The Best Washington D.C. Area Communities for Downsizing

In Maryland, just outside of Washington D.C., active adults can find a number of communities perfect for downsizing.

When looking for a home in an active adult community, many prospective homebuyers want a smaller home. Downsizing can save money and reduce housing costs, although it inevitably comes with hassles like getting rid of stuff and finding smaller pieces of furniture for a smaller home.

For many retirees, downsizing makes sense. Older adults need less space for kids, they may travel more and not want as much space to take care of, or they might just want an easier-to-manage home in a maintenance-free community. Outside of Washington, D.C. in Maryland, active adults can find a number of communities with condominiums and smaller attached homes perfect for downsizing.

Here are the five best communities for homebuyers looking to downsize in the Washington, D.C. area.

Leisure World of Maryland – Silver Spring, MD

Below $100k – Low $800s

A picturesque pond and greenery on the grounds of Leisure World of Maryland in Silver Spring, Maryland.

At Leisure World of Maryland, active adults can decide exactly how much they want to downsize. With 5,600 homes built over 45 years, this gated community offers a variety of home styles and sizes.

One-bedroom, one-bath condos can get as compact as 700 square feet, perfect for a single active adult who doesn’t need a lot of space. Almost all of the condo models are under 1,500 square feet. Leisure World also offers ten models of attached homes, ranging from 650 to 1,450 square feet with one to three bedrooms and one to two baths.

Residents don’t need to worry about not having enough space since the community offers common areas for everything from card games to book clubs to craft classes. Residents socialize, learn new things, and stay fit at the two clubhouses, fitness center, and golf course.


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Cedar Ridge at Piney Orchard – Odenton, MD

High $200s – High $300s

A gazebo on the grounds of Cedar Ridge at Piney Orchard in Odenton, Maryland.

Cedar Ridge at Piney Orchard is an age-restricted community made up of only condominiums in the Odenton area. The eleven buildings include 450 condos, which range from 1,400 to just under 2,000 square feet with two to three bedrooms. Although smaller, the condos still include large bedrooms with walk-in closets, stylish kitchens with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops, and large balconies.

The Cedar Ridge condominiums are age-restricted and center around a community clubhouse. Here, residents can make use of the exercise room, outdoor pool, or tennis court. The neighborhood is also part of the Piney Orchard planned community, where residents have access to a community center, an indoor pool, a fitness center, a marketplace, more outdoor pools and tennis courts, and even a nature preserve.


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Cameron Grove – Upper Marlboro, MD

High $200s – High $400s

The clock tower at the entrance to Cameron Grove in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

While the attached and single-family homes at Cameron Grove are larger, the condos are great for downsizing. The three-story elevator buildings include homes with two to three bedrooms and one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half bathrooms. With 740 homes, Cameron Grove is a mid-sized to large community, and it offers the resort-style amenities many active adult homebuyers want.

The Cameron Grove Resort Center includes pools, saunas, a gym, dance and fitness studios, tennis courts, and a softball field. Residents don’t have to leave the community to dine out, get a drink at the bar, or go to the movies. However, homeowners have an easy commute to Washington, D.C., and the area around Upper Marlboro offers many opportunities for shopping, dining, and entertainment.


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Legacy at Cherry Tree – Laurel, MD

Low $400s – High $500s

Exterior view of the condo buildings at Legacy at Cherry Tree in Laurel, Maryland.

Legacy at Cherry Tree is an age-restricted community in Laurel, where Ryan Homes built 120 condos in mid-rise buildings. The two condo models are both under 1,500 square feet and include two bedrooms and two baths. The homes feature open floor plans, balconies, and spacious master suites with walk-in closets.

The clubhouse provides gathering areas and meeting rooms, as well as a fitness center. Outside, residents enjoy a gazebo, a lawn, a picnic and grill area, and walking trails. Residents can also walk to the Food Lion and Dunkin Donuts, while more shopping areas and parks are just a short drive away.


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Colonial Charles – Waldorf, MD

Low $500s – High $500s

View across a pond of the clubhouse at Colonial Charles in Waldorf, Maryland.

Colonial Charles offers both new homes and single-family homes that prospective homebuyers may want to consider for downsizing. Located south of D.C.in Waldorf and built by Ryan Homes, the age-restricted community will include 240 homes when complete.

One townhome model and two single-family home models are around or under 1,500 square feet. They all feature open floor plans, first-floor master suites with walk-in closets, and customizable options.

The community also provides plenty of spaces for residents to socialize and get to know each other. The clubhouse includes a ballroom, a multipurpose room, billiards, a sports lounge, and a catering kitchen. Residents also stay active by going to the fitness center, swimming in the indoor and outdoor pools, and walking along the scenic ponds in the community. Just minutes away, residents of Colonial Charles can also enjoy the shops, movie theater, and restaurants of Waldorf.


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