Ranch home or designer? What about areas to walk dog?

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Old 08-25-2007, 02:13 PM
pili pili is offline
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Default Ranch home or designer? What about areas to walk dog?

Here is a question for you wonderful people. I noticed that many of the residents who have dogs opted for Villas because of fenced backyard. We have a dog (our beautiful 3 year old boy) but a fenced yard is not a necessity. We don't have a fenced yard now and it works. We take him out in the morning to relieve himself and then for a walk to exercise and finish his business. I don't care for the looks of the Villas so we are thinking of Ranch or Designer. Do the ranches and designer homes have a little bit more space and privacy? We have one acre at present so we are not used to being on top of our neighbors.

I can't tell from the pictures the differences between the ranch and the designer. Can anyone elaborate? Also, are there villages that are closer or nicer than others? I saw a home in Duvall which allowed for a pool. I would like to have a pool in the lanai.

We plan to visit next May and look at resales and new homes. I'm not crazy about not being able to upgrade or make changes in new homes.

We live in Barrington, Illinois and I can't wait to get away from the snow. I am so glad I've found this forum. There are tons of information and everyone seems so nice!!! By the way, are there parking areas (for cars) in the downtown and by rec centers. I noticed most people drive a golf cart. I'm not sure I'm ready for that yet.

Thanks a million.

Old 08-25-2007, 04:46 PM
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villages07 villages07 is offline
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Default Re: Ranch home or designer? What about areas to walk dog?

Ahhh, so many questions. I'll give you my opinions on your topics and I'm sure others will chime in with their thoughts. The best thing to remember is that there is no one right answer....you've got to find what is right for you. All the discussion about villas, ranch, designer, premiers are just labels the Villages applies to different types of homes. You have to find the model that works best for you.... in terms of size, location, and your own financial requirements. There are no bad neighborhoods...everywhere you go, new or resale, will be populated with predominantly friendly, happy people.

Your dog can spend lots of time outside in your enclosed lanai.

Ranch vs designer.... Ranches are all vinyl siding - no block/stucco; generally range from about 1100 sq ft to about 1600 sq ft; designers range from about 1300 to 2100 sq ft of living space (space under heat and air....doesn't include lanai, garage); lots sizes are probably relatively comparable, but, in either type neighborhood will be different size lots with different cost premiums.... based on privacy, lot size, view, etc. As others have stated, the side to side closeness of neighbors is not an issue...mostly the back to back looking out the lanai is where it can get too close.

New homes with fixed features...the good thing is you know exactly what you are getting, what it costs, and what it looks like. When you design everything yourself on an unseen lot, it might not turn out as you expected. This methodology is also an advantage in today's real estate market....people are wisely waiting til they sell 'back home' before they buy here. In this case, the short 30-60 day span between contracting old house and buying/moving in here to a new house is very doable. If you do your own design from the ground up, it's a 4-6 month (or more) construction period. Plus, they generally do a nice job outfitting the houses with colors, features, etc. Do some homework before you get here, but, come looking with an open mind; We thought we wanted one model (based on paper floor plans) and ended up with another we liked better in person.

Parking...plenty of car parking lots in the squares (behind the buildings) and at the rec centers. It's just easier and more fun to buzz around in the golf cart (and parking is a snap). Just wait, you'll love the golf cart and will take it out over the car more often than not.

That's enough for now...good luck!!!
Maryland (DC Suburbs) - first 51 years
The Villages - next 51 years
Old 08-25-2007, 06:36 PM
jjdees jjdees is offline
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Default Re: Ranch home or designer? What about areas to walk dog?

Amen to happy people. We have friends in the Villages who built their home in TV when we were building ours in N. Atlanta. We visited frequently and our first impressions were who wants to live with only grey haired people (like us). After about 3-4 visits, our friend wanted to attend a piano concert at the Church in Spanish Springs. After about 2 numbers my buddy elbowed me and asked, do you want a beer? We left our wives and snuck out the side door and sat down and watched the people dancing on the square which we had done before. This time, it was a revelation. I finally realized these people are really enjoying life. Later, our wives joined us and my wife agreed. It was the turning point from which we never wavered.
Cleveland Ohio, Detroit Michigan, Syracuse New York, Atlanta Georgia
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