Exterior view of a modern villa with an outdoor pool and lounge chairs

What is a villa? And where can you find 55+ communities with villas for sale?

Most people can identify an attached home or a single-family home, but what is a villa? The term can be confusing. Originally, villas were sumptuous palaces that wealthy Romans built at the time of the Roman Empire. They would often sprawl over several floors and have dozens of bedrooms and a private swimming pool. In today’s real estate world, villas are usually much more modest affairs.

Small and Low-Maintenance

An elegant living room with a big sofa, a wooden floor, and big windows

Some use the word villa to indicate a large detached home.

Villas can be defined differently in different 55+ communities, so it’s vital to know what a particular community’s definition of a villa is. Some use the word villa to indicate a large detached home, with a nod to those original luxury residences. For the most part, though, villas are at the other end of the price range, and the word indicates smaller, low-maintenance homes with just one or maybe two bedrooms.

There’s no fixed definition of a villa, but usually, they're similar to a townhouse or a condo. They'll usually be attached on at least one side, and instead of a yard, a villa will normally have a small veranda or patio. This is part of the low-maintenance appeal as owners have little yard work, and the surrounding area is usually maintained by the homeowners’ association.

A Community Feel

Lounge chairs beside an outdoor pool at a vacation home

You can find villas in active adult communities all over the country.

Villas differ from condos and townhomes in small but significant ways. Condos usually have communal entrance areas, whereas villas are individual homes. Villas are usually single story, compared to a townhome which could be several stories. Despite the fact that they are individual homes, villas often have more of a community feel. In a condo, you might pass your neighbor in the entrance hall and not see them again. With a villa, though, you may find yourself sitting on your veranda chatting to the neighbors on either side.

You can also find some detached villas, though, and in some communities villas will be grouped together and owners may have their own pool or community center for the exclusive use of villa owners, again creating a sense of togetherness.

You can find villas in active adult communities all over the country. Here are some 55+ communities (divided by state) where you can find villas for sale.

Arizona Communities With Villas:

Greenery and fountains on the grounds of Sun City Oro Valley in Oro Valley, Arizona

Texas Communities With Villas:

Interior view of a lounge area in Tuscan Village Horseshoe Bay in Horseshoe Bay, Texas

New Jersey Communities With Villas:

The community sign and entrance to Montebello in Berlin, New Jersey

North Carolina Communities With Villas:

The community sign for The Polo Club at Mountain Island Lake in Charlotte, North Carolina

South Carolina Communities With Villas:

Greenery and a fountain on the grounds of Hilton Head Plantation in South Carolina

California Communities With Villas:

Boats at the dock at Lake San Marcos in San Marcos, California

Pennsylvania Communities With Villas:

Greenery surrounding the community sign for The Villas of Newtown in Newtown, Pennsylvania