Why 55-Plus Communities Are Blending into the Mainstream

Today’s 55-plus communities look a lot different from those of years past.

In fact, today’s age-restricted, 55-plus communities are increasingly wellness-oriented and less isolated than ever before, according to new reports in The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times.

Now, it’s less common to see a 55-plus community being built in a fairly remote location, such as on a golf course, Gregg Logan, a housing expert with real estate firm RCLCO in Orlando, Florida, told The Washington Post. It’s also less common to see 55-plus communities built with “cookie-cutter homes” and “formal clubhouses,” Logan said.

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Instead, newly built 55-plus communities have walking trails, fitness centers, and casual, open spaces for dining and gathering, Logan explained. Additionally, these age-restricted communities offer a variety of housing options, including single-family homes, condominiums and attached villas. 

In years past, the majority of 55-plus communities were “elderly islands” located on a “golf course or on top the mountain somewhere,” Andrew Carle, founding director of the Program in Senior Housing Administration at George Mason University, told the Los Angeles Times.

These communities, in other words, were not usually found in highly-populated metropolitan areas—and the seniors who lived in them were effectively segregated from younger generations.

Now, however, senior-only neighborhoods are frequently located within multi-generational communities in metropolitan areas, as opposed to by themselves in “far-flung” resort towns, Carle explained.

Developers are “particularly bullish” on multi-generational communities like these, which include both age-restricted neighborhoods and multi-generational homes, the Times reported. 

Read the full article in The Washington Post here, and the full article in the Los Angeles Times here.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson

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