Chances are good that if you choose to live in an age-restricted community, at least part of the draw is that your development is off-limits to the younger set. After all, other high-end developments also may offer perks like swimming pools and yoga studios, but only those aimed at adults age 55 and older can deliver a neighborhood with sidewalks free of kids on skateboards, and homes full of people who may actually be home during the day.
But what if your dream retirement community unexpectedly changes its rules, and opens up to buyers of any age?
That's exactly what happened at Two Rivers, a community in Odenton, Md., that originally was restricted to buyers where at least one family member was age 55 or older. The first phase, with 800 homes, hit the market in 2014.
But two years later, the remaining 1,260 homes – nearly two-thirds of the 1,468-acre parcel — were made available to buyers of all ages.
For those earliest buyers who signed contracts before the changes happened, the news came as a distressing surprise.
“It wasn’t at all what I thought the community was going to be like,” said Margie Yates, 63, who signed a contract in 2015 for a four-bedroom house at the development. “I thought it was going to be all 55 and up.”
Yates, who works for the federal government, had decided to sell her home in Crofton, Md., where she’d lived for 20 years, because she wanted to live in a more vibrant setting that also could accommodate her 87-year-old mother.
Two Rivers promised a social lifestyle, with plans for a 15,000-square-foot clubhouse with indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts and a yoga studio. Listings for homes start at around $400,000 for a two-bedroom.