First Visit Impressions

» Site Navigation
Home Page The Villages Maps The Villages Activities The Villages Clubs The Villages Book Healthcare Rentals Real Estate Section Classified Section The Villages Directory Home Improvement Site Guidelines Advertising Info Register Now Video Tutorials Frequently Asked Questions
» Newsletter Signup
» Premium Tower
» Advertisements
» Trending News
» Tower Sponsors




















» Premium Sponsors
» Banner Sponsors
» Advertisements
Closed Thread
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 01-26-2015, 05:00 PM
spd2918's Avatar
spd2918 spd2918 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 30
Thanks: 11
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
Default First Visit Impressions

Hi all!

This is my first post. I am researching retirement communities with my wife. In 8 long years I will retire and my wife will keep working from her home office.

We visited last week and I'd like to share with you my (and my wife's) first impressions of your community:

Wow are your streets clean. We knew exactly when we were outside and inside "the bubble" due to the cleanliness. It is clear you and the management take great care in how the streets look.

I love the golf cars. I'm a kid at heart and love the idea of getting around in carts. I might need to learn how to golf.

The lot sizes seem a little small, and your money does not buy much house. We are looking to downsize, but we were a little surprised how far our money won't go. For a used $175K 1200 foot house we were expecting better surfaces and updates.

We ate in Sumter Square and found the restaurants were expensive for what we got. I know this is a planned community, but why can't there be more reasonably priced places to eat? It would be wonderful if there were non-chain restaurants.

Lisa and I were blown away by all the things to do! It is hard to imagine being bored with all the clubs and activities. This place completely fits our requirement for activity.

How do my impressions stack up with your reality?

Brad
  #2  
Old 01-26-2015, 05:11 PM
spring_chicken spring_chicken is offline
Veteran member
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 882
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Default

Your impressions are right where mine were. We bought early because prices were rising so fast, I didn't want to sell a 4200 square foot house and pay the same for a 2000 square foot house on a lot that was 1/10 of the size.
We bought pre-owned so we got more bang for the buck and it had already been updated with granite, tile throughout...
The restaurants around Sumter are for the most part overpriced (I came from the south, so am accustomed to lower cost of living). One exception is the Lighthouse. It is not a chain and that's about the only restaurant I go to Sumter for.
You are spot on about lots to do. Don't feel like you need to take up golf. I was a golfer before arriving. Within a month of getting here, I found myself on 4 softball teams, a volleyball team, participating in track and field, and having enough time to golf about once a month.
I also totally agree about clean. I've never been anywhere in my life where the streets and surroundings are kept so pristine.
All in all, don't sweat the house thing. You are buying the lifestyle. And it's well worth it.
  #3  
Old 01-26-2015, 05:51 PM
pbkmaine's Avatar
pbkmaine pbkmaine is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 440
Thanks: 0
Thanked 7 Times in 5 Posts
Default

We spent many years in central and northern NJ, so the prices seemed reasonable to us. RE taxes are 1/4 of what we paid there. So I guess it's relative. Eating out compares well to NJ prices too. We ate out a great deal when we got here and are cooking at home more now. Our neighbors, many of whom have lived here for 15 years, tell us that's a typical pattern. There are wonderful farmers markets at Spanish Springs (Thursday) and Brownwood (Saturday). They will inspire you to cook at home. With all the activities, a small house on a small lot makes sense. Who has time to do house and garden work? I think the nicest thing about The Villages is not the activities, or the restaurants, or the clean streets. It's the people. There are a few curmudgeons. You will see them on these boards. But the vast majority of the people I have met here are super nice.
  #4  
Old 01-26-2015, 05:58 PM
Dr Winston O Boogie jr's Avatar
Dr Winston O Boogie jr Dr Winston O Boogie jr is online now
Sage
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 6,688
Thanks: 0
Thanked 821 Times in 266 Posts
Default

I'm from the Boston area and I thought that the home prices were very low.

As far as restaurants they seem about the same as where I'm from. The prices might be a little bit higher because the rents are higher inside the bubble, but part of what you're paying for is the convenience of being able to get to them in a golf cart.
__________________
The Beatlemaniacs of The Villages meet every Friday 10:00am at the O'Dell Recreation Center.

"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend." - Thomas Jefferson to William Hamilton, April 22, 1800.
  #5  
Old 01-26-2015, 06:46 PM
dbussone's Avatar
dbussone dbussone is offline
Sage
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 7,841
Thanks: 0
Thanked 9 Times in 9 Posts
Default

We've lived in numerous cities. Compared to LAS, BOS, ATL, CLT, FTL, TPA, and BNA, the home prices are lower. Compared to JAN they are slightly higher. Let's see - that's 7:1 in favor of the prices here being lower in my experience.
__________________
All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.
Winston Churchill
  #6  
Old 01-26-2015, 07:15 PM
redwitch's Avatar
redwitch redwitch is offline
Sage
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 9,099
Thanks: 2
Thanked 66 Times in 28 Posts
Send a message via Yahoo to redwitch
Default

I think you're pretty spot on. No question you can get more house for the buck elsewhere. Golf cart communities are a dime a dozen. But what you can't get anywhere else are the activities. There is no other community that comes close to our lifestyle. There are enough activities and clubs to keep you busy from sunrise to sundown if you so choose.

Restaurants here are more to socialize than places to dine. Golfers eat before or after their game at a restaurant. Book clubs meet and then go out to eat lunch. So, more chains to accommodate groups of diverse tastes and incomes. Summer prices are somewhat lower and there are always coupons. Some folks rarely eat out. Others rarely eat in. Most of us are somewhere in the middle.

TV ain't perfect, but it is truly a great place to live. Personally, I don't think you can lose moving here.
__________________
Army/embassy brat - traveled too much to mention
Moved here from SF Bay Area (East Bay)

"There are only two ways to live your life: One is as though nothing is a miracle; the other is as though everything is a miracle." Albert Einstein
  #7  
Old 01-26-2015, 07:18 PM
ugotme's Avatar
ugotme ugotme is offline
Gold member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: The Village of Charlotte
Posts: 1,190
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Default

Unless I missed it I am not sure where you are coming from.
I am originally from Long Island and the houses are (generally) $400K and up!
Taxes when we left there were about $10K/year and now about $13K.

Some posters claim that the taxes here are high. Obviously it all depends on where you came from.

Still, it is a wonderful place where you can be as active or inactive as you wish. It is clean and there are many restaurants to choose from. I will not attempt to discuss the quality as everyone has different tastes.

C'mon down!
__________________
Brooklyn, NY; Bethpage, NY; Tamarac, FL and N O W The Village of CHARLOTTE !!!!
  #8  
Old 01-26-2015, 10:06 PM
spd2918's Avatar
spd2918 spd2918 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 30
Thanks: 11
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
Default

Thanks for all the replies. Home costs certainly are relative. I will most likely get $125K to $130K for my nice home in NW WI when I sell (hardwood floors, quartz counters, new windows, blah blah blah). I know I will have to pony up some more to get less house.

No worries. We wanted less space to heat and cool anyway. We were just surrised at the cheapo counters and plastic bathrooms. Once its paid for I will add what we want.

I don't plan to be inside much after I get used to the summer heat.
  #9  
Old 01-26-2015, 10:23 PM
mmorisi mmorisi is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 12
Thanks: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

We settle tomorrow on our house and are in a similar situation about retirement...however my mom moved into TV about 3 years ago and the prices have steadily gone up! We were a bit hung up on the lack of yard as well but ad so many have pointed out with so much to do a yard is the last thing on your mind!! Hope to see you there one day! Can't wait to move our things in this weekend!!
  #10  
Old 01-26-2015, 10:28 PM
CFrance's Avatar
CFrance CFrance is offline
Sage
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Tamarind Grove/Monpazier, France
Posts: 13,585
Thanks: 225
Thanked 758 Times in 350 Posts
Default

How did you know it's called the bubble?
__________________
It's harder to hate close up.
  #11  
Old 01-26-2015, 10:58 PM
spd2918's Avatar
spd2918 spd2918 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 30
Thanks: 11
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CFrance View Post
How did you know it's called the bubble?
I research. Too much.
  #12  
Old 01-26-2015, 11:13 PM
sunnyatlast sunnyatlast is offline
Gold member
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: The Villages, FL
Posts: 1,209
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Big houses on big lots with $600/mo. winter heating bills up north: been there, done that, gave away the snowblower and the pick and shovel and rock salt.

Here, it's not about the house or cosmetic things like "surfaces" (we don't have "plastic bathrooms".ours are ceramic tile (original) in our courtyard villa). It's about being surrounded by people who are healthy, young at heart and who have done all kinds of big things they're not trying to impress anyone with now. They are here for us and everyone in the neighborhood in an instant. And we have a gazillion things to do in all these beautiful, clean town squares and recreation venues.

Maybe you should look at other places. Look at the places where people can gather in them.
  #13  
Old 01-26-2015, 11:41 PM
Suzi Suzi is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: The woods of the UP of Michigan and the Village of Pinellas
Posts: 318
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
Default I still pinch myself every day

Quote:
Originally Posted by spd2918 View Post
Thanks for all the replies. Home costs certainly are relative. I will most likely get $125K to $130K for my nice home in NW WI when I sell (hardwood floors, quartz counters, new windows, blah blah blah). I know I will have to pony up some more to get less house.

No worries. We wanted less space to heat and cool anyway. We were just surrised at the cheapo counters and plastic bathrooms. Once its paid for I will add what we want.

I don't plan to be inside much after I get used to the summer heat.

Moved here part-time 1.5 years ago from Michigan. When I returned this December to my hometown, I realized just how much "work" it is to live there. Certainly, the heating costs (for us its propane and wood heat) and then the daily shoveling. But I also realized how hard it is to go everywhere - through the snow. An example is grocery shopping, you have to put on the heavy coats, gloves, boots and drive in the mess to the store and when you get finished......push, push hard that cart full of groceries thru the snow to get to your car. Man, I really don't miss that. It's a hard life.
None of that kind of stuff here. Truly easy living. When posters write it is more about where you are living the life style rather than "the home", believe them. And it doesn't matter to me or others what kind of home you live in. If you are a nice person - then we want to be friends with you. Maybe its for walks, pot-lucks or cards....so much to choose from. Wisconsin is a beautiful state and I'm sure you have roots there but you will do the same here - TV. 100,000 people and counting and most of us will want to be friends with you.....its just paradise.
__________________
SuziQ

I'd rather regret what I've done, than regret what I've left undone. Lucille Ball
  #14  
Old 01-27-2015, 12:14 AM
spd2918's Avatar
spd2918 spd2918 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 30
Thanks: 11
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
Default

If you read my original post you will see that I'm not complaining about TV; I like TV and will most likely end up there. I'm just offering my first impression opinions. The houses I am posting about are at the price point I can afford. That means compromises. No big deal.

For you former Northerns- How long did it take you to acclimate to the summers in FL?
  #15  
Old 01-27-2015, 03:01 PM
JerryLBell JerryLBell is offline
Veteran member
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 516
Thanks: 0
Thanked 132 Times in 54 Posts
Default

My wife and I have visited The Villages twice so far and are looking at it and other retirement communities in Florida for when we retire in a couple of years (and counting down the days!). The basic price of houses seem about in line with what we're seeing at other communities, as are the lot sizes. You get a bit less than of both for the money than what we have here in Cary, NC (outside of Raleigh), but I'm looking to downsize on the yard work anyway. Plus, I'm thinking of a house in The Villages almost like a cabin on a cruise ship. It doesn't need to be huge because you're never there anyway! We're leaning towards The Villages because of the huge number of activities available. We are definitely planning on being out of the house a LOT. That's very different than friends of ours who have built their huge, elaborate retirement home on a huge, wooded lot in the middle of nowhere. They want to be at home forever, endlessly enjoying their house, I guess. We want to be out, Out, OUT having fun, Fun, FUN!

As far a restaurant pricing, I guess it's all in what you're used to having around you. We ate at a handful of restaurants and found some to be a bit overpriced and some to be bargains, much like the variety of restaurants we have here.

We're still trying to figure out what other costs there might be to budge for that we might have overlooked. The Bonds (or CDCs or whatever) are a bit off-putting and the other monthly fees aren't cheap. But we know that infrastructure like that (all those golf courses, rec centers, pools, town squares, nightly music, etc.) doesn't come free.

We're also trying to figure out how much we'll need in "fun" money. We hope to travel more in our retirement. I want to take golf back up (and that ain't free, even on "free" courses!). We don't want to be "house poor" and not be able to socialize and entertain the way we want. So, we continue to work for now. However, if I were to win the lottery today, I'd be down there tomorrow. When we visited the first time the year before last, it was all I could do to make myself leave and go home! And that was just a "drop-in" visit, not a lifestyle preview visit!
Closed Thread

Thread Tools

You are viewing a new design of the TOTV site. Click here to revert to the old version.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:40 PM.