Here are some questions to ask before moving to an Over 55 community.
Over 55 Community Questions
When you move to an adult community, it’s a big step. Ask the right questions of the community, and yourself, before committing.
Do the Numbers Work?
If the community offers activities that you’ll participate in, that’s great. However, if, for example, there’s a championship golf course, and you don’t golf, this may not be a good fit for you. And if there’s an activity that’s not available, you’ll need to pay extra and go out of the community. Consider looking for a community that does offer the activities you enjoy.
Also, do the finances work for you? If you need to pay a mortgage, taxes, insurance, utilities and the monthly HOA fees, does this stay within your financial reach? If not, you may want to consider a less expensive community.
What Are the Amenities?
Most active adult communities offer some degree of amenities. In fact, almost all have a clubhouse. However, you really should look beyond the clubhouse to see what is actually available. It’s great when tennis courts exist, but what if you don’t play tennis. Check to see if what you want to do is available. And, if you tell me what activities and hobbies interest you, I can direct to some appropriate communities..
Is the Community Financially Stable?
You want to live in a financially stable community. If the community can’t pay it’s bills, they’ll need to raise the monthly HOA fees. Find out if there are lawsuits against the community. Check to see if the other home owners are paying their fees. Look at the community property to see if the maintenance is being done properly. As part of the process, you’ll get the Rules, Regulations and Bylaws. In fact, you can usually read a copy at the clubhouse before entering into a contract.Ask for a copy of the latest financial statement. If you don’t understand what you see, a good real estate attorney can help you.
What are the Age Restrictions ?
In most cases, the rules are very similar. However, there are some exceptions.
The most common rules state that one person must be at least 55, all others at least 19. And, each community makes their own rules about whether or not children (visitors) can use the pool, what ages and when. Children under 19 (ie your grandchildren) are allowed to visit and stay overnight. Usually, they are allowed to stay up to 59 nights per calendar year, no more than 29 continuous nights. Who marks those dates down on a calendar? I have no idea.
The Rules & Regulations will explain the policies in detail. If the rules do not match your needs, consider a different community.
What Rules Do You Need to Follow?
Again, read the Rules and Regulations. That way, you’ll avoid surprises.
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