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55-Plus Communities: a Growing Market Trend

Mary and Kathy Farrell shared a home for 25 years. When the sisters, both in their seventies, decided that it was time to move, they researched many of the usual “active adult” communities in their area. Unfortunately, none seemed to fit their needs.

“We looked at a lot of condos but we felt like it was a hotel, not a home,” Mary said. “We didn’t care for them.”

Creeping towards her eighties, Mary, 78, is not your typical senior. She’s still fairly active, driving regularly and using the stairs with ease. Kathy, 72, has more serious health problems that include multiple sclerosis.

Despite having completely different needs, when the sisters came upon Bald Eagle Village, they knew they found their new home.

“We saw that it was a town house and thought: ‘Oh, they’re all alike,'” Mary recalled. “I was upstairs looking around and my sister called out, ‘There’s a bedroom down here!’ And that did it. It was perfect. She could have her space and I have my space upstairs — it’s like my own little apartment. We just love it.”

Bald Eagle Village is a 55-plus community, a living situation that is becoming increasingly popular across the country. These communities aim to provide comfort and convenience while offering the perks and amenities of a regular living situation.

Elder couple exercising in the park

And the market for 55-plus communities is continuing to grow steadily. According to NorthJersey.com, the number of active adult households is projected to hit 50.2 million by the end of this year; by 2024, it’s expected to surge to 56.9 million.

Within the active-adult home trend is an energy efficiency trend, effectively appealing to the baby boomer generation’s feelings toward conservationism and environmentalism.

For example, the Greenbriar Stonebridge community in Monroe, NJ, has homes that include energy efficient features, such as weatherized windows, HVAC systems, and tankless water heaters.

In addition to more environmentally friendly amenities, many residents in active-adult homes are demanding more technology along with health amenities, such as walking trails and gyms.

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