Walkway onto Ocean County, New Jersey beach with ocean in background.

This is a site you can see often after buying a home in one of these affordable 55+ communities.

There is something irresistible about the notion of living near the beach - sun-soaked days, breathtaking sunsets, and long family dinners.

Down at the Jersey Shore, these are favorite pastimes for active adult homeowners and their families. Owning real estate in Ocean County has other benefits, though. The area is packed with natural wonders like Island Beach State Park with its massive dunes, and Double Trouble State Park, which offers ample opportunities for wildlife observation, hiking, and boating.

There’s plenty to do indoors when the weather changes, too. Year round events sponsored by organizations like the Ocean County Historical Society and the Ocean County Artists' Guild are held at venues such as the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences, libraries, and high schools.

The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts in Toms River and other facilities put on shows like Hairspray. The Monmouth & Ocean County Wine Trail highlights the region’s best wineries, and shopping outlets like Ocean County Mall and the Jackson Outlets are great for browsing.

Ocean County has 65 active adult communities with new and resale homes at different price points. Read on to find out how much home $250K will get you in OC.

The Fairways at Lake Ridge - Lakewood

Mid $100s - High $400s

Yes, you can afford a home in a 55+, gated, golf course community in Ocean County. The Fairways at Lake Ridge has 1,115 attached and single family new and resale homes, right next door to Eagle Ridge Golf Club.

The attached courtyard homes are offered in two models that are either 1,352 to 1,508 square feet, They have two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and attached garages. Upgrades on these single-story homes may include patios and porches, and a homeowners’ association (HOA) fee covers trash and snow removal and common area maintenance.

In addition to the golf club (residents get discounted memberships), there is a state-of-the-art clubhouse, with an indoor pool, an exercise room, a cafe, a ballroom, and several craft and activity rooms. Outside, there is a relaxing outdoor pool, bocce and tennis courts, and winding paths for walking and biking.

Lakewood is about 10 miles west of Mantoloking a quiet beach town. Other area attractions include Lake Shenandoah County Park, and FirstEnergy Park, which is home to the Lakewood BlueClaws minor league baseball team.

Atlantic Hills - Manahawkin

Mid $100s - Mid $200s

Atlantic Hills, a  mid-sized 55+ neighborhood, is very close to Barnegat Bay, and minutes from the beach towns of Long Beach Island and Surf City.

Built between 1988 and 2001, this secluded development has 250 single family homes, with the advantage of underground utilities. There are three models ranging from 1,240 to 1,673 square feet with two to three bedrooms and two to two-and-a-half-baths. An HOA fee provides for common area maintenance and snow removal.

The private clubhouse has activity and game rooms, plus a fitness center. Homeowners also enjoy the walking & biking trails, ponds, and the outdoor pool. Atlantic Hills is close to Route 72, which is dotted with stores like Target, Costco, Kohls, and Michael’s. Nearby Deer Park, A. Paul King Park, and Ocean Acres Golf Course are all perfect for outdoorsy types.

Pheasant Run - Forked River

Low $100s - Low $200s

Pheasant Run is a well-established community of 434 resale single family homes built from 1984 to 1988. It is nestled in a private, wooded setting that is also close to Barnegat Bay.

The five models are great for downsizing and range from 986 to 1,405 square feet. They have two bedrooms, one to two baths, and attached garages. These homes all have private lots, and some feature patios, skylights, and paved driveways.

The community clubhouse has a large multi-purpose room for group events and activities, along with a library, an outdoor pool, bocce ball, and tennis.

Forked River is named after the many rivers that extend out, or “fork” through it. It is part of Lacey Township, which has an active recreation department. They manage the town’s four parks, a library, and sponsor programs like fitness classes and volunteer fairs.

Horizons at Barnegat

Mid $200s - Low $300s

Horizons at Barnegat active adult community offers good value for home seekers that prefer lots of space.

With 164 single-family homes and eight floor plans sized from 2,170 up to a generous 3,035 square feet, they offer expansive first-floor master suites, large kitchens with breakfast nooks, and extra storage. They come with two to three bedrooms and bathrooms, attached two-car garages, and dens.

Desirable amenities include an outdoor pool and patio, trails, and bocce. Its clubhouse has an exercise room, a catering kitchen, and a sizable multi-purpose room for group meetings and parties.

Barnegat Township is fairly large, encompassing over 40 square miles in Ocean County. Its busy recreation department hosts events like teas, yard sales, farmers markets, parades, and festivals.