Large communities obviously have their advantages when it comes to facilities. They have more space, more money, and more people prepared to get involved. On the other hand, some people prefer the intimacy of smaller communities, where you can get to know all your neighbors, and where you can have the freedom to organize your own entertainment.
The Advantages of a Small Community
Small active adult communities tend to be more affordable because they have fewer amenities to keep up. If you’re a keen golfer, then there are obvious advantages to having a golf club right on your doorstep. But if you’re only an occasional golfer, it might make more sense to buy in a small community and use a public golf course. (There's no lack of golf courses in the Phoenix area.)
Another consideration is where in Phoenix you want to live. The following small communities are spread around the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, and some are further away from the city center than others.
These six small communities near Phoenix all have under 200 homes and a 55+ age restriction. Here they are, from smallest to largest:
Las Torres - Cave Creek
Las Torres is an active adult community of just 26 attached homes in Cave Creek, a small town of about 5,000 people. It’s a 50-minute drive north of Downtown Phoenix on the edge of the metropolitan area, with the nearest mountain lake only about 30 minutes away.
Despite the small number of homes, residents here enjoy amenities such as an outdoor pool and spa, hiking and biking trails, a fire pit and BBQ area, and courts for pickleball, bocce, and basketball. Homes range in size from 1,700 to 2,300 square feet with two to three bedrooms, two to three bathrooms, and an attached two-car garage.
Lone Tree - Chandler
Lone Tree is an active adult community with 72 single-family homes. It’s in Chandler, which is at the southern edge of the metropolitan area, meaning it has both the benefits of urban living and also easy access to desert landscapes. Although it’s a suburb of Phoenix, Chandler is also a city in its own right with a population approaching 260,000. Lone Tree is about a 15-minute drive from Downtown Chandler and a 40-minute drive from Downtown Phoenix.
Lone Tree’s amenities are mostly centered on the adjacent Lone Tree Golf Club (membership is optional), giving residents access to the 18-hole golf course and The Grille at Lone Tree restaurant. Lone Tree also has a number of social clubs covering such activities as birding, cycling, hiking, running, swimming, and golfing.
Homes range in size from 1,715 to 2,010 square feet and have two or three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an attached two-car garage with storage space. As it’s a small community, homes are not always available for sale, so it’s important to register with a knowledgable real estate agent who will keep you informed when homes come on the market.
Las Alegres - Mesa
Located in Mesa, Arizona’s third-largest city, Las Alegres has 84 attached homes. It’s a 30-minute drive from Downtown Phoenix, a 20-minute drive from Downtown Mesa, and less than ten minutes from the entrance to Usery Mountain Regional Park, where visitors can enjoy almost 3,650 acres of hiking and biking trails.
Amenities here include a clubhouse, an exercise room, an arts and crafts room, an outdoor pool and spa, and a bocce court. These are smaller and, therefore, more affordable homes ranging in size from 950 to 1,256 square feet with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a two-car garage.
Villa de Jardines - Casa Grande
Amenities include a clubhouse, an outdoor pool and spa, horseshoe pits, and a shuffleboard court. Models range from 1,100 to 1,670 square feet, and all have two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a two-car garage—some large enough for RV parking.
Heritage Village IV - Scottsdale
Heritage Village IV is an active adult community of 162 attached homes within the Scottsdale Ranch development, one of the most affluent parts of the region. It’s a 30-minute drive from Downtown Phoenix and 20 minutes from the McDowell Mountain Regional Park, an area with over 21,000 acres of hiking, biking, horseriding, and other recreational activities.
Heritage Village IV residents have their own amenities, which include a heated outdoor pool and three tennis courts, but they also have access to the many amenities of Scottsdale Ranch, including a fishing and boating lake, a desert garden, and a wide range of sporting facilities. Homes have from two to four bedrooms, two to four bathrooms, and an attached garage.
Golden Keys - Scottsdale
Golden Keys is also in Scottsdale, and this community has 184 attached homes. It’s a 15-minute drive from Downtown Phoenix and only a few minutes from Phoenix’s beautiful and popular Desert Botanical Garden.