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skarra 01-05-2020 11:59 PM

Advice on a low maintenance home
I'm looking to benefit from other peoples experiences re buying a home in TV in *advance* of actually moving there. (we'll be coming from up North).

I have someone who will stay there occassionally until I retire in 5 years time, but what are things I should avoid?

Some thing I can think of -
- Pools (avoid as there are already plenty of public pools)
- Big yards.
- Big lots (ordinarily it would be great to have a big lot, but is that a disadvantage in TV because it means more lawn to mow etc??)
- Avoiding palm trees (to much work and cost associated with keeping them trimmed)
- Stucco finish (I figure vinyl siding is easier to manage and doesn't require painting)

Would you agree on the above, and anything else to add?

Although a personal preference, what is a "good" home size for 2 people to maintain on their own without too much hired help?

Thanks in Advance.

Toymeister 01-06-2020 03:45 AM

All of this is subjective and you do have to consider most posters do hire most things out. That said:

The size of the home does not corelate to the amount of maintenance i.e. a 2,000 sq ft home is not 1/3 more work than 1,500 sq ft. Nor is a courtyard Villa that much easier than a designer home.

I would by a home at least 50% the same size of your current home.

You can do all the bush trimming if you visit three times a year.

Don't forget smart home monitoring. You can confirm the AC is working with a smart thermostat. You can eliminate most ac problems by changing the AC capacitor annually, overkill but cheap insurance. Vinyl requires annual power washing but so does stucco. Stucco gets painted every seven years.

I would buy the home that I can afford and want and not filter by maintenance.

njbchbum 01-06-2020 11:08 AM

I have always found that no matter how much one hopes for a home with minimal maintenance - the only thing different among each of them is the nature of the maintenance that is required for each of them! Ya just trade one set of maintenance issues for another! lol

Re that palm tree - would you prefer raking leaves from some other tree rather than having the palm tree trimmed once a year?
Re that vinyl siding - some day it will probably need to be painted.

2newyorkers 01-06-2020 11:43 AM

We bought a brand new home 4 years prior to retiring. We did not rent it out. We only came to visit our home about 5 weeks a year. The number 1 thing I would recommend is get a gardener. Not just someone who mows or trims. Try to plant as much maintenance free landscaping as possible. Once you retire you can change your landscaping. We did not do this and I spent a lot of my vacation time working in the yard.

Carla B 01-06-2020 04:57 PM

Yes, the yard is the killer. If you buy a new house, there should be little interior maintenance in the first five years. It would be best not to disturb the landscaping that the developer puts in if you're not here. If and when you do foundation planting, look for dwarf versions. Everything grows so fast here. Landscapers will show you a beautiful computer picture of what your landscaping will look like and then plant shrubs that overwhelm the house quickly.

Chatbrat 01-06-2020 05:12 PM

The best advice I ever got when I was in business, was " don't worry about saving $$ worrying about making $$" the same goes for home ownership- even though you may be retired--worry about investing smartly and growing other assets-- if you have to worry about home maintenance issues when you're retired--maybe, you should be a renter--

Rango 01-06-2020 05:20 PM

Vinyl siding fads rapidly in the Florida sun. It also gets moldy.

EdFNJ 01-06-2020 10:18 PM


Originally Posted by Rango (Post 1707778)
Vinyl siding fads rapidly in the Florida sun. It also gets moldy.

and brittle as we learned. Moldy was easy to prevent though.

Cranford61 01-07-2020 06:56 AM

So after navigating those issues and making careful and wise decisions, your neighbor brings in his dysfunctional adult child or sells out to a turd.

andercat 01-07-2020 08:43 AM

This is a little off topic. How do you prevent mold on vinyl siding? We can get it off but would like to know how to prevent.

Glenbrook Jersey Girl 01-07-2020 10:24 AM

Pay attention to which way the house is situated on the lot, meaning will there be full sun on your lanai/birdcage/patio area most of the day? My sister bought a house with a great outdoor area, but it got full sun the majority of day and it was way too hot to spend time out there. The house was idea otherwise, in a great. Village near Lake Sumter, at the end of a cul de sac, She ended up moving. We were fortunate to learn from her experience and bought a great house with a golf course view. It is situated just right, the front door is blistering hot all day long, but the lanai and birdcage pool area stays pleasant and quite cool with the ceiling fans running. We really enjoy spending time out there in the shade!

brick010207 01-07-2020 11:46 AM

I think most of what others have said is true but, I just want to let you know that I think a CY Villa with little to no grass is the way to go and I happen to have one I'd sell in the village of Springdale which is in Spanish Springs Area. The house is Turn-Key meaning it is fully furnished and equipped for part-time occupancy/rental. It's an oversized 2BR2Bath with all the lawn area covered in mulch. Shrubs need trimming about 3 time per year to keep a good appearance. For more information you can contact me at 4346031057

anniepatrick 01-07-2020 12:43 PM

I'm also from up north and I recently purchased a condo. There are 4 villages of condos . No outside maintenance. It's perfect. I love it!

Glenbrook Jersey Girl 01-07-2020 12:53 PM

If you like to spend time outdoors, pay attention to which way your outdoor lanai/birdcage is positioned in relation to the sun!
My sister bought a great house on a cul de sac but could not spend any time out back during the day because of blazing hot direct sun!

Lottoguy 01-07-2020 02:10 PM

A lanai that faces east or north is most desirable. If you buy a preowned home, are there hedges in the backyard? If so, who is responsible for getting them trimmed. Look for a village that has a good exit from that location. In the busy season it can be hard to make a left turn. A roundabout or stoplight would be the most desirable. Electric stoves and electric dryers are cheaper to run then gas. Gas cost more then electric in Florida. Get a good webcam above your front entrance. If a box is delivered you can ask your neighbor to get it for you.

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