My husband and I are interested in moving into a 55 community. He is only 51 and I'm still in my forties.

Asked by Theresa, Collegeville, PA Sun May 18, 2008

I've heard that some communites will accept a couple under 55. Is this common?

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Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Sun May 18, 2008
HUD (federal) defines housing for older persons as that which is intended for occupancy by at least one person in each unit to be at least 55 years old. In order to protect a surviving spouse or cohabitant that is younger than 55, federal law only requires 80% of the occupants to meet the minimum age requirement. Example: A couple aged 57 and 52 purchase a unit within an adult community. Shortly after their move-in, the 57 year old dies. Without a provision for some occupants to be under the age of 55, the surviving 52 year old would be forced to sell and move.

HUD (federal) law does not prohibit a complex from selling up to 20% of it’s units to those under age 55. Some complexes will not, because the complex uses their allocation to protect surviving spouses or co-habitants. Other complexes may market a percentage of their units to buyers who are under age 55.

The Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA) provides for adult communities to be exempt from Fair Housing Laws which prohibit discrimination based upon familial status. HOPA defines the minimum requirement for a community. State law, or even a specific complex/development may maintain more restrictive requirements.

Here is a link for more details on the Housing for Older Persons Act. You can check with the Offices for Aging in PA for any state laws which may govern senior housing.
4 votes
Vassi Saviano, Agent, Elk Grove Village, IL
Sun May 18, 2008
There are some 55+ communities that will allow a small persentage of 50+ residents to purchase in the community. Call the community you are interested in and ask. They will give you the rules specific to that community.
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1 vote
Pam Winterba…, Agent, Danville, VA
Sun May 18, 2008

Most adult communities (55 and over) will allow you in if one of the parties is 55 or over. If you do not meet the guidelines you may have to sell. Good luck.
0 votes
Karen St. Es…, , 16066
Sun May 18, 2008
Yes, many communities are not specific for age, but designed for ease of living. For example, no maintainence, amenities, one floor living.
0 votes
trulia, , Brewster, NY
Sun May 18, 2008
Yes, it is common and perfectly legal for a community to not allow residents under 55. If there is a community that you are interested in, ask them what their rules and regulations are. There are so many new communities for "Active Adults". When you are ready to buy make sure that the Agent you work with has the SRES designation. This will ensure that agent has the added experience and knowledge to work for you.
0 votes
J R, , New York, NY
Sun May 18, 2008
In all the communities I know of, one member of the couple has to be over 55.
0 votes
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