People walking down the pier at sunset in Huntington Beach, California

Despite its reputation for high home prices, Orange County has a few hidden gems for active adults on a budget.

Orange County is revered for its idyllic Mediterranean climate, large, upscale homes, and picturesque ocean views. It’s also known for its typically high home prices. But if you're an active adult looking to purchase a home in a 55+ Orange County community, don’t let the high price tags scare you away. There are still a few communities in the area where you can find an attractive home at an affordable price.

Take a look at the 55+ communities in Orange County where you can find a home in paradise for $300k or less.

Laguna Woods Village - Laguna Woods, CA

Mid $100s - Mid $1Ms

Prices vary considerably at Laguna Woods Village, where you can find a resale one-bedroom condo for around $150k, or a three-bedroom, single-family home for $750k. Fortunately, every type of homeowner gets to take advantage of the beautiful, resort-like amenities, and fun-filled social events.

Within the beautiful city of Laguna Woods, Laguna Woods Village is a large 55+ community with 12,736 attached, condo-style, and single-family homes. This gated active adult community was built by Ross Cortese from 1964 to 1985. With an extremely wide array of home sizes (in 94 floor plans), costs, and styles, buyers are sure to find a home that fits their specific needs. The smallest home (the Coronado condo) in Laguna Woods Village starts at 675 square feet, and the largest home (the single-family Casa Monaco) is nearly 2,600 square feet.

As one would expect in a 55+ community of this size, the amenity list at Laguna Woods Village is extensive. There are seven clubhouses, each housing a variety of social events, classes, and fitness activities. Some of the more unique amenities include an 814-seat performing arts center, numerous ballrooms, an equestrian center, and a 27-hole championship golf course as well as an executive par-3 course.

Residents need not worry about getting around in this sprawling community; there's a free bus service for residents. Other indoor amenities include an arts and crafts clubhouse; the Laguna Woods Village Library; billiard and game rooms; and badminton, volleyball, and basketball courts. Outdoors, residents enjoy five outdoor pools, ten tennis courts, five pickleball courts, bocce ball, shuffleboard, horseshoes, and lawn bowling. Two garden centers have plots for residents to rent. There are also miles of scenic walking and biking trails to enjoy, as well as over 250 social clubs and special-interest groups active in the community.

Leisure World Seal Beach - Seal Beach, CA

Mid $100s - High $500s

Leisure World Seal Beach attracts buyers looking for affordable, low-maintenance homes in a beautiful setting. Built by Rossmoor Corporation from 1960 to 1981, Leisure World was one of the first 55+ communities in Orange County, and it continues to delight residents with its friendly, social environment and calming ocean breezes.

With current resale homes priced from the low $100s, Leisure World Seal Beach includes affordable co-op units and condos. The community is divided into 17 neighborhoods, called Mutuals, each with its own board of directors and policies (although most Mutuals adhere to similar rules.) This gated community is comprised of 6,608 homes in ten floor plans that range in size from 550 to 1,540 square feet with one or two bedrooms and one or two bathrooms. Each home includes a carport parking space.

Amenities at Leisure World Seal Beach are vast, with six clubhouses hosting numerous social events, fitness and hobby classes, and workout rooms. These clubhouses include 19 meeting rooms, 12 fully equipped kitchens, and lounging areas with fireplaces. Other indoor facilities include a well-stocked library; five studios and workshops for ceramics, arts and crafts, sewing, and lapidary; and a woodworking facility.

Outdoors, residents make use of the large outdoor pool, spa, six horseshoe pits, shuffleboard buildings, picnic area, gardening plots, and lawn bowling green. Golf lovers enjoy the nine-hole golf course, putting greens, two driving ranges, and pro shop. Some of the more unique amenities that set this community apart are the  2,500-seat outdoor amphitheater, the free transportation shuttle, and the onsite health care center and full-service post office. Residents stay social and stimulated by participating in the numerous onsite clubs, educational classes, card games, and other goings-on throughout the community.

Windward Cove - Huntington Beach, CA

Low $200s - Low $300s

Set in the popular beach community of Huntington BeachWindward Cove is a small, intimate, and gated 55+ community with only 96 low-maintenance condominium-style homes. Built from 1983 to 1985, Windward Cove offers privacy and affordability in a lush, park-like atmosphere. Huntington Beach is a highly desirable beachside city that’s popular among tourists for its beautiful beaches, laid-back lifestyle, and proximity to attractions such as restaurants, shopping, theme parks, and miles of beachside walking and biking trails.

Residences at Windward Cove range from 600 to 766 square feet with one or two bedrooms, one bathroom, and an assigned carport. These resale condo units boast open floor plans, spacious kitchens, and a balcony or covered patio. Buyers can choose between an upper or lower unit depending upon their needs and preferences. A homeowners association takes care of all outdoor and shared space maintenance, freeing up homeowners’ time and effort to enjoy more leisure activities.

Because of the small and intimate nature of Windward Cove, amenities are simple but accessible. There's no clubhouse, but residents socialize at the outdoor gazebo or on the convenient walking trails along a scenic greenbelt. Terry Park, a public space located directly behind the community, offers more outdoor space to enjoy.