How to Find a Pet-Friendly Senior Community in Boynton Beach FL
How to find a pet-friendly 55+ community in Delray Beach? Before looking for a pet-friendly 55+ community, you need to understand there is a difference in gated communities in south Florida. Not everyone understands the difference between 55+ gated communities and gated communities in Delray Beach. Unless they know for certain they want a 55+ community, when they call, they will say, It doesn’t really matter if it’s 55+. It can be a gated community, too. But there are differences between 55+ gated communities and all-age gated communities, so allow me to explain.
I’m not referring to equity country clubs in this article. Those are separate and apart from 55+ gated communities and all-age gated communities. Equity country clubs require mandatory membership fees, yearly dues, HOA fees and often have assessments. This is a totally different type of gated community, one that comes with hefty fees attached.
Social Aspect in 55+ Communities
The first difference in a 55+ community is the social aspect. Active adult communities are geared towards the over-55 crowd, many of who like to be out and about playing pickle ball, tennis, swimming, cards and more these days. They have clubhouses with pools, fitness centers, stock clubs, dog clubs, billiards, bocce ball, pickle ball, tennis, cafes and pretty much any kind of club you can imagine, as well as activities on a more scheduled basis.
Lifestyle is centered around the clubhouse. You may have a private pool at your house, but you will probably still go to the pool at the clubhouse for social gatherings or just to meet people. If you like water aerobics or yoga, there is probably a class at least once a week or, in some communities, maybe once a day. If you like to play cards or mah jongg, the card rooms are usually full. Cards and mah jongg have made a big comeback with the baby boomers.
Tennis or pickle ball anyone? The courts are busy all the time, and you can easily find a partner. Many 55+ communities also have social directors. You can be as busy as you want or not – your choice.
You won’t find this level of activity in a regular gated community in Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach or the surrounding areas. Regular all-age gated communities also have clubhouses, pools and fitness centers but no real scheduled activities. They may get together at holiday time or have a tennis program or once-a-week dinner, but that’s about it. There are a few exceptions in the newer luxury gated communities, but activities will not be geared to the baby-boomer crowd. It could be a sushi night or something along those lines.
There is also the social aspect to dog walking. It gets you and your pooch out of the house for some exercise. Along the way, you’ll probably run into other dog walkers and conversations naturally tend to happen. Where are you from and that sort of thing. You never know. You and your dog may make a new friend.
Price Considerations in 55+ Communities in Delray Beach and Surrounding Areas
Next is price consideration. Active adult 55+ communities tend to be lower in price than their all-age counterparts. I believe the builders set the tone for this, but that’s just the way it is. So if you’re looking to spend $ 600,000, it will buy you more home in a 55+ community. You won’t get nearly as much in a regular gated community.
If you’re looking to build new construction, entry pricing starts in the $ 600s these days for 55+ communities. That same house in an all-age gated community will start over $ 1M. Make sense? Not really, but that’s the way the builders have set it up.
And, by the way, if you’re thinking new construction, do yourself a favor and take a Buyer’s Agent with you. Why? Let me tell you. Builders don’t negotiate, so whether you show up with a buyer’s agent who is looking out for YOUR interests or not, the price will be the same. Otherwise, the sales people will collect a double commission. Remember, the sales people, who help you work, for the builder. They are not working for you. The ones you see in the ads on TV work for the builder, not you – the buyer. Please remember that. They don’t care if you buy in community A or community B, just so long as you buy, even though one may be a better fit for you.
The same logic holds true when you call a listing agent. That listing agent has a contract with the seller to get them the highest price possible. They work for the seller. They’ll help you, but they don’t work for you. A good thing to remember when buying a home. A good Buyer’s Agent is a great asset to you in buying a home whether it be new construction or a resale.
Types of Homes in 55+ Communities in Delray Beach FL
Homes in 55+ communities tend to be smaller and single story than their all-age counterparts. Don’t get me wrong, there are some that are over 3000 square feet, but you won’t find many two-story homes. In fact, there are very two-story homes. Why? Simple. Single-story living is easier. It’s user friendly. Many people are looking to downsize after selling their larger homes. There are an array of homes in 55+ communities including condos, villas, coach homes and single family homes.
Some of the 55+ communities that allow cats and dogs will allow you to fence your backyard. Some – not all! Of course, if you have a pool, you must have a fence or a screen, but I’m talking about homes without a pool.
All gated communities, whether 55+ or all ages, have homeowner’s associations with bylaws and rules and regulations you must agree to be part of when you buy a home there. Some common homeowner’s association rules include what color you can paint your house, how often it can be leased, pet restrictions, how many times per year you may rent your home and if there is a wait to rent, and more. They vary by community.
You should be aware of the homeowner’s association rules and regulations before buying a home in a community, so you know what you’re getting into. This is important, as some communities do not allow signs in front of homes and submitting an application to the architectural committee before commencing any work to the exterior of your home is common practice.
How to Find Pet Friendly 55+ Communities
If a cat or dog or more than one is part of your family, as they are mine, you will want to find a pet-friendly 55+ gated community in Delray Beach. Think it’s easy? Not always so! My best advice is to find yourself a pet-friendly real estate agent, someone who is in the trenches every day. That’s because pet restrictions vary from one community to the next.
Pet friendly does not mean the same thing in every community. Some communities are more pet friendly than others. This is an important factor in deciding which active-adult gated community in Delray or Boynton Beach you ultimately decide to buy in. Some homeowner’s associations allow one small dog; some allow two small dogs. Not all allow large dogs, which in south Florida is any dog over 25 lbs. Yes, I know, ridiculous, but that’s the way it is. And more often than not, there are also breed restrictions. Let’s also not forget what they call “aggressive” which can vary by community as well. I’ve even seen Great Danes on that list. Really!
So if you’re a pet owner, please check if they will allow your three poodles in first. It doesn’t go by whether they are well trained, which I know they are. They go strictly by numbers, breed and size. And yes, I know you can get a letter, but do you really want your neighbors looking out the window and complaining. I’m not saying it always happens, but it can and has happened. Florida takes HUD’s guidelines a step further. You can read them here
How do I Find a Pet-Friendly 55+ Community in South Florida
You can start your search online, as most people do. People are always looking at listings. Or, you can save yourself a lot of time and aggravation and find yourself a great pet-friendly real estate agent to help you find a 55+.
With or without pets, a pet-friendly REALTOR® already know this information and how to help you.
561-716-7824 Call or Text
Now you know there are differences in gated communities and what they are, both 55+ gated communities and all-age gated communities. And we can drill it down to pet-friendly 55+ gated communities. So when thinking about where you’d like to move, you can make a well-informed decision.
If you are interested in selling or buying a resale or new construction in a gated community or 55+ community in Delray Beach, Boynton Beach or Boca Raton FL or a pet -friendly gated community in Boca Raton, please contact me. I can be reached by Cell/Text at (561) 716-7824 or email at Elyse@ElyseBerman.com.
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