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How to Find an Appropriate Active Adult Community (AARP Guidelines)

Those looking for an active adult community should take into account a certain set of guidelines in pinpointing a prospective place to live. Items such as style, universal design, and energy efficiency are areas in which prospective individuals should consider, beyond the fundamental areas that apply for all ages and backgrounds. According to the guidelines of the Livable Communities Awards, we see these areas in effect, which are important considerations for those looking for a community.

For the third straight year the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has held the Livable Communities Awards. The AARP collaborates with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) to award architects, developers, and builders who accommodate those of all backgrounds comfortably and well.

Those who are looking for an appropriate community to live should follow the guidelines set forth by the AARP. As these guidelines are examined, the standard set forth by the AARP 2009 Special Recognition Award for a developer of more than 250 units, Golden Spike Estates, is of particular mention. Their features and standards are an example of what prospective residents should look for in a community.


Style is rather important, although this can vary in terms of important and certainly in regards to taste. However, you must identify and look for communities that have a style that can fit perfectly within your lifestyle. Many communities are enhanced by the development’s features for everyone to enjoy.

In the example of the AARP 2009 Livable Communities Special Recognition Award winner Golden Spikes Estates, the development takes advantage of the many accommodations available to all of its residents. These are examples from a recipient of the award, in order to provide useful examples of what you could look for in a development:

* Outdoor Amenities: Golden Spikes has a 9 flag golf chip course that spins over 6 acres. There is an outdoor gazebo area with a fire pit, and a barbeque picnic area that can serve over 200 people. Additionally, there is FREE RV parking space available to residents and a pet park next door.
* Entertainment: A 12,000 square foot clubhouse offers a large banquet facility with a full kitchen, with a capacity of over 200 people. A dance floor, fireplace, and two big-screen televisions can also be found for entertainment pleasure. Rooms such as a beauty salon, movie room, and library are also available in Golden Spike Estates’ clubhouse.
* Exercise: An exercise room and indoor pool can also be found inside the clubhouse. There is also a sauna, Jacuzzi, and sun deck for relaxing after one’s exercise.

It is important to gauge which areas are more important for you. Such as those found in the example of an award winner, these areas and more can be measured when you are searching for an active adult community.

Universal Design

This judged area looks at developers that are driven to offer useful features to all of its residents. Rather than it being a group of normal and similar looking units, high-quality universal design is important for prospective buyers to look at, to gauge whether all residents are offered useful features. Golden Spikes Estates represents this in a number of areas, with the following features available on units in the development:

* Safety Features: No steps on properties, and low step shower designs for the retirement community. Garage door opener and heated driveways represent other safety features that can be found at Golden Spikes Estates, in addition to others.
* Customization and Other Features: Endless options for flooring, lighting, appliance, and landscape designs, which are quoted in the allotment price upfront. A gas fireplace and fan come standard as well, for example.
Make sure you are aware to the standard features of all units. In the example of Golden Spikes Estates, it is easy to see the quality that all units have.

Energy Efficiency

Unpredictable energy bills are a concern for all segments of the population, and definitely for those in the retirement community, like those on fixed or retirement incomes, for example. With the recipient of the award discussed previously, Golden Spikes Estates offers a great deal of protection to one’s energy bills:
* Air Conditioning: Golden Spikes Estates uses HVCA systems, which are known for their ability to save energy-related costs.
* Insulation: Energy heeled roof truss system are utilized on all models; Golden Spikes is the only builder to use this type of roof on all units, which helps in saving money in the winter and the summer. Included on units are high level low “E” glass vinyl windows and siding. Furthermore, ice dams and lost heat are prevented with the follow insulation levels: ceiling (R49), walls (R21), and floors (R30).

Ensure that the community utilizes a number of energy-efficient standards, such as seen with Golden Spikes Estates, as they are recognized by the guidelines set forth by the AARP.

At Golden Spikes Estates our homes are designed for today’s 55 Plus Community with outstanding amenities. Contact us for more information!