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retirement communities in delaware

When you reach a certain age, you might want to find a place to live where you can relax and engage with other people who have lived a life as full as yours. Retirement communities can be perfect for this. You’ll find haven from the outside world as you gain access to amenities and entertainment options and shed the burden of some home upkeep responsibilities in your retirement.

If you live in the First State, this guide will take you through some of the best retirement communities in Delaware. We also provide information on home price so you can find a home you can afford. If retirement is still a ways off for you, finding a financial advisor to help you plan for your retirement is a good idea. SmartAsset can help you find an advisor who meets your needs with our free financial advisor matching service. We also have a list of the top financial advisor firms in Delaware for your consideration, who can help prepare for things like the estate tax and charitable giving.

Southern Meadow

Price Range: Low $100ks – Low $200ks
Number of Homes: 120 homes
Age Restriction: 55+

Southern Meadow is located in Magnolia, just 10 minutes from the state capital of Dover and 30 minutes from the beach. So if you ever want to get off campus, you’ll have plenty of options — not that you’ll be lacking for things to do in this community. Southern Meadow has a full-time activities director on staff to keep residents entertained for an active retirement. The community includes a gym with plenty of exercise equipment, hobby rooms where you can linger over a game of cards or dominoes, a pool to relax by and a TV room to gather for entertainment. There is even a stocked pond where you can wile away the afternoon seeing if anything is biting. Adults also have the opportunity to take college classes.

The development was started in 2007 by Investor’s Realty Inc. and was completed in 2015. Southern Meadow is a land-lease community, meaning you own the home but not the land it is built on. You can choose from six different models of home, all of which have two-car garages and connection to public water and community septic. Additionally, there are medical facilities on site.

Cedar Bay

Price Range: Mid $100ks – Mid $200ks
Number of Homes: 72 homes
Age Restriction: 55+

Constructed between 2005 and 2006, Cedar Bay is a condo community that gives residents a sense of community and the low-maintenance lifestyle that so many older people desire. It’s located right on Delaware Route 1 in Ocean View, so it offers easy access to beaches all along the state’s coast in the summer months. For wintertime activities, Cedar Bay is also close to a number of outlet malls for shopping and maybe even a mall walk.

There are plenty of amenities right on the property to keep you occupied, though. An outdoor pool is available for lap swimming or just cooling off in the summer heat. There is also an onsite gym and a common area where clubs and activity groups can meet.

Each home in Cedar Bay is between 1,000 and 1,500 square feet, with either two or three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Every unit also has either an outdoor balcony or porch. Homes in Cedar Bay also include luxury touches like granite countertops, gas fireplaces and high ceilings. You’ll have to pay a small homeowners association fee, but that will cover the cost of amenities, common area maintenance and building and lawn upkeep.

Spring Meadow

Price Range: Low $200ks – Low $300ks
Number of Homes: 246 homes
Age Restriction: 55+

Spring Meadow is a great choice if you want to spend your retirement walking the links, as the community is located just three minutes from Garrison Lake Golf Course. Even if you’re not a golfer, the community still has plenty to offer. It’s close to both beaches and mountain resorts, so you’ll have plenty of options for off-campus excursions.

At the community, though, there is a lot to do. The community, which is located in Smyrna, has a fitness center with a yoga studio and a juice bar. There are also plenty of places to meet up with your fellow residents for recreation, including an amphitheater, a billiards lounge, card rooms and a studio for doing arts and crafts. If you’re the type of person who likes to be outside, there’s a heated pool, bocce courts, shuffleboard tables and a putting green. There are also biking and walking trails for exercising with friends.

Wilkinson Builders constructed Spring Meadow between 2006 and 2014 by Wilkinson Builders. It has both single-family and carriage homes available in eight different floor plans. The first floor of units features nine-foot ceilings.

Longacre Village

Price Range: High $100ks – Mid $300ks
Number of Homes: 250 homes
Age Restriction: 55+

Though it is located in the state capital of Dover, Longacre Village has a prime location in the woods. It’s just minutes from medical facilities as well as parks and recreation options for when you want to stretch your legs. Built between 2006 and 2016 by K. Hovnanian, the development has a variety of floor plans available that range from 1,200 square feet to just under 3,000. The community will cut your grass and remove your snow in exchange for a monthly dues payment. The prices in this community are on the low end, but make sure to keep in mind property taxes when you’re planning.

There is plenty to do at Longacre Village. The community has a resort-style outdoor pool with a deck for relaxing with friends. A pond is available for those afternoons when you want to commune with nature, and there’s also a grilling area for making some grub. Additionally, Longacre Village has an exercise room with lockers and plenty of equipment to keep yourself in shape. You can head to the community room to meet new people or play some cards.

Crossings at Christiana

Price Range: High $100ks – Low $200ks
Number of Homes: 140 homes
Age Restriction: 55+

The homes in Crossings at Christiana are all located on cul-de-sacs or tree-lined streets, so you’ll feel just like you’re in the old neighborhood. Houses range from 1,575 to 1,925 square feet and have two bedrooms, two or three bathrooms and a one-car garage attached. Some homes have walk-in closets, while others offer modern kitchens with updated appliances.

Outside of the home there is plenty to do, too. There is a clubhouse with an exercise room and a banquet room for meetings. There are also walking and biking trails, plus a pond and a park for when you want some quiet time in the fresh air.

One of the most attractive things about the Bear community is that you’ll never have to worry about home upkeep again. Lawn care, snow removal and trash pickup are all covered by your homeowners association fee.

Noble’s Pond

retirement communities in delaware

Price Range: Mid $200ks – High $300ks
Number of Homes: 800 homes
Age Restriction: 55+

Construction on Noble’s Pond began in 2007 and is still in progress, so you can either buy a previously owned home or a brand-new model from Regal Homes. The Dover community is located about 45 minutes from the coast and is designed to evoke feelings of classic ‘50s and ‘60s Americana.

The community features a 28,000-square-foot clubhouse that is chock-full of amenities for residents to take advantage of. There is a conservatory with an oversized fireplace, a putting green, a bocce ball court, a shuffleboard table and an outdoor pool. There’s also a ballroom that seats 320 for community meetings, events and parties. On top of all of that, Noble’s Pond has a a billiards and cards room, a learning center and a gourmet kitchen, plus a fitness center and nature trails for exercise.

Single-family and carriage homes are available, and homes range in size from 1,150 to 1,428 square feet. Houses feature luxury bathrooms, walk-in closets and optional bonus rooms.

The Villages at Red Mill Pond

Price Range: Low $300ks – Mid $400ks
Number of Homes: 520 homes
Age Restriction: None

Though it technically doesn’t have an age restriction, The Villages at Red Mill Pond is clearly designed with retirement in mind. It’s a resort-style community located around a lake in Lewes, meaning that fun outdoor activities like boating and kayaking are right there for your enjoyment. There’s also a trail that encircles the shore.

The Villages at Red Mill Pond also has a 6,000-foot clubhouse that includes a pool and fitness center, a hobby and game room, a catering kitchen and billiards. There is also a gazebo at the boat launch for outdoor gatherings.

The community, which started in 2009 and is still undergoing construction by K. Horvanian and NV Homes, is made up of single family homes. Kitchens are fully equipped with GE appliances, and some of the homes have guest rooms on the second floor.

Heritage Shores

Price Range: Low $200ks – Low $400ks
Number of Homes: 1,816 homes
Age Restriction: 55+

Heritage Shores is a Bridgeville golf community that has an 18-hole championship course designed by Arthur Hills right on the premises. The community offers both single-family homes and attached units, with homes ranging in size from 1,297 to 2,807 square feet. Multiple builders have contributed to the construction of the community since it began in 2004. The primary builder is now Providence of Brookfield. Models from this builder have two or three bedrooms, two to three-and-a-half baths and attached garages. Ryan Homes also is building some units, which range from 1,406 to 2,152 square feet and have as many as four bedrooms.

Outside of the house there is plenty to do in addition to golfing. There are more than 20 ponds located in the community, as well as a fitness and aquatic center and four tennis courts. Exercise classes are offered in the aerobics studio, and there are plenty of walking paths to enjoy the Delaware air. Heritage Shores also has a number of clubs available in subjects like cards, billiards, Bible study, military veterans and photography.

Bishop’s Landing

Price Range: High $200ks – Mid $400ks
Number of Homes: 449 homes
Age Restriction: None

Beazer Homes started building Bishop’s Landing in Millville in 2013 and construction is still underway, meaning both new and resale homes are available for purchase. The community offers four plans for attached homes, which range in size from 1,883 to 2,335 square feet. All models have three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths and an either a one- or two-car attached garage. There are also single-family homes in the community. These are up to 3,007 square feet and have four bedrooms. Your association fee will cover all lawncare cost.

At Bishop’s Landing, amenities abound. There is an Olympic-sized pool, a spa and a sundeck. You can play tennis on one of two available courts, or head to the fishing lake. There’s also a dog park and walking trails for exercising your furry friends. Activities offered in the community include yoga, Zumba, a walking club and movie nights.

Four Seasons at Silver Maple

Price Range: Mid $300ks – Mid $400ks
Number of Homes: 299 homes
Age Restriction: 55+

Four Seasons at Silver Maple is a rural adult community in Middleton, perfect for anyone who wants to retire someplace that is truly away from it all. The community gets its name from the Silver Maple Trees on the premises that are more than 100 years old.

The community has a clubhouse that serves as the centerpiece for residents. It includes a fitness center with an aerobics room, a movie theater, a game room and a kitchen attached to a gathering area. Outside there is a swimming pool, a picnic area, tennis courts, bocce ball courts and horseshoes pits. There is even a garden where you can reserve a plot to grow vegetables.

Homes are generally between 1,250 and 2,569 square feet but can be expanded to more than 5,000 square feet. Your association dues here cover lawn care, snow removal and even the mulching of your flower beds.

Heritage Creek

Price Range: Mid $300ks – High $400ks
Number of Homes: 400 homes
Age Restriction: None

Heritage Creek features Craftsman and Victorian style homes. Started in 2008 by Schell Brothers, the Milton community is currently being finished by Fernmoor Homes. There are both single family and attached duplexes available, and home sizes range from 1,459 to 2,854 square feet. Houses feature full basements and natural gas.

There is a 3,500-square-foot clubhouse where you can socialize and make new friends. Eventually, it will have a pool with lap lanes and slides for when your grandkids come to visit, alongside a playground. There are also plenty of walking and biking trails in the community where you can exercise in the great outdoors.

In addition to these amenities, your association fee covers the cost of lawn care and snow removal.

The Courtyards at Brandywine

Price Range: Mid $300ks – High $400ks
Number of Homes: 184 homes
Age Restriction: 55+

Built between 2009 and 2006 by McKee Builders, The Courtyards at Brandywine offers homes in six different architectural styles. The homes in the Wilmington-based community are energy-efficient and low-maintenance. The first floors have nine-foot-high ceilings. Kitchens feature granite countertops, maple cabinets and GE appliances.

The community offers a clubhouse with a catering kitchen and a gathering room. The clubhouse includes a fitness area with plenty of cardio and strength-training equipment. Additionally, The Courtyards at Brandywine has scenic ponds for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy.

In addition to access to the clubhouse, monthly dues cover all exterior maintenance, which can be a big item in a budget.

Independence

Price Range: Mid $300ks – Low $500ks
Number of Homes: 455 homes
Age Restriction: 55+

The clubhouse at Independence has everything you could want. There is a fitness center with an aerobics studio, an indoor pool with a sauna, a ballroom with a bar and a conference room. There are also computers and hobby rooms for small meetings or card games.

Outside, you can plan tennis, volleyball or horseshoes. There’s even a putting green for working on your short game. You can take advantage of the outdoor pool and spa when you want aquatic exercise but the weather is just too nice to stay indoors.

The Millsboro community, which started construction in 2007, is still in under construction by Schell Brothers. There are 12 different home models available that range in size from 1,334 to 3,082 square feet. Homes have two to four bedrooms and some have attached garages and even bonus rooms above the garage for storage. Green options like solar panels and tank-less hot water heaters are available.

Nassau Grove

retirement communities in delaware

Price Range: Low $400ks – Mid $500ks
Number of Homes: 244 homes
Age Restriction: none

Nassau Groves is a gated community in Lewes, so anyone concerned about privacy and security will be comfortable here. The community designed by K. Hovnanian is made up of single-family homes with condo-style ownership. There are eight different home models available for resale ranging from 1,360 to 2,420 square feet, all with first-floor master suites. Homes have two to three bedrooms, but you have the option to add more bedrooms by finishing the basement.

Activities on the schedule at Nassau Groves include mahjongg, yoga, game nights, poker, book clubs and happy hours. In the summer, there is water aerobics and drinks at the tiki hut. Amenities include a fitness center, walking and biking trails, bocce ball courts, tennis courts, volleyball courts, horseshoes pits and even a playground for little visitors. There is also a clubhouse with computers available if you need to send a quick email or make a reservation.

Bay Crossing

Price Range: Mid $300ks – High $500ks
Number of Homes: 256 homes
Age Restriction: 55+

Located east of Delaware’s Route 1 in Lewes, this community offers easy access to beach towns like Lewes and Rehoboth. Pulte Homes broke ground in 2005, and Blenheim Homes finished building the community in 2016. Bay Crossing has both attached homes and single-family homes available, which range in size from 1,300 to 2,381 square feet.

The clubhouse is at the center of life for residents of Bay Crossing. It has an exercise room with an aerobics studio, card and craft rooms, billiards tables and a library. Outside, you can sit by the pool, walk the trails or play tennis. Various clubs centered around hobbies like golf, movies, walking and Mexican Dominoes are available as well.

Retirement Tips

  • If you want to retire in one of these retirement communities, you’ll need to carefully plan so that you can afford it. A financial advisor can help you get there. SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service can help you find a good advisor for you. You’ll answer a few questions and we’ll match you with up to three advisors, all fully vetted and free of disclosures. Each of your advisor matches will then reach out. You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions to decide which advisor is a good fit.
  • A 401(k) is a great way to save for retirement. Get an idea of how much you’ll have saved by the time you retire with our 401(k) calculator.
  • When you move to one of these communities, you’ll probably need a mortgage. SmartAsset can help you calculate your monthly payments with our mortgage calculator.
  • Delaware is a small state and it is a big country. If nothing here seems to fit, maybe you can find a community you like in Texas or Pennsylvania.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/Derek Brumby, ©iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages, ©iStock.com/Stígur Már Karlsson/Heimsmyndir

Ben Geier, CEPF® Ben Geier is an experienced financial writer currently serving as a retirement and investing expert at SmartAsset. His work has appeared on Fortune, Mic.com and CNNMoney. Ben is a graduate of Northwestern University and a part-time student at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He is a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing and a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®). When he isn’t helping people understand their finances, Ben likes watching hockey, listening to music and experimenting in the kitchen. Originally from Alexandria, VA, he now lives in Brooklyn with his wife.
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