Exterior view of the clubhouse at Sun Lakes Country Club in Banning, California

If you're a budget-minded homebuyer, a SoCal retirement may be more affordable than you think.

Southern California invokes images of palm trees, crashing waves, sunny, clear skies, and sky-high homes prices. There are, however, plenty of beautiful 55+ communities in Southern California selling homes for $250k or less. If you’re an active adult on a budget and looking to settle down in sunny SoCal, be sure to read on to discover more about some of the most popular and budget-friendly 55+ communities in the area.

Sun Lakes Country Club - Banning, CA

High $100s - Mid $400s

This sprawling 55+ community in Banning offers homebuyers a country-club environment with all of the resort-like amenities you’d expect from a 3,300-home community. Sun Lakes Country Club provides residents with recreational and social opportunities as well as a variety of home styles, sizes, and floor plans.

Current resale homes at Sun Lakes offer a wide range of affordable prices with many listed under $250k. Homes in this community offer 50 floor plans in single-family and condo styles. Sizes range from 850 to 2,627 square feet with two to four bedrooms, two to three bathrooms, and a two- or three-car garage. Many homes in Sun Lakes boast views of the golf course, lush landscaping, and/or nearby mountains.

Included in the wide array of amenities are three large clubhouses, a pool and patio, two private golf courses, a fitness center, a library, a grand ballroom, tennis and bocce ball courts, a card room, a billiards room, and an arts and crafts studio. There are a number of on-site restaurants and cafes for residents to enjoy as well as plenty of scenic walking and biking trails.

Learn more information about Sun Lakes Country Club here.

Leisure World Seal Beach - Seal Beach, CA

Mid $100s - High $500s

Active adults interested in low-maintenance attached and condo-style living should consider Leisure World Seal Beach, which set the standard for 55+ living in Southern California when it broke ground in 1960. Since then, the community remains a popular choice among active adults for its beach-town vibes and laid-back lifestyle.

With 6,608 attached and condo homes, Leisure World Seal Beach offers plenty of affordable resale condo homes. These homes range from 550 to over 1,300 square feet with one or two bedrooms and one or two bathrooms.

The amenities at Leisure World Seal Beach do not disappoint. With a staggering six clubhouses, 200 active social clubs, and 12 fully equipped kitchens, residents at this sprawling community stay active, social, and entertained. There’s also a fitness center, an outdoor pool, and a 2,500-seat outdoor amphitheater. The on-site nine-hole golf course, pro shop, driving ranges, and putting greens keep golfers occupied, and the community also boasts its own health care center and full-service post office.

Learn more information about Leisure World Seal Beach here.

Jess Ranch - Apple Valley, CA

Below $100k - High $200s

In the high-desert city of Apple Valley, the gated 55+ community Jess Ranch is a highly affordable option for budget-minded active adults. With a mix of single-family homes, attached townhomes, and condos, this large community offers homebuyers an abundance of choices.

Construction at Jess Ranch completed in 2002, and the community is now selling some single-family, attached, and condo-style resale homes at $250k or under. The condos offer one to two bedrooms, one to two bathrooms, and a carport, while attached homes offer one to two bedrooms, one to two bathrooms, and a garage or carport. Single-family homes feature two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a two-car garage.

Amenities at Jess Ranch include a sparkling outdoor pool, a small clubhouse for socializing and playing games, aerobics classes, tennis, bocce, shuffleboard, walking and biking trails, arts and crafts rooms, and more.

Learn more information about Jess Ranch here.

Laguna Woods Village - Laguna Woods, CA

Mid $100s - Mid $1Ms

As the largest 55+ active adult community on the West Coast, Laguna Woods Village not only boasts 12,736 attached, condo, and single-family homes, it's also one of the best-selling communities in the country. With so many active adults buying homes in this Orange County community, it’s somewhat surprising that there are still many resale homes available for under $250k.

Built from 1964 to 1985, homes in this sprawling community come in 94 floor plans ranging from 675-square-foot condos to 2,600-square-foot single-family homes. In addition to low prices and many home options, residents here enjoy 24-hour patrols, a guarded gate, and a private bus system, all only 10 minutes from the beach.

Additional amenities include seven clubhouses, 36 holes of golf, three dining rooms, a fitness center, indoor pickleball courts, 12 shuffleboard courts, an equestrian center, five swimming pools, catering kitchens, an 814-seat performing arts center, a ballroom, and over 250 clubs and organizations.

Learn more information about Laguna Woods Village here.

Serrano Del Vista - Banning, CA

High $100s - Mid $200s 

For those seeking a more intimate 55+ community, Serrano Del Vista may be a good option. This highly affordable single-family home community has only 246 homes, making it the smallest 55+ community on this list by far.

Built between 1990 and 2004, homes at Serrano Del Vista offer 996 to 1,475 square feet with two or three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an attached two-car garage. Current resale homes for sale are priced around $250k and lower.

Amenities in this tight-knit community include a clubhouse as well as an exercise room, a library, billiards rooms, and a ballroom. Outdoors, residents enjoy a pool, spa, and patio alongside multiple paved walking and biking trails. The community features many social and hobby clubs to partake in as well.

Learn more information about Serrano Del Vista here.