A blue sky over a Southwest style home in Scottsdale, Arizona

Active adults looking to downsize in their retirement should consider a home in Central Arizona.

If you’re planning to downsize, then Central Arizona has some of the best communities for active adults. And downsizing doesn’t mean giving up amenities, as some of the largest communities with numerous facilities are also the best places to look for smaller homes, such as condos and attached homes. The communities with attached homes and/or condos are mostly located in and around Arizona’s capital, Phoenix

Of the many active adult communities in Central Arizona, these are the ones best for downsizing, starting with the largest first. 

1. Sun City - Sun City, AZ

Below $100k - High $800s

Sun City is the largest active adult community in Arizona, with over 27,000 homes and a 55+ age restriction. The homes include both condos and attached homes. Sun City is northwest of the Phoenix urban area between the cities of Peoria and Surprise, and it's a 30-minute drive from Downtown Phoenix. The popular Desert Diamond Casino with live shows and dining options is a 10-minute drive away or even less if you buy a home in the southern part of Sun City. 

Although it’s an unincorporated community, Sun City provides its population of about 40,000 with all the amenities of a city of its size. It's one of the few active adult communities in Central Arizona which has its own hospital, for example. It also has eight public and three private golf courses, 19 shopping areas, 30 churches, a synagogue, and seven separate recreation centers. These provide residents with a huge number of facilities, including ten swimming pools, numerous arts and crafts studios, several fitness centers, and many sports facilities including tennis, pickleball, bocce ball, table tennis, and mini-golf.

Sun City has so many models that you can also find single-family homes under 1,000 square feet—ideal for downsizing while maintaining a detached residence. If you really want to downsize, then the smallest homes at Sun City are studios with 635 square feet of living space, one bathroom, and a one-car garage or carport. There are also duplexes which start at 697 square feet, with one bedroom, one bathroom, a patio, and parking for one car. Homes of under 1,000 square feet can be found in Sun City for less than $100k, and homes over 1,000 square feet start in the low $100s.

Learn more information about Sun City here. 

2. Sun City Grand - Surprise, AZ

Low $200s - Mid $800s

Sun City Grand is, like Sun City, a Del Webb community but for the slightly younger 45+ active adult. It has 9,802 homes including condos and attached homes suitable for downsizing. It’s about a 20-minute drive northwest of the Sun City community, putting it in the city of Surprise, which has a population of about 140,000. This community is a 35-minute drive from Downtown Phoenix, and it’s slightly closer to outdoor recreational opportunities than Sun City. White Tank Mountain Regional Park, with almost 30,000 acres of hiking, biking, and horseback trails, is only a 15-minute drive from Sun City Grand.

Amenities here include four golf courses, several clubhouses, four swimming pools, two fitness centers, a 9,100 square-foot ballroom, two spas, its own TV station, fishing lakes, hiking and biking trails, many arts and crafts studios, and facilities for numerous sports including tennis, pickleball, bocce ball, and lawn bowling. 

The smallest models here for downsizers are condos, which range from 427 to 1,021 square feet. The condos are in seven condo buildings, with 252 condos in total.

Learn more information about Sun City Grand here.

3. Westbrook Village - Peoria, AZ

Mid $100s - High $400s

Westbrook Village is an active adult community with a lower age restriction of 40+. It has 3,910 homes including attached homes and condos, and it's in the city of Peoria. Peoria has a population of about 170,000, and it's in the northwestern part of the Phoenix metropolitan area, a 35-minute drive from Downtown Phoenix. The outdoor activities in White Tank Mountain Regional Park are a 30-minute drive away.

Westbrook Village offers its residents many amenities, including two recreation centers at their two 18-hole golf courses and a separate Fine Arts and Learning Center. There's a clubhouse, meeting rooms, game rooms, an art studio, a photography studio, and a library. Between the two recreation centers, additional amenities include a ballroom, a fitness center, a grill and a bistro, two outdoor pools, several arts and crafts studios, and facilities for sports including tennis, bocce ball, and pickleball.

On average, models here are quite large, but some condos are available at under 1,000 square feet. You'll pay in the mid to the high $100s for about 1,000 square feet with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a covered parking space. 

Learn more information about Westbrook Village here.

4. Leisure World - Mesa, AZ

High $100s - High $400s

With 2,664 condos, attached homes, and single-family homes, Leisure World is a gated community for the 45+ active adult. It’s a 20-minute drive from Downtown Mesa, a city that's part of the Greater Phoenix Area. Take a 20-minute drive in the other direction and you're in the 3,648-acre Usery Mountain Regional Park with trails for biking, hiking, and horseback riding. 

Amenities at the community include two 18-hole golf courses, three ballrooms, three outdoor pools, a 10,000-square-foot fitness center, several arts and crafts studios, six tennis courts, and other courts for pickleball, bocce, shuffleboard, and basketball. 

If you’re downsizing in Central Arizona, all three types of home here have models available at under 1,000 square feet.

Learn more information about Leisure World here.