Ocala Preserve Clubhouse

Where are the best 55+ communities?


When you’re thinking about relocating or downsizing, location is everything. And for retirees, Florida has long been the destination of choice. As a tax-friendly state with year-round exceptional weather, there’s plenty to entice the 55 plus crowd to the Sunshine State. Locations like Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Palm Valley, and Osprey are continually ranked some of the safest cities in the state and offer plenty of shops, restaurants, and other recreational activities to help you fill your days. For retirees with grandchildren or Disney-loving relatives, Ocala is one of the top relocation destinations when you’re looking for 55 and older communities in Florida. Almost every community is within a two-hour drive of Disney World and there are plenty of resort-style and new build opportunities waiting for you as you enter your golden years. If you find yourself frequently thinking “where are the best 55+ communities located” or actively searching “55 and older communities near me”, you’re ready to consider all of the options that retirement in Florida has in store. .

Ocala is one of the top relocation destinations for 55+

Resort lifestyle communities


Does the thought of spending every day on vacation sound like an unrealistic dream? For 55 plus Florida residents, it doesn’t have to be. Many of the retirement communities throughout Ocala are resort-style. These communities have golf courses, dining options, and plenty of other activities that cater to all interests and lifestyles. Living in these communities is truly like being on a permanent resort vacation.


Golf communities

One of the most popular choices when it comes to 55 and older communities are those surrounded by golf courses. In a state with perfect weather for a round or two before dinner, it’s hardly a surprise! Being based in a golf course community also comes with perks that you’ve earned for your retirement years. Most courses will have age restrictions. In an age-restricted 55 and over community,  you’ll only be playing with like-minded neighbors who are also retirees. But golf courses also mean more space, which means that you can say goodbye to your new friends and retreat to the privacy of your beautifully-maintained home as soon as the last shot has been played. Speaking of your home, it’s a well-known fact that golf community properties are highly sought after. That means, if the time comes that you need to sell your home, you’ll likely benefit from an excellent sale value thanks to the prestige that your community brings. The On Top of the World community is a great example of this, with amenities and social opportunities on offer every day of the week that makes it one of the most desired retirement destinations in Florida. Best of all, golf communities are usually made up of multiple courses and country clubs. You can test your skills on a different course each day of the week. Tee times are prioritized for community residents and with so many options literally on your doorstep, those early starts won’t feel quite so bad when you can stay in bed for a few extra minutes and be on the green in no time at all.

Many of the retirement communities throughout Ocala re resort-style, with golf courses, dining options, and plenty of other activities that cater to all interests and lifestyles - Senior couple with golf clubs

Gated communities

If safety and security are a primary concern for you, particularly as you head into retirement, a gated community is an excellent option. In small, tight-knit communities like Ocala Palms, you’ll get to know your neighbors well and quickly realize that everyone looks out for each other. Many gated neighborhoods have a posted guard or attendant at the front gate to greet both residents and non-residents alike, ensuring that anyone who enters the community is accounted for. Gated communities typically have much lower crime rates than open communities, making them feel like your own slice of paradise, tucked away from the rest of the world. There are still plenty of things to do though, like golfing, spending an afternoon at the spa, or eating out at one of many dining options available. But you’ll get to enjoy your free time so much more when you can walk around knowing that you’re safe in the neighborhood. Thanks to their high levels of security, property values in gated communities like Stone Creek are higher than others in the area. That means you’ll get to enjoy the benefits of privacy and safety, all while knowing that your home value is staying competitive in the local market.

Destinations like Oak Run Country Club and On Top of the World are known for lively social events, while Ocala Palms and Stone Creek offer a quieter way of life, yet still provide plenty of options for leisure time - senior citizens at and outdoor painting class

New construction homes in Florida

Although buying a pre-constructed home comes with perks like being move-in-ready and the option for price negotiation, there are certainly advantages that come with building your new home. With endless free time ahead of you as you approach retirement, the four walls that surround you will take on new meaning as you spend more time relaxing and less time working. New construction gives you the opportunity to design and build the home of your dreams, down to every last detail. Both the On Top of the World and Stone Creek communities offer new build options for incoming residents. Buying new construction can mean endless personalization and customization options. There’s also the added bonus in having a whole home’s worth of brand new appliances and systems that come with lengthy warranties. That means fewer maintenance costs and more money in your pocket to enjoy all of the amenities in your new neighborhood. Making the decision to buy or build is an incredibly personal one, but Ocala’s 55 and older communities give you the freedom and flexibility to choose the path that’s right for you.

Although buying a pre-construction home comes with perks like being move-in-ready and the option for price negotiation, there are certainly advantages that come with building your new home- Image of a home under construction

Cost of living in a 55+ community

HOA fees

Now that you’ve decided that a 55 plus Florida home is for you, it’s time to look into the details. Before making your big move, you should be aware of any additional costs that living in these communities bring. Whether or not you choose to use the amenities provided, all 55 and older communities charge a homeowner’s association (HOA) fee.  These funds help to cover the resort-living lifestyle, along with regular maintenance and upkeep like trash collection and landscaping. Most communities have monthly fees between $160 and $225 so it’s important to take that into consideration as you budget for your living expenses. Ahead of any moving decisions, find out what’s covered by the HOA fees in the community of your choice and what the HOA is responsible for in terms of maintenance.

Whether or not you choose to use the amenities provided, all 55+ communities charge an HOA fee. These funds help to cover the resort living lifestyle, along with regular maintenance and upkeep like trash collection and landscape - image of a wooden house that says Homeowners Association

Home prices

With large numbers of 55 plus individuals relocating to Florida, the real estate market is booming and inventory is in short supply. This means that housing prices are increasing to meet competitive buyer demand so if you have your heart set on a particular community, adding a few extra dollars to the budget could help you to land your dream property. For those on a tighter budget, you can find community living homes around $100,000, with some Ocala Palms houses approaching the high $200,000’s. Oak Run properties can sit anywhere in the $100,000 to mid-$300,000 range, while both Stone Creek and On Top of the World can easily reach the mid-$400,000s.

Work With A Real Estate Agent to Find the Best 55+ Home

Working with a dedicated Ocala real estate agent is the best way to find the type of property that you’re looking for, within your budget, and in a retirement community that you can excitedly call home. For more information about Ocala’s 55+ communities, contact us today or browse the current 55+ homes for sale.

Still thinking about moving to a 55+ Community in Florida? Check out these related blogs: Relocation Guide for Retirees 4 Advantages of Living in An Active Adult community The Empty Nest: When To Downsize