A Guide to Visiting Age-Restricted Communities Near You

Known as 55-plus communities, active adult neighborhoods, or retirement neighborhoods, these residential areas offer amenities that promote an active lifestyle. Residents pay homeowners association fees, which often cover the maintenance of communal spaces and exterior home maintenance.

These communities typically prohibit children 18 and under from living in the community. However, younger children can visit for a limited time.

Check with the HOA

Suppose you are considering moving into age restricted communities near me or are already living in one. Ensuring the potential new home meets your needs and preferences is important in that case. To start your search, you can check with the Homeowners’ Association (HOA) to better understand how things work in the community.

In general, age-restricted communities require that at least 80 percent of homes be occupied by a household member who is 55 or older. However, a few HOPA exemptions exist to allow a lower minimum age.

Those exemptions also allow younger children to visit and stay with their parents in age-restricted communities for weeks or months. So, if you plan on having your grandkids or young nieces and nephews see you often, check with the HOA for specifics. Some communities allow visiting families to stay for a maximum of two or three months a year, while others cap the number of days underage visitors can stay there.

Check the CC&Rs

An age-restricted community is a residential neighborhood, often gated, that legally discriminates based on age. A common rule is that at least 80 percent of the homeowners must be 55 or older. The laws may also prohibit owners from renting their homes to people under 55. However, a spouse younger than the age limit or adult children living with their parents can still reside in an age-restricted community.

It’s also common for CC&Rs to have guidelines around home and lawn maintenance; the HOA typically forbids piles of trash, an unkempt yard or general disorderly conduct. You can ask neighbors or current residents for a copy of the CC&Rs or look for an online database that will provide copies for a fee. Most of these databases can tell if a particular community has age restrictions.

Check with the Homeowners

If you are looking for an age-restricted community, it’s a good idea to check with the homeowner’s association to see their home rental rules. It’s not unusual for 55+ communities to discourage or prohibit homeowners from renting their homes for more than a single night or extended periods.

It’s also important to note that most 55+ communities are not retirement homes where onsite care is provided. They are typically just neighborhoods with amenities catering to older adults who prefer a simpler lifestyle and the convenience of living in a community with neighbors their age.

Many retirees choose to become snowbirds, live in an age-restricted community during the winter, and then return to their primary residence during other times of the year. It allows them to travel and still enjoy the benefits of living in an age-restricted community when they are at home.