Arizona Retirement Communities Explained


Jarl Kubat of ARIZONA RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES | –Specializes as a buyer’s agent, selling homes in Retirement Communities throughout the Phoenix Metro area.  – Each Retirement Community offer its own unique Arizona Life Style! Explore the information below and Call Jarl Today 480-710-6326 to start your home search.

Age Restriction

All Arizona Retirement Communities have a minimum age requirement – usually being 45+ or 55+, there are a couple 40+ communities. This age restriction means no one under the age of 18 can live in the home for longer than 30 days, and one of the homes occupants has to be at least the communities required minimum age. If you were living in a 55+ community you could have up to 3 girlfriends / boyfriends living with you all the way down to the age of 18 (LOL :)). In most of the communities, you can be any age to own a home – you just have to be a certain age to live in the home.

Retirement Community Demographics

Approximately 55% of residents in a retirement community are year around (full-time) residents. This percentage correlates with the cost of the home. Most 2nd (winter) home buyers desire to stay below a $200k purchase price.  There are many nice communities selling homes $100 -$150k and some condo/patio homes in retirement communities are selling under a $100k.

Retirement Community Amenities

Most Retirement Communities in Arizona have numerous sporting and social activities including; golf, tennis, swimming, shuffle board, billiards etc… Craft and activity clubs including; card clubs, computer club, ceramics, quilting/ sewing, wood shop, lapidary, travel club etc…. People who choose the retirement community life-style are as active or in-active as they choose to be – in other words most are not ready to slow down yet!

Choosing a Community

Arizona has over 70 Retirement communities throughout the Phoenix Metro area and your choice in a community really comes down to 3 things:

1)      Location – Most retirement communities are in the NW & SE parts of the valley (NW or SE of Phoenix). There are a few farther out areas such as: Casa Grande, Florence, & Maricopa.

2)      Style and/or age of home and/or community

3)      Price, price and price

Larger retirement communities offer more social and sporting activities because they have more participation and a larger array of interests. Several of the larger communities offer single family homes and condos/patio homes – either on or off the golf course. There are numerous just condo/patio home communities – these are usually much smaller and do not have as many amenities or activities as the larger ones.

Gated Retirement Communities

There are two types of gated communities;

1)      Guarded – 24hr guarded entry

2)      Non-Guarded – You have remote control access

Non-Gated communities will usually have night time security guards in patrol cars.

Golf Retirement Communities

Just about all the larger communities have a golf course – either private course or a public course. Private golf course communities are usually the more expensive ones and they require you to join a Country Club. As a rule of thumb, the golf courses are supported by the golfers – not the residents! (However, there are a few communities that own the golf course).

Manufactured/Modular Homes – Retirement Communities

There are several manufactured/modular home retirement communities throughout the Phoenix metro area. The communities to look for are the ones in which you own the land that your manufactured home sits on. The valley has been overcome by large corporations buying up the manufactured retirement communities with leased land and raising the monthly fees to as high as $650.00 a month. By owning the land you will have more control over lower monthly HOA (Home Owners Association) fees.

Community Fees – Single Family Homes

When considering a retirement community you will want to look at their fees. The list below is the more common fees involved when purchasing a single family home.

1)      Capital Improvement Fee – this fee is normally a one-time fee, paid at the time of purchase. This fee pays for the ongoing maintenance and updating of the infrastructure (Buildings) within a community. The cost ranges from a low of $500.00 to as high as $3,000.00+.

2)      Transfer Fee – This is also one-time fee and is a way for the Home Owner Association management company to make money on every home sold in that community. However, you still have to pay it and it ranges from $200.00 – $800.00.

3)      HOA FEEThis fee is paid in one of the following combinations: monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annually. This fee covers the use of the facilities and grounds. The annual average cost starts as a low of $200.00 and can be as high as $3,000.00/yr.

Condominium Fees

If you purchase a condo/patio-home in a community with single family homes you will incur all of the above community fees as well as monthly fees more commonly referred to as “Pad Fees”.

  • Monthly Pad Fees – These fees will slowly increase as the property ages (Requiring increased maintenance). Pad Fees will include all or a combination of the following; water, sewer, garbage, roof repair/roof replacement, blanket insurance policy (Wind and fire), exterior maintenance (Mowing, trimming, painting), and/or basic cable.

Financing Your Retirement Home

Believe it or not – you are never too old to apply for a mortgage!  A few weeks ago I had an 80yr old couple that took out a 30yr mortgage for their 2nd (winter) home. Interest rates are at all-time lows – bouncing slightly above, slightly below 4% for a 30yr fixed rate. Everyone’s needs and scenarios are different so, make sure before you pay cash for your home – talk with your tax and/or investment adviser as well as a mortgage lender. About half of all retirement home buyers, finance 50-80% the cost of the home.

In closing I hope the above information will help you with your Retirement Community search. If I can help clarify any of the above information or answer any other questions Call Jarl today 480-710-6326!