Best Arizona Active Adult Communities for Bicycling

I noticed a few themes in the book Younger Next Year… one being STAY ACTIVE.

Not the P90X active, rather get moving and stay moving.

A bike ride is a great way to get your heart pumping.  In the Active Adult Communities, you will see lots of people headed up to the recreation center on their bikes, many of the communities have bicycle paths in and around the community as well.  Making the 55+ communities a great place to get on your bike and get moving.

A few of the Best communities with additional bike paths and trails close by…

Trilogy at Vistancia in Peoria has bicycle friendly streets and the Discovery Trail a 3.5 mile paved nature trail system meandering thru the Master Planned  Community of Vistancia.

Heritage Village IV in Scottsdale is close to the Camelback Walk, a paved multi use path along the parks and golf courses in Scottsdale.

The City of Gilbert is utilizing the natural washes for bicycle and walking paths, and are easily accessed from Trilogy at Power Ranch.

Trilogy at Verde River   Rio Verde, Tonto Verde  are right around the corner from McDowell Mountain Regional Park, where 15 miles of mountain bike trails await, trails are marked for beginner up to expert.  This is a popular location for mountain bike racing too!

MountainBrook Village in Gold Canyon is close to several different mountain bike trails, most with some hilly terrain.


The Best Arizona Active Adult Communities with Mountain Views

There is something more than majestic to mountain views.  They draw us to them like any aspect of nature.  They help us stay calm, focused and centered.  It is not surprising that people love a home that has a beautiful view of the Mountains.

The challenge is building homes on a hillside is much costlier than building on flat land.

Most of the Phoenix area Valley of the Sun is flat as well.  We do have Mountains surrounding the city.   Where will you have the best chance of having magnificent Mountain Views?  In the communities closest to the biggest mountains.

The most significant mountains in the area are to the north and east of Phoenix; Tonto National Forrest, and Superstition Mountains.  There are a few other notable mountains scattered around as well.

In the northeast, the views of Tonto Nationa Forrest and McDowell Mountains from Rio Verde, Tonto Verde and Trilogy at Verde River are truly spectacular. Then I would head to Trilogy at Wickenburg Ranch, the terraced lots have created amazing views from many of the home sites.  Heading out to Gold Canyon the views of the Superstitions are awesome at Mountain Brook Village.  Next on my list would be to the north of Tucson the SaddleBrook Communitieswith views of the Catalina’s.

This next group have fewer homes with mountain views, but views are available.  I then would go to Canta Mia next to the Estrella Mountain Regional Park, and Sun City Festivalwith views of the White Tank Mountains.  Lastly I include Solera at Jonson Ranch located next to the San Tan Mountains.

Rio Verde & Tonto Verde
Trilogy at Verde River
Trilogy at Wickenburg Ranch
Mountain Brook Village
SaddleBrook Communities
Canta Mia
Sun City Festival
Solera at Jonson Ranch

Did you know you could save on your Homeowners Insurance just by living in a 55+ Community

That’s right

Farmers Insurance offers discounts for most of the Active Adult Communities.

Are you getting all the discounts you should be receiving?

Contact Barb Biaett to be sure,  602.404.4040


Have you heard of a HECM?

Have you heard of a HECM?

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage?

Are you or your spouse 62?

You could live in your home without any mortgage payments.  Did you know that?

Its true.


Jacqui Hamilton
Concord Mortgage

CantaMia – a new 55+ retirement community

dreamstime_l_5059099CantaMia is another great example of locating an Active Adult Community within or adjacent to a multigenerational community.   It offers the opportunity for the 55+ family members to enjoy their extensive exclusive Active Adult facilities as well as share the additional recreational activities with their families who live in the Estrella ranch community.   This I think is the best of both worlds.   It is also interesting to see that as families in Estrella grow and reach the empty nest stage, they are purchasing in the adjacent CantaMia!

CantaMia was designed by Engle Homes, but no construction was started. It was saved from bankruptcy by Joseph Carl Builders, who then joined with Avatar homes (AVHI on the NASDAQ) under the name of Vitalia by AV Homes.   The total number of homes when built out will reach 1700, a fairly small community by some standards.   The recreational activities however are equal to those of the much larger communities.  The 29,000 sq ft Village Center has indoor and outdoor pools, a beautifully equipped demonstration kitchen, an excellent variety of exercise and activity centers as well as a mini café and wine bar.  The workout room boasts a cushy bamboo floor and the computer room and fitness center have instructors from Estrella Community College.  The common areas use reclaimed water for irrigation in keeping with their entire energy saving theme.  There are 14 model homes to guide your home choice, with emphasis being on their Green building techniques.  Check the current prices on our website.  The builder is a member of the Environments For Living, and is a Green Certified Builder.  The homes have been tested for efficient use of utilities and are awarded very high scores. All homes include solar as an energy source.    In keeping with the Green living, the exercise, cooking and activity programs are designed to encourage healthy life choices.  CantaMia’s Sierra Estrella Mountain views and many lakes provide a tranquil and relaxing setting in which to enjoy your healthy retirement.

CantaMia, an Arizona Active Adult Community

I recently visited CantaMia and discovered this jewel in the Estrella Mtns

The Phoenix area 55+ Community Housing Report

Happy Senior Couple Outside Cooking on A Summer Barbecue

Real estate sales in Phoenix and the 55+ Active Adult Community sales see-saw into

a  seller’s market at last.

A lot is being said by the Realtors and is about to be said by the media regarding the surge in home sales and lack of inventory in Phoenix, creating a seller’s market and an increase in home prices.  

The 55+ Active Adult market is not far behind.   Because of the more conservative  nature of the buyers the availability of distressed properties is lower.   The recent numbers are showing that today’s 55+ market has 2 ½ months supply of homes vs. just less than 2 months for the all over valley market.

Total Active listings of 55+ Active Adult homes on the market = 2,648
Total Listings closed in March of Active Adult homes =  1,056
Leaving a 2 ½ month supply of homes for sale.

Right now on the 10th of April there are 917 homes in the Active Adult Communities scheduled to close in April, so we may presume we will close again in the 1,000+ range.

The distressed property numbers show 75 active listings that are bank owned and 71 that are short sales.   That is 5.4% of the total number of active listings, as compared to  Phoenix home listings which show distressed properties as 17% of the total active listings. This is in alignment with the more conservative investing nature of the 55+ buyers.

Westbrook Village, a lush oasis in the desert

1WestbrookVillage So many people in Arizona come from some other state.  Most of those states have a much greater annual rain levels that we do,  and so they are accustomed to greener, lusher environments.  Coming to the desert can be a bit of a shock.  With that said, there are some communities that are greener, and more lush than others.  The Active Adult community of Westbrook Village is one of those communities.2WestbrookVillage

The two 18 hole golf courses wind thru the community with green fairways coming right up to the edge of the properties.  There are 2 restaurants, 2 club houses with lots of activities and Westbrook Village is one of the few communities with  condos, patio homes and single family homes too.

3WestbrookVillageThe location is great too.  Just off the 101 Freeway in Peoria, it can’t be beat for getting to town, seeing one of the sports teams, or the airport.

So consider checking out the 55+ community of Westbrook Village!


Click on “See All Listings” to view the homes currently for sale in Westbrook Village

West Valley–303 freeway opening up

Connectivity is always a concern when choosing a location for your home.  Living in a 55+ community, your not looking at how long it takes to get to work, commuting being a thing of the past.  But easy access to the city, airport, and other things going on in the greater Valley of the Sun is always a good thing.

The 303 loop section from I17 connecting down to Bell Road is opening this week!

This makes access to Trilogy at Vistancia, Sun City Grand, Sun City West, Arizona Traditions, Corta Bella and more much nicer.

Now hop on the 303 and head north for freeway access to I17.  It comes in just south of Carefree Highway, making for faster access to the north and down to the rest of the city.

What is the story with 55+ how old do you really have to be?

What is the story with some of the 55 plus, Active Adult Communities allowing sales to people who are 45 and others being rigid on the 55+?

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in many things including age, of the lease or sale of residential property. One of the exceptions to this law is housing for “older persons”. In this usage, “Older Persons” refer to a person 55 years of age or older. The law has been added to, refined, altered and amended over the years. I am not a lawyer, but the way I have been updated on this is that in order to be exempt from the Fair Housing Act, a housing facility or community (defined as any dwelling or group of dwelling units governed by a common set of rules, regulations or restrictions) must have 80% of the occupied units occupied by at least one occupant who is 55 years of age or older. The facility must “publish and follow policies which support this exemption”. At one time the facility had to have “ significant facilities and services specifically designed to meet the physical or social needs of older persons.’’ That regulation has been changed and the facilities and services are no longer required.

This 80% also includes occupants who are present only part time (snowbirds) and rentals, it is not restricted to principal residences. The 20% remaining may be occupied by persons under 55. It is required that every 2 years the facility report to the government with accurate numbers, supported by a variety of identification methods, that they have met the 80% rule. This count is carefully monitored by the communities. To lose this exemption is major. The law governing the remaining 20% is not always clear and seems to be further regulated by the individual community rules. The law includes exemptions for heirs and caregivers and persons who maintain the community to be under 55. It is to fill this 20% that you see the 40+ and 45+ advertisements. Only a carefully monitored number under 55 can permitted to own or lease. The lower ages are most often seen in new construction where the percentage can be overseen more timely. Brand new construction must have at least 25% of the units occupied before the law kicks in so they have a bit of leeway to get their communities started.