Row houses and potted plants along a street in the Federal Hill neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland

In these active adult communities, a cozy retirement in Baltimore won't break the bank.

Finding an affordable home in the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area can be a challenge. Although average home prices in the city of Baltimore remain under $200,000, in June of 2019, the Baltimore Business Journal reported that area home prices rose to $300,000, “a new all-time high.” However, no active adult communities are located within the city limits. Instead, they can be found in the surrounding Howard, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, and Harford counties.

For active adults who want to buy a home under $250,000 in the Baltimore area, these counties have both new and resale homes in large and small communities throughout the Baltimore suburbs. All of these communities offer roughly the same type of home model at the $250k price point. Prospective homebuyers can expect to find two-bedroom, two-bath apartments under 1,500 square feet with mixed amenities depending on the overall size of the community.

Here are five communities offering homes for $250,000 and under.

Cedar Ridge at Piney Orchard

Low $200s - Low $300s

Cedar Ridge consists of 450 age-restricted condo units in eleven four-story buildings, all located within the greater planned community of Piney Orchard. The condo buildings feature elevators and garages for easy maintenance and access. Homeowners enjoy compact but open condos, with two bedrooms and two baths.

The residents at Cedar Ridge have access to private amenities, including a clubhouse, an outdoor pool and patio, and exercise facilities. They can also use the Piney Orchard community center, outdoor pools, fitness center, tennis courts, and marketplace. Located in Odenton, residents also have easy access to Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Annapolis.

Eden Brook

Low $200s - Mid $200s

Eden Brook is a 55+ condo community also located in Odenton and built between 2006 and 2008. The condos range from 1,550 to 1,610 square feet with two bedrooms and two bathrooms situated in an open floor plan. Each condo building is surrounded by trees and greenspace and also includes an elevator and private outdoor parking.

Homeowners enjoy getting to know neighbors at the clubhouse, which includes a fitness room and a multi-purpose room. The outdoor patio and firepit also offer space for socializing. Residents who love to walk can enjoy the trails at the nearby GORC Park or Piney Orchard Nature Preserve.

Heritage Harbour

Low $200s - High $700s

Heritage Harbour in Annapolis is another affordable 55+ community in the Baltimore area. The community offers condo, attached, and single-family homes. Prices can vary from the low $200s to the high $700s; however, prospective homeowners looking to spend in the mid $200s can find two-bedroom, two-bath condos here. The models in this price range are usually a bit smaller, but homeowners still get the benefits of this large, waterfront community.

The amenities include a community lodge with meeting rooms, craft rooms, a restaurant, and a lounge. Residents also enjoy swimming, playing tennis and pickleball, and golfing, to name a few activities. The community is also minutes from the restaurants and shops of historic Downtown Annapolis.

Emerald Hills

High $100s - Low $200s

North of Baltimore, Bel Air is another city offering affordable 55+ communities. At Emerald Hills, prospective homebuyers can find condos offered for resale and starting in the high $100s. The two-bedroom, two-bath condos are very similar in layout to other communities. Since some were built more recently, they can include newer features like granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.

Although the community is not gated, the condo buildings feature secure entry. The clubhouse provides meeting rooms, a catering kitchen, and an exercise room. Outside, residents enjoy a pool, a patio, walking trails, natural space, and a playground for grandchildren.

Overlook at MacPhail Woods

Low $200s - Low $300s

Overlook at MacPhail Woods is another 55+ condo community in Bel Air. Currently, the community includes new and resale homes. Generally, the condos around $250,000 have two bedrooms, two baths, gourmet kitchens, a patio or porch, and open floor plans. Residents also have the convenience of an underground garage, elevator access to all floors, and keyed entry.

This small community of just 114 units includes a community room and exercise room. Outside, residents enjoy a garden, greenspace, and walking trails.