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My review of "The Villages" Florida
Old 01-19-2016, 01:36 PM   #1
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My review of "The Villages" Florida

If you haven't heard of The Villages, a master-planned retirement community for those of you 55+ it's worth a google or youtube search.

I just got back from 9days in The Villages. We were staying in the Lake Sumpter area of the community. To be clear though, I was visiting the in-laws who have a longer term rental.

It was nice. it's probably not for everyone though. its deed restricted. There are lot's of golf carts, and nice golf carts... I was nearly run-down by one and was yelled at for driving too fast by a couple of bikers who daringly strolled on the cart path.

The landscaping was very well maintained, the common areas were nice and the downtown areas were cool. It did remind me of the college life for older folks.

I could see how this is appealing to almost 100,000+ people though. Plenty of activities to do, Orlando is 1hr drive and the community of people are very nice.
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Old 01-19-2016, 01:44 PM   #2
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"Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." -Yogi Berra
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Old 01-19-2016, 01:46 PM   #3
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It didn't seem too crowded to me. We went out for dinner Friday night, we did beat the rush and it was crowded after dinner. Sure parking spaces were hard to come by, but where aren't they on a Friday night?
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FIRE in 2031 @ 50yrs old (+/- 2yrs) w/ a hypothetical $2.5mil portfolio, 3 appreciated homes worth $1.0mil and rental income to fund my gap years until RMD. Assets will go to an inherited IRA where I plan on watching the investments grow until I die or the trust gets executed.
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Old 01-19-2016, 01:51 PM   #4
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It didn't seem too crowded to me. We went out for dinner Friday night, we did beat the rush and it was crowded after dinner. Sure parking spaces were hard to come by, but where aren't they on a Friday night?
did you take a golf cart?

also, did you by chance get to play golf? I'd totally rock a place like that if it were golf cart friendly and had a few courses to choose from. I wouldn't want to live in FL though
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Old 01-19-2016, 01:54 PM   #5
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i Have friends there, whom I have visited. I liked it. It may be a tad more crowded for me than ideal, but IMO that is made up for by the fact that folks are generally quite friendly, and while golf is a centerpiece, there are many other things to do. I could definitely winter there.

My wife? maybe not so much, but I honestly think that if she gave it a try she'd like it.
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Old 01-19-2016, 02:00 PM   #6
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did you take a golf cart?

also, did you by chance get to play golf? I'd totally rock a place like that if it were golf cart friendly and had a few courses to choose from. I wouldn't want to live in FL though
There are many courses, but of course there are also many people. They do have systems in place to provide that everyone gets a chance to play. They have what they refer to as "championship" courses, which merely means they are more traditionally lengthed par 72, usually set up on 3 "nines". The ones I played were nice. Not immaculate, not Augusta National, but I enjoyed them. They are busy, but generally play moves along.

there are also quite a few " executive" length courses. I have not played them. There are also quite a few Par 3 courses which I have played. In the evenings they are great places to take beginners who won't feel pressured by being in the way of "the real golfers".
My wife is not a "real golfer", but she thoroughly enjoyed the Par 3 experience.
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Old 01-20-2016, 12:00 PM   #7
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What was their home like?
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Old 01-20-2016, 06:11 PM   #8
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It didn't seem too crowded to me. We went out for dinner Friday night, we did beat the rush and it was crowded after dinner. Sure parking spaces were hard to come by, but where aren't they on a Friday night?
Beating the dinner rush in retirement community? We call that lunch
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Old 01-20-2016, 07:36 PM   #9
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What was their home like?
R U referring to my friends'? It was nice. Well laid out. A bit too close to the nabes for my liking.

Also, it was pretty obvious that they build a lot of homes FAST, and a lot of components to the lowest bidder. There are many tales of stuff breaking about 1 month after warranty expirations.

For example, after 7 years the AC crapped out. Turns out about 60% of the ACs that were put in at that time crapped out, which was surprising because the all carried a reliably named label. Further investigation revealed that the developer cut a deal for all of these "xxxxx" units on the cheap, and "XXXXX" had some Chinese company build a bunch of these units and slap the "XXXXX" name on them.
Warranty was 7 years, and they lasted about 7 years and a few months. There are other obvious workmanship issues, like the Hot and Cold water is plumbed backwards in the guest shower. You have month to notice this, and after that, too bad. Well, who would notice that in a month? No recourse...

So IMHO I would never buy there. But I'd definitely rent for 1 to 4 months, depending on my budget, and if I could talk the woman of my dreams into it.
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Old 01-20-2016, 08:03 PM   #10
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Mother in law lives there. It's not my type of place.

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Old 01-20-2016, 09:18 PM   #11
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I live in The Villages. I like it a lot. People are super friendly and there are endless activities. Once you've bought the house, it's inexpensive to live here. Our house is 15 years old and very well built - cement block and solid. We've been here full time for nearly two years and have no complaints.
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Old 01-20-2016, 09:38 PM   #12
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What are the price range of houses there ?
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Old 01-20-2016, 09:51 PM   #13
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It's a very wide range. You can get a manufactured house for $100k or spend more than $1 million. The median price is about 300k. For that, you will get a 3br, 2ba cement block and stucco house of about 2000sq ft with a 2 car garage. At 300k it probably will not have a golf course view.
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Old 01-20-2016, 09:53 PM   #14
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It didn't seem too crowded to me. We went out for dinner Friday night, we did beat the rush and it was crowded after dinner. Sure parking spaces were hard to come by, but where aren't they on a Friday night?
What time do you have to go to dinner in a retirement community to beat the rush? 2 PM?
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Old 01-20-2016, 10:02 PM   #15
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http://www.thevillages.com/HomeFinde...pe=B&keyWords=

You can virtually tour houses here.
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Old 01-21-2016, 05:08 AM   #16
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I live in The Villages. I like it a lot. People are super friendly and there are endless activities. Once you've bought the house, it's inexpensive to live here. Our house is 15 years old and very well built - cement block and solid. We've been here full time for nearly two years and have no complaints.
do you live there all year around?
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Old 01-21-2016, 06:56 AM   #17
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We stayed for a week on a "life style" visit. Nice and plenty of activities. Town squares are very cool. To say it is golf cart friendly is an understatement. You can easily Grocery shop by cart along with a lot of medical visits and obviously the squares. Depending on where you life it can be quite a hike to a square though.
We found the rules to be a little much a a little to organized for our tastes but can easily see how some love it.
We bought just south of there and go to the squares sometimes for fun.
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Old 01-21-2016, 08:31 AM   #18
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Further investigation revealed that the developer cut a deal for all of these "xxxxx" units on the cheap, and "XXXXX" had some Chinese company build a bunch of these units and slap the "XXXXX" name on them.
Why not spill the beans. What brand are you talking about?
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Old 01-21-2016, 08:38 AM   #19
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do you live there all year around?

Yes, and we particularly like it in the summer. The middle of the day is very hot, but we jump in the pool. The mornings are lovely, and we frequently ride our bikes to breakfast.
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Old 01-21-2016, 08:55 AM   #20
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The Villages gets lots of attention, but there many adult communities in Florida that are very nice, but they don't necessarily have the central "downtown" square identified with the community. This "Over 55 Places" website is a good place to start looking.

55 and Over Communities in Florida | Best Florida Retirement Communities

I live about 90 minutes away from the Villages and have been there a few times. It is very nice, but my favorite part of the visit is going to a bison ranch nearby. The only place I have ever seen a herd of perhaps 40-50 bison. Females are with their young who are so cute, and the males are in a separate area, and are huge! So when I think of the Villages I think of bison. (No reference to the Villages residents intended.)
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