First Visit Impressions

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  #16  
Old 01-27-2015, 03:03 PM
JerryLBell JerryLBell is offline
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For you former Northerns- How long did it take you to acclimate to the summers in FL?
We moved from Michigan to North Carolina and it took me about a year or two to become accustomed to the summers here. When we move from NC to Florida, I'm expecting to adjust within a year.
  #17  
Old 01-27-2015, 03:15 PM
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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!
That is a great way to put it!
  #18  
Old 01-27-2015, 04:07 PM
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Default your not buying a house your are buying a lifestyle

Love it or Hate it
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  #19  
Old 01-27-2015, 05:19 PM
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The only thing that I can add to the above posts, which are spot on, is that you are visiting at the busiest/most populous time of the year. During the "slower" times (other than Jan/Feb/Mar), restaurants consistently run specials (even the country clubs) but with so many rear ends competing for a limited number of seats, you won't find that at this time of year - and the lines are LONGER for just about everything ... that's not really a complaint, just a fact of life. We have a home here and love it but we're still snowbirds. You'll LOVE IT! And, as has been previously stated, you're buying a LIFE STYLE not just a home. It's possible but difficult to match this anywhere else!

FredF
  #20  
Old 01-27-2015, 07:11 PM
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My first impression of the Villages was that the people were friendly and happy --and that I would love it here! There is something here for almost everyone. We drove around until we found a neighborhood that felt like home. If you want more yard, buy on a golf course or a lake so your view is of space, but you don't have to mow it, or pay for it! Our house here is about 2/3 the size of our one in Ohio and cost about the same. It's older, no granite, and I don't care! We eat lunch out nearly every day and eat breakfast and dinner at home. Lunches are a great bargain here and the food is just as good as at dinnertime.
We love it and wouldn't want to be anywhere else when it's 18 degrees at home ( like it was when we left after New Years)!
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  #21  
Old 01-31-2015, 10:49 AM
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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.
This explains a lot! Housing up North is very cheap (unless you are on a lake) because there is little demand. Unless you are a hunter or snowmobiler, there is not a lot to do up there either. We live in Milwaukee and found the villages prices to be very reasonable, especially for what you get. The taxes are very low compared to Wisconsin. As far as dining, I think it is very reasonable, especially in the country clubs. We went to Nancy Lopez and both had steak and wine and paid $50, that would have been double here in Milwaukee. Remember that the only thing that matters in real estate is location... and the villages is THE location. The one thing we found to be higher is prices in the surrounding area for furniture and furnishings - even Hobby Lobby prices were higher than up North.. I would suggest Walmart.com and Wayfair.com to help furnish your home to get around this.
  #22  
Old 01-31-2015, 11:56 AM
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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!
A very good, thoughtful, post!
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  #23  
Old 01-31-2015, 12:43 PM
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This explains a lot! Housing up North is very cheap (unless you are on a lake) because there is little demand. Unless you are a hunter or snowmobiler, there is not a lot to do up there either. We live in Milwaukee and found the villages prices to be very reasonable, especially for what you get. The taxes are very low compared to Wisconsin. As far as dining, I think it is very reasonable, especially in the country clubs. We went to Nancy Lopez and both had steak and wine and paid $50, that would have been double here in Milwaukee. Remember that the only thing that matters in real estate is location... and the villages is THE location. The one thing we found to be higher is prices in the surrounding area for furniture and furnishings - even Hobby Lobby prices were higher than up North.. I would suggest Walmart.com and Wayfair.com to help furnish your home to get around this.
Spot on!
  #24  
Old 01-31-2015, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by spd2918 View Post
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
SPD" I won't bore you with my story only to say that my first impression was the same as my second impression (Lifestyle visit).

I believe you assessment is accurate. How one perceives this community is in part based on where they have lived before and your personalities. You also should consider what life will be like for you and your spouse 5-10-15 years after you move here

I believe a person can be active just about anywhere. as to the golf cart travel, many like it. some like me were bored after about to weeks. I only use my golf cart for golf and in most instances I walk on the executive courses so often just take my car

Good luck with your decision
  #25  
Old 01-31-2015, 05:11 PM
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Everything is clean and maintenance areas are hidden.
Rec Centers, Squares and neighborhoods to an extent have a theme, like Disney Resorts.
Separate checks are the norm.
Free exec golf that I can walk.
Golf Dress code is very forgiving.
Many clubs that I joined are $10 for the year.
For $55 a year I have access to a 8,000 sq ft woodshop.
Waterbirds that I photograph all the time.
I find it quiet and very safe.
The paths are perfect for biking.
I don't have a golf cart and don't want one. I have a smart car that I enjoy and lease.
Orlando Airport and pick up service is very convenient and safe.
All that Orlando has to offer is nearby.
Two great cruise ports are relatively close.
TOTV is good for advice, chatting, classifieds,
As I think of things, I may add more.

Last edited by tomwed; 01-31-2015 at 05:47 PM.
  #26  
Old 01-31-2015, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomwed View Post
Everything is clean and maintenance areas are hidden.
Rec Centers, Squares and neighborhoods to an extent have a theme, like Disney Resorts.
Separate checks are the norm.
Free exec golf that I can walk.
Golf Dress code is very forgiving.
Many clubs that I joined are $10 for the year.
For $55 a year I have access to a 8,000 sq ft woodshop.
Waterbirds that I photograph all the time.
I find it quiet and very safe.
The paths are perfect for biking.
I don't have a golf cart and don't want one. I have a smart car that I enjoy and lease.
Orlando Airport and pick up service is very convenient and safe.
As I think of things, I may add more.

Excellent start. I would add wonderful neighbors. Friendly staff in the rec centers, etc. Not enough time in the day to do all the activities that you might enjoy. Generally nice, intelligent people on TOTV who wish to be helpful.

And others will add more.
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  #27  
Old 01-31-2015, 05:50 PM
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check out this link it will help you a lot 50 Things to Think About Before Buying a Home in The Villages
  #28  
Old 04-27-2015, 03:37 PM
JerryLBell JerryLBell is offline
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Well, we recently spent another week in Florida checking out several active retirement communities. At the end, we were so convinced of The Villages that we called back to the realtor we'd talked to and started the process of buying one of the houses we had toured on an open house. It'll still be a coupe of years before we can retire and move there (we may have to find some renters in the meantime), but at least now we've got a house waiting for us when we're ready.

And we never did manage to try the "lifestyle preview visit"!
  #29  
Old 04-27-2015, 05:14 PM
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Congratulations! And welcome. You won't be sorry.
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  #30  
Old 04-27-2015, 06:24 PM
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Hi Brad. Your first impressions were accurate. Our homes are cookie cutter, a bit high, and we have too many chain restaurants. On the other hand our clubs are fabulous, golf carts are fun to get around and most people love our lifestyle. My suggestion is visit again and possibly even rent to really get a really good feel for the villages. Keep posting here with your questions and good luck in your decision
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