Dock near Barnegat Light in New Jersey

Ocean County is already popular among active adults, but which communities draw in the most residents?

Ocean County, New Jersey real estate clicks with so many 55+ homebuyers, because people that live here feel like they are always on vacation, The beaches are easy to get to, and the lifestyle caters to active adults. And when the weather cools, there’s plenty to do inside, with attractions like the Vintage Automobile Museum in Point Pleasant, the Planetarium, and the Ocean County Mall.

With such a large population of active adults, OC needs to have good medical care, which can be found at facilities like Ocean Medical Center and Barnabas Health Centers. Another important service is public transportation, and the county’s network of buses and trains have many routes, while the closest airports are in Atlantic City, Newark, and Philadelphia.

The top five best-selling Ocean County 55+ communities from January 1 through June 21, 2019 offer outstanding options at a variety of price points. Here are the winners:

1. Holiday City at Berkeley - Toms River

Low $100s - Low $300s

It’s popular for a reason: as the largest retirement community in New Jersey, Holiday City at Berkeley offers the most floor plans and amenities in the state. It has four neighborhoods, each with separate amenities open to all residents.

There are 20 floor plans from 757 to 1,852 square feet, with one to three bedrooms, one or two bathrooms, and attached garages. Upgrades include expansive master suites, eat-in kitchens, and dens. A reasonable homeowners’ association fee (HOA) covers lawn and common area maintenance, snow removal, and a community bus.

The four clubhouses have outdoor pools, bocce ball courts, shuffleboard, auditoriums, tennis, a woodworking shop, and pickleball. The drive to Toms River takes about 10 minutes, and the town is chock-full of attractions, like Bey Lea Golf Course and the Rinn Duin Brewing Company.

2. Leisure Village - Lakewood

Below $100k - Mid $100s

Leisure Village appeals to 55+ adults looking to downsize due to its 2,433 attached homes and 10 floor plans. These offer two bedrooms, two baths, and one-car garages. Upgrades may include porches, granite countertops, and skylights. Many are on private, wooded lots, and the HOA fee provides for landscaping and snow removal.

Golfers are drawn to Leisure Village as it has its own 9-hole golf course, but that’s only part of the picture. There are two clubhouses, plus walking trails and seven lakes on the grounds. Between the two halls, there are two pools and fitness centers, bocce, horseshoes, and activity rooms. There is also a health center for residents.

Leisure Village is near the intersection of Route 70 and the Garden State Parkway, less than 30 minutes from beach towns like Point Pleasant and Manasquan. Other nearby landmarks include Ocean County Park and the Metedeconk River, while downtown Lakewood and Brick Township have all the grocery stores, restaurants, and shops that you need.

3. Westlake Golf and Country Club - Jackson

High $200s - High $400s

The country club lifestyle is a desirable one, and it can be found at Westlake Golf and Country Club. With 1,421 resale single-family homes, an 18-hole golf course, and a 30,000 square-foot clubhouse with restaurants, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis, a modern fitness center, and volleyball, this gated 55+ neighborhood is a good find.

The exclusive homes come in 13 floor plans sized from 1,800 to 3,500 square feet, with two to three bedrooms, two to three bathrooms, and attached two-car garages. Options include dens, designer kitchens, hardwood floors, sunrooms, and granite countertops.

 Westlake also has a long list of clubs and activities, including the Italian-American Social Club, yoga, a computer club, a bird-watching group, and tap dancing. It is about 14 miles west of the NJ coastline, and is close to Freehold Mall and Six Flags Great Adventure.

4. The Fairways at Lake Ridge - Lakewood

Mid $100s - High $400s

Also in Lakewood and also with a golf course, The Fairways at Lake Ridge, is a gated 55+ neighborhood that offers new construction and resale. Upon completion, there will be 1,114 attached and single-family homes.

There are two attached Courtyard models at 1,352 or 1,508 square feet, with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, porches, patios, and attached one-car garages. There are 26 single-family models ranging from 1,308 to 3,048 square feet. These offer two or three bedrooms and bathrooms, and attached one- to three-car garages, with options like sunrooms, porches, tray ceilings, and master suite sitting areas. The HOA fee covers landscaping, plus snow and trash removal.

The 16,000 square-foot clubhouse has indoor and outdoor pools, an exercise room, an arts studio, a cafe, and tennis courts. The Fairways at Lake Ridge is next to Eagle Ridge Golf Club, a 27-hole championship course and restaurant that offers discounted memberships to residents. It is also less than three miles from Monmouth Medical Center and six miles from a large Walmart Supercenter.

5. Leisure Village West - Manchester

Below $100k - High $100s

As the second largest active adult neighborhood on this list, Leisure Village West is an established, gated community with 2,692 attached resale homes.

There are 21 floor plans ranging from 737 to 2,013 square feet, with one to two bedrooms, one to two-and-a-half baths, first-floor master suites, and attached garages or nearby parking. Upgrades include fireplaces, sunrooms, patios, and gourmet kitchens. A reasonable HOA fee provides for landscaping and snow removal.

There are two 9-hole golf courses available to residents, Willow and Pines, plus three clubhouses. These have amenities like outdoor pools, gathering rooms, tennis, pickleball, bocce, a performance theater, and an arts & crafts studio. Popular activity groups include bowling, the Yiddish Club, current events, fishing, and the singles club.