Retirees have been flocking to Heritage Hills in Somers for decades (construction started in 1974 and the most recent homes were completed in 2008). The condo development—the largest in Westchester—debuted as a 55-and-older community, but began admitting residents of all ages in the early ’90s. Though the demographics have shifted since then, it remains extremely popular with retirees who “are not even close to [needing] assisted living,” says realtor Mark Seiden. “They are like, ‘The kids are gone, we are very active, and we want to be near people like us, our generation. We want to go play!’”
And Heritage Hills is certainly a playground for older adults. For its 5,000 residents, it has two activity centers, five pools, eight tennis courts, three bocce courts, a fitness center, art studio, theater, library, and gym. There are 30 clubs that bring together residents to play poker, dance, hike, make crafts, or discuss books. It is also famous for its Somers Pointe Golf Club. “You don’t ever have to leave our grounds,” says Linda Montanaro, activities coordinator at Heritage Hills, but, if you want to, residents take regular field trips to sites like the Chuang Yen Monastery in Carmel, New York and Dia:Beacon, the former Nabisco-box printing factory turned art gallery.
Unlike other adult-living or 55-and-older communities where the units are identical, each of the 2,750 residences at Heritage Hills is custom-designed. Two houses with the same number of bedrooms can have different floor plans and amenities. As Robin Schwamb, a real estate professional with Sotheby’s International Realty who is currently closing on a unit in Heritage Hills, describes, “There are some freestanding homes, and some one-level units. The unit I’m closing on has two bedrooms, a downstairs dining and kitchen area, and an upstairs living space.” The unifying factor is that they are all affordable. Current listings, according to Schwamb, range from $217,080 to $439,900.
People are also attracted to Heritage Hills for the natural beauty—40 percent of its property (a total of 2.3 square miles) is scenic land, woodland, and farmland—and the fact that the houses fit naturally into the landscape. “The developer did not completely level everything and start building homes,” says Montanaro. “He came in and looked at the topography of the land and built condos to meet it.”
For older residents who anticipate challenges getting around, Heritage Hills offers a private shuttle service to and from the local train station and shopping centers. The community provides 24-hour security and emergency medical technicians on call at all times. There are also hospitals and medical facilities in close proximity.
Other Retiree Hot Spots
For grandparents who want the perfect home for their children and grandchildren to visit, Glassbury Court in Mount Kisco is an excellent option. Residents in this active-adult community live in condos or single-family homes with first-floor master suites and recreational and family rooms. The complex offers a clubhouse with outdoor swimming pool, hiking trails, and eight acres of open land within the community. The development is also situated near Mount Kisco’s main shopping, medical, and entertainment options, and offers easy access to highways and mass transit.
Glassbury Court in Mount Kisco offers homes with plenty of room for the grandchildren to visit.
Another retiree favorite is Kendal on Hudson in Sleepy Hollow, a community that offers modern and spacious homes for seniors wishing to live independently or with regular medical and/or emotional assistance. Set on the banks of the Hudson River, the development has a serene environment and offers stunning views from the dining rooms, common areas, and many homes. It is also next to the Rockefeller State Park Preserve, and residents enjoy direct access to it via easy-to-maneuver walking paths.
A resident committee organizes trips, educational opportunities, advocacy campaigns, and horticulture and art projects for Kendal dwellers. When Kendal residents Peter and Linda Bermas, now 78 and 76, encountered their first big health scare this past year, they decided to take an offensive position and started looking for assisted-living facilities. “We wanted to establish ourselves in a community so that we would be there when we could no longer drive or we needed more care,” says Peter Bermas. Kendal on Hudson was the clear winner for them because of its location near their children and on the river, and its welcoming community, range of activities, and medical-care options.