This beautiful village of affordable cottages might be the best place to retire

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A house at Serenbe in Georgia.
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Serenbe

As people age into their 70s and 80s, some choose (often reluctantly) to move into retirement homes.

A new community and village, called Mado, aspires to become a place where residents can age in place. Although residents of all ages can live there, a portion of single-story homes will be designated for buyers aged 55 and up.

The idea is that if they move there in late middle-age, they won’t need to move.

Located in northwestern Georgia, Mado will feature medicinal gardens, community activities, and housing. It will be the third village at Serenbe, a community of nearly 500 people of all ages.

Mado’s construction started this past summer, and the first residents will move in this month, Serenbe co-founder Steve Nygren, aged 70, tells Business Insider. Homes will cost between $300,000 and $800,000, and rental apartments will be available at $1,000 a month.

Take a look inside.


Serenbe is an urban village, meaning it prioritizes medium-density housing, walkability, and public space.

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Serenbe

Located in Chattahoochee Hills outside Atlanta, the site features a 25-acre organic farm, seasonal farmers markets, art galleries, and a range of public events.


In total, Mado will have 380 housing units, including cottages, townhomes, large houses, and loft apartments for residents of all ages.

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Serenbe

Sixteen units will be designated for buyers over 55.

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Serenbe

These 1,200 square-foot homes can be easily retrofitted with features for older folks. The homes all come with step-free entries, baths with reinforced handles, and wide doors, halls, and staircases.

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Serenbe

Here’s a rendering of what the finished houses will look like.

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Serenbe

Every 55+ resident receives a wearable device that can monitor their blood pressure and heart rate, and a doctor’s office is always within a block.

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Serenbe

Certified nurses will also be available at an extra cost for residents who need them.


There is a fitness center, yoga studio, community pool, restaurants, and a school for kids ages 3 to 14. Mado, and Serenbe at large, is intended to be an intergenerational community, Nygren says.


Bushes and trees with edible fruits line the sidewalks.

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Serenbe

The majority of the site is covered by trees, farmland, and flowers. This is, in part, thanks to Nygren’s efforts for a zoning change, which will allow him to build Mado’s homes closer together and preserve 70% of the land’s nature.

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Serenbe

Nygren says the close proximity of the homes will encourage residents to have vibrant social lives. The homes, arranged in clusters, center around gardens.

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Serenbe

“They will be like outside living rooms,” Nygren says. Another new 2,500-square-foot, single-story home will be built and act as a common space for older residents. Everyone can access everything in Serenbe by walking.

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Serenbe

“Research shows that mental aptitude is affected and connected to physical health,” Nygren says. “What we’re doing connects all the dots.”

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Serenbe