Navigating Age-Specific Communities: What You Need to Know

 In this video, we will describe the difference between
age-restricted and age-targeted communities for people aged 55 and older

If you’re like most people, the idea of living in an area primarily made up of retirees or individuals without children might not have crossed your mind until your own kids left the nest or you yourself retired. However, finding a seniors-only neighborhood isn’t as easy as it may seem.

I’m here to help clarify the process and make it easier for you to understand. Let’s start by discussing HOPA, which stands for the Housing for Older Persons Act. For a neighborhood or residential housing complex to legally restrict families with children from living there, they must fall under this exception to typical Fair Housing Laws. This means they can essentially discriminate against people who are under a certain age or have household members who are.

While it makes sense for what we commonly refer to as “Retirement Communities,” the confusion arises when it comes to regular neighborhoods. Some communities don’t fall under this exemption, but they may still market themselves as designed for active adults, retirees, or seniors. These neighborhoods are referred to as “age-targeted.”

Although age-targeted communities can’t legally restrict younger people or families with children from living there, their marketing often attracts a more mature audience, making it seem like they are age-restricted. 

You might be wondering, “Why should this matter to me?”

It may not matter to you at this moment, but it could become important in the future. For example, if in a few years, you want your pre-teen grandchild or niece to come live with you for the summer, a truly age-restricted community may not allow it. Similarly, if you need around-the-clock care and ask your daughter (who is under the age requirement for your community) to move in, some communities may only allow this on a short-term basis.

On the flip side, let’s say you move to a community that you thought was only for retirees. You notice no kids in the area when you were considering buying there. However, someone with small children or teenagers moves in next door. If your neighborhood isn’t officially age-restricted, this could be disappointing if you truly wanted a kid-free lifestyle.

Some people are very intentional about living in a place with no children. That’s why it’s essential to ask for clarification about the community’s status. Is it age-restricted? If someone says it is, don’t hesitate to request to see the documents yourself to be sure.

NOTE: While real estate agents do their best to stay updated, not all agents are familiar with these distinctions. So, it’s always a good idea to review the information for yourself.

I hope this information has been helpful to you. If you have any questions about age-restricted neighborhoods or those that
embrace a laid-back lifestyle in the greater Georgetown area, feel free to reach out by calling us here at
Seniors Living Smarter, 512-818-0988.
 We’re here to assist you in finding the perfect home that meets your preferences and needs. Don’t hesitate to get in touch, and let’s find your ideal community together!