What to Look for When Researching 55+ Apartments
Nov 12, 2019
You love your house – the backyard where your children took their first steps, the kitchen where you cooked family meals, the garden you nurtured for years. But after a while, it might start to feel like too much to keep up with once your family has moved out and you no longer have help with the chores. It’s why many adults consider downsizing to a home with little or no upkeep, set in a community of like-minded neighbors and complete with easy access to all the amenities they could need to live full, happy lives.
Deciding to move into a more manageable, less stressful living environment is a major decision. Once you start thinking of the possibilities of moving into a different space, like a 55+ apartment or community, you’ll feel like a weight has been lifted.
A 55+ apartment community is designed with amenities that enhance freedom and enjoyment of life. If you’re considering a move to a 55+ community, this article provides some options for finding the right fit for your needs, including discussing what 55+ apartments are, who they’re built for and the amenities you should look for.
What Are 55+ Apartments?
These apartments are a type of a senior living community designed for healthy, active adults that want the freedom of an independent lifestyle without the hassle of owning and maintaining a home.
Since they are specifically designed for mature adults, these apartments provide the comfortable lifestyle you’re used to along with greater accessibility to social events and a sense of community with other residents. For example, 55+ apartments often offer handicap-accessible transportation and amenities. Most communities are also built within easy access of local attractions and other services to make your life easier.
They also offer the benefit of an age-restricted community. Most luxury senior living apartments require residents to be 55 years of age or older. This opens up the opportunity to meet new people, explore new passions and get engaged in a community with similar interests.
Like any apartment complex, 55+ apartments vary in size and amenities offered. Many have luxurious spaces with private bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms and balconies, so start in an area you like and then find the services and features you feel are most important to you.
Who Lives in 55+ Apartments?
As the name suggests, these apartments are typically limited to those who are 55 years of age or older. However, 55+ apartments are more generally designed for people who are nearing or at retirement age and are looking for a place to enjoy their free time after they’ve finished the working phase of their lives.
The profile of those living in luxury senior living communities is as varied as the personalities. Some have sold their homes, while others have been renters their entire lives. Regardless of what background they come from, many share the same values when it comes to what they want from their community at this point in their lives.
If you feel this is the right lifestyle fit for you, here’s a breakdown of why many say the switch to an apartment from a home was the right move for them:
- Freedom to travel
- More time to pursue interests
- Reduced responsibilities around the home
- Additional funds to spend on other interests
- Living closer to family and friends
- Expand their social lives in a community of peers
Key Benefits of 55+ Apartments
Out of all your living options, why choose 55+ apartments?
Most residents benefit from the balance of living independently while still enjoying the support of the community amenities and services. Here are some of the top benefits you can enjoy if you opt for apartment living. Many of these benefits are amplified if you select a luxury community:
- They can save you money. By living in an apartment, you can cut down on the costs of maintaining a house or condo. Better yet, you can put those funds towards other expenses.
- They keep you busy (in a fun way). One of the best things about apartment living is that you’ll never get bored. There are always things to do, places to go and new friends to make — on or off the apartment grounds.
- They require less upkeep. With an apartment, you won’t have to worry about cleaning the gutters, fixing the roof or maintaining your yard. Any serious upkeep will be handled by your landlord — some apartments even offer optional services like dry cleaning, housekeeping and meal delivery to make your life even easier.
- Fewer household chores. With such a small space, you’ll have less space to clean and maintain. You’ll likely have downsized as well, so you’ll only maintain the possessions that are more meaningful to you.
Switching to apartment living might be a big change, but for many residents, it’s a change for the better. So once you’ve made your decision, how do you find the right apartment for you? Let’s get into some things you should be looking out for.
What To Look for When Researching 55+ Apartments
It’s a huge decision. Your new community should feel like home — tailored to your needs and preferences. Here are some things you should be looking out for when researching your new 55+ apartment.
1. Location, Location, Location
When it comes to selecting a new apartment, location is everything. Look for a community that’s located in a vibrant city or town. If you’re looking for a small-town setting, make sure there are still plenty of shops and restaurants for you to visit. If you’re looking for a busier, big city experience, look for public transport or access to ride shares to get around without a car.
Think about all the places you regularly visit. Do some research and make sure they’re within close distance to get there quickly and easily. Here are some necessities and fun locations that make for a complete community:
- Grocery stores
- Shopping malls
- Convenience stores
- Music halls
- Golf courses
- Convention centers with regular events
- Doctor’s offices or medical centers
- Local parks or walking trails
Grand Tapestry, for example, is located in a vibrant Oklahoma City neighborhood. We’re close to golf courses, Quail Springs Mall and several open spaces with lakes, rivers and walking trails. The community you choose should be close to your chosen city’s attractions, with special emphasis placed on the venues that are part of your lifestyle.
2. Safety First
When moving to any location, safety is a top priority. You should feel safe and comfortable in your home — whether you’re relaxing in your room or taking a walk around the city. Make sure the apartment is located in a nice area. It should also be well staffed, with a security monitoring system, security guards or security cameras for added security.
Finally, you want to make sure that the building is prepared to handle any emergency. Ensure that the apartment is up to fire standards with alarms and sprinklers installed. For apartments located in areas at risk for bad weather, look for emergency earthquake or storm shelters. If you’re looking in midwestern cities, such as Oklahoma City, consider communities with emergency storm shelters that can handle tornados or other weather emergencies.
3. All the Right Amenities
Moving to an active apartment community means you’ll never run out of things to do. But you want to make sure that the apartment complex offers the amenities and activities you need to be your happiest. Is there a place where you can enjoy a meal with friends? Can you keep up your exercise routine? Are there activities that appeal to your favorite hobbies?
Keep an eye out for these on-site facilities that will make your life easier:
- Fitness center
- Laundry facilities
- Heated pool
- Business center
- Storage space
But that’s not all that makes a great apartment complex. You should also look out for these fun activities and entertainment options:
- Movie theater
- Beauty salon
- Outdoor entertainment areas
- Craft rooms
- Air-conditioned/heated sitting rooms
- Game room
- BBQ grill
- Vegetable and herb gardens
Many luxury retirement communities have these amenities on-site, so you don’t need to travel out of the community to enjoy your favorite activities.
4. Luxury Accommodations
If you’re going to move into a new home, you’ll want to make sure that it’s as comfortable as possible. Make sure that the living space — both the layout and the amenities — meets your standards.
First, make a list of “must-haves” for your personal living space, including all the things you’ll need to be happy in your day-to-day life. This could include a washer and dryer in your apartment, high-speed internet or special kitchen appliances. Make sure all elements of the layout are accessible so you can use them. Examples of this could include a handheld shower head or support bars in the bathroom.
And finally, make sure that you’re getting your money’s worth in terms of quality and luxury. Look for private quarters, a comfortable mattress, a private balcony, granite countertops, a spacious bathroom and stainless steel appliances. You may also want to consider a community that lets you bring some or all of your own furniture.
5. Engaging Services
Your life should be about more than just a beautiful living space. In addition to the on-site amenities, look out for additional services that your community might provide.
Programming like clubs, events and classes can help keep your day structured and keep you physically, mentally and socially engaged. Look for services like religious clubs, exercise classes, games, dancing, crafting sessions and wellness meetings. Not only will these keep you active, but they’re a great way to engage socially with your community.
Other optional services that can simplify your life include laundry and dry cleaning, handyman work, housekeeping and other upkeep services.
6. Pet-Friendly Accommodation
Is it worth moving if you can’t bring your best friend? Whether you have a dog, cat or another small animal, you deserve a pet-friendly apartment.
While it’s common for 55+ apartments not to accept large dogs, it should be easy for you to find luxury accommodations that will accept small or medium dogs, as well as cats and other gentle animals. Before moving in, visit the space where you’ll be living to make sure that the layout is safe for your pet to run around — and that there’s enough room for an adequately-sized crate, cage or tank.
Just keep in mind that not all dog breeds and sizes will be accepted — be sure to check in with the apartment complex you’re looking at to make sure you can bring your furry friend.
7. A Great Living Environment
Many apartments will look beautiful on their website, but how do you ensure that the complex you’re looking into offers a truly high-quality and comfortable living environment? Who better to ask than your future neighbors?
If you have the chance, stop by the apartments and ask them some questions to learn about what their experience has been like while living there. Here are a few good questions that won’t impose on residents’ privacy (plus our residents love to talk about their homes!):
- What’s your favorite part about living here?
- What’s your least favorite part about living here?
- Is it quiet during the day and at night?
- Do you feel a sense of community here?
- What’s your average day like? Is there a lot to do?
- What’s your favorite thing to do in the city?
Talking face-to-face with your future neighbors will tell you a lot about the environment and overall culture of the apartment complex. If you’re not able to stop by in-person or speak to anyone living there, check out some online reviews or testimonials to hear from residents themselves.
Finding Your Next Home
Making the decision to move out of your home is a big one — and it’s not always the easiest emotionally. If you do your research and ask the right questions, you could be settling into the perfect home in no time.
Still looking for the perfect 55+ apartment for your needs? At Grand Tapestry in Quail Springs, our 55+ luxury living community can help you live your best life in retirement. Located in Oklahoma City, residents at Grand Tapestry enjoy the comfort of resort-style living while pursuing new adventures.
If you’re ready to take the next step and enjoy your retirement years in style, contact us to learn more about what we offer.