What Are Master Planned Communities?

Master-planned communities are large-scale residential neighborhoods with numerous recreational and commercial amenities, such as golf courses, tennis courts, lakes, parks, playgrounds, swimming pools, and even stores and restaurants. Some master-planned communities may have schools, office parks, shopping centers and other businesses.

The average master-planned community is more than 2,500 acres and located in an urban or suburban environment. Residents move there to experience a self-contained environment. All social and recreational opportunities typically are limited to residents and their guests.

A master-planned community differs from a subdivision based on the number of amenities it offers. It may contain one large residential area, or it may be broken up into multiple subdivisions and neighborhoods. Each subdivision or neighborhood is unique and offers residents something different from the others. These differences may include housing styles, home sizes, prices, lot sizes and available amenities.

What Are Active Adult Communities?

Active adult (55+) communities are neighborhoods where 80% of the population is required to be over a specified age, often 55, per Fair Housing regulations and the Housing for Older Persons Act. The bulk of residents in newer active adult communities tend to be at the younger end of the qualifying age range, whereas the average age at longer established communities tends to skew older.

Residents in these communities are typically retired or still working but thinking about retirement. They enjoy a lifestyle that provides beautiful grounds and amenities such as clubhouses, pools and golf courses, offers numerous opportunities to participate in scheduled activities, and helps residents establish relationships with neighbors of a similar age who have similar interests. 

Homes in 55+ communities are often single story. Some 55+ communities offer single family homes only, some offer condos only, others might offer townhomes only, and some offer a mix of residence types. The square footage of these homes varies based upon the style and budget of the buyer. While many active adult buyers want to downsize from larger, multi-story, family homes, others prefer similar square footages to their prior homes, or even choose homes that are larger than what they owned before!

In active adult communities, residents often choose to live in beautiful, intelligently designed spaces that are perfect for entertaining. They cook meals in their gourmet kitchens while guests enjoy watching a Sunday game in the living room. Residents want to cook, entertain, gather and share hobbies. They want to live independently, but love that the community clubhouse is located nearby, complete with fitness facilities, gathering, craft and card rooms, community pools, golf courses, and onsite restaurants.

How Do I Know If Active Adult Living Is Right For Me?

Each active adult community is different in what it offers and its overall "vibe." Be sure to ask which amenities, services and activities are included in the monthly homeowners’ association fee. Are clubhouse, pool, fitness center and art classes included? Are there add-on fees?

Be honest about what appeals to you in day-to-day living in terms of amount of privacy, community activities and neighbors. Think about how you want to live your life as you age. How do you envision your life from today forward?

Here are some "home" questions to consider:

  • What types of home layouts (floor plans) do I prefer?
  • How many "spaces" do I need for work, hobbies, guests, etc.?
  • How do my desired "spaces" translate into home square footage?
  • How comfortable do I feel about taking care of a home of that square footage?
  • Do I want to have a pool in my back yard, or will a community pool suffice?
  • What kind of landscaping (and related maintenance) would I prefer?
  • Do I want to get to know new people and establish new relationships?
  • Do I want to live in a quieter neighborhood?

Your answers to the above questions will help you determine your desired lifestyle, home size and home layout. We will be delighted to help you find the community and home that best fit your desires!