Condominiums like the Villas at Gascoigne offer an affordable option for retirees who are downsizing for an easier, more carefree lifestyle.

Empty nesters and retirees often live in homes that are too large for their needs, and they want to downsize and simplify.

In the Golden Isles, one of the popular options for those choosing to streamline their lifestyles is to purchase a condominium.

Realtor Pat Timbes, with Palmetto Realty Group, said condos on St. Simons Island, in particular, are in high demand.

“A lot of retirees are downsizing,” Timbes said. “They are selling their homes because they want an easier lifestyle.”

There are many selling points that make owning a condominium attractive, she said.

Residents don’t have to worry about yard work, flood and property damage insurance, exterior maintenance, pest control or swimming pool maintenance. Some complexes offer other features such as weight rooms, tennis courts, gas grills and picnic shelters.

“The whole thought is carefree living,” Timbes said. “Everything is in one monthly payment.”

Many of the property owners at the 400 Ocean Suites complex near the heart of the village on St. Simons Island purchased the condos as second homes or rental properties, she said.

The fully furnished luxury one-bedroom condominiums are very popular, Timbes said.

The new Villas at Gascoigne has 54 condominiums, 20 of which are still available, Timbes said. The complex features covered parking, single-level floor plans and elevators.

“Everything is taken care of,” she said. “You have great views, porches, gas grills. The whole thing is carefree living.”

Realtor Dana Hill, with Georgia Coast Realty, said the south end of St. Simons Island is a sought-after area for condominiums. It’s a different story on the mainland, however.

Brunswick does not have a large inventory of condominiums on the market, Hill said. But she believes there is a potential market, especially if the units were priced affordably.

“I think it would do well in the Brunswick area,” she said.

On St. Simons Island, condos can range in price from the low $100,000s for a one-bedroom, one-bath home, to nearly $2 million for a condominium with a luxury oceanfront view.

While many condominium owners are older in age, Hill said U.S. Housing and Urban Development officials are creating new guidelines to make it easier for first-time property buyers to purchase a condominium.

Most complexes allow dogs and cats, but some will have limits on the number of pets, and snakes and exotic pets, or barnyard animals, may be prohibited.

Hill recommended potential buyers get information about the homeowners association to learn about the covenants, restrictions, budget and prior meeting minutes, so they can make an informed decision during the purchasing process.

“The buyers need to know the health of the association,” she said.