(Topic ID: 342777)

The Villages, FL

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10 months ago


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#1 10 months ago

Hello All

Just wondering if anyone has any experience. As my wife and I get to the point of my retirement we are thinking about florida but do not have millions in our coffers. We would like to be close enough to the beach to drive if we want without packing a lunch. Any thoughts?

Thank you

G

#2 10 months ago

I’m pretty familiar w the Villages/Leesburg area.
I personally like the area and you’re pretty centralized to a lot of entertainment in FL
If you have a motorcycle that’s a plus lol
Feel free to PM me if you need help with anything pertaining to properties, etc

#3 10 months ago

There are plenty of lakes very close to the Villages, but you're about a hour to an hour and a half from the beach as its pretty inland.

My grandfather lived in the villages for a couple years and enjoyed it as a single guy. All the stories of swinging and nonstop partying are real. Its very bizarre and not for everyone, but I can think of worse places to retire.

#4 10 months ago
Quoted from Taygeta:

My grandfather lived in the villages for a couple years and enjoyed it as a single guy. All the stories of swinging and nonstop partying are real. Its very bizarre and not for everyone, but I can think of worse places to retire.

That’s sounds like a fun retirement

#5 10 months ago

It's known for upside down pineapples and golf cart loofah's & the "S"winging "T"errible "D"oors... So I'm told.

#6 10 months ago

Thank you all. God willing if I’m still alive and able to take nourishment in six years we would enjoy making the move.

Love the Naples area and Bradenton looks nice as well. Definitely want a place that has an HOA so that when your piggish neighbors don’t maintain their property the lawyers get involved. Yeah I take care of my place and expect neighbors to do the same I’m old school

Thank you all

#7 10 months ago

I'd take Naples over Villages any given day. Though, if you have family who might fly in frequently, it is generally more expensive to fly to SW Florida.

#8 10 months ago

Make sure your golf cart game is on point!

#9 10 months ago
Quoted from hypnotoad:

I'd take Naples over Villages any given day. Though, if you have family who might fly in frequently, it is generally more expensive to fly to SW Florida.

Isn't Naples rather pricey?

#10 10 months ago

Yes. Naples is pricey. No doubt. Think that is outside of my coffers unfortunately!!

#11 10 months ago
Quoted from mbwalker:

Isn't Naples rather pricey?

Yes, it's very expensive here.

#12 10 months ago

My close friend is a bartender in The Villages. Yes, it’s a great place for retirees. And YES, those rumors about swingers, promiscuity and VD are true. He has told me many amusing stories about being propositioned by swingers, etc. But if that’s not your thing, don’t worry. Most people there are normal and just want to enjoy their retirement. Keep in mind, it is a strong Republican area. I’m not making a judgment about that. I’m just letting you know in case your politics differ. Anyway, good luck and enjoy your upcoming retirement. Life is short. Enjoy

#13 10 months ago

Visit Nocatee a master planned community in Ponte Vedra, FL. Built up - about 40 ft above seal level so you don't need flood insurance. But only 7 miles from the Atlantic. We have lived here for almost 10 years now. There are two DelWebb communities here for 55+. Lots to do. www.nocatee.com

Side note - I am a licensed Real Estate Broker and here to help if you want to reach out.

Regardless in my book Florida is the BEST STATE IN THE UNION. You can't go wrong.

#14 10 months ago

How come nobodies asking what the pinball is like in these areas?

#15 10 months ago

If interested in where to retire, there was a great thread on where to live a few years ago you'd appreciate.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/wheres-a-good-place-to-live

Also, because of early 2000s commercials I can't hear "The Villages" without adding in "Florida's Friendliest Home Town".

#17 10 months ago
Quoted from Tommy_Pins:

How come nobodies asking what the pinball is like in these areas?

I’m not aware of there being much of a pinball community in The Villages, but Oviedo and Orlando aren’t too far away. And there’s some great pinball there, especially in Oviedo.

And, who knows, maybe the swingers have a version of strip pinball going someplace over there!

#18 10 months ago
Quoted from tdiddy:

[quoted image]

now i know where i want to retire. woohoooo!!

12
#19 10 months ago

Well, maybe you should hear from someone who actually lives in The Villages (TV). I moved to TV 1 year ago, after living in Henderson, NV for the previous 5 years. TV is by far the cleanest community in which I've ever lived. The healthful lifestyle one can have here is limitless because of the tremendous number of recreation sites, amenities, activities, and clubs. As for the notorious partying and social scene, this is more rumor than it is fact for most of us here. You can probably find it if that's your thing, but to me it's more of a salacious story that people who don't live here like to spread for some reason. My years in Henderson, essentially Las Vegas, were wonderful. I spent a ton of time running, cycling, swimming, and hiking and hanging out with like-minded friends. I played cash games poker and tournaments at the local casinos and sometimes on The Strip. My final 18 months were made even better by adding volunteer tech time (up to 20 hours/week) at PHoF. The fact that "Sin City" lives up to it's nickname in many ways in many places just didn't affect my lifestyle or me, and quite frankly was more of a concept than a reality. Most people who live and work in Las Vegas feel the same way. If you don't want something to be a part of your life, it barely seems to exist.

As for TV, golf, pickleball, and softball are very popular here. But the number of sports for individuals or teams seems nearly limitless and there are multiple venues for each of them. There are many miles of wide, paved multiuse paths that connect all of the individual villages (neighborhoods) that make up TV. Not all of these paths permit golf carts in case that is a concern. There are a tremendous number of swimming pools of 3 different designs: small neighborhood family-friendly pools, larger adult only resort-style pools, and much larger rectangular 25 yd sports pools for lap swimming, water exercise, water volleyball, etc.

It is commonly said that TV is "Disneyland for adults". I think of it more as a giant sports, activities, and special interest camp for adults that features town centers with daily evening entertainment and much more.

There is no active pinball group in TV, though I've learned someone tried to organize one a few years ago. I have 5 machines currently. There are a few pinball places within a 3-hour drive from TV, but I've only been to the Pinball Asylum in Fort Myers, FL. Cool place with good people running it.

All of the above is far from being a complete list of what's fun, good, and enriching here. But people being people, it certainly has warts and is not a perfect place. But just like the rumor of promiscuity, you'll be better served if you get your information from people who live here. Check out the The Villages official website for management's depiction of the wonderful lifestyle and an accurate description of all of the amenities, clubs, entertainment, continuing education opportunities, etc. But round out your information by watching a few good YouTube channels containing original content by people who live here. Start with "The Villages Florida Newcomers" for a very rosey view from a retired Indiana couple; "The Villages Skip Smith" for a curmudgeonly view from a retired Ohio truck driver (and occasionally his wife); and "The Villages with Rusty Nelson" for a rather unemotional fact-based view from a photographer/storm chaser from Philadelphia. There are other channels from people who live here, but those three will be more than enough to get accurate information on the pros and cons about living in TV.

Of course, feel free to PM me if you have questions.

#20 10 months ago

My parents have lived in the Villages now for about 5 years or so. My dad loves it and my mom hates it(its growing on her slowly). They have a very nice newer home with a nice linai outside. If you are thinking about pinballs I dont know that there will be many house options there that support a decent sized collection? I may be wrong. If you dont mind having them in your main den/living room area then that works. Or maybe thats what the 3rd or 4th bedroom could be for?The houses Ive seen there are mostly 3-4 Bedrooms. I dont think there are basements but there may be some models that have that.

If you are into golf, sports, activities it has that everywhere. And its only a fast(pimped out) golf cart away. For me it would be too hot to live there in the summer. Ive told my wife when the time comes Id be open to living up here in the NE in the summer and maybe somewhere down south during the winter.

#21 10 months ago

May want to check out NE coast of Florida. Ormond Beach up to St Augustine. (The coast is 10-15 degrees cooler in summer due to sea breezes) The villages is smack dab in the center of Florida and can be very hot if the wind doesn't blow. Good Pinball in Ormond at Café 1 and Pinball Lounge in Oviedo. Leaderboard in Jacksonville. Depends on how close you want to be to beach. Villages is a drive. Gulf is very remote near the villages only decent beaches would be East on Atlantic side - New Smyrna about 1.50 hour away. Also you may want to check out DeLand or Sanford both are smaller towns with thriving downtowns lots to do. Lived here most of my life and everyone seems to be moving here. There is a new Margaritaville community just off I-95 in North Daytona Beach that has a beach club with shuttle service throughout the day. Golf cart community drive the souped up cart to Publix and Liquor store what else do you need...

#22 10 months ago
Quoted from PiscisMagnus:

Well, maybe you should hear from someone who actually lives in The Villages (TV). I moved to TV 1 year ago, after living in Henderson, NV for the previous 5 years. TV is by far the cleanest community in which I've ever lived. The healthful lifestyle one can have here is limitless because of the tremendous number of recreation sites, amenities, activities, and clubs. As for the notorious partying and social scene, this is more rumor than it is fact for most of us here. You can probably find it if that's your thing, but to me it's more of a salacious story that people who don't live here like to spread for some reason. My years in Henderson, essentially Las Vegas, were wonderful. I spent a ton of time running, cycling, swimming, and hiking and hanging out with like-minded friends. I played cash games poker and tournaments at the local casinos and sometimes on The Strip. My final 18 months were made even better by adding volunteer tech time (up to 20 hours/week) at PHoF. The fact that "Sin City" lives up to it's nickname in many ways in many places just didn't affect my lifestyle or me, and quite frankly was more of a concept than a reality. Most people who live and work in Las Vegas feel the same way. If you don't want something to be a part of your life, it barely seems to exist.
As for TV, golf, pickleball, and softball are very popular here. But the number of sports for individuals or teams seems nearly limitless and there are multiple venues for each of them. There are many miles of wide, paved multiuse paths that connect all of the individual villages (neighborhoods) that make up TV. Not all of these paths permit golf carts in case that is a concern. There are a tremendous number of swimming pools of 3 different designs: small neighborhood family-friendly pools, larger adult only resort-style pools, and much larger rectangular 25 yd sports pools for lap swimming, water exercise, water volleyball, etc.
It is commonly said that TV is "Disneyland for adults". I think of it more as a giant sports, activities, and special interest camp for adults that features town centers with daily evening entertainment and much more.
There is no active pinball group in TV, though I've learned someone tried to organize one a few years ago. I have 5 machines currently. There are a few pinball places within a 3-hour drive from TV, but I've only been to the Pinball Asylum in Fort Myers, FL. Cool place with good people running it.
All of the above is far from being a complete list of what's fun, good, and enriching here. But people being people, it certainly has warts and is not a perfect place. But just like the rumor of promiscuity, you'll be better served if you get your information from people who live here. Check out the The Villages official website for management's depiction of the wonderful lifestyle and an accurate description of all of the amenities, clubs, entertainment, continuing education opportunities, etc. But round out your information by watching a few good YouTube channels containing original content by people who live here. Start with "The Villages Florida Newcomers" for a very rosey view from a retired Indiana couple; "The Villages Skip Smith" for a curmudgeonly view from a retired Ohio truck driver (and occasionally his wife); and "The Villages with Rusty Nelson" for a rather unemotional fact-based view from a photographer/storm chaser from Philadelphia. There are other channels from people who live here, but those three will be more than enough to get accurate information on the pros and cons about living in TV.
Of course, feel free to PM me if you have questions.

Thank you for the write up. My wife and are I are thinking of visiting as we are reaching 55 soon.

Are there many people within that 55-60 age group? Also - is Orlando still the closest airport?

#23 10 months ago

I can confirm the "upside-down" pineapple lifestyle there...don't ask me how I know.

#24 10 months ago
Quoted from Methos:

Thank you for the write up. My wife and are I are thinking of visiting as we are reaching 55 soon.
Are there many people within that 55-60 age group? Also - is Orlando still the closest airport?

Yes, quite a few, especially in the newest sections. You won't stand out from the crowd, that's for sure. Only 1 person in the house must be 55 or older. I live in one of the newest villages and I've already met 2 couples on my block in which one spouse is less than 55. Also, the town squares are open to the public, so you'll always see younger people there shopping, dining, or enjoying live music. The oldest part of TV (Spanish Springs) has the highest percentage of folks >80 yrs old. The next oldest Lake Sumter Landing are generally younger than those in Spanish Springs. And so on, in general. That said, young retirees might desire an older home to renovate and modernize or a quieter, less active village to live in, so the older areas see a slow influx of younger folks.

Yes, I think Orlando International (MCO) is the closest. It's the one I use and takes me about 1.25 hrs to get there. I have friends that use airports in Tampa or Sanborn, but I don't know anything about those. It might depend on your choice of airline. The friends that use Sanborn, fly from Michigan on Allegiant.

Other than the website and YT channels I mentioned above, another good source is one from an independent realtor in the area. His website is at Insidethebubble.net.

#25 10 months ago
Quoted from PiscisMagnus:

Yes, quite a few, especially in the newest sections. You won't stand out from the crowd, that's for sure. Only 1 person in the house must be 55 or older. I live in one of the newest villages and I've already met 2 couples on my block in which one spouse is less than 55. Also, the town squares are open to the public, so you'll always see younger people there shopping, dining, or enjoying live music. The oldest part of TV (Spanish Springs) has the highest percentage of folks >80 yrs old. The next oldest Lake Sumter Landing are generally younger than those in Spanish Springs. And so on, in general. That said, young retirees might desire an older home to renovate and modernize or a quieter, less active village to live in, so the older areas see a slow influx of younger folks.
Yes, I think Orlando International (MCO) is the closest. It's the one I use and takes me about 1.25 hrs to get there. I have friends that use airports in Tampa or Sanborn, but I don't know anything about those. It might depend on your choice of airline. The friends that use Sanborn, fly from Michigan on Allegiant.
Other than the website and YT channels I mentioned above, another good source is one from an independent realtor in the area. His website is at Insidethebubble.net.

I actually ordered the DVD from the The Villages some time ago (a little corny), and also watched a bunch of YT videos (both the good and bad). Correct me if I'm wrong, but I can rent a house (AirBnB?) to check out what it's like living there?

#26 10 months ago
Quoted from GPS:

Hello All
Just wondering if anyone has any experience. As my wife and I get to the point of my retirement we are thinking about florida but do not have millions in our coffers. We would like to be close enough to the beach to drive if we want without packing a lunch. Any thoughts?
Thank you
G

My parents and my grandfather before them enjoy/enjoyed it. We drove to Orlando early this year to play pinball at a place with only LEs, and I already scoped out how many machines I can get in their 2005 era house when it’s mine (although still a few years short of the age limit). The store with Little Shop of Games might be close enough for machine rentals too. They haven’t shared any loofah stories, but did point out the bar where that can happen if one is interested.

#27 10 months ago
Quoted from MasterOnion5:

My parents and my grandfather before them enjoy/enjoyed it. We drove to Orlando early this year to play pinball at a place with only LEs, and I already scoped out how many machines I can get in their 2005 era house when it’s mine (although still a few years short of the age limit).

#28 10 months ago
Quoted from mbwalker:

I actually ordered the DVD from the The Villages some time ago (a little corny), and also watched a bunch of YT videos (both the good and bad). Correct me if I'm wrong, but I can rent a house (AirBnB?) to check out what it's like living there?

Yeah, that video is corny and a bit outdated too. Think of it as the marketer's view of their product. Nothing was a lie, but you need much more to see the whole picture. Visiting and seeing for yourself is a very smart approach.

Yes, you can rent a house. I think AirBnB is still an option, but it might not be for long. Many Villagers are angry about short-term renters coming in and behaving badly, especially at night. The complaints about loud, late night partying, leaving trash laying around, and disrupting retirement living are becoming more frequent. One recent purchaser of a house found out after he moved into his new house that most of the other houses on his block were bought with the sole intention of being a rental. So he had very few real neighbors and has to endure the bad behavior from renters when it occurs. Of course, that's not all renters or all of the time. If the renting of the house is done through The Villages management, they won't do short-term rentals. Six months might be shortest term if I recall. But as of now, there is no rule in place that requires you to use the TV process for renting your house.

If you are truly interested in potentially buying a house in TV, take advantage of the official Lifestyle Visit. You'll be placed in a relatively new furnished house that TV uses only for Lifestyle Visits. You'll receive everything you need to explore TV, including movie tickets, two bicycles (balloon-tire, wide seat), and a golf cart (and driving rules). A well designed app can be downloaded for navigation (you'll need it). You'll get a tour of TV from an TV realtor assigned to you. I guarantee there will be no sales pressure from the realtor. As it is often said around here, the TV lifestyle sells itself. However, they will give you as much attention as you want and answer all of your questions. If something seems to good to be true, ask Villagers you meet during your Lifestyle Visit. People will be happy to provide their truth because they likely were once anxious themselves about owning a house here. If you don't want to be tied to the TV system for supporting prospective buyers, you can find owners renting their house or an independent realtor who might help you. I wouldn't expect the same level of support or perhaps even the same quality of visit that you would get from a Lifestyle Visit though.

#29 10 months ago
Quoted from PiscisMagnus:

Yeah, that video is corny and a bit outdated too. Think of it as the marketer's view of their product. Nothing was a lie, but you need much more to see the whole picture. Visiting and seeing for yourself is a very smart approach.
Yes, you can rent a house. I think AirBnB is still an option, but it might not be for long. Many Villagers are angry about short-term renters coming in and behaving badly, especially at night. The complaints about loud, late night partying, leaving trash laying around, and disrupting retirement living are becoming more frequent. One recent purchaser of a house found out after he moved into his new house that most of the other houses on his block were bought with the sole intention of being a rental. So he had very few real neighbors and has to endure the bad behavior from renters when it occurs. Of course, that's not all renters or all of the time. If the renting of the house is done through The Villages management, they won't do short-term rentals. Six months might be shortest term if I recall. But as of now, there is no rule in place that requires you to use the TV process for renting your house.
If you are truly interested in potentially buying a house in TV, take advantage of the official Lifestyle Visit. You'll be placed in a relatively new furnished house that TV uses only for Lifestyle Visits. You'll receive everything you need to explore TV, including movie tickets, two bicycles (balloon-tire, wide seat), and a golf cart (and driving rules). A well designed app can be downloaded for navigation (you'll need it). You'll get a tour of TV from an TV realtor assigned to you. I guarantee there will be no sales pressure from the realtor. As it is often said around here, the TV lifestyle sells itself. However, they will give you as much attention as you want and answer all of your questions. If something seems to good to be true, ask Villagers you meet during your Lifestyle Visit. People will be happy to provide their truth because they likely were once anxious themselves about owning a house here. If you don't want to be tied to the TV system for supporting prospective buyers, you can find owners renting their house or an independent realtor who might help you. I wouldn't expect the same level of support or perhaps even the same quality of visit that you would get from a Lifestyle Visit though.

Excellent advice, thank you!

#30 10 months ago

All very good info. Thank you very much

G

#31 10 months ago

To anyone wanting to relocate to Florida, spend some time there and check it out. Make sure you're OK with the climate there. It is hot and humid for a good portion of the year. YMMV

#32 10 months ago
Quoted from poppapin:

To anyone wanting to relocate to Florida, spend some time there and check it out. Make sure you're OK with the climate there. It is hot and humid for a good portion of the year. YMMV

Can't stress this enough. Visit July/August and understand that late May into early October is some version of that experience most of the time, hot and humid.

#33 10 months ago

My parents rented there for a year to make sure it was for them. Wouldnt be a bad idea if you dont need to decide for a while

#34 10 months ago

I’ve been living in Florida since 1991. I moved here from Maine. Yes, it’s hot in the summer…sometimes hot as balls! But most places have central air. It’s not unbearable in the summer. I often compare it to having to put the heat on in northern places during the winter. By and large, Florida has been a great place for me to live all these years. There’s a lot to do here, and a nice variety of places. But, of course, to each their own.

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