They are for folks over 55 but for those over 55 that do not feel old...I live in one, absolutely love it...think of them as a stationary cruise ship...with golf courses.
These communities focus on activities and recreation opportunites for their residents.
They allow grandkids to come visit...but have areas that are adults only.
Most 55 retirement communities allow a certain small percentage of folks who are less than 55 years of age.
In 1960 Sun City, Arizona opened the first retirement community for people 55 and up.
Since that first, and highly successful start, Del Webb has opened 50 similar communities across the USA
In 2001 Del Webb was purchased by Pulte Homes and combined they have a 110 years in home building experience.
We live in one of the last such retirement communities Del Webb built, Sun City Grand...also in the Phoenix area.
Some of the features of these active adult communities:
The HOA regs can be a pain when you are not in compliance...but it is for the overall good of the community.
As far as protecting your home values, a recent study of home values of 30 Phoenix communties, showed our community to be the best in holding value. We only lost 3% of value in 2009, the best area in a bad market.
If you think these are old folks homes, you are very wrong...you cannot beat the value. Your neighbors will feel the same way.
We have lived in our 55 plus community since 2004 and would not change a thing.