Active adult community reviews can provide a wealth of information for home seekers, and 55places reviews are written by people who live in these communities. When reading these reviews, you can look for specifics that detail features like neighborhood amenities, maintenance, and home construction quality. You’ll also want to see what folks have to say about community activities, as people who participate in clubs often sing their praises.
But prospective homebuyers aren’t the only ones who read these reviews; we do too! It’s always rewarding to see how much people love their neighborhoods, and we research to see which ones rate highest in the country and state.
This year, four New Jersey 55+ communities earned five-star ratings. Here's the lowdown on each.
1. Encore Monroe - Monroe, NJ
Mid $300s - High $400s
Those who call Encore Monroe home like its sophisticated style, beautifully appointed clubhouse, and vibrant population. This gated community was completed in 2006 by Spectrum Skanska and offers 394 resale single-family homes.
There are eight floor plans at Encore, from 1,597 to 2,810 square feet with two to three bedrooms, two to three bathrooms, and two-car garages. Some features include second-story lofts, hardwood floors, and gourmet kitchens. The community’s homeowners’ association (HOA) fees provide for trash pickup, water, and snow removal.
Encore’s 18,000-square-foot clubhouse is a hub for activity, with a ballroom, a crafts studio, and other activity rooms. You can also see fitness fans working out inside the state-of-the-art fitness center and indoor pool and spa. Outside, there's a second swimming pool, a spa, and a putting green as well as bocce ball, pickleball, and tennis courts.
Favorite activities and events include men’s and women’s clubs, jewelry making, movie nights, and the tennis club. Encore Monroe is in Central New Jersey, which is close to Philadelphia, New York City, Atlantic City, and Baltimore, and area attractions include the Freehold Raceway Mall, Princeton University, and the Gateway National Recreation Area.
High $200s - Mid $400s
River Pointe homeowners enjoy living close to the beach and also write that they're impressed with the floor plans. This gated property broke ground in 2007, with plans for 504 new and resale single-family homes completed by builder Del Webb.
The must-see “Retreat” clubhouse is packed with amenities, like a state-of-the-art fitness center with an indoor pool, the Retreat Café, and activity rooms. When weather permits, you’ll find neighbors outside playing bocce ball and tennis, using the putting green, and relaxing by the outdoor pool.
The Retreat is the spot for many group meetings and events, like the Sew What Club, game nights, and Zumba (to name a few). River Pointe is in beautiful Ocean County, one of the most popular parts of the state for retirees. Aside from the beaches, there are challenging golf courses like Ocean Acres and impressive venues like the Strand Theater for the Arts.
Encore’s 10 floor plans range from 1,269 to 2,020 square feet with two to three bedrooms, two to four bathrooms, and two-car garages. Some have upgrades like fireplaces, formal dining rooms, and large patios. Lawn maintenance, snow removal, and trash pickup are included in the monthly HOA fee.
Low $400s - Low $700s
Geared for downsizing, Four Seasons at Great Notch Spa and Club was completed in 2018 by K. Hovnanian and has 814 attached and condo resale homes. It's designed for active adults who appreciate the finer things in life, with resort-style indoor and outdoor amenities.
Check out the putting green, driving range, and indoor pool that sits under a retractable roof. If you’re into health and fitness, you'll be spending plenty of time at that clubhouse, which also offers fitness equipment and classes. Other group activities include the Shalom Club, happy hours, and bocce ball.
Four Seasons at Great Notch is in Northern NJ, close to the Garden State Parkway and New York City. Nearby points of interest include the Upper Montclair Golf Club and the Clifton Arts Center & Sculpture Park.
There are 14 attached and condo floor plans, from 1,426 to 2,907 square feet with two to three bedrooms, two to three bathrooms, and one- to two-car garages. Features may include hardwood floors, dens, and luxury bathrooms; the HOA fees provide for certain community services.
Mid $300s - High $400s
As the largest community on this list, Greenbriar Oceanaire has 1,431 resale single-family homes on gated grounds in Southern NJ’s Ocean County. Lennar Builders finished work here in 2015, and their dynamic community clubhouse also features an indoor pool with a retractable roof. Additional perks include a high-end fitness center, two restaurants, a business center, an outdoor pool, and an 18-hole private golf course.
The long list of clubs and activities has something for every interest, from gardening and softball to boating and fishing. Waretown is near Barnegat Bay, so there are plenty of marinas, boats, and fishing. Drive a little further and you’ll hit beach towns like Long Beach and Island Beach State Park.
Greenbriar offers 14 single-story and loft floor plans ranging from 1,532 to 3,124 square feet with two or three bedrooms and bathrooms, and two-car garages. Options include vaulted ceilings, bonus rooms, sunrooms, and stone countertops. The monthly HOA fee covers lawn care, trash pickup, and snow removal.