With only a dozen or so floor plans, how do you make the home yours without breaking the budget?
If you have purchased a home in one of these developments, what do you wish you had added to the construction?
I think like any planned community there is a limited number of floor plans.
I think what makes each unique are the options and upgrades. Just by paint and flooring you can pretty well define spaces.
If the rooms are large enough furniture placement is also important. I have toured many homes in planned communities and post construction in some you really have to look to find the common features.
I would recommend putting the most cash into cabinets - upgrade as much as you can and flooring.
The one I live in, which is 17 years old, has 77 different floor plans --that is not
a typo -- ranging from 950 to 4,000 SF. All are single family detached homes.
Like any tract housing development, 55+ active adult or not, and whether you have 7 or 77 different plans, you will find pluses and minuses in the layouts.
My advice: Select the best location and lot you can afford. Then choose the model that comes closest to your ideal floor plan and personalize it with paint, flooring, window treatments, wall coverings, furnishings and accessories.
Cabinets, flooring and countertops seem to be the most frequent topics of advice
Thanks - now another question...
Build your own or purchase a resale?
Oh, I know that there are deals to be found in resales, but if this is the last home we buy, I wonder what I am willing to settle with.
Check out both resales and new builds ~ never know, you might just find a re-sale that fits your taste and style. If not, then look at new builds - as you say, if this is the last one you buy, go for what will make you happy.
A lot depends on the market you are in, the age of the resales, etc.
Here our existing market is finally starting to dwindle which is driving the price of new build up. I you are considering a resale - visit all that are available in the community of interest and then look at the models. Many times there will be a change in developer (our local 55+ had a bankruptcy and now new developer) or even the existing developer will change floor plans over the years. This is sometimes for the good and sometimes not.
Educate yourself on what is available and what you will get for your dollar if you go with new. What you will probably notice in a resale that is more than 6 years old is shiny brass fixtures and other similar style elements that will date the house.
Only you will know what you want when you see it.
I don't think there is a difference between 55+ or any other community that has a specific set of floor plans, but to customize, you can do everything previous posters said, and you can customize your landscape. It can completely transform how the home looks. Location, location, location I believe still applies - and the size/shape of the yard is important to me. Most of the new homes I looked at had postage stamp (and I'm being generous) yards or were on a golf course (have dogs - not an acceptable option to me). Make a list of the must haves, then only look at the houses that meet the criteria. There are just so many homes out there, I found doing anything else became painful! It will limit the number of houses you have to pick from, but I found it alot less confusing. And thank goodness we have MLS and great realtors!!!!!
Buyer representation is key.. your Realtor is your team-mate and can customize your search to meet your required criteria.
One of the things that I have always disliked about any of those subdivisions, is that you more or less if you have seen the models, which are usually not that many, you can say, oh on the inside the house looks like......
Disregarding what you do to the inside. the outside will always look the same.
That is why to me, I rather buy a resale, in an stablish neighborhood than in any of those planned subdivisions.
But, I guess that is me.
I live in a 55 and old community and love it. Just FYI I'm only 51 and my DH is almost 53 (BD next month). There is always many models to choose from and each model has at least 4 to 5 different elevations to chooose from and this changes the outside of the house. Brick, no brick, rock, no rock, rock and brick combined, siding in many, many colors. There are 2 or 3 bedroom homes. Ones that stand alone some are attached to each other so there are a ton of options.
We love it here and can't imagine living anywhere else. We moved here because we wanted to retire here and wanted this to be our retirement home. We have added a deck on the back and an outdoor kitchen. We have a screened in porch, 3 BR, 2 1/2 baths, a separate office. Our house is a little less than 3,000ft.
Any house is what you make of it. Change the floors or add area rugs, paint the inside, change the light fixtures, just put your personal touch to the house that makes it yours. My neighbor around the corner has the same model but her house has a sun room where mine has the screened in porch. They look like 2 different houses when your in the living room but the kitchen set up looks the same just different appliances, cabinets, back splash, counters and diffent sink.
I love our community and would recommend living in a 55+ community to anyone that can get in one.
You said it! We've been in ours going on 10 years and have never been happier. It's resort-style living. Ours is one of the larger active lifestyle communities in the US, and it covers about 5,300 acres with three 18-hole golf courses, 2 fitness centers, 77 floor plans 2 state of the art fitness centers, 5 pools and lots more. So far, we have nearly 7,000 homes and plans call for building out in a few years when we reach 7,500. Most homes sold now are resales, and there are rental homes as well.
Home prices range from $140,000 to $700,000+
Not all 55+ active adult communities are as big as ours or have as many amenities. There are many to choose from, at various price points. Here is a link to an informative site: http://www.55places.com/This message has been edited. Last edited by: aychihuahua,
How did you youngsters get into a 55+ community?
I don't know about LovesTx, but our community is now open to those as young as 50 only when they build a new home. Otherwise, at least one member of the household must be 55.
I think it can certainly be a great option for those who enjoy what each one has to offer. So glad you enjoy them.
Personally, I am SO happy no one is going to be farming DH and I into one!
Hey, conrad -- there are countless seniors in my community who can outrun, out golf and out dance the young'uns any day of the week.
The ones in their 70s and 80s who play tennis every day of the week put me to shame. (I am only 63!)
I will be 60 later this year too, DH 63.
Our home (that we will retire to) is in the mountains with neighbors young and old and in between, and also many vacation residences. I like to see the kids in the neighborhood, and enjoy diversity..and the wildlife visits.
Plus all the homes are different, with individual identity. (That is probably why I will never choose a condo or townhouse... where they all look similar?)
But "to each his own", thank goodness we all have the option to choose what each of us wants.
We have a ton of wildlife: white tail deer, white wing doves, quail, coyotes, bobcats, snakes, toads, road runners, wild turkeys, hawks, egrets, herons, armadillos, skunks, raccoons, lizards, salamanders and cows who wander over from the nearby pasture.
Plus lots of visiting children who use our 2 large playgrounds and pools year 'round, plus a 2-week summer camp. And, 77 different home plans.
Just saying! This message has been edited. Last edited by: aychihuahua,
If you read the rules on many of the 55+ places they allow a percentage of their homeowers to be younger than 55. In our community 10% can be younger than 55. At least 1 member of the family has to be 50 yrs old to purchase a house. We have not hit the 10% mark yet. We are the youngest people in our neighborhood. I have only met one other homeowner younger than me and she is 49 and I was 50 at the time. Her husband is a lot older than her.
We love it here. Just wish I could do more of the stuff here but I work and many of the activities are during the day. I love my job and can't think of quitting yet.
LOL, as I have been thinking about this, I realized the Mt resort area (we are retiring to in CO), the median age for women is mid fifties. So I guess we are already in a 55 active lifestyle community.
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