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The Villages in Florida?
Old 02-09-2008, 10:03 AM   #1
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The Villages in Florida?

A gal I was friends with in my first year of college lives near where I am, and we get together occasionally. She and her husband purchased a second home in The Villages in Florida. He seems ecstatic over all the activities and she raved about the golfing.
Has anyone on this board checked into living in The Villages? I think the basic costs for upkeep of the home runs something like $1,000 for HOA, utilities, water/sewer and all the basics of running a home.
I figure another $1,000 for auto, food, entertainment and clothing and your total monthly bill must be around $2,000?
Personally, I don't play golf, try to avoid too much sun (hell! I'm having a hard time not acquiring the wrinkles I see on my old high school pals at this age, but, so far so good...but it's work!!!!), and, most of all, hate hokey singalong type crap.
Plus, after I looked at the demographics, this might be a great place for someone in a couple, but not so hot for single women as the single women are twice the amount of single men.
However, they assured me that life is great there, you have a selection of something like 300+ activities a day and they have found mecca.
Has anyone here ever looked into living in The Villages? Any opinion of it? I'd love to get an objective opinion.


(By the way, I did read on city-data.com that The Villages is the HIGHEST rate of STD's in Florida!!! What are those geezers doing down there--especially since it doesn't look like there are THAT many single guys but tons of single women. Obviously, the ones that are there are having a ball, I guess...)
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:13 AM   #2
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I wrote about this community in prior posts. I have met dozens of residents and yet to find a single person who wasn't ecstatic about the place.

I don't know what it is, but they have figured out a formula that works. My impression is that it is very, very well run, highly active with so many social activities that life-long loners find themselves with an overflowing social calendar; very friendly culture, moderate prices. Seems to skew toward middle and upper middle class, definitely lots of blue collar retirees, conservative and republican generally, self-contained with everything they need a golf cart ride away.

While it is not quite what DW and I are looking for, you should definitely check it out if you get a chance. Amazing place.

Oh, about that social life: there is a longstanding rumor that the rate of sexually transmitted diseases has become an issue there. It's doubtful, but speaks to the friendly atmosphere you might find .
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:27 AM   #3
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Yeah...must be something in the water there as this couple are over the moon about the place.
I did find some demographic information about educational level on city-data.com. Not too high, but not terrible either.
The couple I know: she was a legal secretary (she stopped after a year), he worked for 30+ years at Deere or Alcoa in a blue collar job. They fit your demographics.
But, lordy, I have never heard people RAVE about a place so much. What are these people smoking?
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Old 02-09-2008, 11:00 AM   #4
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I was at a party yesterday afternoon and spoke with a fellow who retired around seven years ago who I used to work with. He purchased a place in the Villages after retirement but sold a year and a half ago. I asked him why and he replied that when he first was there there were only 10,000 or so people living there, but as the years went by the numbers grew and it just got too crowded for him and his wife. They now RV around during the winter months.

I have no direct knowledge of the Villages, so I'm just repeating what I was told yesterday.

Rich
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Old 02-09-2008, 11:08 AM   #5
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The number now is to double in a short time, also. Something like 40,000 people by 2010 or so I read.
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Old 02-09-2008, 11:18 AM   #6
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A friend of mine lives in the Villages and she loves it . They could not pay me to live there . It is in the middle of nowhere ( no beaches ,no major towns ,no museums ,no artistic anything ) . The focus is on non- stop social activity .Think pickel ball ! The have phony stotrefronts and a phony main street ( kind of like Disney World filled with seniors ) .There are restrictions on how long grandchildren can visit .If you want to see it for yourself I think they pay for two nights stay .
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Old 02-09-2008, 12:05 PM   #7
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I am sure The Villages community is not suitable for me. I don't know which would repel me more - - the homeowners' fees, or the constant socializing. I really like peace and quiet, and time by myself to think. And I really don't like the idea of paying fees that I have no choice about.

On the other hand, I can see how it might be really nice for some people. Just not me.
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Old 02-09-2008, 12:30 PM   #8
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The price of the non stop activities is built into the price of the house .My friend who moved there is 1999 paid $190,000 for a house which would have cost a lot less anywhere else . Orchid Flower , just reading your posts I could bet that this is not your cup of tea .
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Old 02-10-2008, 07:16 AM   #9
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Google satellite map just shows a lot of empty plots getting prepared for another among thousands of instant communities,probably as safe as anywhere else..
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Old 02-10-2008, 09:37 AM   #10
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Moemeg---what in the world is pickel ball?

I would like to be more social so I've wondered about these places (I currently live in a very small active adult community---76 homes, with a clubhouse but minimal activities). Here is the schedule of what the Villages offer:

http://www.thevillagesdailysun.com/c...s/actsched.pdf

And the special events for February:

http://www.districtgov.org/images/RecCalendar.pdf

Quite a lot going on, but almost none of it would be my kind of thing, with the exception of what seems to be one hour a a week of "Sophisticated Jazz." I want to be more active and social, but I guess bocce ball and bunco isn't going to do it for me.

It also looks like the place is so large that there are many different clubhouses and rec centers. Maybe they have their own shuttle transportation; if not, looks like you would have to drive to many of the activities----same as if you went to your local senior center now.

Just out of curiousity---if anyone looks at the calendar and schedule, are there m/any activities you would want to participate in? Or am I the only one who doesn't like this type of stuff? Want2retire, I think this stuff also wouldn't appeal to you!
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:00 AM   #11
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PickleBall.com (Paddle Game Mini-Tennis Outdoor Fun)


Not only do the nonstop activities not appeal to me .The loss of privacy would do me in . I lived in a small gated community with a clubhouse and pool and tennis and that was perfect .These huge things remind me of living in Disney World permanently .I like a mixed age culture .
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Old 02-10-2008, 11:37 AM   #12
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While apparently The Villages is a very popular community, apparently even they have problems just like any other community. I found this site The Villages, Florida - Issues Relating To The Villages, Florida that's current topic of discussion is a class action lawsuit going on between residents and the developer. I also noticed reports of some accidents (one fatal) involving golf carts and regular motor vehicles. So.....I might still take them up on their offer of a "free" visit and tour of the place in a couple of years. It's not actually free, you have to pay between $70 & $125 per night to stay in one of their homes, but apparently you can enjoy the amenities maybe including food for no additional charge. I doubt I'd move there, but I might take them up on the vacation for a week.
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Old 02-10-2008, 12:39 PM   #13
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I live in an over-55 in Texas. I have lived here for almost two years after living my first year of retirement on a lake in North Texas. The community I live in is much different than the villages in that it has only a little over a thousand homes, one 18 hole golf course, a few tennis courts, in-door and out-door pool, and activity center, and clubhouse. I pay $150 a month for the HOA and couldn't be more pleased in what that buys me. I love the sense of community that we have here and wouldn't trade it for the isolation of lakefront property again for anything.

The Villages didn't appeal to me because of the size and the number of people. But to each his own. My husband and I are going to The Villages in a couple of weeks to visit friends who have moved there and love it.
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Old 02-10-2008, 12:47 PM   #14
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No, it isn't my type of place at all, personally. But I just am in awe how The Villages has people so enthused about it. You really have to admire the builder who came up with the idea of selling so many on mediocre quality homes for an exaggerated price and offering lots of activities (non-intellectual mainly) to keep people busy. Great marketing idea in my opinion. GREAT. And the place is perfect for many, and I can see the appeal to the couple I know.
Yeah...as for me, getting a project going again when I am thru eldercaring is more exciting than even the twirling (and I am assume that is baton twirling), sewing classes and bunco games that The Villages offer. And, as extroverted as I am, the activities they offer are just...not for me, to put it politely.
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Old 02-10-2008, 01:24 PM   #15
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The thing that's scarey about these places is if the builder goes bankrupt the amenities quickly disappear .A lot of times they have these great amenities until they are finished developing and then they sell them to the homeowner's and that's when the fun begins . That's when the HOA assestments go from $150 to much more pretty quickly .
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Old 02-10-2008, 01:47 PM   #16
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The developer of our community has gone, and the homeowners are in control. So far we are doing a very good job of keeping our property up and the costs down. You just need to be careful which community you buy into. Ours attracted professional people from the upper middle class ranks. There are plenty of people with the knowledge and experience to keep us on track.
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Old 02-10-2008, 01:51 PM   #17
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Interesting turn to this conversation.

While it's not a lifestyle I would choose personally, I get great enjoyment from seeing so many people who are living the retirement life of their dreams - and many have been doing so for years and years.

Isn't that what it's about?
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Old 02-10-2008, 01:56 PM   #18
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Thanks Rich, that's what it's all about! Living the life we want.
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Old 02-10-2008, 02:24 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisinthru View Post
I live in an over-55 in Texas. I have lived here for almost two years after living my first year of retirement on a lake in North Texas. The community I live in is much different than the villages in that it has only a little over a thousand homes, one 18 hole golf course, a few tennis courts, in-door and out-door pool, and activity center, and clubhouse. I pay $150 a month for the HOA and couldn't be more pleased in what that buys me. I love the sense of community that we have here and wouldn't trade it for the isolation of lakefront property again for anything.
Which one? We moved from near Austin to the Shreveport/Bossier City, LA area in '96 because that's where my job brought me, but we're starting to think about places to live in a little over 4 yrs when I retire. What part of TX are you in?
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Old 02-10-2008, 03:57 PM   #20
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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.
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