Overview of Housing Styles in San Diego 55+ Senior Communities

Learn the housing styles available in San Diego 55+ Senior Communities.

There are at least over 50 senior 55+ communities in San Diego and not all are cited as examples below so please be sure to contact us for more information or watch our video tours here to learn about all your options.

You may also call 760-798-9024 or send us a message here.

Land Ownership 55+ Communities

In San Diego 55+ communities where you own the housing and the land which the home sits on, land ownership may be through the following forms: fee simple, condominium, co-operative(co-op) shares, and homeowner association (HOA) membership.

In communities where you own both the house and lot, it is common to pay monthly (HOA fees) for upkeep of amenities and community areas.

Land ownership communities are also referred to as Resident Owned 55+ Communities.

Examples of San Diego senior communities where you own both the home and the land include: Auberge at Del Sur in San DiegoOaks North in the community of Rancho Bernardo (San Diego CA) with both attached condos, duplex-style, and detached housing options, Ocean Hills Country Club in Oceanside, CA, and Seven Oaks in Rancho Rancho Bernardo (San Diego, CA) which has both attached and detached housing options.

For co-op parks  land ownership, the park may be completely owned by residents, who each own their home, and an equal percentage of the entire community. HOA fees are due for your portion of the upkeep and management. These co-op homes in senior parks may not qualify for some types of purchase loans.

In San Diego, example of these resident owned 55+ co-op parks with manufactured and/or mobile homes include: Oak Crest Estates in Fallbrook, CA, San Luis Rey in Oceanside, CA

Condominium Ownership (condo) 55+ Communities

Condominium ownership entails owning the unit itself and the interior while owning only a small percentage of the community and its amenities. Common elements can include: walls, roof, floors, ceilings, windows, doors, outdoor fixtures and shared systems like plumbing, electric, a/c units, etc., and common areas like decks, balconies, patios.

The HOA or condominium association owns most of the exterior, the land and common areas and is responsible for the maintenance of all exterior areas. Condo communities must be on a government approved list qualify for some types of purchase loans.

In San Diego, examples of these 55+ condominium communities include Chapala at Oaks North in Rancho Bernardo (detached single family homes in a gated community with golf course views), Park Encinitas (resident owned community with manufactured homes, modular, and mobile homes), the Cottages at Auberge Del Sur.

Land Lease 55+ Communities

Homeowners lease the land their home sits on (called “Space, or Lot Rent”), even though they own the home. Leases are renewed on a yearly, or monthly basis. An external management company usually handles the operations. These may not qualify for some types of purchase loans.

Examples of Land Lease Senior Parks in San Diego County include: Lakeshore Gardens in Carlsbad, CA, Palomar Estates West and Palomar Estates East in San Marcos, CA.

Typical Homes within San Diego 55 and over Communities:

Custom Homes

The design is usually planned around lifestyle, capturing views or enhancing privacy, allowing the greatest diversity vs. other homes in the neighborhood. Specific finishes create a unique home. If part of a community, there can be a monthly HOA fee for common area maintenance and the gated community feature.

Examples of custom homes in San Diego 55+ communities include: East Ridge in Fallbrook, CA (gated community with single detached homes)

Manufactured Homes

A prefabricated home, built in a factory and transported to the home site. A requirement is a wheeled-chassis permanently attached to a foundation… the main distinction between manufactured homes and modular homes.

Examples of manufactured homes in San Diego 55+ communities include: Camino Hills in Carlsbad, CA (resident owned senior park), Emerald Lake Village in Oceanside, CA (resident-owned gated community with cape-cod style detached homes)

Mobile Homes

The term for prefabricated homes built before 1976, when the building code of the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) went into effect… governing standards for factory-built homes and improving quality. Due to construction practices at that time, these may not qualify for some types of purchase loans.

You may find examples of mobiles homes in resident owned San Diego 55+ communities at Casitas Del Amigos in San Marcos, CA and Casitas Del Sol in San Marcos, CA , El Camino Estates in Carlsbad, CA, Rancho Escondido in Escondido, CA (all resident owned parks where you have both pre-1977 mobile homes and after 1977 built manufactured homes).

Modular Homes

A home built off-site, comprised of multiple sections called modules. A module is six-sided box constructed in a factory, and delivered to the home site. Each module is set onto the building’s foundation and combined to make a single structure. They do not have axles or a frame, and are transported using flat-bed trucks.

Twin Homes

Duplex style or attached homes consisting of two attached housing units on two separate properties that share a common wall. They are even called “semi-detached”.

In San Diego 55 and over communities, examples of these 55+ communities with twin homes/ attached homes include: Costa Serena in Oceanside CA, Nob Hill in Vista, CA (stick-built homes), Oaks North Village in Rancho Bernardo (San Diego, CA) Ocean Hills Country Club in Oceanside (has both attached homes and single detached homes) Peacock Hills in Oceanside, Rancho Hermosa  in Oceanside, CA


Townhouse – full-sized, individual homes, built side-by-side typically in gated communities of tree-lined streets, sharing 1 or 2 walls with the neighboring unit, with amenities like pools, hot tubs and secure parking.

Tract Homes

Housing developments with similar style homes subdivided into individual lots, but with variations in size, style and floor plans, roofing, materials and garage size. These are massed produced, saving money on cost and therefore usually offering more attractive pricing.

Examples of San Diego 55 and over communities with tract homes include: Ocean Hills Country Club in Oceanside, CA (homes were built by multiple builders in this gated and guarded golf course community with Mediterranean style homes), Auberge at Del Sur in Rancho Bernardo (San Diego, CA 55+ gated resort style living community built in 2016)

Typical Amenities available at San Diego 55 and over Communities:

Gated Community – a residential community or housing development with controlled entrances for pedestrians, bicycles, and cars. It usually includes closed outer walls and fences. Gated communities typically have small residential streets with various common amenities.

In San Diego, examples of these 55+ gated communities include: Ocean Hills Country Club in Oceanside (gated and guarded), CA, Rancho Carlsbad in Carlsbad (gated and guarded), CA, Solamar in Carlsbad, CA,  Villa Trieste in Oceanside, CA

Golf Course Communities

Examples of San Diego 55 and over retirement communities with golf course amenities in-house or nearby include:

Lake San Marcos, Oaks North, Ocean Hills Country Club, Rancho Carlsbad, Rancho Monserate, and Seven Oaks

55+ Property Email Alerts Request

Please fill out the contact request below to receive 55+ property alerts in your preferred location. Please note that once you fill out this form, we will get you connected with the best real estate agent whom we feel is best suited to help you with your search. You will be receiving direct email property alerts from this agent. Thank you.