In a 55+ community, at least one person needs to be 55 or better. There is a minimum age for the other residents as well, usually 45 or so. Children may visit, but typically for no more than two weeks. You will notice that there are many options in senior communities in San Diego. Although San Diego doesn't have as many communities as Florida! This comes as a surprise to many who think that California is very much like Florida. It isn't. There is more of a mix of ages here, unlike Florida, where you'll find dozens of gated senior communities next door to each other.
The choice of whether to live in a 55+ community is a personal one. Active adult communities tend to have all kinds of clubs, activities, group travel opportunities, and recreational amenities. Outside of the 55+ communities, you're on your own, but you'll see more young families and children playing in the neighborhood. Some people tell me they like that, it keeps them feeling younger, while others tell me it's a great relief to be away from screaming kids and barking dogs. So it all depends on your point of view and what kind of lifestyle you picture yourself living. In San Diego, we have something for everyone!
San Diego is one of the best places in the world to retire. People retire here because of our excellent climate, our high quality of life, or perhaps because they have family in the area.
55+ Communities-Ocean Hills Country Club, Villa Trieste,Pacifica,Emerald Lake Village,Costa Serena/Peacock Hills, , Oceana, Rancho Carlsbad and Camino Hills. Prices vary by location, condition and view. Price ranges from the lows $200,000 up to low $700,000.
I am a full time Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) with
the desire to share my knowledge.
To see more information regarding each community roll your mouse over the picture and click
|Ocean Hills Country Club||Villa Trieste||Pacifica|
|Costa Serena/Peacock Hills/
|Oceana||Emerald Lake Village|
Request information on the following communities from me:
The Colony in Murrieta
The Oasis in Menifee
Sun Lakes in Banning
Del Webb's Sun City in Palm Desert
Trilogy in Glen Ivy
Solera by Del Webb in Beaumont
Leisure Village in Seal Beach
Talega in San Clemente
Keep in mind that San Diego is one of the best places in the world to retire, but it's not one of the cheapest. If your goal is inexpensive retirement, and you're checking out San Diego as well as Palm Springs, Arizona, and Florida, you probably won't choose San Diego. We cannot compete with other areas that are less expensive. People retire here because of our excellent climate, our high quality of life, or perhaps because they have family in the area. But you have to have a compelling reason to move here. If you're making your decision strictly on getting the most house for your dollar, then check some of the communities listed under "Riverside County".
To narrow down your choices, ask yourself if you want lots of clubs and activities or not. If the answer is yes, stick with one of the large communities. Depending on your price range, consider Ocean Hills, Villa Trieste or Oaks North (high price), or Oceana (low price). If you don't want lots of clubs and activities, then consider one of the smaller communities like Las Brisas or Emerald Lake.
"What is the average age in each community?"
Well, I don't know anyone that keeps track of that kind of information, but here's a general rule - to find younger seniors, look for a newer community. If you think about it, people who buy in a new senior community, are probably 55 or 60 years of age when they move in. So if the community is 25 years old, there's likely to be many of the original owners still around, and you can figure out what the average age is. An example of this is Leisure World in Orange County which was built in the early 1970s; young seniors tell me all the time how they feel out of place there. So if you're looking for a younger crowd, consider one of San Diego's newer communities, like Ocean Hills County Club or Villa Trieste, or new construction in one of the Riverside County communities.
"Where can I find new construction?"
There is no new independent living construction in San Diego County, only resales. For a new house, you will have to look in Riverside County.
"What are the prices and availability?"
The prices are quoted in each community's write-up. I usually give you a ballpark price, because they vary by location, condition, and view. For example, "low $200,000s" would mean $200,000 to $240,000, "mid $200,000s" means $240,000 to $260,000, and "high $200,000s" means $260,000 to $300,000.
A serious limitation we face is a low inventory. People who move into these communities usually stay a long time, because they don't have growing or shrinking families or job changes like under 55 folks. And you notice some of these communities are quite small, so it's not unusual for there to be nothing for sale. Villa Trieste, Las Brisas, and Emerald Lake are notorious for this. If that's the case, there is nothing I can show you, since there are no model homes. In any event, you certainly will not be able to see every floorplan in a community in one visit, because they won't all be for sale. I can only show you what there is, and sometimes, sorry to say, that isn't much.
Please be aware that we are in a sought after area here in San Diego. Homes that are in good condition and good locations often sell quickly. Given this climate, you must be 100% sure that you want to move to the community you select, and be prepared to act quickly and decisively when a home becomes available. Any kind of "half-hearted" or "we have to think about it" action simply will not work in this market.
"Is there a waiting list?"
No, in resale communities, there is no waiting list like in new construction. I can add you to my own list of clients who are looking for a certain kind of home, but it is not a priority list. When the house hits the market, it's first come, first served. That means you must be prepared to make an offer quickly.
I offer a free "Market Watch" program that will notify you immediately when new properties hit the market. Just give me a call at 760 732-3213 and let me know which communities or price ranges interest you, and I can set that up at no charge.
"How do I get more information?"
Sorry, but there isn't anything else available. I've personally been to all the resale communities, and they have no brochures or other handouts. In fact, that's why I created this website, so I would have something to give out to people who asked me. I'm constantly trying to improve it, but for now, the website is the most complete source of information available.
"How can I see these areas?"
Some you can drive through, but some, like Ocean Hills, are gated and guarded, and they will not let you in without a Realtor. I suggest you call me a few days before you expect to be here, and I'll be happy to show you around. Please don't show up unannounced and expect that I can drop everything and give you a tour, because you will be disappointed.
"Can I rent first to see how I like it?"
Real estate agents like myself don't normally handle rentals. The only way to find one, if there is any, is to look in the newspaper or look for a "For Rent" sign. Our local newspapers are the San Diego Union or The North County Times, you can check online in the classified ads. You can always check with me to see if I know of any that might be available.
In San Diego, there is no "try before you buy" program, where you can rent a place for a few days. This type of short rental is only available in communities under construction.
"How Can I Buy When I Have A House To Sell First?"
That's a really good question, and you're not the first one to ask. I've developed some strategies that have worked very successfully for my clients. Ask me
For more information on these or other communities please contact me
Rita Harper, Realtor, SRES
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