Central Parke at Victoria Falls, a 55+ Community in Laurel

Entrance to the clubhouse at Central Parke at Victoria Falls

Entrance to the clubhouse at Central Parke at Victoria Falls

As I wrote in my earlier article about 55+ Communities, there are actually many communities in the area to choose from.  I already wrote about Leisure World.  Another community that is very close to the DC area is Central Park at Victoria Falls in Laurel, conveniently located right at I-95 and I-200.

Victoria Falls was constructed beginning in 2006.  It contains a variety of home styles – 112 detached single-family homes, 247 attached villas, and 250 condominiums.  There are presently nine homes for sale at Victoria Falls.  These range from a 2-bedroom condo with 1673 square feet, listed at 250K, to a 4-bedroom detached single family home with a double garage with 2177 square feet, listed at 495K.  The single-family homes and villas all have a large master bedroom suite on the first floor, and at least a one-car garage.  The condos all have elevators and parking in a covered garage at the bottom of the building.

Central Parke at Victoria Falls has a wonderful clubhouse that contains a large indoor pool, a library with computers, a fitness center, several meeting rooms, and a ballroom.  The community also has a large outdoor pool, tennis courts, and walking trails.  There are activities scheduled each day for residents, as well as field trips to different area attractions several times a month.

The fitness center at Central Parke at Victoria Falls.

The fitness center at Central Parke at Victoria Falls.


The community takes care of all outdoor maintenance of the homes, including snow removal, lawn care, and gutter cleaning.  And, from what the staff has told me, unlike many 55+ communities, people can live there who are under 55, as long as all members of the household are at least 19, and one member is over 55.  That offers some flexibility for families that might have adult children living with them.

Please contact me at Catherine.soffronoff@lnf.com or 202-352-4899 if you’d like to learn more about Central Parke at Victoria Falls, or other communities you could downsize into in the DC area.

Indoor pool at Central Park at Victoria Falls.  You an see the outdoor pool beyond it.

Indoor pool at Central Park at Victoria Falls.  You an see the outdoor pool beyond it.

55-Plus (Active Adult) Communities in the Washington, DC Metro Area

There are so many options of where and how to live once you become a senior.  I’ve already written lots of posts detailing different independent and assisted living communities in the area.  I’ve also written about senior villages, which offer you a way to stay in your home or move to one-level living in a mixed-age neighborhood, but still be able to take advantage of activities and resources for seniors.  Now I’d like to examine more closely the 55-Plus (or Active Adult) Communities in the Washington, DC Metro Area.

55-Plus communities are for seniors who are in reasonably good health, and can live independently.  At least one owner or resident must be 55 or older in order to qualify to live in a 55-plus community, and many have rules that prohibit children from living in the community.   55-plus communities offer seniors a way to be free of many home maintenance chores, to enjoy convenient classes, groups, and amenities that are aimed at them, and to make new friends with other like-minded people.  Typically people would buy a home (or condo) in a 55-Plus community just like they would buy a home in a multi-age neighborhood, but the home association or condo fees are higher, in order to pay for the many amenities and services available in the community.  There are also usually rentals available in 55-Plus communities, by individual owners.

I live in Montgomery County, MD, and many of the people around here are under the impression that there are no 55-plus communities in the area, other than Leisure World in north Silver Spring.  There are actually lots of 55-plus communities in this area, but they are almost all 30 minutes or more from downtown Washington, DC.  I will cover many of the communities in detail in future posts, but for now I just want to give you an overview of where they are.

In Maryland, there are 55-plus communities located in Silver Spring, Ellicott City, Laurel, Columbia, Odenton, Annapolis, Gambrills, Fallston, Marriottsville, Elkridge, Jessup, White Plains, New Market, Dowell, Bel Air, Waldorf, Catonsville, Severna Park, Frederick, Upper Marlboro, and Edgewater.  As of now, there are at least thirty-five 55-plus communities located in the Washington-Baltimore Metro Area in Maryland.  In the Metro Washington DC area in Virginia there are at least twenty 55-plus communities.  They are in Fairfax, Woodbridge, West Springfield, Sterling, Lorton, Manassas, Ashburn, Bristow, Dumfries, Gainesville, Haymarket, Lansdowne, and Warrenton.

So, if you are willing to live in the suburbs of Washington, DC, there are a huge number or 55-plus communities to choose from.  Please contact me with any questions or if I can help you begin a 55-plus (or other) home search in the DC area.


Ten Reasons to Downsize

There are probably as many reasons to downsize (or right size) as there are people in the world, but I definitely hear some reasons over and over.  Do any of these resonate with you?


10. Tired of yard work – Many people enjoy working in the yard when they are first-time home buyers, but the thrill gradually wears off for many people.  By the time you’ve been a homeowner for many years, it’s just one more chore on your list, and you’re often paying a landscaping company to do it.

9. Master bedroom on the first floor – Not everyone is ready to actually live in a smaller home, but most people are ready to no longer have to climb stairs multiple times a day, to get to their bedroom or a bathroom.

8. Want to be able to walk places – Many people move to the suburbs for better schools for their children or big yards.  Once the kids are gone, though, they decide to move where they can walk to shops, restaurants, and other fun things.  This is a nationwide trend for all ages, but it seems to be especially big for baby boomers who are empty nesters.

7.  Don’t want so much house to care for – There’s much more cleaning to be done in a larger home.  You’re also paying higher utility bills to heat and cool areas of the home you no longer use.

6.  Be closer to family – In our mobile society, adult children often move far from their parents.  If parents are retired, it is often easier for them to move to where their children are then vice versa.

5. Move somewhere warmer – Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia certainly don’t have the terrible winters that some places in our country do, but it can still be grey and cold for long stretches.  Plus sometimes we even have major snowfalls!  If you’re retired and can live anywhere you choose, you might want to live somewhere warmer.

4. Live in a vacation destination – Beaches, mountains, tropical islands, Europe.  The possibilities are endless.  If you choose to move to a vacation destination, you not only get to enjoy it year round, but you are virtually assured that lots of friends and family will want to come and visit you!

3. Feeling lonely and bored – Staying in the home you’ve lived in forever can be isolating if you don’t have an active social life nearby.  Moving to 55+ housing or a senior living community can really improve your quality of life.  There are lots of activities to choose from everyday and lots of people around who are eager to make friends just like you.

2. Boost your retirement fund – If you’ve owned your home for more than 15 years, chances are it’s gone up in value substantially.  By selling your home and downsizing into something less expensive, you’ve likely freed up a large chunk of money to add to your retirement fund.  And that’s never a bad thing.  Don’t forget that the money you make from selling your home is free from capital gains taxes for up to $250,000 for a single person and up to $500,000 for a married couple.

1. Lower taxes – Many retired people choose to move to places like Delaware and Florida for the lower taxes as much as for the beaches and lifestyle.   Sales tax, property tax, income tax, and even the estate tax are lower or nonexistent.  This is a way that many people are able to stretch their retirement income.


What other reasons did you decide to downsize or right size?  Feel free to share in the comments section below.

If downsizing makes sense to you but you’re not doing it, ask yourself why.  If it’s because the idea of moving just feels overwhelming, get in touch with me.  I can help you come up with a plan for selling your home and moving that will make things more manageable, and I can bring in other service providers to help you handle the details of moving that seem too hard to tackle alone.  If you don’t live in the DC area, I can put you in touch with a realtor that specializes in this in your area.