9 Things To Consider When Choosing a 55 and Over Community
We understand the importance of researching your future home and neighborhood. When choosing your 55 and over community, it is crucial to understand your needs and wants. Senior communities are not the same as assisted living facilities. These communities, like ours, are designed for independent living. Before committing to one particular 55 and over community, consider nine essential things.
1. Budget and Financing
You will most likely be able to find a home or senior community for any budget. Still, it is necessary to understand that the more limited your budget, the less likely you are to find amenities. Even if your budget is too restrictive, you may find some communities that offer financing options to suit your needs.
2. Financial Stability of the Institution
Beyond your own finances, you want to consider the financial stability of the institution. Moving into a facility or neighborhood that is struggling financially will put you at risk of losing your home. Do not hesitate to ask about financial statements or other documents to prove the efficiency and longevity of the community. Every resident or potential resident deserves to know how their money contributes to the upkeep of the premises.
3. Costs of Living
Beyond the cost of the community and your apartment, you will need to consider the cost of the location. While many senior communities are located near major cities, some cities are more expensive than others. Being aware of the average costs of living in the area will help you determine if the community is a good fit for your budget.
What do you need in your apartment community? Do you want access to a pool or tennis courts? Are high tech security and private gyms essential? Knowing what you can live with or without is crucial to finding the best apartment for you. Some people are satisfied with their natural surroundings and walking trails, while others want entertainment options. What do you want?
5. Resident Requirements
Many retirement communities have rules that they expect residents to abide by. If you have ever lived in a condo or a newer neighborhood, you are likely familiar with condo associations or HOAs. 55 and older communities may impose rules on how you can decorate your property, what plants are acceptable, and even the age of people living in your home. For example, some communities require both a husband and wife to be 55 or older before moving in.
6. Management Style
Management often makes the community. If you have great managers, then you will see how efficient a property runs and how meticulous maintenance is. Before signing on a dotted line, talk with management and potential neighbors to get a feel for how things run in the community.
Most communities are close to downtown areas, allowing for easy shopping and commutes. However, you can have some that embrace the city atmosphere, and others that prefer to focus on building a relaxing atmosphere. Pick which you would rather have before touring several options.
8. Neighborhood and Neighbors
When you tour a community, do not only stick to walking through the apartment. You want to walk the neighborhood and introduce yourself to the neighbors. Immerse yourself in the community so that you can get a feel for the environment. Does it feel like it could be home, or do you feel uncomfortable?
Take your time to make a decision, and weigh your options. While we may feel that Shelby Manor is among the best 55 and over communities, you may not. The key is to find your new home, and not be pressured into a decision.
Make a list of your needs and wants and any community that appears to fulfill that list. Then, schedule tours to determine the best place for you.