On January 1, 1960 Del Webb opened Sun City, the world’s first master-planned active adult community. Located in the Northwest Valley of Metro Phoenix, it forever changed how Americans view retirement. No longer were retirees content to rock away their later years on their front porches. Instead, they could live active lifestyles with everything they wanted close at hand.
Sun City and its sister Sun City West cemented Arizona’s reputation as a favorite destination for retirees. Today, Metro Phoenix is a hub of technology and innovation, and is one of the fastest growing metros in the country. Arizona is also home to over 220,000 college students. Still, the excellent climate and rich arts and entertainment scene continue to attract retirees from around the world.
Housing options abound. For those that want to immerse themselves in the active adult lifestyle, the 55places.com directory lists over 60 communities in the Phoenix area. These range from under 100 homes with a pool & clubhouse to over 27,000 homes with multiple recreation centers and golf courses. There are also smaller 55+ condo complexes around the valley, as well as affordable manufactured home communities. And of course there is a wide range of assisted and independent living facilities.
If you prefer, we can find you a home that meets your needs in a non-age-restricted community. There are numerous senior centers throughout the valley. Each provides a variety of services and a social environment outside of the 55+ communities. And if you or a loved one are considering a transition from the family home, we have the network and resources to make that as simple as possible.
Active Adult 55+ Communities
One of the best resources we’ve found to explore active adult communities is the 55places.com directory. This site offers tons of in-depth data on the best of Arizona’s 55+ communities, and was built with 10 years of research. Let us know if you would like more information on any of these and we’ll fill in the blanks for you.
Some communities like Sun City have been around since the 1960’s, while others are still being built. If you’re interested in a newly-built home in an Active Adult 55+ community, here are your current choices. The list is sorted by city/town.
- Apache Junction: Bel Agave
- Buckeye: Sun City Festival and Verrado Victory
- Casa Grande: Mission Royale
- Eloy: Robson Ranch
- Florence: Anthem at Merrill Ranch
- Goodyear: CantaMia and PebbleCreek
- Maricopa: Province
- Peoria: Trilogy at Vistancia
- Queen Creek: Ovation at Meridian
- Rio Verde: Rio Verde and Tonto Verde
- Sun City: Ventana Lakes
Reverse Mortgage For Purchase
Most seniors take out a reverse mortgage to help them stay in their existing home as they get older. But did you know you can buy a new home using a reverse mortgage as well?
The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) for Purchase was created to streamline home-buying transactions and reduce costs. Before, seniors would buy a new home, incurring closing costs. Then they would take out a reverse mortgage on the new home, triggering new closing costs. The HECM for Purchase rolls this into one transaction and one set of closing costs.
As with a traditional HECM, a homeowner must be 62 or older to qualify for the federally insured HECM for Purchase. You don’t make payments while you live in the house, but the loan and interest come due when you sell, move out for 12 months or more, or die. The homeowner is also responsible for paying property taxes, hazard insurance, and maintenance costs.
There are a few other requirements common to all reverse mortgages:
- The purchased home must be a primary residency and be occupied within 60 days of the loan closing.
- The purchased home must be a single-family home, townhouse or an FHA approved condo.
- The borrower must complete a HUD approved counseling session.
- The difference between the purchase price of the new home and the HECM loan proceeds must be paid in cash from qualifying sources such as the sale of prior residences, the home buyer’s other assets, or savings. It cannot be borrowed.
We work with several reputable lenders that specialize in reverse mortgages. Please contact us and we’ll put you in touch with someone who can explain the details and help you decide if a HECM for Purchase is right for you.
Senior Centers provide recreational and social activities for older adults. These are a good alternative for those that don’t live in a 55+ community. SeniorCenter.us offers a complete list of the best senior centers throughout Metro Phoenix and the services they provide.
Caring.com is a leading senior care resource for caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses and other loved ones. It also offers an extensive database of senior care services and living options for those considering a transition to assisted living.
Assisted Living Research Institute is an industry-leading research organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of older adults. This site offers comprehensive research and real-world insight from experts, caregivers, and seniors in easy-to-understand guides and resources.
Matthew Hoedt holds the Senior Real Estate Specialist designation, and is in tune with the wants and needs of the 55+ community.