When the Fair Housing Act was passed in 1968, preventing discrimination in housing in seven different categories including age, an exception was given for age-restricted communities.
If a community was declared an age-restricted area and more than 80 percent of the homeowners were age 55 or over, then the restrictions were not a violation of the law.
In communities such as Sun City (founded by Del Webb and essentially the first of its kind), Sun City West, Leisure World in Mesa, Sun Lakes in Chandler and elsewhere, the caveat provided by the 80 percent rule was irrelevant. The age limit was 55 and that was the end of the story.
(This also was the case in the entire town of Youngtown, immediately south of Sun City, which until the past 15 years had been an age-restricted municipality.)
Then times changed. People started retiring at earlier ages, more and more folks sought second homes here in the sun at earlier points in their lives and a demand developed for housing in age-restricted communities for those under 55. And so now, there are several communities in the Phoenix area and particularly the Northwest Valley that allow buyers under age 55 to purchase homes.
Here are the age limits for the Northwest Valley’s retirement communities, with the caveat that in all of these areas at least 80 percent of the homes must be owned by at least one person 55 or older:
Westbrook Village (Peoria) – 40 years old
Pebblecreek (Goodyear), Sun City Festival (Buckeye), Sun City Grand (Surprise) – 45
Sun City, Sun City West, Arizona Traditions (Surprise), Corte Bella (Sun City West), Sundance (Buckeye), Sun Village (Surprise) – 55
Want more information about any of these areas along with those in the East Valley? Check out our dedicated website, Phoenix Retirement Real Estate.com.