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Old 03-14-2021, 11:00 AM   #21
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OP - If $$$ is a concern, you could check out https://www.lakegriffinharborfla.com/

A past forum member had a place there and would frequent the Villages when they desired extra social interaction beyond their own small community.

Houses (park models) are available for ~$30K.
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Old 03-14-2021, 11:21 AM   #22
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OP - If $$$ is a concern, you could check out https://www.lakegriffinharborfla.com/

A past forum member had a place there and would frequent the Villages when they desired extra social interaction beyond their own small community.

Houses (park models) are available for ~$30K.
Current HOA fees at Lake Griffin Harbor are $580 per month. So, there is that to consider.
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Old 03-14-2021, 12:16 PM   #23
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Current HOA fees at Lake Griffin Harbor are $580 per month. So, there is that to consider.
I think there are HOA fees at most (all?) 55+ communities, but it does include some things a person would have to pay for anyways.

ETA: part of that fee is rent of the land, as buying a home there literally means just the home, not the land. It has been around a long time.
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Old 03-14-2021, 12:27 PM   #24
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The Villages has a 4-7 night visitation program for folks who might be interested:

https://www.thevillages.com/lifestyle-preview-plan

FWIW, no one I personally know has chosen to move into The Villages after a visit.

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Old 03-14-2021, 03:13 PM   #25
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The Villages has a 4-7 night visitation program for folks who might be interested:

https://www.thevillages.com/lifestyle-preview-plan

FWIW, no one I personally know has chosen to move into The Villages after a visit.

omni
I bet that if the visitation program, otherwise known as a Lifestyle Preview did not generate a lot of home sales the Morse family would have discontinued them long ago. I think new home sales are about 2500 units/year, not even counting resales.
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Old 03-14-2021, 07:03 PM   #26
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We have friends who live in a Del Webb community in Palm Desert and love it. Pre-covid, they had plenty of activities to keep them busy.

We visited in 2018 and were impressed with the beautiful landscaping and various clubhouses/pools/work-out options.

There are a few Del Webb communities in Florida which may be worth checking out.
The Sun City Center, Florida community that my mom lived in that I wrote about earlier in this thread was a Del Webb community.

DW and I visited the Del Webb community in Palm Desert when we were out there one time. Very nice. Just a more modern version of Sun City Center where my mom lived.
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Old 03-14-2021, 07:14 PM   #27
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There are many places in Florida other than The Villages where you can become part of a small community and make friends. We live in one of them, and we're about an hour away from The Villages. I would personally never choose to live in a place like that, because apartment-building style living is not for me (been there, done that). We have a nice small house, nice yard, we're on the water, and we're part of a great small community. And there are no HOA fees. I'll take what we have over The Villages any day.
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Old 03-14-2021, 08:12 PM   #28
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Weíve lived in the Villages for about 3 years, with both me and my wife under 60 when we arrived. Itís not for everyone but we love it. Itís good advice to call and setup the lifestyle visit (4-7 nights). You get a house, golf cart and access to the amenities. Then rent for a couple months.

I think the Villages appeals to people who are social and want to be active. They have so many activities itíll make you dizzy. The size (~130,000) allows for a range of events that you wonít have in any other retirement community in the country.

To clarify from some previous posts
- they had not offered any apartments or condo style living until last year. 99.9% of the people live in detached homes, some of the original sites have trailers.
- The lifestyle visit program is very popular and most people who move here start there.
- I wouldnít consider this area to be overly political. This last year has been more political due to the election but I think that was true of most areas. I have many friends from both parties and itís never been a problem. With the election over, I never hear anyone talk politics.

Come for a visit and youíll see whether it suites your needs.
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The Villages or Something Similar in Florida?
Old 03-15-2021, 08:52 AM   #29
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The Villages or Something Similar in Florida?

Boilerman, Thanks for the first-hand summary which answers some of my questions. If one is going to live in a retirement community, my orientation leans toward living in the most comprehensive retirement community there probably is, as youíve chosen to. Enjoy.
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Old 03-15-2021, 10:54 AM   #30
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DW and I spent February,2019 and March, 2020 at the Villages. Weather was great both years. If anything, a little too warm last March. Nothing bad to say about it. Clean and manicured like Disney World, which we like. Facilities all first class. No problem getting golf reservations for the executive courses as long as you are a little flexible. Entertainment on the squares is fun. Being there for just a month each time, did not get involved in the clubs, but there are clubs for all interests. Did not go this year due to Covid, but still might visit in April or May. Getting cabin fever and ready to get away! If you are still a beach bum in retirement, it may not be your ideal spot, but if you want to avoid the crushing traffic of south Florida in the wintertime, it is a great alternative.
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Old 03-15-2021, 10:57 AM   #31
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DW and I spent February,2019 and March, 2020 at the Villages.
How hard is it to get a one month rental in the winter?
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Old 03-15-2021, 11:43 AM   #32
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How hard is it to get a one month rental in the winter?


It is harder when only renting for one month. We went through Down Home Properties which specializes in rentals at The Villages. They have an office in Wildwood just outside The Villages. You can find them on the internet. We first contacted them the year before. They kind of wait to try and get longer term rentals, but then fill in as needed. Selection is more limited, but we had very nice places both years.
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Old 03-15-2021, 12:36 PM   #33
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Boilerman, Thanks for the first-hand summary which answers some of my questions. If one is going to live in a retirement community, my orientation leans toward living in the most comprehensive retirement community there probably is, as youíve chosen to. Enjoy.
Comprehensive is a great one word description. 100 swimming pools and rec centers, 693 holes of golf, 214 dedicated pickleball courts, 15 softball fields and over 3000 clubs.

An hour to Disney in Orlando, about 2 hours to beaches on either coast and enough inland that the hurricane threat is less here than on the coasts. But summers are hot here so come down in August to see if you can handle it.
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Old 03-15-2021, 01:05 PM   #34
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I've been looking at potential 55+ communities for a Florida move in 4 years when I hit 55 and decided that the Villages is just too big and in another 4 years the congestion already there will be worse. On top of the World, which is near the Villages is one I am looking at as an option as from what I have seen it seems to be like a smaller version of the villages without the massive amount of people (still a lot though) I also am heavily looking at non-55+ areas like Cape Coral or Punta Gorda as I do not like the idea of HOA's and being regulated about every little thing I might do to my property or getting permission to change the color of my house plus if I am selling my current house (owned outright) and buying another that will be paid in full I do not want to pay 5-600 a month for the privilege of some Karen complaining about my bird feeder being too close to a fence.
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Old 03-15-2021, 01:23 PM   #35
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Can somebody explain HOA's to me at many of these 55+ communities? They seem to be all over the place in the same community. For instance at On Top of The World I just looked at some houses in the $200K range that had $370 monthly HOA yet a $350K house was $170 month?
Now I know from looking at a lot of places that some seem to include a golf membership in the HOA while some don't in the same community. Wouldn't that be up to the buyer? Anyway I'm confused.
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Old 03-15-2021, 01:32 PM   #36
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HOAs in Florida typically cover gated security and landscaping. The monthly rate between different associations would vary most because of the number of homes paying of the amount of security. Some associations may be responsible for maintaining the roads in their community.
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Old 03-15-2021, 01:51 PM   #37
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Can somebody explain HOA's to me at many of these 55+ communities? They seem to be all over the place in the same community. For instance at On Top of The World I just looked at some houses in the $200K range that had $370 monthly HOA yet a $350K house was $170 month?
Now I know from looking at a lot of places that some seem to include a golf membership in the HOA while some don't in the same community. Wouldn't that be up to the buyer? Anyway I'm confused.
Some of the HOA's in On top of the world are Higher as they are the "maintenance free" home option that pays all the landscaping, and most exterior repairs/maintenance as well as the other amenities included also may vary if the CDD fees are paid for the area as that would add to the fees.
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Old 03-19-2021, 03:35 PM   #38
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Apparently it does have lots of activities. From people I have spoken to who have friends living there, you pretty much have to be a political right winger . Itís apparently very Trumpian, is my understanding. If youíre down with that, you might pay it a visit and see if you actually like it.
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Living in the Villages
Old 03-19-2021, 03:56 PM   #39
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Living in the Villages

Absolutely need to experience the Villages. It is fantastic. You can live in any setting you desire and the activities are boundless. The movie is fiction! Not at all our experience. Come visit, on them, see for yourself.
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Old 03-19-2021, 04:21 PM   #40
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Check out Viera, FL. It has all the stuff the Villages does, but a lot less gossip and congestion. There is a 55+ community there called 'Bridgewater' that is being built out. There are other 55+ communities that are already completed, and there is 'regular' housing too. Places go for about $260k and up in Bridgewater. They got everything a person could want there. I have a poster of the master plan for the community, and if you want it just email me and I will send you pic. One advantage Viera has over the Villages is that it is closer to the Atlantic Ocean - that keeps the temp down a bit in the summer. Just showed my father the community last week and he was blown away. Viera is about 40 minutes from Orlando.
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