YOU ARE OFFICIALLY an empty nester! And there’s never been a better time to find the perfect home to fit your new lifestyle.
According to census statistics, boomers (born between 1945 and 1965), many of whom are empty nesters, are the largest demographic group in Canada. Many industries, including developers and builders of new neighbourhoods, have invested in research to better understand their lifestyle preferences.
Adult-lifestyle communities are a popular choice among empty nesters looking to right-size from a family home to something more practical. Designed specifically for mature adults, this style of master-planned neighbourhood offers housing choices with private lifestyle amenities and facilities right on site. These communities are often planned around or nearby major recreations such as a lake, conservation area, ski hills or a golf course. If you appreciate the opportunity to be active outdoors, you’ll feel right at home in a community of this nature.
Adult-lifestyle communities offer homes to suit a range of budgets and needs. In areas beyond the Greater Toronto Area, where the majority of these are situated, options may include townhomes, semi-detached and bungalows, which we’ll discuss today. In a future article we’ll take a look at condominium buildings often incorporated into adult lifestyle communities, and another alternative for downsizing. Even after you have moved, you may find your needs change again. Buying now, in a community that has many housing choices, may mean that you can purchase your next home within the neighbourhood, remaining close to new friends and favourite activities.
Adult-lifestyle communities appeal to boomers because they generally include services in a monthly condominium fee. While these do vary greatly,
from just maintaining roads to more extensive services such as exterior maintenance, landscaping, and snow removal, living in a condominium community can mean you are finally able to say goodbye to outdoor chores. This is the ideal scenario for snowbirds and those who travel much of the year.
Some places also have a private fitness centre, pool, tennis courts or club house, along with planned social events that provide great opportunities to meet new friends. A community centre also allows you to pursue your favourite hobby or take up new ones, literally steps from your front door. These ready-made neighbourhoods of like-minded individuals may be just what you are looking for.
Before purchasing, you will also want to factor into your annual carrying costs any applicable monthly condo fees. Ask yourself, “How much will you use the facilities?” If you golf regularly, then having a course on-site will be a wonderful lifestyle amenity. Is swimming a year round fitness activity you enjoy? Then an indoor pool will be important. Understanding exactly what services and amenities are included will help you narrow down your options. Keep in mind that if your move coincides with retirement from full-time work, you will have more leisure time to pursue the things you love best.
Moving from a familiar neighbourhood to an exclusive adult community is a lifestyle change. We recommend you visit those on your short list a few times, taking the time to speak with residents who, you’ll discover, are often quite enthusiastic about their neighbourhood. And, don’t be afraid to ask the on-site sales agents to introduce you to their homeowners.
Living in an adult-lifestyle community affords you an incredible opportunity to enjoy many of the things you’ve worked to achieve; choosing the one that is right for you is all part of the fun.