As people gladly approach retirement age, the desire to simplify their lives can become quite strong. Having a large, expensive home for one or two people or living in an older home that requires more upkeep can be pricey and unnecessary.
This is why so many active adults look to downsize. Their goals depend on what type of home they prefer, where their extended families live, and their budgets. If you're thinking about streamlining your life, Pennsylvania real estate can be an excellent option.
Pennsylvania is known for its wide-open spaces, rolling hills and mountains, urban areas, history, charming small cities, and decent weather. Living here means that you experience all four seasons, and it usually doesn’t get hotter than 80 or colder than the mid 20s. It's also known as being tax-friendly for retirees.
Living in Pennsylvania also means that you won’t go stir-crazy, with so many different outdoor activities and historical attractions throughout the state. Depending on where you choose to live, big cities like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, or Harrisburg are a short drive away. If you prefer smaller, more doable towns, New Hope, Jim Thorpe, Bushkill, and Doylestown are a sampling of the most picturesque ones to visit.
Here are some of our top picks worth considering if you want to downsize in Pennsylvania.
Below $100k - High $200s
Centennial Station is an established 55+ neighborhood that has 410 resale condo homes. It has its own professional center that has a hair salon, a bank, a dentist, and a restaurant. There's also a clubhouse, which boasts an indoor pool and exercise room, game and craft rooms, and shuffleboard and tennis courts. The cozy condos range from 456 to 1,412 square feet, and a reasonable homeowners' association (HOA) fee provides for common area maintenance and landscaping, plus snow removal.
Warminster is located about 26 miles north of Philly, and Centennial Station is near two outdoor recreation areas, Szymanek Park and Warminster Park. The latter has a children’s playground and a dog park. All of life’s necessities are found close by, like Costco, bakeries, pharmacies, diners, banks, and more dotting local Routes 132 and 332.
Mid $100s - High $100s
Also close to Philadelphia, The Greens at Westover is an attractive 55+ neighborhood of 306 resale condo homes. Location is everything here, it's across the road from the stunning Westover Country Club, minutes from the Schuylkill River waterfront, and seven miles from historic Valley Forge.
There are two comfortable condo floor plans with one to two bedrooms, one to two bathrooms, and on-site parking. There's also a private clubhouse with an exercise room, an indoor pool, and activity rooms. Nearby shopping and services include Home Depot, a Walmart Supercenter, a Giant grocery store, Starbucks, Marshalls, and dozens of restaurants.
Mid $100s - Mid $300s
If you're looking to downsize in a newer, attached home, The Paddock at Equine Meadows might be right for you. This appealing property broke ground in 2016, and it has 174 new and resale homes.
Its modern clubhouse has a heated, indoor pool and hot tub, an exercise room, a party room and catering kitchen, and a library. Outside, there's a stocked fish pond, a koi fish pond, bocce, a walking trail, and a butterfly garden.
There are seven attached floor plans sized from 1,310 to 3,000 square feet. They feature two or three bedrooms, two to three-and-a-half bathrooms, attached two-car garages, porches, and upgraded appliances. Some models also have fireplaces, sunrooms, and hardwood floors.
Red Lion is a small town of about 6,300 poised about nine miles outside of York. It has an active historical society, several churches, restaurants, pharmacies, and scenic Fairmount Park. Residents can run most of their errands right in town or pop over to York to shop at their Walmart or the Windsor Commons Shopping Center.
Mid $100s - High $200s
Bent Creek Crossing, an intimate 55+ community of 110 attached resale homes, is in Mechanicsburg, a private and peaceful suburb of Harrisburg. Located in the Cumberland Valley, it has a quaint downtown area that's rich with Civil War history, delicious restaurants, and unique shops.
Bent Creek has a wide variety of attached floor plans. There are eight floor plans ranging from 1,250 to 2,325 square feet with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, attached garages, basements, and porches. There's also a private clubhouse with a library. Common area maintenance, landscaping, and trash and snow removal are covered by the monthly HOA fee.
High $100s - Low $200s
Blandon is a small town of around 7,000 in Berks County. It's also home to The Village at Maidencreek, a quiet, gated active adult community of 110 new and resale attached homes with the word “downsizing” written all over them. There are five floor plans sized from 1,494 to 2,367 square feet with two to three bedrooms, two or two-and-a-half bathrooms, attached one-car garages, and first-floor master suites.
Its clubhouse has a small business center, activity rooms, a catering kitchen and bar, and a fireplace lounge. Its sauna, steam, massage rooms, and whirlpool spa provide total relaxation after a workout in the modern fitness center.
Berks County is a laid-back place to retire, with many golf courses and outdoor recreation opportunities. Ontelaunee Lake is a popular fishing spot, while Berkleigh Golf Club is a popular golf course. Area shopping hubs include Buy Rite Liquidators, Redners, and Giorgio Foods.