The Best Central Florida Communities for Downsizing

The new Gatherings at Lake Nona will offer resort-style amenities with low-maintenance homes.

Living leaner doesn’t have to feel like a sacrifice; these communities have attractive amenities, favorable locations, and dozens of other good reasons to settle into a new home in a 55+ neighborhood.

Buyers looking for Florida retirement communities that are social, accessible, and low-maintenance might want to consider one of these gems in the center of the state.

Gatherings of Lake Nona – Orlando

High $200s – High $300s

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

They have two or three bedrooms and two bathrooms as well as an attached one-car garage. Ranging between 1,368 to 1,805 square feet, the homes are spacious and easy to maintain. They have large master suites and walk-in closets as well as covered patio and balcony space. With 216 units at Gatherings of Lake Nona, this 55+ community is small and 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, fitness center, 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

Below $100k – High $300s

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

Condos come in three two-bedroom, two-bathroom models and have between 1,349 and 1,402 square feet. Attached villas and single-family homes are also available for buyers who are looking to downsize but still enjoy a bit of privacy and extra space. These homes are larger and have between two and four bedrooms.

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 that residents often enjoy. Lawn care, trash removal, and outdoor maintenance is 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

High $100s – Low $500s

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

In Lakes of Mount Dora, 55+ buyers can find small single-family homes with functional floor plans and a simpler way of living. Here, it’s also 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

Low $100s – High $200s

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

Amenities include a clubhouse, Blanca’s cafe, R.V. 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

Low $100s – High $100s

Downsizing is easy at Carlsberg Estates on Lake Suzanne, a 55+ community between Lakeland and Orlando, just off Interstate 4. There are only 162 single-family homes in the neighborhood, all with two or three bedrooms and between 1,134 2,456 square feet. 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.

Can you spot the $207,744 difference between these identical homes?

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