You’ve decided it’s time to make the move and are ready to live a hassle-free life in an active adult community. So, what now? With more active adult communities opening in your area, it can be hard to know what to look for and what you want to avoid. Here are five easy tips for choosing a community that will give you the lifestyle you’re looking for.
Tip #1 – Look for an active adult brand that’s proven itself
Having a more established community portfolio that’s been around for a while, and has multiple locations, can help you feel certain about what to expect. It’s easier to trust that a community is going to be everything they say they are when they have a track record and successful portfolio to back it up. Newer communities may not have a plan in place for the ups and downs of the market and may even sell at the first sign of trouble. Stability is important as you choose a new home, so make sure you’re finding one with a solid record. Ask the community on your tour, how many new communities are joining the portfolio.
Tip #2 – Talk to residents
Ask around, spend some time in the community, and talk to people who live there. If a community seems like they don’t want you talking to the residents, that’s likely a sign that it’s not somewhere you want to live. Attending an event can be a great way to get a feel for the community and meet current residents. Ask if there’s any events coming up that you could come to.
Tip #3 – Don’t let fancy finishes trick you
While having a pretty apartment is great, it’s the lifestyle you’re looking for. Make sure that the communities you’re considering go deeper than nice, new appliances. Ask questions and get to know what living there would really be like. Ask to see the units that are available, and don’t just tour a model unit. Unfortunately, most models come overly finished to sell “the extras” and sometimes, not all of the homes have the shiny bells and whistles. Don’t be afraid to ask questions like “Do all homes have this appliance package?” Again remember you are moving for the lifestyle!
Tip #4 – Understanding Your Rental Rate
Often newer communities will run specials to fill their communities. These heavily discounted rates, are nice, however they are hard to budget for in the future. While apartment rates are set by current market standards, often new communities will inflate your renewal rate, to not only make up the heavy discount you had the previous year, but also increase your new rent to match current market demands. It is ok to ask what the average rental rate increases look like after lease expiration.
Tip #5 – Request a future staffing model
Many newer communities will overly staff their community to appear like they have extra services and support. Once the building fills up, they move those associates to other communities leaving the residents without the services they have grown accustomed to. Its ok to ask with a full community staffing structure will look like, so you understand who you are building a relationship with. As noted above, stability is important.
Affinity Living Communities is an owner operated, pioneer in the active adult community space. We have proven to be stable, trustworthy, and reliable as an organization for more than 50 years. With 27communities, in 7 different states, we evolve with our residents’ needs and tailor our communities to what our residents want – NOT what we think works. We have added new communities to our portfolio every year since the original community opened (even during COVID), and we are not stopping anytime soon – we currently have two under construction. Our brand is intentionally designed with seniors in mind. We have a passion for our residents and truly love what we do. If you are interested in exploring one of our properties or coming to an event where you can ask our residents all about living here, we’d love to hear from you—give us a call!