Great Places for "Active Adults"
by George L. Ballou, II, Broker Associate, Menton and Ballou Group
Watson Realty Corp.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise to people living in Florida that there are developments amongst us that specialize in 55+ age restricted communities or as their marketing people like to call them “Active Lifestyle Communities”.
In the interest of full-disclosure, I want to reveal that my wife and I live in such a place in Nocatee…Del Webb Ponte Vedra to be specific…which is a 55+ age restricted community.
It is interesting to talk with potential residents when they are visiting these communities and what their perception is about the life behind the gates. It seems that either they think we are all sitting around in wheelchairs, drooling and waiting for the apple sauce cart to come or we are all waiting out on the curb in front of our house waiting for the party bus to pick us up for our pre-planned day of activities! Both are as far from the truth as they could be. Many people are still working full-time, travel extensively, participate in many of the clubs and activities or they are like me and seldom leave the house if they are not working. Basically, these communities are just like any other gated development but often have significant amenities for the age group they are catering too.
Age restricted generally means that one person living there is at least 55 years old. Something most people don’t realize is that a property can actually be owned by anyone of legal age. The restriction is strictly about the age of who lives in the house and not the age of who owns it. In addition, no one under the age of 19 may live there full-time. I thought it might be useful to those considering making such a move if we pointed out the top age restricted developments in St. Johns County so you can see how they compare and differ;
Del Webb Ponte Vedra
Located in Nocatee, this gated development consists of 1,000 acres, surrounded by another 2,500 acres of preserve and green belt, with total projected build out at approximately 1,988 residences. Del Webb is currently at 1,350 closed units consisting of single family residences, condominiums and Carriage Home condos. There are three categories of homes; Garden Homes, Classic Homes & Estate Homes. The HOA fee is $170 per mos with owners responsible for the maintenance of their own yards. Gate is manned 24/7 by guards. Use of all Nocatee amenities included in ownership. Nocatee CDD fees apply.
DWPV features a $15M, 37,000 sft owner’s facility called the Anastasia Club. Amenities include indoor & outdoor pools, indoor & outdoor spas, sauna, steam room, fitness center, craft areas, café’, auditorium with performance stage, dressing rooms and catering kitchen, on site management company, card rooms, movement room for Zumba/Pilates/Yoga, tennis, pickle ball, bocce and a full-time activity director. Located 10+ minutes to the ocean.
Cascades at World Golf Village
Located in the World Golf Village the development is now finished with no new construction. Total build out was approximately 450 units and features a 22,000 sft owner’s club with tennis & pickle ball, indoor and outdoor pools, fitness center, numerous game rooms & on-site management. The Cascades has an HOA fee of $358 per mos which also provides lawn maintenance, irrigation, basic DirectTV and house security. No CDD fees. All single family residences with no condos. Guard gate is manned between 9:00-5:00.
Developed by Cal-Atlantic, this gated 55+ age restricted community consists of 196 homesites of which nearly 50 are now sold. There are10 floor plans and a beautiful owners clubhouse with outdoor pool, tennis, pickle ball and fitness center. The development is located on the Duval County side of Nocatee and enjoys use of all Nocatee amenities. Nocatee CDD fees apply. HOA fee is $320 per mos and includes individual lawn care maintenance for each home. Guard gate is not manned.
Bridge Bay at Bannon Lakes
Located in the master-planned community of Bannon Lakes just East of the World Golf Village and I-95. The community offers a variety of Active Life-Style amenities and activities for 55+ active adults. Residents enjoy a low-maintenance lifestyle with an on-site activities director.
Pulte Homes is the developer (They also own Del Webb) and began construction of the community in 2017. At completion, the community will contain 167 attached and single-family homes. Single-family homes come in three different floor plans ranging from 1,671 to 1,968 square feet. The activity center for the owners is the 4,000 sft clubhouse which includes a fitness center and pool.
Villages of Seloy
Located east of I-95 off Rt. 16 just minutes from St. Augustine. 240 home sites at total build out with homes built as attached 2 or 4 home clusters. The COA (Condominium Owner’s Association) fees range from $235 to $277 per mos depending on size of home and covers individual lawn care as well as common area maintenance. The owner’s clubhouse is 3,000 sft. Unmanned gate. No CDD fees. Currently at about 25% build out and now opening Phase 2.
As you can see there are several choices for those eligible to live in these communities and I would encourage you to take a drive some day and explore each of these developments. It’s the best way to find out if they are a good fit for the next chapter of your lives. Be sure to take your agent with you…they can help you choose wisely and save money!