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Old 05-17-2011, 07:41 AM   #21
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On the other hand, they seem like nice, pleasurable places to live, but we've done the burbs thing before and didn't really like it. Just kind of vanilla. We have no idea where we will end up and a 55 plus may be in our far off future, but we'd like to try a little variety before we decide. Who knows, maybe a condo downtown or cabin in the woods is more our style?
I live on Capitol Hill in DC. I also am a member of and volunteer in a non-profit called Capitol Hill Village that helps its members "age in place" in the neighborhood. The so called "village movement" started in Beacon Hill, Boston and is expanding around the country. CHV provides all kinds of services to its members and organizes a lot of activities. DW and I are hopeful that it will succeed and continue to attract members and younger volunteers as we get older. It offers some of the community and activity advantages of the over 55 places but set in a vibrant, center city with members living in their homes among the rest of the community.
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:48 AM   #22
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I live on Capitol Hill in DC. I also am a member of and volunteer in a non-profit called Capitol Hill Village that helps its members "age in place" in the neighborhood. The so called "village movement" started in Beacon Hill, Boston and is expanding around the country.
Judging from these two neighborhoods this is an elite, very upscale operation.

Sounds very attractive though.

Ha
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:23 AM   #23
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Judging from these two neighborhoods this is an elite, very upscale operation.

Sounds very attractive though.

Ha
That is a fair assessment of those two "villages" although I think they vary around the country. There are almost 150 of them now (many just getting started). Also, how they work varies significantly. Beacon Hill provides almost all of its services through vetted vendors (i.e. you pay for the services). We do over 70% through volunteers. We also have a fund to sponsor members who can't afford the dues -- the center of Capitol Hill is very upscale but the edges are not.

Here is a map showing where these outfits are operating around the country. I see that the Phinney Neighborhood Association out in your neck of the woods is developing a village. Are they upscale? Looks like another one in Vashon, nearby. It strikes me that to work the village's area must be viewed by a substantial portion of its residents as a neighborhood, not just a place they are living. If you are interested in how a mature village operates check out our web site. By the way, the web site was developed and is operated by volunteers. I am involved in that. I don't know what we will do when our primary programer ages out of his activities Hopefully some maturing Gen X or Yer will take over.
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Old 05-17-2011, 11:21 AM   #24
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That is a fair assessment of those two "villages" although I think they vary around the country. There are almost 150 of them now (many just getting started). Also, how they work varies significantly. Beacon Hill provides almost all of its services through vetted vendors (i.e. you pay for the services). We do over 70% through volunteers. We also have a fund to sponsor members who can't afford the dues -- the center of Capitol Hill is very upscale but the edges are not.

Here is a map showing where these outfits are operating around the country. I see that the Phinney Neighborhood Association out in your neck of the woods is developing a village. Are they upscale?
No, I wouldn't say so. Typical white, northend Seattle neighborhood- a bunch of mostly childless lawyers and government workers and simialr cocial types living in houses sold almost a century ago to workers. Some of these houses are currently being torn down and replaced by large much more expensive SFH. Phinney neighborhod center is quite a center of yoga and dance and whatever classes. I would say that the neighborhood tenor is mostly right-thinking "Progressive" younger people, and plenty older people who continue to live there. I have lived over there myself.

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Old 05-17-2011, 05:47 PM   #25
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Donheff, a woman I work with is very active as a volunteer to the "village" system. She is a "rehired annuitant" who works with us a couple days a week, and does whatever she wants the rest of the time - which often means helping elderly "villagers." She told us all about the concept the other day - we were fascinated. Everyone agreed we would rather go that route, than move to a retirement community. If I were to get into volunteerism, I suspect that's the cause I'd support.

The only thing that made my back hairs rise a little bit was when she commented that she and some other people are "working on" an elderly widow who owns a large home. They are trying to get this widow to rent out part of her home to another Villager. The thought of "being worked on" does not set well with me! But, it may just have been this lady's natural turn of phrase for setting out a business case to someone.

(Seems like no matter what stage you are at in life, somebody always thinks they know better than you and want to tell you what to do!)

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Old 05-17-2011, 06:27 PM   #26
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Our 55 and over HOA has two volunteer groups: Helping Hands - provides free minor repair and maintenance services such as changing light bulbs, replacing furnace filters, moving furniture, etc. and Caring Hands - provides free transportation to Dr's appointments, grocery shopping during an illness, etc.

I expect as our community ages (average age now is mid-late 60's) these services will evolve and expand based on needs.
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:21 PM   #27
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My wife and I have lived in an "active adult" community in San Antonio for the past three years. It's not perfect, but we like it. People self-select to live here, tending to be outgoing/social and fairly affluent - so there are neighborhood parties, cruises, and activities in addition to many community-sponsored activities. There is a lack but not absence of ethnic and age diversity, but in a metro area where Spanish is a strong second language, that is not a big issue. "Active adult" communities are not for everyone - and they do have some unreasonable rules - but for many of us, they represent a good choice. My wife and I are pleased with our decision to retire here.
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:21 AM   #28
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Donheff, a woman I work with is very active as a volunteer to the "village" system. She is a "rehired annuitant" who works with us a couple days a week, and does whatever she wants the rest of the time - which often means helping elderly "villagers." She told us all about the concept the other day - we were fascinated. Everyone agreed we would rather go that route, than move to a retirement community. If I were to get into volunteerism, I suspect that's the cause I'd support.

The only thing that made my back hairs rise a little bit was when she commented that she and some other people are "working on" an elderly widow who owns a large home. They are trying to get this widow to rent out part of her home to another Villager...
That does sound over the top. I hope they were doing it because the home owner was in trouble financially and sharing could reduce the burden allowing her to stay put, or was lonely and could use the companionship or help. If they were pressuring her to share her house when she didn't want to or need to that sounds abusive. Did you share your concerns with the woman who talked to you? It could be that she and others simply didn't focus on the negative aspects of their actions and would benefit from your perspective.

As we baby boomers get old we are likely to see a lot more efforts like the village movement and other new 55+ offerings aimed at us. Many will be positive but some will have a dark side. I hope to get solid support structures in place while my mind is functioning so I won't be as vulnerable to the bad guys if I get flaky in my later years.
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:56 AM   #29
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I have a home in a 55 plus community, I own my own land, and no HOA fees and no rules. It's quiet and peaceful, I love it. But some of these developments have a rule book the size of a dictionary, that's not for me. When trying to sell a home with HOA fees, it's a lot more difficult by me. Right next to me is another development with HOA fees at 400 to 900 per month, with 3% annual increases. They have 130 homes for sale and sold 3 in 12 month's.
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:06 PM   #30
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My wife and I have lived in an "active adult" community in San Antonio for the past three years. It's not perfect, but we like it. People self-select to live here, tending to be outgoing/social and fairly affluent - so there are neighborhood parties, cruises, and activities in addition to many community-sponsored activities.
You said it. There is no perfect place to live. Every city, neighborhood, community has it's faults. More importantly, do the positives outweigh the negatives.

You also mentioned the activities and such. We are not anti-social, but we're not really outgoing either. We fear the small town effect in a smaller adult community. We live in a small town and have come to dislike the dynamic. We like our anonymity and really dislike the gossip, the judgement, nosy neighbors and the pressure to participate. We know that stuff exists everywhere, but its magnified many times in small community.

I would think the Villages to be so large that they act more like a mid sized city than a small town.
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:30 PM   #31
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our number one concern is noise - we will be relocating from a rural area (lot's of space, lot's of horses and way, way too many chores) so we are a bit worried about living in close quarters.
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Old 05-18-2011, 06:59 PM   #32
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That does sound over the top. I hope they were doing it because the home owner was... lonely and could use the companionship or help.
My sense was this was the case.

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If they were pressuring her to share her house when she didn't want to or need to that sounds abusive. Did you share your concerns with the woman who talked to you? It could be that she and others simply didn't focus on the negative aspects of their actions and would benefit from your perspective.
The woman who talked to us, would never deliberately harm anyone, but is so sure she is "right" that she might seem overbearing to a timid or unsure person. I suspect this was causing the elderly widow to put her back up, even if it was against her own interests. I thought of sharing my suspicions but it would not have gone over well, since I had no "facts."

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Old 05-20-2011, 12:21 AM   #33
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our number one concern is noise - we will be relocating from a rural area (lot's of space, lot's of horses and way, way too many chores) so we are a bit worried about living in close quarters.
The loss of "personal space" was a major issue for me when we moved 3 years ago. We looked at some of the nicer 55+ communities and felt we were not mentally ready to downsize to that level yet (house and yard) so we opted for more space. We do have a fair number of retired neighbors in the area behind us at that helps keep the kid noise down a bit. Of course our nearest neighbor has a ton of kids as is the ilk here (lots of kids per couple seems to be the norm).

We downsized by nearly a whole house when we moved down here and will do so again sometime in the next 10 years...just not yet. We are having far too much company from friends and family and enjoy having a nice space to host them (for short periods of time).

We have several friends who are happily entrenched in the largest 55+ community here and while I would go crazy with the prison-like living spaces (interior and outside) it seems to work for them. We have a benign HOA in our neighborhood so there are rules and most everyone follows them but there are no dues and no self-important meddlers to try to run folks lives. So, for now we are fine outside of the 55+ communities and since we don't play golf or Pickle Ball we are not missing out on any activities or socializing that does not appeal to us. The limited visitation duration of children and their very limited use of the pool and other facilities also influenced us to look elsewhere. Our grandkids are still all under 18.

I think one has to enjoy groups and group activities and lots of structure to really enjoy most of the ones we visited. I doubt I would fit in as it really does not appeal to me. Besides, living with nothing but a bunch of "old farts" around you all the time can be a challenge.
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Old 05-20-2011, 01:50 AM   #34
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our number one concern is noise - we will be relocating from a rural area (lot's of space, lot's of horses and way, way too many chores) so we are a bit worried about living in close quarters.
I could see that you would have culture shock moving from such a wide open rural area. That is not the case with us. We live just of main street in a small town near Baltimore. It used to be very quiet here 20 years ago, but the "city" has moved out to our town. The subway has extended very close to our area and with it comes section 8 housing, horrible traffic, and crime. We live in a gated community in a 3 floor duplex. We pay $240 per month HOA fees and get little for them, mostly landscaping and snow removal. If we open our windows at night, we can hear plenty of traffic (emergency vehicles, motor cycles, trucks) from Main St. When we were in the Villages, we were shocked by the absolute quiet at night. Also the sky was so clear that we could see stars like I could in my youth. So we are used to very little yard and no privacy, but the quiet nights at the Villages will seem more rural to us.

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think one has to enjoy groups and group activities and lots of structure to really enjoy most of the ones we visited. I doubt I would fit in as it really does not appeal to me. Besides, living with nothing but a bunch of "old farts" around you all the time can be a challenge.
I mentioned to my wife if she thought it was too old for us there. She came back with a great line. "What do you think we are?" That was on the 2nd day of our visit. By the end of our stay we did find many in the 50-59 range who love it there.
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Old 05-20-2011, 06:52 AM   #35
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When we were in the Villages, we were shocked by the absolute quiet at night. Also the sky was so clear that we could see stars like I could in my youth.
And therein lies a new ER hobby. Buy a nice automated "goto" telescope and bag the 100 Messier objects
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Old 05-20-2011, 07:46 AM   #36
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When we were in the Villages, we were shocked by the absolute quiet at night. Also the sky was so clear that we could see stars like I could in my youth. So we are used to very little yard and no privacy, but the quiet nights at the Villages will seem more rural to us.
The Villages sounds like it would be a great place for many people. I have a friend who is a real estate professional in central Florida, and probably knows more than most. He plans to retire there in the next few years, so that's a strong endorsement in my book.

I couldn't handle it, simply because of the climate. I need some cold weather for balance, and DW feels the same. Anything south of Ohio just wouldn't work for us.
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Old 06-20-2011, 08:48 PM   #37
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Hi,

One of the biggest and best communities in the country is The Villages just North of Orlando FL. [Content removed by moderator.]

I love it in The Villages
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:29 PM   #38
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Smaller communities are all too susceptible to tyrants, dog-weighers, and apathetic owners. It can be a lethal combination.
Currently there is no way DH, and I could live in a ‘community’ we have way too much stuff. Then again, I’m not sure that I want anyone telling me what color I can paint my house, or what size dog I can have. We moved out into the county to get away from neighborhoods like that.

At some point when we need to downsize then maybe, but the thought of someone with a Napoleon complex driving around just looking for offenses turns me off, kind of like the overzealous marshal on a golf course.
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:53 PM   #39
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Currently there is no way DH, and I could live in a ‘community’ we have way too much stuff. Then again, I’m not sure that I want anyone telling me what color I can paint my house, or what size dog I can have. We moved out into the county to get away from neighborhoods like that.
It depends on where you wind up. When we left Houston I was thinking it will be good to get out from under the restrictions of an HOA, but living next door to folks who leave junked cars and appliances on their land, who invite local ne'er-do-wells to hang out on their property and drink beer all evening with cars and trucks parked everywhere and music blaring from said parked vehicles, has sort of made me miss it a bit. (Fortunately it's better now than it was, say, a year or two ago for various reasons.)

Obviously one that uses Gestapo-like tactics and is too heavy handed isn't good. But there *can* be something said for an influence that makes people take care of their property and the neighborhood.
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:14 PM   #40
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living next door to folks who leave junked cars and appliances on their land, who invite local ne'er-do-wells to hang out on their property and drink beer all evening with cars and trucks parked everywhere and music blaring from said parked vehicles.
I understand, and you must have met my neighbors! Fortunately we live on acreage, and they are far enough away that we only see the back of their property.

The only time we hear them is when they are celebrating a holiday by shooting off their guns, and riding their 4-wheelers in the field!

You might be a redneck if……..
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