at Gatherings of Lake Nona, this 55+ community allows residents to really get to know their neighbors.

As part of the larger Lake Nona master-planned community, residents have access to a long list of amenities and recreational opportunities. The planned amenities in Gatherings of Lake Nona include a clubhouse, a fitness center, a pool, and pickleball courts. The homeowners’ association (HOA) will handle much of the community maintenance, including building repairs, landscaping, pest control, and irrigation. Cable and internet bills are also included in the HOA fee.

Lakeside Landings – Oxford, FL

High $100s – High $300s

Lounge chairs beside the outdoor pool at Lakeside Landings in Oxford, Florida.

More low-maintenance condo living is available in Lakeside Landings, located in the scenic Sumter County area of Florida. This community doesn’t have age restrictions, but there’s a specific set of homes that are reserved for 55+ residents.

Homes in this community come in 17 models with two to three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and 1,349 to 1,889 square feet. Attached villas and single-family homes are available for buyers looking to downsize but still enjoy a bit of privacy and extra space.

This is an excellent community for active adults who love to fish and enjoy living on the water. There’s a fishing pier and a private beach area as well as a putting green, pools and a spa, and a cabana bar. The clubhouse includes a fitness center, a library, and a ballroom with a stage for live performances. Lawn care, trash removal, and outdoor maintenance are taken care of by the HOA.

Oxford is right off Interstate 75, which means traveling throughout Florida is easy. Wineries, fruit farms, and golf courses are all a few minutes away from Lakeside Landings.

Lakes of Mount Dora – Mount Dora, FL

Mid $200s – Mid $500s

Exterior view of the clubhouse at the entrance of Lakes of Mount Dora in Mount Dora, Florida.

Mount Dora is an attractive option for anyone looking to downsize in Central Florida. The historic and picturesque town is small, and locals are always getting together for festivals, fairs, and community events.

In Lakes of Mount Dora, 55+ buyers can find single-family homes with functional floor plans and a simpler way of living. Here, it’s easy to find a two-bedroom home with around 1,300 square feet. All of the homes have attached garages and open floor plans. Resale homes are available and new construction can also be purchased, allowing buyers to customize their design.

The Island Club is an 18,000-square foot-clubhouse and is used for club meetings, painting classes, movie nights, and interest groups. There’s a fitness center, a game room, an arts and crafts studio, and a business center with a computer room.

The outdoor pool has dedicated lap lanes and a sundeck. There’s also a spa, lakes for fishing, and a lot of opportunities for peaceful and pretty walks. The community is close to Downtown Mount Dora, where there’s shopping, dining, boat tours, and the Modernism Museum.

Ocala Palms – Ocala, FL

High $200s – Low $300s

Lounge chairs beside the outdoor pool at Ocala Palms in Ocala, Florida.

It might not feel like you’re downsizing when you move onto a championship golf course, but the home at Ocala Palms are manageable and affordable. With the Villa Series and the Fairway Series, it’s easy to find a single-family home with between 1,050 and 1,378 square feet. These properties have two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and they’re easy to clean and maintain.

Also, leave the car behind, and take the golf cart as it’s easier to park. The roads throughout this 55+ community are built for 15 mph driving.

Amenities include a clubhouse, Blanca’s cafe, RV parking, a pool, and a fitness center. There’s also a sewing studio, volleyball courts, and space for shuffleboard and tennis. The real draw for most residents, however, is the immediate access to Ocala Palms Golf & Country Club, which offers 18 holes of golf, putting greens, a driving range, and a pro shop.

Carlsberg Estates on Lake Suzanne – Lake Wales, FL

Low $200s – Mid $200s

Greenery surrounding the community sign for Carlsberg Estates on Lake Suzanne in Lake Wales, Florida.

Downsizing is easy at Carlsberg Estates on Lake Suzanne, a 55+ community between Lakeland and Orlando. There are only 162 single-family homes in the neighborhood. Attached two-car garages, vaulted ceilings, and private backyards are included in each property.

Lake Suzanne is a scenic freshwater lake that attracts anglers, boaters, and kayakers in the Central Florida area. Carlsberg Estates sits right on its banks, offering residents scenic views and recreational access.

There’s a pool and a patio overlooking the lake and a deck where residents gather for Drinks on the Deck and other community events. Lake Wales has a lot to offer active adults, from hearing the historic carillon at Bok Tower and Gardens to nature hikes at Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek State Park.

Discover what’s next.

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