These communities have homes for sale that you purchase. You own the land and the home. They are normally rambler one-story homes with garages. These homes come with a monthly homeowners association fee that covers all maintenance, from lawn care and washing of the home exterior and windows to maintenance of the road, gate, and community areas. These communities are quiet and child free environment.
One of the most common 55+ Communities are high rise apartments or condos. These homes tend to have 4-6 floors and are for the most part well-appointed with all the current updated appliances, flooring, walk-in showers, quartz or granite counters and vaulted ceilings and lots of windows.
Some 55+ Communities are gated mobile home parks. In these communities, you own the home, but the land is leased and you pay monthly to live there, as well as property taxes, utilities, cable, etc. Part of the monthly payment covers maintenance of common areas such as parks, activity centers, the gate, and roads. Plan on your monthly fee to go up 5-10% every year. The manufactured home is considerably cheaper than a regular stick-built home.
You may have seen condos advertised for sale that look like a duplex with garages between the two adjoining units. Usually, the owner of these condos has chosen to sell each side and designate them as condo living – one-story with 2 car garages. Most are in gated communities with monthly association fees for maintenance of the road, lighting, and the gate. You may be responsible for the exterior of the home – so be sure to ask for the Rules and Regulations as well as the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R’s). Whenever there is a Homeowners Association (HOA), it is important to make sure there are enough funds to maintain the property – otherwise they may be able to up your monthly fee substantially.
Something new here in Washington State is a 62+ Co-Op where you put money down and are part owner of the complex. In these communities, you pay a smaller month to month fee to live there and have a say on what happens and how it happens in the complex. Monthly fees cover everything including utilities, painting, and appliance repair/replacement (even if you need a light bulb changed – they will do it for you).