Older friends walking together in a 5%+ community

Many residents are grateful to live in a 55+ community this year.

Whether you’re downsizing, seeking a sunnier climate, or trading the city for more greenspace, moving into a 55+ community is certainly an adjustment, and moving into a 55+ community in the midst of a pandemic is a new level of adaptability. But it’s not all bad.

Many active adults are just as excited as ever to transition from their family homes to a community with an emphasis on health and wellness, a deep sense of connection, and (of course) a wide variety of amenities.

To learn more, 55places went straight to the source and reached out to two homeowners who recently bought homes in 55+ communities. Each participant was asked a series of questions regarding their opinions about active adult communities in general and their personal experiences in their new homes.

Michel Vanouse, our first interviewee, recently bought a home at The Pinnacle in Nevada, and though he selected the location for primarily medical reasons, he was also attracted to the community’s social opportunities.

Here’s what Michel had to say about his experience:

What was your opinion on 55+ communities before you moved to one? 

“I had a positive opinion. I’ve had several surgeries, and I lived in California, and it’s really humid. I mean, it’s not always humid, but compared to here, the humidity is high. And I needed to move somewhere with a better atmosphere and low humidity.”

Why did you choose your 55+ community?

“I like the clubhouse because it has a softball field and tennis courts and the Starbright theater. Along with the gym and the pool and jacuzzi. I don’t know if I’ll be able to play, but I will be watching the games at the softball field when it opens up.” 

What’s something you're able to do now in your community that you weren’t able to do before?

“The theater. When I came here to look, one of the workers was telling me that they have a playhouse for the community, and the people actually try out for the plays, and I’m a thespian from high school.” 

How has your outlook on life changed since moving into your community?

“I couldn’t do these things in California. I lived in a condo, which the only thing you can do there is go to the pool. So all these things are different for me.”

What have you learned about your community during the pandemic?

“I just got off the phone with the HOA to find out what the restrictions are about doing something to your house. And there are people golfing. I don’t golf, but there is a trail around the softball field where we all say good morning to each other.”

Though currently a snowbird, David Stroud recently purchased a home in Hidden Oaks with the intention of becoming a permanent resident in the future. While the pandemic may have delayed his plans, he’s still as eager as ever to experience the attractive amenities and the low-maintenance living within his new community.

 Here’s what David had to say about his experience:

What was your opinion on 55+ communities before you moved to one?

“I have friends who lived in one, and I thought the 55+ communities are a good idea. There comes a time in life where you don’t want to have to deal with kids day in and day out.”

Why did you choose your 55+ community?

“Chose our community because our friends lived in it, and they were pleased with it. (They have sold their home and moved back to be near their kids and grandkids.) The community we chose is very nice, well kept, and clean.”

How has your outlook on life changed since moving into your community?

“We are snowbirds at this time in our life but will be permanent residents in the future.”

What’s something you're able to do now in your community that you weren’t able to do before?

“We will be able to meet new people and grow a circle of friends. We were renting a place for the last three to four years and were limited on meeting new people.”

How does your community staff help you stay connected?

“They have activities, a newsletter, and programs that we can choose to check out. At this point, we just got moved in and then had to head back north. We are looking forward to spending more time in our new community in the future.”

What have you learned about your community during the pandemic?

“We just got moved in as the pandemic was starting and then had to head back North. We were there for two weeks as the activities and premises were shut down due to the pandemic. We felt that the HOA management was acting in the best interests of all the residents. We have been kept up on the restrictions and/or re-opening of facilities and activities through email updates and postings on the ‘community pages’ on the community’s website.” 

Living in an active adult community can afford residents a number of benefits that they otherwise might not get to enjoy, especially during this time of social distancing. If you’re unsure if a 55+ community is right for you or if you’re uncertain if now is the right time to buy a home, rest assured that active adult communities hold resident well-being as a top priority—and they were doing that long before face masks became the latest fashion.