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Old 07-03-2008, 01:45 PM   #61
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Old 07-03-2008, 01:49 PM   #62
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Old 07-03-2008, 03:33 PM   #63
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I have no problem with 55+ communities. They're legal, and can enforce reasonable rules regarding their residents. My grandparents all lived in 55+ communities after about age 70. In fact, I'd say those communities contributed in large part to the longevity of their lives.

Yet they often expressed disdain about visiting children who were left unsupervised that created mischief for the permanent residents of their community. My grandfather once went as far as to confiscate an air rifle from a kid who thought it was "fun" to shoot out the street lamps on his block! The kid's parents and grandparents accused him of stealing the rifle and threatened to call the police. He told them to go ahead, as he planned on filing a police report on their kid. The kid's grandparents never said another word to him and the kid never came to visit again. It was a win-win in his book.
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:50 PM   #64
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In about a week DW and I move into a 55+ community.

I'll try it out for six months or so and opine about the experience on this or a similar thread. So far, I've liked what I've seen ... folks are superfriendly, homes are well-maintained, swimming pools and gym are full of people who look like me. There do seem to be a few kids around visiting their grandparents, which in my book is not only OK but the way it should be.
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Old 07-04-2008, 05:51 PM   #65
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Darn yall removed the insults....

My Sis lives in a 55 n older and I have visted the cematary villages. Its not like they make you join things you dont wish to join. Its nice because they have a theater. They have a library and card rooms. Century villages have pool tables and of course there is the nice pools. Although you dont need to be in an elder commune to have a pool. My place has that too (:
Interestingly many of these places are less expensive then other places. Although I wonder how the costs break down by sq foot costs. My sisters place has been hit hard by the real estate downturn. Places like kings point and century villages have many apartments. Which go for around 100k.
Of course you can always get in the car and visit the beaches and hope for some topless young ladies or men in there speedo's for the ladies.
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Old 12-26-2009, 12:57 PM   #66
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Did you find that smallish community with a pool, yoga, a book club and golf..that is within 20 minutes of a city?
That's what I'm looking for. I realize you didn't say "golf". I added that. I don't want to be in an isolated location like The Villages where, if you don't like the quality of the yoga class, you have no alternative within 50 miles!
Please let me know what you've discovered.
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Too much like high school
Old 12-26-2009, 08:39 PM   #67
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Too much like high school

What I've heard about these over-55 communities that gives me pause is that they are so much like high school. You have the kool kids and the hangers-on and the out -of-its. It's all about who went where with whom. I had enough of that as a teen to last a lifetime; I never was so happy as the year I went off to college. I'd feel more accepted and comfortable with a more heterogeneous community; I'm not a kool kid and don't aspire to be one.
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Old 12-26-2009, 09:16 PM   #68
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What I've heard about these over-55 communities that gives me pause is that they are so much like high school. You have the kool kids and the hangers-on and the out -of-its. It's all about who went where with whom. I had enough of that as a teen to last a lifetime; I never was so happy as the year I went off to college. I'd feel more accepted and comfortable with a more heterogeneous community; I'm not a kool kid and don't aspire to be one.
While it's not what DW and I would choose, I have never heard a negative word about The Villages. I meet plenty of people who live there and love it for what it is. In fact, they are about the happiest bunch of retirees I have met down here

They were probably the cool ones in high school .
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Old 12-27-2009, 09:45 AM   #69
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There's a guy who was the Meterologist for the local tv station here who lived across the street from my friend who went to live in The Villages. I guess they told him the wonders of the place. He went down to visit, immediately came back and bought a place off the internet! He just loves it as he plans on playing lots of golf till he dies.

I tend to go along with the poster that says it's wonderful there now...until the builder sells it and it falls all to h*ll. That's what I expect to happen, also, but it could take another 20-30 years to happen maybe.

Personally, I think The Villages is the cleverest concept to come along in ages. Wonderful marketing plan.
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Old 12-27-2009, 05:40 PM   #70
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Personally, I think The Villages is the cleverest concept to come along in ages. Wonderful marketing plan.

It is very similar to Disney World .
Buy land in central Florida where the land is cheaper and develop a huge amusement park for seniors .Put fake fronts on all the businesses like Main Street Disney and have a fair every night on main street ( pretty similar to Disney's parade ). Put in theme restaurants with different menus all serving bland food and instead of rides have activities . Lots and lots of activities . The admission price is inflated real estate and monthly fees . Obviously this is not my cup of tea but lots and lots of people love it there so they really have hit a massive marketing bulls eye .
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Old 12-27-2009, 06:29 PM   #71
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I posted on this thread early on. I love the over 55 community that I live in. I am in North Texas. We have golf, tennis, indoor and outdoor pools, book clubs, library, walking trails, exercise classes, etc. There are only 1100 homes. We are in an upscale area just 30 miles from Dallas. We have now lived here three and a half years. We do not plan on selling or moving until we can no longer live in our home and need assisted living, etc.

Lately I have met several individuals who are renting in our community to see if they like it. A couple of them have already purchased before their lease was up. Most have taken 6 months leases on small homes here. I think this is a wonderful idea and really helps not to make the wrong decision about any move. (My husband and I originally retired to a lakehouse that was heaven for us as worker bees but it was hell as retirees since we felt a deep sense of isolation and boredom as year round residents.) Your view of your needs and wants may change as a retiree vs what you imagine them to be while still working. Giving yourself a chance to experience the new lifestyle makes a great deal of sense before buying into it.

As has been stated all over 55 communities are not the same. We were very lucky to find one that fit us perfectly. We visited the Villages and it did not fit with what we wanted. But there are a lot of happy people living there.
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Old 12-29-2009, 07:07 AM   #72
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Thanks, Moemg, for the heads up about the restaurants. That was one the differences of opinion that my girlfriend and her husband had about the restaurants at The Villages: he loved the food in the restaurants and she didn't. But she doesn't cook AT ALL, so I am guessing he's just happy to get a hot meal.
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Old 12-30-2009, 07:39 AM   #73
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Moemg..
You sound like my kind of person. I'm looking for

a small upper class community with a swimming pool ,golf and a clubhouse that has yoga classes and a book club that is within driving distance of a city". Your words. Notice I substituted golf for tennis. And the part about it being near a city is very important.

Have you identified the ideal Florida community yet?
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:18 AM   #74
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Moemg..
You sound like my kind of person. I'm looking for

a small upper class community with a swimming pool ,golf and a clubhouse that has yoga classes and a book club that is within driving distance of a city". Your words. Notice I substituted golf for tennis. And the part about it being near a city is very important.

Have you identified the ideal Florida community yet?

You can find that type of community all over Florida . What you need to identify is the area you want to live in . I personally prefer Sarasota , Manatee County . It is a quick ride to Tampa plus Sarasota has a lot to offer in the arts and dining and of course yoga and book clubs . That area has many golf clubs .Just make sure the club is in great financial shape as many of them go belly up . If you would like a small town feel I prefer Venice ,Fl. It is a further drive from Tampa but just 20 minutes from Sarasota.Another area to consider is Lakewood Ranch . It is a huge upscale development with every amenity known including a main street of nicer restaurants and shops and tons of clubs . The population is mixed with families ,singles and lots of seniors . If you are looking for upscale at a reasonable price this is it .
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Old 08-18-2014, 01:16 PM   #75
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We are located just north of Dallas. We are in the town of Fairview which is sandwiched between Allen and Mckinney.
I came from Houston and now living in Abilene....do NOT like it here, the most unfriendly community I have ever been in.....going to Florida soon.
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Old 08-18-2014, 08:58 PM   #76
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Thought I'd share our experiences living in a 55+ community for the last 7.5 years (we are 63/61 currently - bought in here early at 55). A lot of things happened during that time that probably won't be repeated in my lifetime, but worth sharing to enlighten those thinking of buying in a 55+ community.

We bought in January 2007 (home was built in 2006 for another retiree who backed out as they couldn't sell their home in time to close on this one). I knew the market was going bad, but that houses in the Midwest didn't really lose value (or so I thought up until then). Also thought that retirees had the money in this world and I would be protected from harm if things got bad (boy, was I wrong on that one). We bought in a more upscale retirement community as additional insulation from any real estate market hazards (wrong again).

Our home dropped in value almost $60K in two years and hasn't gotten within $20k of its original value to date. Keep in mind that I beat the builder up on the price for over $28k when we bought it. Many of the folks here paid what you might call list price back in 2006/2007 when the builder closed out, and probably will never get close to getting their money back unless they stay for at least +/- 10 more years. One of my neighbors who was very vocal against those dumping their places - ended up going in a home with his disabled wife and let his property go - losing over $100k..

In my lifetime - I've never seen a sheriff's eviction - until moving here. This is where the sheriff puts someone's belongings out in the yard and padlocks the doors. This place is still selling foreclosures and short sales currently. When someone dies or goes to a home - the people inheriting that residence put the home on the market at a "dump-it" price as they want the money and don't want to pay the taxes or HOAs (or possible mortgage). Very hard to get home pricing up when all this is taking place. The last one never ends. Not too many homes for sale by people just wanting to move on, as the downward pressure on pricing keeps them from listing. This is an issue you need to understand before buying in a retirement community. Realtors I met don't discuss these things and people selling in retirement communities are all positive as they want to get out

We have a golf course, an indoor pool at the clubhouse, an outdoor adult pool, and a family pool. The place has all the amenities one could want in a retirement facility (pools, workout room and planned activities). Retirees all seem to want these amenities, but few actually utilize them. We swim laps three times a week and no one except the bobbing old ladies in aqua class use the pool (better not want to swim when they are in the pool). Pretty much the same for the workout room. On the other hand - can't swim laps in the outdoor pool as the summer squatters will chase you away. Can only play pool during certain weekend hours as that room is taken up by "clubs" either playing pool or cards. Golf actually is pretty much open, but slow play is the rule.

When we go for walks at night or ride our bikes during the day - hardly anyone is out, except those who walk their dogs. Kind of dead as far as neighborhoods go. You only see neighbors when their garage door opens and they are going out somewhere.

Activities are plentiful at the clubhouse, as well as organized trips. Good for those who don't want to drive and would like to socialize with others at that time.

If you want to keep old people busy in one of these places - just have them join a committee. There are more committees here than carter has liver pills, as the old saying goes. Some of them, like the architectural committee walk through your yard at least twice yearly looking for unapproved improvements to landscaping or homes (even exterior repainting must be pre-approved). I agree that there is a need for rules, but committees can be a negative factor and affect the view of these communities by realtors and potential buyers.

We only planned on staying around 5 years to watch our grandchildren grow up and then move to where it's warmer. As you can guess by my view of our current community - probably wouldn't buy in a 55+ community again. Didn't recall anyone posting on this thread about actually living in one of these communities and what all is involved (good and bad), so thought I share my thoughts. No one really discusses these issues that I'm aware of, so wanted to put our experience out there to help others evaluate if 55+ communities are for them
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:25 PM   #77
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Fritz... thoughtful post.
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Old 08-19-2014, 01:19 AM   #78
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We have a golf course, an indoor pool at the clubhouse, an outdoor adult pool, and a family pool. The place has all the amenities one could want in a retirement facility (pools, workout room and planned activities). Retirees all seem to want these amenities, but few actually utilize them.
I agree, a very thoughtful post, Fritz.

A friend in her early 60s recently moved to an established over 55 community. Her social experience has been very similar to yours. She is one of the youngest people in the community and is finding that the over 80s dominate the committees and stifle any innovative social gatherings. For example, the plan to have a pool party for the monthly potluck was quashed in favour of the traditional (same old) format. My friend is thinking of forming a (rebel) social group specifically for the under 70s. Meanwhile she gets most of her social interactions outside the community. However, she has a lovely home and never has to worry about noisy teenagers.

The negative influence of estate sales on resale value must be widespread, especially when the initial cohort of owners reaches peak mortality. I guess the lesson is that one had better be quite sure that this lifestyle is to one's liking before purchasing a home.
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Old 08-19-2014, 07:04 AM   #79
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Our experience has been somewhat different so far in our 55+ community. We are just starting to snowbird, but DW's cousin and husband live there full time.

Pools/tennis courts are used a lot and they are building pickle ball courts. Lot's of bikers and walkers in the morning evening to avoid the heat. Most of these homes were built in 1996 so the community is now starting to turn younger, so that may make a difference.

As with anything when you have a large group the politics get to be annoying. I don't think that is an age issue though.
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Old 08-19-2014, 08:14 AM   #80
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Everybody doesn't like vanilla...
Jack_Pine's experience is more like ours, but we understand that older 55+ communities often slip off into "Old Person's Places".

Some reasons:

-- Snowbirds vs. permanent homes. Our Florida community is 60% Snowbirds. They tend to be more active, and over the long haul, less likely to settle in the South.

--That ties in with the type of housing. We live in a manufactured home park, where the facilities are the same or greater than "stick built" communities, but the investment is much , much less. Instead of $200 to 3000K, more commonly in the $25K to $75K range. More expensive homes tend to become fortresses", whereas mobiles and manufactured tend to attract younger people, who often have spent time as campers and transient vacationers.

--On the part about committees. Yes... so many activities and all run by residents, so they have to be managed. Our community... 350 homes... has the following activities, each one with from 25 to 200 members.
Saturday AM coffee- 200
Shuffleboard -80
Boat club- (we have a 52 slip marina) - about 45.
Pool - Billiards - 30
Library- 100?
Dances - 3/month with free beer ad wine and a band. attendance 140 avg.
Cookouts/Potlucks 2/month 75 to 200
Horseshoes - 25
Bocce - 40
Ocean cruises and longer bus trips - varies... once had 130 people on a single cruise
Line dancing - Country Western - daily and almost everyone dances at parties.
Ballroom dancing - 20
7:30 AM exercise - 20
9 AM Pool Exercise
Fishing - Varies- we're located on a chain of lakes w/212 mile shoreline... Bass have come back after years of restoring the fishing environment.
Pool "bobbing"... all day.
Lectures/meetings
Crafts - 20
Painting classes - 15
Bingo - 100
Computer club/classes 20
Adopt-a-highway - varies
Plus... in the off season... meetings of snowbirds... Upper NY State, Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan... from 20 to 60
Golf - No course, but golfers got out together to "good deal" courses, twice a week. 10 to 20
And the busiest activities have an end of the season party... so add an extra 6 parties.
"The Convertible Club" monthly destination rides... 6 to 8 cars.

The "proof" of an active lifestyle doesn't come from reading the brochure, or from looking at the bulletin board in the clubhouse... and certainly not from the salesperson/tour guide. A one day, four hour assessment is simply not enough. The best decisions are made after renting first or in spending time to talk to the current residents, and watch what is actually happening.

For whatever reason, we have very few problems with cliques or dissention, likely because the activities association is so strong, while the HOA is not aggressive. The park is one where you own your home, but rent the lot. That puts the control of the appearance and maintenance of the homes on the back of the park owner... A distanced, fair and impersonal relationship.
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