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Author: billart808 Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 19371  
Subject: Active Adult Communities Date: 11/5/2003 10:20 AM
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Is anyone aware of discussion or chat boards or something similar where the subject is active adult or retirement communitiy living? My wife & I are seriously considering moving to one of these, probably in FL, after I retire in mid-'05. I've reviewed reams of info that I requested from ads in Where to Retire magazine, & we recently spent a couple of days each at 3 communities (Spruce Creek CC, Royal Harbor & Plantation at Leesberg) in the Ocala/Leesberg area. While there we also briefly visited a number of other communities, most of which we ruled out for various reasons, a few because they were almost sold out.

We liked the 3 at which we stayed (although I think we prefer Pringle's Legacy to its Royal Harbor community). At Royal Harbor & Plantation they set us up with a couple (at Plantation different couples on consecutive nights) for dinner, so we could ask questions. This is helpful, but certainly not a sufficient sampling on which to base an opinion about living in this type of community.

We plan to check out several more communities in central FL next summer (need to see if the heat & humidity is really as bad as everyone says; we currently live in Minneapolis, where we do get some of that, but for a considerably shorter period of time). My wife's main concern seems to be finding a floor plan she likes. I'm particularly interested in cost, both construction & monthly fees, as well as amentities, such as the fitness center (somewhat disappointing in most of the communities we saw), community pool, tennis/pickle ball courts (Kathy, a twice a week tennis player, got quite a giggle out of playing pickle ball), etc. Inclusion of yard maintenance is not a requirement.

So, do any of you Fools know where I can get subjective info on this type of community living, or are any of you willing to opine? I think I know the answer to the last part of that question, so I'll stay tuned.

Bill
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Author: BigLon One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8676 of 19371
Subject: Re: Active Adult Communities Date: 11/5/2003 1:54 PM
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I live in one of the "Active Adult Retirement Communities" in California. Having lived in Florida, I ruled it out when I retired because of the humidity and bugs. The community that I live in has 3000 individual homes and all the amenities that one could ask for, including an outstanding fitness center and 27 hole golf course. There are over 40 Chartered Clubs. My wife and I are extremely happy with this size community. The same developer (Del Webb) has another community only 20 minutes from this one that will eventually have over 10,000 individual homes. That's too big a community for my taste. We lived in a rental for three months before buying a resale that came on the market (we knew exactly what model we wanted). This gave us the opportunity to check out everything before buying. Our monthly dues are $110 for everything except golf. What's the downside? California in generally is more expensive than many other places. Homes start at $220,000 and go up to $700,000. Many people dislike the CC&R's that spell out exactly what color you can paint the outside of your home, where you can locate your dish antennae, what kind of landscaping you cna have etc. etc. I personally have no problem with this, but suggest that everyone get a copy before they buy, and read them thoroughly.
We love where we live and are having a ball. It's 24 hour recess.

Lon-------BTW------Don't know of any chat or newsgroups dealing with this.

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Author: going2win Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8679 of 19371
Subject: Re: Active Adult Communities Date: 11/5/2003 3:28 PM
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The community that I live in has 3000 individual homes and all the amenities that one could ask for, including an outstanding fitness center and 27 hole golf course. There are over 40 Chartered Clubs. My wife and I are extremely happy with this size community. The same developer (Del Webb) has another community only 20 minutes from this one that will eventually have over 10,000 individual homes.

What's the name for your community and the other one ?

g2w

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Author: arahfool Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8683 of 19371
Subject: Re: Active Adult Communities Date: 11/5/2003 7:37 PM
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Bill sez:
So, do any of you Fools know where I can get subjective info on this type of community living, or are any of you willing to opine? I think I know the answer to the last part of that question, so I'll stay tuned..

DW and I spent 2+ years at Spruce Creek Preserve. Our primary interest was in golf but I would be glad to provide you with whatever info I could about the area, living in an 'Active Adult' community and of course the Central FL (Ocala) area.

I would offer this advice about Del Webb. Get EVERYTHING in writing! and be aware that they are now owned by Pulte Homes. If you are a golfer, I would recommend looking at Lake Diamond, Ocala Palms, Ocala CC and others before Spruce Creek CC.

arahfool


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Author: billart808 Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8688 of 19371
Subject: Re: Active Adult Communities Date: 11/6/2003 9:46 AM
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arahfool sez:
DW and I spent 2+ years at Spruce Creek Preserve. Our primary interest was in golf but I would be glad to provide you with whatever info I could about the area, living in an 'Active Adult' community and of course the Central FL (Ocala) area.

I would offer this advice about Del Webb. Get EVERYTHING in writing! and be aware that they are now owned by Pulte Homes. If you are a golfer, I would recommend looking at Lake Diamond, Ocala Palms, Ocala CC and others before Spruce Creek CC.

We'd definitely like to read whatever you have to say about the Ocala area & your experience with Del Webb, either on- or offline. We want to make our decision knowing as many facts & opinions, good and bad, as possible.

We're not golfers, so that's not a major concern of ours. But being around a bunch of unhappy golfers would be. We are planning to stay at, or at least visit, Lake Diamond & Ocala Palms next time down, as well as possibly Rainbow Springs, Oak Run, Citrus Hills & Carillon Lakes.

Is Ocala truly one of the top 10, or whatever the ranking is, best places to retire in the U.S.? We saw so little of it, only mainly driving thru on Hwy 27/441 & 200, so couldn't form much of an opinion. I almost think I might like the Clermont area better (rolling terrain, closer to Orlando), but I understand congestion is becoming a serious problem there, & the 2 communities we visited, Kings Ridge & Summit Green, will be sold out within a year (too soon for us to buy or move).

Are you still in the central FL area? In a retirement community? Did you have problems with Del Webb that caused you to leave Spruce Creek Preserve? I do know that they're now owned by Pulte, & Pulte Orlando did not get rated very highly by J.D. Power recently (http://www.jdpower.com/cc/homes/jdpa_ratings/FindHomeBuilderResults.jsp?city=Orlando). Right now, in fact I've been waiting about 2 weeks for some info regarding pricing & some other questions I've asked of our salesperson there.

Still conflicted -

Bill


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Author: arahfool Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8690 of 19371
Subject: Re: Active Adult Communities Date: 11/6/2003 1:02 PM
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Bill sez:
We'd definitely like to read whatever you have to say about the Ocala area & your experience with Del Webb, either on- or offline. We want to make our decision knowing as many facts & opinions, good and bad, as possible.

We're not golfers, so that's not a major concern of ours. But being around a bunch of unhappy golfers would be. We are planning to stay at, or at least visit, Lake Diamond & Ocala Palms next time down, as well as possibly Rainbow Springs, Oak Run, Citrus Hills & Carillon Lakes.


Those are all fine choices, though my main focus is on the golf course so my criteria won't be a match for yours. I think it would be wise to consider golfing issues as I believe that the value of the properties are closely tied to the success of the course. If the course winds up going under due to mis-management it will have an adverse effect on your property.

Is Ocala truly one of the top 10, or whatever the ranking is, best places to retire in the U.S.? We saw so little of it, only mainly driving thru on Hwy 27/441 & 200, so couldn't form much of an opinion. I almost think I might like the Clermont area better (rolling terrain, closer to Orlando), but I understand congestion is becoming a serious problem there, & the 2 communities we visited, Kings Ridge & Summit Green, will be sold out within a year (too soon for us to buy or move).

I remember Mt Dora being highly rated some years ago but am not sure how high Ocala was rated. We liked the area, big enough to have everything we needed -- shopping wise --, but small enough to basically get almost anywhere in 30 minutes or less. We used the Gainsville airport mostly as most every where we flew was through Atlanta anyway.
I am not into the Arts or Education but there were plenty of Medical facilities, fine eats and of course lots of quality golf courses. Traffic is kind of in the eye of the beholder, a New Yorker or LA'er would probably laugh at what I call traffic but as a retiree I could time my visits into town so that I missed the busy times.
The weather itself is/was not that much different than what I was used to in GA, a little warmer in the Winter but the summers were about the same to me.

Are you still in the central FL area? In a retirement community? Did you have problems with Del Webb that caused you to leave Spruce Creek Preserve? I do know that they're now owned by Pulte, & Pulte Orlando did not get rated very highly by J.D. Power recently (http://www.jdpower.com/cc/homes/jdpa_ratings/FindHomeBuilderResults.jsp?city=Orlando). Right now, in fact I've been waiting about 2 weeks for some info regarding pricing & some other questions I've asked of our salesperson there.

No , we have relocated back to 'home' in the central GA area. DW got tired of me chasing a 'dream' and moving every 2 years so she decided that we would come back here.
I didn't really have that many problems with the homes we bought at SCP. They were pretty good about resolving issues, though some of my neighbors might not agree with that. They throw the homes up so fast there are bound to be some issues but in my case I bought a home that was already built so it had already been 'inspected' many times before we took possession. I heard friends complain about getting the wrong tile, cabinets, lights, etc but we didn't have those issues.

The community center offers many activities, clubs, library so there is lots to do outside of golf. Trips, cookouts, shows, etc were plentiful. There is definately a spirit of friendship in the comunnity unlike that in a regular 'working class' community, at least to my experience.

Once Del Webb 'builds out' a community, they turn it over to the Home Owners Association (HOA). Turnover on the board is often high and there are always folks that can't be pleased so the meetings frequently resemble one of those TV shows where everybody is trying to make a point and talk at once. Very funny, though it is a serious business where they control millions of dollars. It is not a democratic process.

Del Webb is not someone I myself would ever do business with again because of the way they misled us about the management and ownership of the golf course.

Still conflicted -
Bill


I certainly do not want to be all negative as there were a lot of things we liked there. Had the golf issues not been there, we would still be there. Had someone made me aware of the situation beforehand, I might have made a different decision.

arahfool


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Author: billart808 Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 8691 of 19371
Subject: Re: Active Adult Communities Date: 11/6/2003 3:46 PM
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Arahfool:
Thanks for the helpful info. Possible golf course ownership issues have been of some concern to me. In one of the communities, I do believe it was Spruce Creek's, the developer's manager talked about the community board transition when 90% of the lots were sold, & I think in the same article noted that the golf course would be offered to the association at that time. If the association did not want to purchase it, it would be offered publically.
I may not have this exactly right, & I may be combining communications from 2 different communities, but it is troubling nonetheless, in that if the association decided it wanted to buy the course (& I note that you stated, about the association meetings, "It is not a democratic process."), we'd have to come with a lot of $$, likely jacking up our monthly fee to pay off the additional financing needed, or if it were sold to another operator, who knows how that would affect the community. I'll be doing a more thorough investigation of this at any and all communities we consider.
I suspect your cautions re potential problems during the building process apply to any builder, and I've been thinking more and more of the importance of being around to monitor construction progress, rather than not moving down 'til the house is done.
Bill

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