Negatives of Active Adult Communities

I had written about the positives of Active Adult Communities and sometimes it looks like it is all positives. So for the last few months I have been asking people, especially people who live in Active Adult Communities, what are the negatives.

Bay Street in Beaufort SC

I had written about the positives of Active Adult Communities and sometimes it looks like it is all positives.  (just scroll down to the bottom of this page for a list of posts about positives) So for the last few months I have been asking people, especially people who live in Active Adult Communities, what are the negatives.

A recent 15 day cruise gave us a lot of time to talk with wonderful people we met that live in Active Adult Communities in California and Arizona. These were mostly Del Webb Communities. They could talk for hours about the positives. When we finally asked them about the negatives, it took them a long time to come up with anything.  That is a good sign!

1. Number one complain was the Homeowners Association.  The HOA were too restrictive, or too noisy, too petty. I know in any subdivision that has a HOA they came become like little dictatorships and really piss people off. When you add all the additional restrictions an age qualified community must have, then all the more to deal with. Also mentioned was neighbors reporting neighbors for violations. Even some taking to doing their own inspections vigilante style.

2. Several residents of the communities originally built by Del Webb in CA and AZ felt the new homes built in their communities after Del Webb sold out to Pulte were not up the the same standards of quality.

The following comments were related to us from a third part.

3. One 50ish couple from Atlanta didn’t like the Hilton Head Active Adult Community they bought in, so decided to sell and move back to Atlanta. They felt the residents were too old for them.  Be sure to find out the average age in the community, it does make a difference to some. Older developments tend to have older residents, which, for many youth-seeking boomers, might just be a deal breaker.

4. A couple of people did not like The Villages in Central Florida. It may be been too large for them. Plus they may have heard the rumors of all the sex parties!

There is always the stories of people moving across the country to live in a new community but later deciding they wanted to move back to be close to their long time friends and relatives.  I don’t think that is a negative of the community itself.

Some people that have never lived in an Active Adult Community say they would not live in this type community because all the residents would be older and they like the diversity.  I don’t take that as a negative of the community, just one person’s view. The next person may think it is wonderful opportunity to meet new friends and socialize during the day with people who don’t have to be at work.

Now living in a Del Webb Community for over 3 years, I would say the gossip turns me off.  That is unique only because there are some many social gathering which can be fertile grounds.

Many of the larger Active Adult Communities are located in small towns on the edges of large metro areas and may not have all the nice restaurants you are used to or the upscale specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods, The Fresh Market or a Trader Joe’s.

As you may know by now, I think there are way more positives than negatives of Active Adult Community living.  Most people say they wish they wished they had moved in sooner.

Author: Robert Fowler

Robert Fowler is President of Retirement Media Inc

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