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The Plantation of Leesburg Florida
Old 03-27-2014, 10:01 PM   #1
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The Plantation of Leesburg Florida

Does anyone live in or near the Leesburg area? Do you like the area? We are looking in the central Florida area to buy, and would appreciate any and all info available. We've been to and considered The Villages, but they offered a lot of things we don't need or do. The Plantation appears to look nice, but would love to hear from anyone in the area. Thanks
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:42 PM   #2
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The Plantation is very nice, but for us, kinda big and impersonal.
When we were looking to relocate from Lake Griffin Harbor to a larger year round home, we liked Highland Lakes (no golf course), and Royal Highlands... nearby. Seemed to us that both of those were more like a close community... Royal highlands a little more active. Legacy is right next to Highland Lakes... when we were there, activity level was very low... Nice, but a little "cold".
Highland Lakes has two community "workshops" one for woodworking the other metalworking. They also have an indoor remote control airplane.helicopter club that I loved. The HOA has a good reserve.
Would suggest that wherever you look, spend more time with the people, than with the sales rep, and don't be swayed by the perfect house... Perfect Houses are everywhere.

We've wintered 6X6 for 24 years in Leesburg, and really like the entire area. Half way to both coasts, and halfway between Key West and Pensacola... 40 minutes to Orlando and 35 to Ocala.
We go to the Villages for the entertainment in the town squares... for Polo, and for lunch once in a while but it's not for us... We like to know our neighbors.
Think you'll enjoy Mt Dora, but there weren't any communities that we cared for.
Prices are still pretty low... Many houses that sold for $250K in 2008 could be had for about $150- $175 last time we looked a year ago.
Would skip Arlington Ridge as it was a bankruptcy thre years ago, and is owned and operated by residents... not sure about reserves...
Here's a local listing:
http://www.55places.com/florida/city/leesburg
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Old 03-28-2014, 08:31 AM   #3
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We started looking at the Villages and did a lifestyle stay there. Like you, we found it to offer way more organized activities than we would do. Not for us, but if someone is in to that it would be great. We did like how you could get anywhere from a golf cart, that was cool.

We next looked at the Plantations and Highland Lakes and a few others. We then stumbled on Royal Highlands. We bought there as did my wife's cousin after visiting us. Our current renter of two years also just bought in the community.

We can't say enough good things about it. Indoor and outdoor pool. The community is layed out with a lot of open space. We looked at all the ones imoldernu mentioned and found Royal Highlands the best for our taste. HOA is done and it is community owned.

Feel free to PM with any specific questions we can answer. We worked with a agent that is located right outside Plantation that also lives there. Liked her a lot. (PAL Reality)
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:29 AM   #4
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This area is interesting to us. Couple of years ago stayed at a newer development in Mt. Dora. Wasn't quite us. Loved the area. Did not check out Royal Highlands.

DW was ready to buy a place in Royal Harbor, Tavares. Nice house, I was not ready to buy. Think there's a lot of good information in this thread on what to check out.

Villages, not for us.
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:29 AM   #5
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There is a place south of us toward Claremont that is new that we toured last year just for yucks. Nice pool complex and you can buy new if that is your thing.

We like the area because it is very low in tourists but 30 minutes south you can get all you want of that. Also, Pringle the builder, did a great job of keeping open spaces incorporated into the design.

Basically 90 minutes to either coast and 35 minutes to Disney for the guests.
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Old 03-28-2014, 12:44 PM   #6
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The Plantation is very nice, but for us, kinda big and impersonal.
When we were looking to relocate from Lake Griffin Harbor to a larger year round home, we liked Highland Lakes (no golf course), and Royal Highlands... nearby. Seemed to us that both of those were more like a close community... Royal highlands a little more active. Legacy is right next to Highland Lakes... when we were there, activity level was very low... Nice, but a little "cold".
Highland Lakes has two community "workshops" one for woodworking the other metalworking. They also have an indoor remote control airplane.helicopter club that I loved. The HOA has a good reserve.
Would suggest that wherever you look, spend more time with the people, than with the sales rep, and don't be swayed by the perfect house... Perfect Houses are everywhere.

We've wintered 6X6 for 24 years in Leesburg, and really like the entire area. Half way to both coasts, and halfway between Key West and Pensacola... 40 minutes to Orlando and 35 to Ocala.
We go to the Villages for the entertainment in the town squares... for Polo, and for lunch once in a while but it's not for us... We like to know our neighbors.
Think you'll enjoy Mt Dora, but there weren't any communities that we cared for.
Prices are still pretty low... Many houses that sold for $250K in 2008 could be had for about $150- $175 last time we looked a year ago.
Would skip Arlington Ridge as it was a bankruptcy thre years ago, and is owned and operated by residents... not sure about reserves...
Here's a local listing:
Leesburg, FL 55+ Active Adult Retirement Communities in Leesburg Florida
We need to check out The Plantation and Royal Highlands. We are not into the crowds and size of The Villages, but would like to be close enough to the Squares and the shopping there. Do you find the true gated communities a plus? I found out later that The Villages are not gated but public. For what you pay to live there, I think you should get gated and maintenance, you do pay a maintenance fee on your tax bill, but nobody there seems to know what it is for.
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Old 03-28-2014, 01:37 PM   #7
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Re: gated communities... Our Lake Griffin Harbor community (360 homes) is gated, but is only closed during the nighttime hours. Never had a problem... everyone knows everyone else, and there's always someone of the residents walking around... if we see a stranger, we'll stop their car and ask if we can help... So far, only one real theft that I can remember, and not sure about that... Diamond ring stolen from a dresser drawer... Insurance report... It was a renter, and she said the thief climbed in the screened bedroom window... Yeah... okay....
About the Villages "Gates"... unless things have changed, the gates are manned, but anyone can go through to a village that has a restaurant or public facility... have to check in with the gatekeeper. IMHO, not too much security, but a deterrent.
Plantation IS gated at all entrances.

The Villages has been embroiled in a difficult legal situation that I don't think has been fully resolved. The developer has for 25 years, been using income from new home sales to build and add. The amenities are incredible... Cleaner than Disney, and with a few billion flowers and hundreds of miles of roads bridges and golf cart roads pools 48 golf courses etc, etc ... that all have to be maintained.
Don't know what the long term liability may be... Might search the Orlando Sentinel for the legal stuff... they've been covering this for many years.

From Plantation to the Villages about 25 minutes... From Royal Higlands about ten minutes more.

Don't forget to check taxes, association reserve, and... when you're eligible, Home owner and senior exemption... Buying a resale, the taxes shown will probably include the Homeowner exemption.. Also... when you go down the line of desks that show the activities information, check to see if the clubs show membership/dues/fees. Check out the menu at community restaurant(s) bar(s) for the going prices, as you'll probably be eating there. If you get down to the point of choosing a home... take the time to visit and meet the neighbors... Sounds unimportant, but remember that they may be neighbors for many years... Check actual distance from home to main road entrance... miles add up...
I think the utilities may come from different companies. As I recall one rate was considerably higher. If from Leesburg, probably less, as Leesburg is a unitary city.
If possible, when looking with a real estate rep, try not to get tied down when you are first looking around. In the Clubhouse building of most communities, you can obtain a Homes by Owner list... Not only no fees, but sometimes estate sales by the family that is just anxious to get out from under the maintainance cost. ... When we were actively looking, found one home by owner, about $30K less than identical home on the same street.
Good Luck!
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Old 03-28-2014, 01:44 PM   #8
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We need to check out The Plantation and Royal Highlands. We are not into the crowds and size of The Villages, but would like to be close enough to the Squares and the shopping there. Do you find the true gated communities a plus? I found out later that The Villages are not gated but public. For what you pay to live there, I think you should get gated and maintenance, you do pay a maintenance fee on your tax bill, but nobody there seems to know what it is for.
I have family that lives in Pennbrooke on the very far west end of Leesburg. If you want to be close to the Villages but less crowded then that could be a good option for you. It's a little lower end though. Most houses are under $200K, many under $100K. The Villages has gotten too close for me and it's now too crowded. I was considering buying one of the lower cost mobiles for around $40-50K but likely won't anymore.
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Old 03-28-2014, 03:29 PM   #9
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Highlands is less than 5 minutes south of Plantation.

Also, the Villages "town squares" are open to the public but the housing sections are gated (with key card access for the most part, I know of one that is manned but most are not)

We like the gated community. It's not like the guards are armed but it still adds some degree of safety. Highlands gates are manned as are the Plantation.

One other plus of the Highlands is you get free RV storage, nice for us.
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Old 03-28-2014, 08:07 PM   #10
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Highlands is less than 5 minutes south of Plantation.

Also, the Villages "town squares" are open to the public but the housing sections are gated (with key card access for the most part, I know of one that is manned but most are not)

We like the gated community. It's not like the guards are armed but it still adds some degree of safety. Highlands gates are manned as are the Plantation.

One other plus of the Highlands is you get free RV storage, nice for us.
How does the Leesburg area fair as far as shopping? Are there closer shopping than The Villages? Do you feel fairly safe when traveling and shopping in the Leesburg area?

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Old 03-28-2014, 08:50 PM   #11
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How does the Leesburg area fair as far as shopping? Are there closer shopping than The Villages? Do you feel fairly safe when traveling and shopping in the Leesburg area?

From the Highlands.....Clermont is almost as close as Leesburg. There is a new stretch of brand new shopping stuff there, just built. Target/Walmart/Home Depot and all the regular stuff on the new strip.

Leesburg has most of the same but more spread out. They have an aging mall that is struggling (just bought out) will see how that does. A lot of nice small shops...

We feel safe there either place.....
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:32 PM   #12
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About Leesburg ... home of
Leesburg Bikefest - 18th Annual Leesburg Bikefest
18th annual. April 25, 26 and 27 this year. We were there for the first one... Maybe a few hundred bikes... Last year, the total attendance was estimated @ about 500,000 I think... not sure about that... Town of 20,000.
Amazing... despite the reputation of the Daytona Bike Fest as being pretty wild... Leesburg has a great reputation of being fun without being crazy.
Plenty of shopping... Leesburg had to struggle to revive an old city downtown, so is mainly boutique, but enough choices for anyone... Mount Dora is another boutiquey type town, with tons of downtown specialty stores.
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:42 PM   #13
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About Leesburg ... home of
Leesburg Bikefest - 18th Annual Leesburg Bikefest
18th annual. April 25, 26 and 27 this year. We were there for the first one... Maybe a few hundred bikes... Last year, the total attendance was estimated @ about 500,000 I think... not sure about that... Town of 20,000.
Amazing... despite the reputation of the Daytona Bike Fest as being pretty wild... Leesburg has a great reputation of being fun without being crazy.
Plenty of shopping... Leesburg had to struggle to revive an old city downtown, so is mainly boutique, but enough choices for anyone... Mount Dora is another boutiquey type town, with tons of downtown specialty stores.
Agree with that....

BIL and SIL are taking our place for the biker thing. They love it. They did it last year and are signing up for this year and more...Not hard core at all and very calm (so they say). It has grown over the years for sure... and continues to grow.
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Old 03-29-2014, 12:36 PM   #14
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About Leesburg ... home of
Leesburg Bikefest - 18th Annual Leesburg Bikefest
18th annual. April 25, 26 and 27 this year. We were there for the first one... Maybe a few hundred bikes... Last year, the total attendance was estimated @ about 500,000 I think... not sure about that... Town of 20,000.
Amazing... despite the reputation of the Daytona Bike Fest as being pretty wild... Leesburg has a great reputation of being fun without being crazy.
Plenty of shopping... Leesburg had to struggle to revive an old city downtown, so is mainly boutique, but enough choices for anyone... Mount Dora is another boutiquey type town, with tons of downtown specialty stores.
I use to ride....I would love the Bike Fest. Found a Youtube video of bike fest, don't know if I would enjoy the bikini contest.....
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:07 PM   #15
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Just some other Royal Highlands thoughts.....

Bedsides the bike fest Leesburg has some other fun events. The Christmas celebration is fun, thy bring in snow to have a sled run. A hoot to watch kids in shorts going down. Also the boat show (older boats) is fun.

Mt Dora is very cute. Lots of shops and the train there is fun, been in a bunch of movies. Oh brother where art thou for 1.

Lakeridge winery is just south of the Highlands. OK wine and a fun tour.

Lot of lakes around and have not had a chance to explore the fishing...but will do,
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Old 03-29-2014, 09:48 PM   #16
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Central Florida has many, many lakes, and the emphasis on the ocean pushes the boating and fishing in the Central part of the state, into the background. In fact, the boating on the Harris Chain of lakes may be more interesting than the ocean for retired persons... The Atlantic side is too rough for pleasure boating, as in pontoon or runabouts. The Gulf side is calm, but for exploring, maybe not as much fun as the lakes.
The Harris Chain, Leesburg area, is five lakes that are interconnected by rivers and a lock...
https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=U...eaf&dg=feature
We live on Lake Griffin, about 8 miles long and our community has 55 boat slips, mostly pontoon boats. The total shoreline of the lakes is 212 miles. Lake Griffin empties into the Oklawaha River, which runs north towards Ocala, and eventually to the Atlantic Ocean at Jacksonville. There are some low water spots along the way, but several years ago, a flotilla of 7 pontoon boats from Lake Giffin Harbor, traveled all the way to the ocean and back. With lake levels rising again after many years of drought, waterfront properties are increasing in demand.
Lake Griffin for many years was the site of the Bassmasters Tournament, but in the late 80's and 90's, the fishing declined. In the past five or six years, it has improved greatly, and 7 to 8 lb Bass, are not uncommon.
Those who are looking to retire to Florida, but haven't considered the Central part, might take a look before deciding.
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Old 03-30-2014, 07:48 AM   #17
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imoldernu, do you know of places around the area where you can rent a slip for 5-6 months at a time? It's cool that your community is on the lake and has slips. I would prefer to not have to launch every time we want to go out.
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:05 AM   #18
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Don't know the details about rates etc, but this is a listing.https://www.lakecountyfl.gov/boating/marinas.aspx
What may be a lower priced marina, on Haines Creek. . It's by the lock on Haines Creek half way between Lake Eustis and lake Griffin.
Venetian Cove is the Leesburg site... in Venetian Gardens. No website, so a phone call... Also has year round sheltered storage.
Our marina is private... slip rental $30/mo. I minute from the house. Sold ny 20' runabout 5 years ago, but before that, spent 20 hours a week on the water... Loved it, and was a main reason for selecting LGH.
Since the lakes are shallow, the safest marinas have lifts... to avoid the sometimes high chop on very windy days.
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