Compare costs and benefits of a Courtyard Villa w/ a Ranch on a $200,000 budget

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  #1  
Old 01-17-2008, 09:24 PM
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Default Compare costs and benefits of a Courtyard Villa w/ a Ranch on a $200,000 budget

I am trying to decide between a ranch or a courtyard villa on a $200,000 - $210,000 budget.

It boils down to how much money do we want left over to do some upgrades and make the best use of space under roof.* Main criteria:* air conditioned space, sun room, privacy in the back, guy hobby space in the garage.

Here is one interesting example I would like your feedback on...

An Austin vs. a Cumberland...

I realize these are a bit "apples and oranges" but bear with me as we look at what you can do with some upgrades.* I invite comment as to whether my cost estimates are in the ballpark...

* Austin Ranch (2/2, 1,100 sq ft, with 12 x 20' lanai and a 2 1/2 car garage) $167,000* (Assuming recently adverstised $20,000 rebate) http://www.thevillages.com/homes/new...00606407&from=
* Cumberland Courtyard (3/2, 1,690 sq. ft, with smaller lanai and 1 1/2 car garage) $208,000 - I have not seen rebates on these

To the Austin, add the following upgrades:

* Enclose lanai:* * * * * * * * * *$5,000
* Flooring in lanai:* * * * * * * *$3,000 (brick or tile)
* AC lanai:* * * * * * * * * * * * *$3,000
* Insulate and AC garage* * * $4,000
* Privacy landscaping in rear* $3,000 (mature material - instant privacy, to code)
* Landscape balance of yard* $2,000
* Solid surface kitchen counters $3,500
* Coating on driveway* * * * * * $3,000

Total:* about $25,500 added to home price equals $192,500
This provides about 1,850 sq. ft. of usable air conditioned space in the Austin compared to 1,690 in the Cumberland, for about $13,000 less, including the listed upgrades.

Thoughts, corrections, suggestions?
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  #2  
Old 01-17-2008, 11:02 PM
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Default Re: Compare costs and benefits of a Courtyard Villa w/ a Ranch on a $200,000 bud

Buy the larger home. I think you'll be much happier.
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  #3  
Old 01-17-2008, 11:06 PM
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Default Re: Compare costs and benefits of a Courtyard Villa w/ a Ranch on a $200,000 bud

I would say 2 things to you. The ranch If you need storage 2 car plus golf cart ++++ If you are looking for grass +++++++

If you are looking for min upkeep in a Court villa++++, if you have a need for privacy +++++

Other than that the choice is yours.

If you need my opinion I like the courtside Villas myself because of the upkeep and privacy.
  #4  
Old 01-18-2008, 02:08 AM
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Default Re: Compare costs and benefits of a Courtyard Villa w/ a Ranch on a $200,000 budget

gf, you present a good case for either choice, only issue is everyone has their own set of values, personally I am happier in a house, then there a lot of people who prefer CYV, doesn't make one choice right or wrong you really need to think about what works best for you. Good Luck I'm sure you will be happy either way.
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Old 01-18-2008, 04:10 AM
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Default Re: Compare costs and benefits of a Courtyard Villa w/ a Ranch on a $200,000 bud

Have you considered a 3 bedroom ranch with 2 car + garage? I got a feeling you will be happier with a 3 bedroom with 2 Plus car garage. You can use the extra bedroom and garage space for guy things and enclose the lanai latter if you need more space. Go with a Courtyard villa if you want privacy and less maintenance cost (cutting grass for $45 a month plus water - but all concrete in a villa will add up to a lot of grass cuttings and water). I think most courtyard villas had 1 1/2 car garages but there may be some with 2 car garages.
  #6  
Old 01-18-2008, 04:35 AM
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Default Re: Compare costs and benefits of a Courtyard Villa w/ a Ranch on a $200,000 budget

Yes...the Amarillo...that is very price competitive with the Cumberland Courtyard Villa, especially with the "bumpout" 9' deep Florida room.* I liked that model...especially the "pocket" doors into the bathrooms, the huge garage, etc.* My wife prefers the Cumberland so far.* We have some reconciling to do over the next few months. :bow:
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  #7  
Old 01-18-2008, 04:38 AM
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Default Re: Compare costs and benefits of a Courtyard Villa w/ a Ranch on a $200,000 bud

I like having the vaulted ceiling in my Amarillo ranch,seems larger than it is,plus the larger Florida room really helps(12x15) and the golf cart garage,adds more storage.
But as stated its subject to individual tastes.
Good luck.
  #8  
Old 01-18-2008, 02:15 PM
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Default Re: Compare costs and benefits of a Courtyard Villa w/ a Ranch on a $200,000 budget

I think the enclosed lanai is one with the screens replaced with plexi-glass or something like that.

We have a courtyard villa we bought in 2005. We have a corner lot with grass all aroung the house. We love the privacy and our dog loves the yard. We have a two bedroom/2 bath Woodlawn with partially open kitchen and valted ceilings.

I think the floorplan plus the fence is what sold me on the place. You need to purchase the home with the floor plan that makes you feel most comfortable.

You might by a villa and find that you want to do some renovations as well. If you buy a previously owned villa, you will have a grassy yard unless the owner has "rocked" all the property as some do.

I looked at an Amarilla with regular ceilings when my sister was looking and I didn't love the floor plan...for me...and the ceilings were too low. Did not see one with vaulted ceilings.

Buy the one that you like NOW. Don't worry about the changes you might want to make until you have lived there for a few months. You could change your mind and simply love the home as it is, you never can tell.

Best of luck. :bigthumbsup:
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Old 01-18-2008, 02:37 PM
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Default Re: Compare costs and benefits of a Courtyard Villa w/ a Ranch on a $200,000 budget

I've owned a two-seater sports car and a mega-purpose SUV - both cost about the same. Loved both vehicles! Trying to compare the two vehicles from a cost/benefit analysis, at least for me, just didn't cut it, as they both filled my needs, physically and emotionally, at the time.

A home is an emotional/psychological place, as well as being a substantive facility of quantifiable logistics. The real question is: where do you FEEL the most comfortable?

There's a great TV commercial by the Steak and Shake chain where they describe how they make a milkshake by hand, and while that may not be the most efficient way to make one, the question is "have you ever heard anybody taste a milkshake and say, boy, that tastes 'efficient' ?"

When all is said and done, trust your heart, not your calculator, in the making of a "life" choice....
  #10  
Old 01-18-2008, 03:03 PM
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Default Re: Compare costs and benefits of a Courtyard Villa w/ a Ranch on a $200,000 budget

I have a few comments regarding your original post:

1) I think some of the estimates you've quoted for additions are a little high. My neighbor had his 2 car driveway done with pavers, and had his lanai done with the same. All of that cost him $4000. You're allowing for $6000. Some of the others seem high to me. Labor cost in TV is much less than it is in NYC so I am constantly surprised about how much less things are in TV. So I'd expect overall you've estimated on the high side, further making a financial case for the ranch.

2) The apples-oranges comment is dead on. These are 2 very different homes, and environments around them. You should definitely ride around mature ranch home neighborhoods, and the same for the villas. I was torn between a villa and house, and I didn't need a fence but thought it might be nice. I went for the house in the end because I really like the way the neighborhoods look. I wasn't crazy about the relative "sameness" of the villas as you looked down the block and saw the garages. But as the only homes that have fences, they are definitely a must for many people. And their neighborhoods seem a little more intimate.
So your decision may turn out to be "Do I need a fence or not?"

3) I agree with the square fottage comment above - you will probably not regret having a few hundred more sq ft in the house.


One good thing - it is really tough to buy the wrong house in TV. Deciding on buying there to begin with is the real key decision.

Best of luck with whatever you do.
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Old 01-18-2008, 03:11 PM
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Default Re: Compare costs and benefits of a Courtyard Villa w/ a Ranch on a $200,000 bud

Riding around CY villa neighborhoods won't give you a sense of them in the same way that the ranch neighborhood will. For villas it is all about what you don't see, namely the courtyards. When I have time to figure out how to post pictures I will put up some of our courtyard which is the reason we bought our place. We don't need a fence (our beautiful collie is in doggie heaven) and don't have any great need for privacy (no nudist sun bathing) but we loved the oasis feeling, the serenity. Of course, if we were there full time, a larger place may have won the day.
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Old 01-18-2008, 03:34 PM
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Default Re: Compare costs and benefits of a Courtyard Villa w/ a Ranch on a $200,000 bud

Lots of great comments above, and we have a bit of the same quandry looking at houses vs. villas.

In the end, the cost will all be approximately the same , so go with whichever feels best and believe it's the right decision, and it will be. Good luck. Let us know which you choose.
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  #13  
Old 01-18-2008, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: Compare costs and benefits of a Courtyard Villa w/ a Ranch on a $200,000 budget

Thanks for all the great comments and ideas :bigthumbsup:* I'm thankful we have several months to make a decision.* This allows time for Joan and I to "imagine through" various living scenarios before we decide.* I agree - the options are so balanced (even though different) that we would probably be happy in either case. *

This is an exciting time for us, for sure!*
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Old 01-18-2008, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: Compare costs and benefits of a Courtyard Villa w/ a Ranch on a $200,000 budget

The cost of insurance is a bit lower on a block Courtyard Villa than a frame dwelling. Plus I'm told there is less chance of termites. Lawn cutting and pest control are also a bit lower as there is less property. Block villas and their walls also need to be power washed occasionally. However, most Villas do not have a two car garage and many have laundry in the garage. Not a lot of space for a workshop.

It is true that Courtyard Villas look repetitive and don't have a lot of curb appeal. However how much time do you spend in the street looking at your house? In a mature area with lush landscaping, the street view can be quite attractive.

We almost bought a 3 bedroom Ranch Amarillo which was less expensive than our smaller 2 bedroom Villa on a golf course. So we sacrificed garage space for more privacy. We are so glad we made the decision we did. We love our Courtyard Villa and so do our puppies. ;D

BF
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Old 01-18-2008, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: Compare costs and benefits of a Courtyard Villa w/ a Ranch on a $200,000 bud

Quote:
Originally Posted by another Linda
Riding around CY villa neighborhoods won't give you a sense of them in the same way that the ranch neighborhood will. For villas it is all about what you don't see, namely the courtyards. When I have time to figure out how to post pictures I will put up some of our courtyard which is the reason we bought our place. We don't need a fence (our beautiful collie is in doggie heaven) and don't have any great need for privacy (no nudist sun bathing) but we loved the oasis feeling, the serenity. Of course, if we were there full time, a larger place may have won the day.
Linda,
I hope I didn't give a negative impression when I suggested riding around the neighborhoods. Our decision to not buy a villa was really a squeaker. We really liked the open feel of the Grantham (open kitchen was on the "must have" list). We had a tough time making the decision to purchase the designer we ultimately bought as we really liked the villa enclosed yard. In the end, the slightly larger home (300 more sq ft), the 2 car garage, and the openness of the neighborhood swayed us. I could easily see myself in a villa and imagine i would have been happy there had I purchased it. Either place is wonderful.
Steve
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