Buying a home in an age-restricted community is different from buying a home in a typical West Hillhurst neighborhood. Age-restricted communities bring together seniors in a place where they can enjoy the company of their peers. Often, age-restricted communities also have amenities like pools, recreation rooms and community rooms.
These benefits are not free, and many people who are buying in an age-restricted community should be aware of the application process, HOA fees, and other rules that often accompany these communities. If you're a senior who is thinking about purchasing property in an age-restricted community, here's what you need to know.
Know the Rules
Many age-restricted communities come with various rules that protect the quality of life of people in those communities. Typically, the buyer and other people in the household must be at or above a certain age. The age limit may vary from one home to another. Other common rules may affect whether the buyer can have pets, or what kind of pets they can have.
Some age-restricted communities have rules about who can park on the street, what kind of decorating can be done on the lawn and when members of the community must stop making loud noises after a certain time of day.
Buyers thinking about living in an age-restricted community should be aware of those rules before they apply. If the rules conflict with the buyer's way of life, they'll know to keep looking somewhere else. All age-restricted communities are different, so a senior who doesn't like one age-restricted community's rules may be able to find what they seek elsewhere.
Be Prepared for Application and Interview
Age-restricted communities are generally run by a homeowner's association (HOA). People who want to live in these communities usually need to turn in an application and get approval from the HOA.
Typically, the application process includes an interview. These interviews are usually less formal than job interviews, but still an important part of the application process. Seniors who are applying for a home should be prepared to answer questions about themselves, their goals for their future home, and information about themselves.
Be Prepared for the HOA Fees
One of the things that a senior should be aware of when they're purchasing a home from an age-restricted community is these homes usually come with HOA fees. HOA fees are a monthly fee paid to the homeowner's association for maintenance of the property and amenities, like the community pool.
Home buyers who are interested in purchasing a home in an age-restricted community need to include the HOA fees in their budget. If they cannot afford HOA fees, they may not be able to afford a home in an age-restricted community. HOA fees vary from one property to another, so a home buyer who is unable to afford the fees in one community may be able to afford another community nearby.
Work with a Real Estate Professional
If you're a home buyer who would like to purchase a home in an age-restricted community, work with a real estate professional. Your real estate agent can help you find a home in an age-restricted community that you can afford. Your real estate professional can also answer any questions that you might have about living in an age-restricted community.
Some real estate professionals specialize in the purchase of homes in these communities. To get started with your home purchase, contact a real estate agent who has experience helping clients with purchase of homes in age-restricted areas.