Buying a home in Canada is governed by many anti-discrimination laws and regulations. According to Canadian lawm there cannot be housing discrimination based on a persons age. However, there is an exception for senior housing. Age-restricted communities go by a number of names such as independent living, 55-plus, active adult living and others. In fact, these types of communities are the only exception to fair housing laws that prevent age discrimination. While they aren't necessary designed to ‘discriminate,' these housing communities are often geared towards seniors.
This means they might offer amenities such as game nights, golf courses, pools and other features seniors might enjoy within a quiet place to retire with a relatively low maintenance lifestyle. Home buying in an age-restricted community also means that owners will need to abide by individual HOA bylaws, so the stringency of rule enforcement. That being said, here are a few things to know when looking for this type of real estate.
There Might Be Some Younger Residents
Communities operate under different rules, and some active adult and independent living communities promote their benefits for seniors but don't always restrict access to those 55 and up. Some may be only restricted to individuals 18 and over or require one resident to be of a certain age while allowing others to live in the home as well. If living near children is a deal breaker, be sure to read the fine print before becoming too attached to any one community. It's important to keep in mind that many seniors will be hosting children and grandchildren from time to time, so children will likely be present during holidays and weekends regardless of the type of property chosen.
Prepare to Spend Additional Time Home Shopping
Those considering buying in a senior-geared community are likely looking for a ‘forever' home, so it makes sense to be diligent in the search to get exactly what is desired. Unless being close to a specific location is important, the marketplace is wide open with possibilities. In all, the process doesn't differ much from buying a traditional home. However, it might be wise to find a real estate professional who specializes in locating homes in 55-plus communities to help hasten the process if time is of the essence.
Target Tours Towards Communities with Must-Have Features
It can be tempting to see incredible features like golf courses, tennis courts and state-of-the-art fitness centers, and convince oneself that they'll ‘pick up' that hobby. Realistically, most seniors find that they still enjoy the same amenities and sports as before. Buyers should take time to decide whether they want to pay extra fees to cover the maintenance for perks they won't utilize themselves.
Extra Amenities Equal Higher HOA Fees
The homeowner's association oversees the entire management of the property or either hires and outside company to do so under their guidance. Clubhouses, landscaping, pools, gyms, golf and tennis facilities all require a good bit of maintenance and upkeep. These expenses are passed along to residents in the form of monthly or annual dues that must be paid to the HOA. As mentioned, don't discount amenities you won't use now, if they are real possibilities to benefit your lifestyle in the future.
Don't Discount Non-Age Restricted Communities
Unless living in an age-restricted senior community is a must, why not take a look at all the options that are out there? This is where working with an experience real estate professional who works locally in the area of interest. They know how to locate just about any type of features buyers want without age restrictions.
Before buying a South Calgary home in a senior community, be sure to get some advice from an agent near you.