Did you ever see that Robin William’s and John Travolta movie, Old Dogs, where he finds himself living in an active adult community?
Maybe, maybe not. In the movie, this active adult community gave off the impression that the place was a party house for hyper hormone driven singles over 55 who hated the idea of anybody younger, especially kids, coming to visit.
Obviously the movie exaggerated or just flat out didn’t understand what an active adult community was. At least, in the nearly 20 years I’ve been working with these communities, I’ve never seen one quite like that.
We define active adult communities a little differently and a little more realistically.
What makes a 55+ active adult community different from any other neighborhood?
Your subdivision may be full of people over 55 years old, but there is a big difference between it and one of our senior communities.
When you moved into your current home, were you excited? Did you want all your family and friends to visit and see how smart your home purchase was? Your last home purchase probably made you feel good, and maybe a little vain, but you sure were proud of your choice.
You had great reasons for moving then. Similarly, your reasons for wanting to move again are all your own and just as good.
Naturally every neighborhood has its own diversity. Some streets have younger populations while others are older. Most realtors aren’t going to know the diversity of every neighborhood they walk you through. Sure they can point out where the closest school or grocery store is, but they’re focused more on size, city, and price.
If you like a home, it’s up to you to knock on all the doors and get a feel for the neighbors. How likely are you to do this? Let me guess…
Plus, if you’re buying into a new subdivision, your new neighbors haven’t even moved in yet. You know how important location is, and sometimes that location is not next door to the young couple who love to blare heavy metal music at window shuddering decibels.
What if you could move into a neighborhood and know exactly the type of people that you’d be sharing streets with. Not only would you know their demographic, but you’d also have a lot in common with them. It almost sounds too easy, doesn’t it.
Not only would you have more in common with your neighbors, but the homes would actually be designed around you!
First the lifestyle in a dedicated active adult community is different.
Since you are 55 or older, most of your kids have left home or are getting really close to it. On one hand, you’re relieved to give them the golden boot, on the other hand, you might miss them a little. At Leisure Villas, our Senior communities are chuck full of empty nesters just like you.
They’re drawn here because without all the kids, they are looking to downsize gracefully while still staying close enough to the family for visits.
Not only can you visit your kids, but they can visit you. And with a community clubhouse, complete with swimming pool, billiards, theater, and more, you’ll easily become the favorite grandparent. (Not that you care about such things.) 😉
But what about the time when your grandkids aren’t visiting? At your current house, you may have some friends you can play with occasionally, but here, everyone is in your same age range. How does weekly lunches, crafts, ball games, temple trips, card games, or even shared vacations sound? The possibilities are endless.
This is a community for you and people just like you.
Second, we can’t forget the floorplans. They are different from your average house.
I thought a house was a house?
Well, yes and no.
Most homes even those targeted towards seniors, just don’t seem to understand you. You’re still active, but parts of your body don’t treat you as well as they did when you were younger. I just recently heard a sad story from one lady who was considering a move to one of our beautiful communities. She related the following:
A neighbor (We’ll call them the Smiths) had been told by their kids to come look at Leisure Villas.
“We’re not old, and we’re not moving. We’ve been here for years, and this house has been just fine for us,” said the Smiths.
Their kids replied, “Listen, you don’t have to feel old to move there. These places are for active senior like you. You’ll love it there.”
“Nope, this home suits us just fine.”
Their kids poked and prodded at their parents for months, but the parents refused to budge. Their house was getting harder to take care of and their joints weren’t what they used to be, but they didn’t want to leave.
A couple of months later, while coming down the stairs, Mr. Smith fell. He tumbled all the way down, and ended his life a good 30-40 years before his time.
The lady who shared this story with me noted that she was here because she didn’t want her and her husband to find a similar fate. If Mr. Smith would have taken a moment to visit one of our communities, he might have really liked it. If he had moved here, he would still be alive.
This is a very sad story, one I hesitate to share. Not everybody who avoids moving here is going to fall to their death. I’m guessing that the Smiths were even quite active. But regardless of your current health or level of activity, stairs are eventually going to be a real obstacle to you in the future. Falls are common, though hopefully they’re not all as bad as Mr. Smiths.
And I know what you’re wondering, couldn’t he still have fallen down your stairs?
Because we don’t have stairs!
That’s just part of how our homes are designed for seniors. Not only do we avoid stairs, but we are ADA compliant. This means that while you may not need a wheelchair right now, someday down the road, you or your spouse might. All of our rooms, hallways, and doorways are designed to accommodate wheelchairs.
You are still active and feeling youthful, we understand that. That’s why we make our communities the way we do. We’re just making this home a perfect fit for you now, and for several years down the road.
Also, you may notice that most of our homes are attached in either duplexes or quads.
There are plenty of single family detached homes out there today. Some of them are even labeled as senior communities. We prefer attached homes, and this is why:
Land, especially in Utah, is getting harder to find. For the most part, we can only build so far before we get completely sandwiched between our lakes or mountain ranges. Because of this, many homebuilders are either making smaller but taller home, then cramming them so close together that you could open your window and spit onto the side of your neighbor’s house.
Not only do these tight lots feel claustrophobic, but because the homes have smaller footprints, they require more stairs to achieve a reasonable amount of square footage. And wouldn’t you rather avoid extra stairs?
Attached homes have come a long way since the last time you were in one. We design ours to minimize sound transfer between homes. Plus, since your neighbors are at the same stage of life as you, they’re not the sort to be having raucous parties.
Lastly, because we’re able to attach our homes, we can keep costs down enough to keep building luxury homes at affordable prices. These homes have the finishing touches that you want to live with.
So while there are many options available to you, an active senior community should be on the top of your list of places to consider when moving.
You’ve worked hard your whole life. It’s about time that somebody built the type of community that you’d love to retire to.
You’ll learn that you don’t have to feel old to live in a senior community. In fact, there is nothing old about our neighborhoods. We’re just in a different stage of life, and we like to surround ourselves by others that we can share the journey with.
Having a home that is designed to accommodate us as we age is a huge advantage as well.
So when you start looking for a new home, make us your first visit. Even if you’re not sure that we’re the right fit for you, give us a lookie. You may be pleasantly surprised. You may even invite all your family over to stroke your vanity as you make the best move of your life.