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Where best 55+ communities are?
Old 09-03-2009, 02:11 PM   #1
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Where best 55+ communities are?

Seems that a few people here are interested in finding great, inexpensive 55+ active adult community to live in and one that has lots of amenities and activities. Has anyone investigated or live now in something like that? And WHERE IS IT?
I read other posts on this board regarding 55+ communities; and some say they live in one and go on to tell how simply wonderful life is there, but won't mention where the heck it is. Is it a secret? Why not mention the city and State or, better yet, the name of the place itself? It do tend to be frustrating when you read a glowing report about one of these places...then have no clue as to where it's at...or maybe it's just me (sigh).
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Old 09-03-2009, 02:21 PM   #2
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They have a couple of those Del Webb places around these parts, I think one in Hilton Head and one near Charleston. Doesn't sound too bad, but what do I know? I'm 38.

You might have to visit some of them--but remember that confirmation bias is what you find when you research these kinds of things. If the people you ask chose to live there, well then of course it was the best place!

Kinda like asking people what the best sailboat brand is--well of course it is the one they own!
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Old 09-03-2009, 02:39 PM   #3
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You have a point there, Sarah.
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Old 09-03-2009, 03:31 PM   #4
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I live in an over -55 in Texas. I have posted about it in the past. If you would like the information about where I live you can contact me.
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Old 09-03-2009, 05:33 PM   #5
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Many people ask us about the resort community that we live in and how to go about choosing one for themselves. We found ours years ago (1993 I believe) and at that time, our resort was not age qualified, Rules have changed since then.

On our Preferred links pages we have a housing link which will take you to resource pages for these types of communities.

You might also check the top retirement communities which will lead you to the best retirement communities in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Canada, Connecticut, Costa Rica, Delaware, and Florida. You can read about the 25-best-places-to-retire-list-for-2008 or check out the best_college_towns in which to retire. Perhaps you would like to review the Directory of active_adult_communities for the nation.
Here are some links to places in the Mesa, Arizona area, but there are literally hundreds of them all over the American Southwest.

Greenfield

Mesa Regal
Twin Palms
Apache Wells
Carriage Manor


Do not let the word 'RV resort' set you back. Some of these are astounding places... take a personal look and choose the one that suits you the best.

If you have more questions, let me know. This type of lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but if you are a traveler, or want to reduce your property taxes and insurances and such so you have money for other things, this might suit you.

Best,

Akaisha
Author, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement
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Old 09-03-2009, 06:20 PM   #6
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We don't live in one, but a few years ago I represented a developer that was converting a single family home (former farmstead) into an office building next to a Del Webb sub in Shorewood, Illinois. I attended a lot of meetings with the neighboring Del Webb homeowners, answering their concerns about landscaping, lighting, building details, etc. What really struck me was how tight-knit of a community they were. Everyone knew each other. They were a fun bunch that seemed like they really liked living there and wanted to keep the neighborhood as nice as possible.
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Old 09-03-2009, 08:03 PM   #7
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Orchidflower,

Our community is called Four Seasons At Historic Virginia. It is located in Dumfries, Va., aoout 25 miles south of Washington, D.C. There are similar communities near Fredricksburg and Charlottsville, Va.

We looked at 55 and over communities in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Maryland and North Carolina. We liked this one best in terms of location, amenities, and the floor plans of the houses.
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Old 09-03-2009, 08:38 PM   #8
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Our community is called Four Seasons At Historic Virginia. It is located in Dumfries, Va., aoout 25 miles south of Washington, D.C. There are similar communities near Fredricksburg and Charlottsville, Va.

We looked at 55 and over communities in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Maryland and North Carolina. We liked this one best in terms of location, amenities, and the floor plans of the houses.
Grumpy, where is the one near Charlottesville?

I'm a UVa grad and played jazz trumpet in the "house band" at the Boar's Head Inn back in the sixties. Dream job: $7 per hour, steak dinner 3x per week, an endless supply of michelob in a frosted mug, hot and cold running waitresses. Surprising I ever graduated...

Every issue of the alumni magazine contains ads for million dollar houses.
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:30 AM   #9
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Grumpy, where is the one near Charlottesville?

I'm a UVa grad and played jazz trumpet in the "house band" at the Boar's Head Inn back in the sixties. Dream job: $7 per hour, steak dinner 3x per week, an endless supply of michelob in a frosted mug, hot and cold running waitresses. Surprising I ever graduated...

Every issue of the alumni magazine contains ads for million dollar houses.

Rich,

Its actually Ruckersville. Here's a link.

Active Adult in Ruckersville, Greene County, Virginia by K. Hovnanian's® Four Seasons: Four Seasons Charlottesville

Use the drop down and select central Virginia, then select Charlottsville.

There have been some problems in that community so caveat emptor
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Old 09-06-2009, 10:08 AM   #10
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What really struck me was how tight-knit of a community they were. Everyone knew each other. They were a fun bunch that seemed like they really liked living there and wanted to keep the neighborhood as nice as possible.
This has been our experience as well. Living in our community gives us the most ’neighborhood type feeling’ I have had since I was a child. People know each other, they look out for each other, and help with chores or errands.

Even though Billy and I can be gone for over a year at a time, when we return, we pick up right where we left off. It’s great. Very comforting.

Akaisha
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Old 09-06-2009, 10:30 AM   #11
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We lease a very small park model home in central Florida in a 55+ community. Currently we are snow birds but we spend 7 month there. We love it but I have to say that we have formed our own circle of friends within the community. Many of the people are waaay over 55 (mentally). We hang with a younger-older crowd and not the bingo set. Every park has its own personality. Some are more active - some more sociable. We have friends that purchased a home not far from us and after a year have not made any friends. They just don't seem to fit in. I would make sure that I would visit and, if possible, try out a park before making any decision.
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Old 09-07-2009, 12:42 PM   #12
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I would make sure that I would visit and, if possible, try out a park before making any decision.
This is excellent advice, Mysto. Every park does have it’s own personality, and they can differ radically. We have always suggested that someone rent for a season before they purchase. Try out different locations. Find out where the shopping centers are and what is close to you.

When you do decide to purchase, you will get a better price by buying from an owner than from the real estate offices. You can save thousands of dollars because the houses will come completely furnished right down to cleaning supplies and tools. You will have light bulbs, toilet paper, plates, cutlery, cooking utensils, and pans, and most will give you sheets, pillow cases and towels.

BUT if you want all new appliances, want matching furniture, want the deals they may have for the annual leases, you may do better getting your home from the main office. You will pay more and have to supply the place yourselves, but then some people prefer that route.

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Old 09-08-2009, 09:05 PM   #13
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I live in a Del Webb "active adult" community in San Antonio (called Hill Country Retreat). It's not perfect, but my wife and I find it both friendly and inviting. The people who live here all tend to be outgoing and fairly gregarious -- in truth, I think they self-select themselves for this lifestyle. And, there is plenty to do ... a fair number of organized parties and activities, really nice gym complex (with three pools), and lots of safe walking trails. One can do them or not as he/she sees fit.

That's the plus side. The downside is that housing is at a 20% or so premium price over the general market (which isn't as depressed here as other metro areas). San Antonio's brutal summers are a downer too, although the rest of the year makes up for it (mostly). The HOA deed restrictions are a bit on the over-the-top side too (probably because there are so many retired military officers here who believe things have to be like they say they're supposed to be on a piece of paper somewhere).

I've now been retired for a year, and even though I have a lot of spare time, I find plenty to keep me busy -- I play softball (although I really suck at it), hike at least once a week (there's a wonderful natural area nearby), swim and go to the gym a good deal, read a lot, walk on the paved paths through the woods each evening, study Spanish with a group, and piddle in my yard. (Given water rationing I'm learning all about xeriscaping.) With the help of a neighbor I built a really first-class maple mantle for our limestone fireplace that was kind of cool - I never used to have time to do things like that.

I "work" (sort of) part-time (on the board of directors of a corporation) and travel four or five times for that, plus my wife and I travel a fair amount on the side too (Oregon, Illinois, and Costa Rica are coming up). And, when we're gone the neighbors bend over backwards to watch our place/ tend to the cats/ etc.

All in all, I'm pleased with our decision ... just wish my portfolio could recover enough that I could buy that summer condo in Colorado I had planned on.

Oh I forgot: we're on the Central Flyway (for birds), and I have four different kinds of feeders up that the little avians frequent with alacrity. That's kind of a retired-persons-only treat that I have never experienced before.
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Old 09-08-2009, 10:02 PM   #14
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Playaman, you forgot to mention your lawn and garden assistants:
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Old 09-08-2009, 10:34 PM   #15
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Funny you mentioned it, REWahoo. I actually saw my first "feral pig" last week while hiking at Government Canyon State Natural Area nearby. Several people have reported seeing them in the subdivision too. I haven't but they're here (the HOA pays somebody to trap 'em). Ugly/mean critters ...
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Old 09-09-2009, 09:05 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy View Post
Many people ask us about the resort community that we live in and how to go about choosing one for themselves. We found ours years ago (1993 I believe) and at that time, our resort was not age qualified, Rules have changed since then.

On our Preferred links pages we have a housing link which will take you to resource pages for these types of communities.

You might also check the top retirement communities which will lead you to the best retirement communities in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Canada, Connecticut, Costa Rica, Delaware, and Florida. You can read about the 25-best-places-to-retire-list-for-2008 or check out the best_college_towns in which to retire. Perhaps you would like to review the Directory of active_adult_communities for the nation.
Here are some links to places in the Mesa, Arizona area, but there are literally hundreds of them all over the American Southwest.

Greenfield

Mesa Regal
Twin Palms
Apache Wells
Carriage Manor


Do not let the word 'RV resort' set you back. Some of these are astounding places... take a personal look and choose the one that suits you the best.

If you have more questions, let me know. This type of lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but if you are a traveler, or want to reduce your property taxes and insurances and such so you have money for other things, this might suit you.

Best,

Akaisha
Author, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement
I'm thinking if the time comes to reconsider where I'm at: 1. low core expenses/maintenance when off traveling and 2. a fun crowd when there.

Something along the lines of a Winter Texan park model - not necessarily in Texas. But probably out 'West'. Although I haven't ruled out the Redneck Riviera.

heh heh heh -
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:00 AM   #17
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And yet another consideration - This one is just down the road from our place.
Del Webb Abandons La Cresta Community in Davenport, FL | thepinkflamingo.info
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Old 09-09-2009, 05:30 PM   #18
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The HOA deed restrictions are a bit on the over-the-top side too (probably because there are so many retired military officers here who believe things have to be like they say they're supposed to be on a piece of paper somewhere).


All in all, I'm pleased with our decision ... just wish my portfolio could recover enough that I could buy that summer condo in Colorado I had planned on.
Yeah I guess after all those years or SOPs, OI, Regs, etc that would be the norm.

Funny you say that about Colorado as summer is the best time of the year. I have two rental townhouses in a nice gated community in Colorado. CINC House and I have discussed moving into one of them one kids are off to college so we can spend the summers in Colorado, then the rest of the year out and about.

Tomcat98
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Old 09-09-2009, 05:50 PM   #19
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[QUOTE=playaman;853739 I...piddle in my yard. (Given water rationing I'm learning all about xeriscaping.)... .[/QUOTE]

Wow. Texas is brutal. Water rationing has you piddling in your yard? I can well imagine that you have to greatly reduce the number of water loving plants you have!
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