Before Allentown reinvented itself in the 21st century, it was one of the largest iron producers in the United States. Its economy flourished in the 1850s and 1860s, but it went on a roller coaster ride for the next 150 years or so. Then, in 2009, things changed with its Neighborhood Improvement Zone legislation. This lead to over $1 billion in development, including the PPL Center and the revitalization of its downtown.
With all this new life breathed into the region, it’s not surprising that so many active adult homebuyers are interested in Allentown area real estate. And since the cost of living is lower than in other parts of Pennsylvania, there's a good selection of budget-friendly retirement communities. Allentown is also part of the lovely Lehigh Valley near New York City and Philadelphia and known for the historic town of Bethlehem, covered bridges, holiday festivals, golf courses, skiing, and whitewater rafting.
The four retirement communities we’ve profiled below have price points at $175k and under, and they're 30 minutes or so from downtown. They're small to mid-sized communities, and they offer attached or single-family homes.
High $100s - High $200s
With a desirable Bucks County zip code, Arbours at Morgan Creek is near the Quakertown Farmers Market and Flea Market, Nockamixon State Park, and countless more indoor and outdoor attractions. It's also close to the center of Quakertown, where you’ll find St. Luke’s Hospital, a Walmart Supercenter, restaurants, and other shops and services.
This Ryan Homes 55+ community broke ground in 2006, and it will have 85 new and resale attached homes when completed. The two attached carriage-style floor plans feature 1,528 or 2,250 square feet with two or three bedrooms, two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half bathrooms, first-floor master suites, unfinished basements, and attached two-car garages. Plans for a private clubhouse are in the works, and the property has a walking trail, a gazebo, and a scenic pond.
Mid $100s - High $100s
The affordable, gated active adult neighborhood at The Village at Upstream Farm was built from 2002 to 2009, and it offers 124 well-designed resale attached homes. It's about three miles west of the Delaware River, and it's a stone’s throw away from Riverview Country Club and Marble Hill Natural Area. The Village at Upstream Farm is also down the road from Forks Township which has a grocery store, a community center, restaurants, post offices, and other services. Drive a few miles further south and you’ll run into Downtown Easton.
The three attached floor plans are sized from 991 to 1,180 square feet with one or two bedrooms, one or one-and-a-half bathrooms, and attached one-car garages. Standard features include outdoor patios, vaulted ceilings, and central air-conditioning. The two larger models have dens that can be converted into second bedrooms, and additional options include porches and sunrooms.
There’s also a community clubhouse with several multipurpose rooms and an exercise room. The homeowners' association fee provides for lawn mowing, landscaping, and snow removal.
Mid $100s - Mid $200s
The Village at Fox Crossing is less than two miles from The Village at Upstream Farm, and it has 135 new and resale single-family modular homes built by Ritz-Craft Homes. It’s located in a quiet part of Easton, close to the Braden Airpark and Palmer Park Mall, with the Lehigh Valley International Airport only 20 minutes away. Those who enjoy nearby field trips (with or without the grandkids) can head to Jacobsburg State Park, the Crayola Experience, or the National Canal Museum.
There are seven ranch floor plans ranging from 1,100 to 1,831 square feet with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, oak kitchen cabinetry, decorator lighting, plush carpeting, and two-car garages. Some models also have dens, morning rooms, and porches.
The HOA fee provides for exterior home maintenance, snow removal, lawn care, and common area maintenance. Also, once the community clubhouse is complete, The Village at Fox Crossing will have sports courts and gathering rooms for homeowners to enjoy.
Below $100k - Low $100s
Located in Montgomery County, Red Hill Estates is an established retirement community with 260 resale single-family homes. It’s just a few minutes from Green Lane Park and Reservoir, where you can go fishing, boating, and camping. Red Hill is a peaceful setting with several parks, a library, houses of worship, a post office, and a grocery store. If you drive a few miles north, you’ll run into a Walmart as well as other restaurants and shops. The closest hospitals are Grand View in Sellersville and St. Luke’s in Quakertown.
Red Hill Estate’s two ranch-style models offer 1,120 or 1,493 square feet with three or four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and one-car garages or carports. Some of these cozy homes have eat-in kitchens, rear decks, covered front patios, large master suites with walk-in closets, gas fireplaces, and vaulted ceilings.
The community clubhouse has a comfortable gathering room, and there are walking and biking trails and parks on the property. The reasonable HOA fee provides for sidewalk repairs, streetlights, and exterior home maintenance.