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Last updated: September 17, 2021 • Traveling Around the World

The Villages, Florida

The state of Florida is also known by many as the Sunshine State. Now the question comes. Where better can an age-restricted active senior community be located than right in the middle of the state with the most amount of sunny days a year. In central Florida, if you go by Florida’s Turnpike from Orlando, you will find a master-planned community designed to be enjoyed by active seniors in their prime. The Villages community works hard to make sure that any dream comes true for its retired residents by making their golden years be the best years of their lives. 

In this community, retirees of all ages come together from any part of the country to enjoy an active way of life in the perfect senior citizen housing. They can engage socially through various activities as well as clubs while using the amenities available in The Villages. From the Sharon Rose Weichens Preserve where the residents can enjoy the most appealing aspects of The Villages’ natural beauty to the 50 Golf Courses operated by the community, everything else in between is tailored for the needs and interests of the residents aged 55 or more. But where did The Villages come from?

A Brief History of The Villages, Florida

Before The Villages was even an idea, the subsequent founders, Harold Schwartz and Al Tarrson made a fortune by selling parcels of land by mail order in central Florida. As the practice was outlawed by 1968, Schwartz had to come up with a different approach. With some land remaining in their possession, they set on to develop a mobile home community called Orange Blossom Gardens. Eventually, Schwartz bought Tarsson’s part of the investment. Because of the current market conditions, Schwartz decided to enhance the property by investing in upgraded amenities and so the idea of The Villages began to form.

When the idea for a retirement community was formed back in the early 1970s there wasn’t much planning or vision involved. However, the vision started to take shape, and Schwarts, together with his son, H. Gary Morse started to think of creating the largest and most vibrant adult community the US has ever seen. By the early 1980s, Schwartz already managed to sell 400 homes in the area now known as the Orange Blossom neighborhood. At that point, they realized what the place could become. By investing in both commercial and residential developments as well as the amenities that keep attracting more and more senior residents, the community blossomed.Soon they were planning expansions, by implementing those plans it became the biggest gated community for residents of 55 and older.

As investments increased the quality of amenities and people were drawn like moths to a flame, new areas were included in the project and a rebranding marketing strategy resulted in the name change. Orange Blossom Gardens transformed into The Villages in 1992. The community already had 3 golf courses at the time, coupled with several restaurants, great entertainment options, and a supermarket. While Schwarts and Morse’s descendants still hold control over many aspects of the development plans in The Villages, the numbers they are working with changed from a few hundreds to several thousands. With over 2,100 homes sold annually, The Villages ranked as the US’s top-selling master-planned community over the past few years. The rest, as they say, is history.

Neighborhoods of The Villages

Some say there are too many villages to count and too much development to keep track of. The community occupies over 33,000 acres and is spread across 3 counties in 5 zip codes. Currently, there are over 132,000 residents and the number keeps growing. At the time when this article is being written, there are a total of 78 villages from what we can gather but that number may change when you’re reading it.

There are 13 Districts altogether occupying land in Lake, Sumter, and Marion counties in Florida. Each District covers between 1,000 to 1,500 acres of land and has its own board that takes care of the amenities and infrastructure in the individual villages. The number of villages or neighborhoods in each District ranges from only 2 to as much as 11 as the spread of each village is different. The villages’ sizes vary between 100 homes with Duval, the largest, having as much as 1550 homes. There are also different types of homes depending on the area, the landscape, and budget.

Different types of homes

row of rooftops

Throughout the many villages from The Villages, Florida, there are six different types of homes. Some are villas, others are cottages but we’ll try and get more details in order to describe eaThroughout the many villages from The Villages, Florida, the main types included within the community can be classified in the following categories keeping in mind that there are different types of homes around the globe to get inspired by. Some are villas, others are cottages but we’ll try and get more details in order to describe each type.

Patio Villas

If you are looking for a home that doesn’t require much struggle to keep in perfect shape then the Patio Villa might just be what you’re looking for. They are very low maintenance giving way to a more active lifestyle that does not need constant tidying. While they have everything one could possibly need in day to day life, they are not crowded and come in 11 options most of tIf you are looking for a home that doesn’t require many struggles to keep in perfect shape then the Patio Villa might just be what you’re looking for. They are very low maintenance giving way to a more active lifestyle. As they don’t need constant tidying outside or inside, you have more time to just enjoy life. While they have everything one could possibly need in day-to-day life, they are not crowded and come in 11 options, most of them being named after precious stones. They are very practical and can have one, two or three bedrooms. The choice is yours.

Starting price: $160,000

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Courtyard Villas

With 15 different variations, Courtyard Villas are designed especially with the Florida weather in mind. With one of these villas, you are inspired to enjoy as much of the outdoors as possible. A great sliding glass door will open up towards your backyard allowing your inside space to extend into that beautiful Floridian weather. They are available with either two or three bedrooms and all units include two bathrooms. Privacy is another plus for these villas as they are surrounded by fences so you won’t have to trouble yourself with nosey neighbors. This can be beneficial to both you and your pet as they can run around in the backyard all they want.

Starting price: $190,000

Cottage Homes

There are 9 different types of Cottage Homes available in The Villages, each type offering the perfect mix between an affordable lifestyle as well as an active lifestyle. With spacious living areas, they feature two or three bedrooms. Another addition to these homes is the dens and spacious garages where you can store all the little knick-knacks that you just can get rid of, or create your own creative space where you can let go of your imagination and create your next or first masterpiece. If you like to explore what The Villages can offer you, this type of home won’t keep you too busy maintaining it. During that time you can very well be outside, enjoying the Florida weather and socializing with the neighbors.

Starting price: $190,000

The Verandas

With as many as 19 different types of homes, The Verandas are the perfect combination of Designer Home and Courtyard Villas. With The Verandas you get privacy as well as the spectacular style of your own choice. The best of both worlds can fit nicely in the same space and give your home that unique and personal style we all want. The elegant fence that surrounds the property gives an extra sense of security in these homes. The three or four bedrooms, island kitchens, and expanding living room space make The Veranda feel much bigger than they are. Allowing for a spacious living space The Verandas are homes that could very well work as your private retreat, a place where you can be completely yourself and forget the world behind you. You can disconnect in The Villages if you want, but the community is so welcoming you really should enjoy it as much as you can from it. This type of home, however, does give you the option to choose.

Starting price: $200,000

Designer Homes

The most popular type of homes in The Villages are the Designer Homes with two, three or four bedrooms they come in 34 variations. Furthermore, you can even design your dream home as the design team can be contracted to make it a The most popular type of home in The Villages is the Designer Home with two, three, or four bedrooms they come in 34 variations. Now, we won’t get into all the details of each individual variation of designer home, but, we will give you the gist, just so that you get a better idea of what awaits you in these types of homes. The gist of it is that you can even design your dream home as the design team can be contracted to make it a reality. With the latest trends of retirement living available as features in these homes, they are a mix of high style living and complementary living space. These types of homes are professionally designed to fit your specific needs and can be created uniquely just for you. The number mentioned above, 34, is really the basics of what designer homes can actually look like. If you have the exact plan of your home in your head, put pen to paper, get the design team to consult with you, and start building your dream from the ground up.

Starting price: mid $200,000

Premier Homes

With 13 options available, these homes offer the most luxurious living experience. With a grand style coupled with traditional elegance, these homes will reflect your way of life and are perfectly designed for the coming adventures and the memories that you will be making. These types of homes will allow you to dream big, bigger … think grandiose and we’re getting on the same page. If that’s too posh for you, the other types are sure to fulfill your dream, but if big is something that you can relate to, you reach the type of home that can make you feel like a VIP. You can choose either three or four bedrooms in these spacious Premier Homes and design them with the help of the design team. The planning process is completed with your input and Florida living will be like living in Paradise in your new dream home.

Starting price: $600,000

Living in The Villages

golf ball on tee

This community reinvented retirement living and what they achieved is nothing short of amazing. Here you can live out your dreams and invest your time in your passions or hobbies. If you ever wanted to write a novel, this is the perfect place for that peace This Florida master-planned age-restricted community reinvented retirement living and what they achieved is nothing short of amazing. Here you can live out your dreams and invest your time in your passions or hobbies, those hobbies, and passions that you overlooked during your working years. It’s about time you take them off the shelf, dust them off and give life to every little dream or creation you haven’t had time for before. If you ever wanted to write a novel, this is the perfect place for that peace and quiet necessary. Aditionally, The Villages is one of the safest communities in Florida, so if you have any safety concerns, you can throw them out the windon. All you need to do to achieve this is to get in touch with the local real estate agents in The Villages FL especially if you’re planning for early retirement. Why postpone your dream retirement anymore when you could start living it now?

The variety of amenities is just as astounding as the options. If you want complete relaxation there are neighborhoods perfect for you. If you like to be a part of everything happening in The Villages, there are homes for purchase right in the heart of town. Each way you turn your head you will find another pool, bowling alley, golf course, or theater to enjoy. The Villages has over 100 dining choices to choose from, over 2,400 organized clubs with a wide variety of activities to keep you buys, around 96 recreation centers, over 1,000 tennis courts, about 2000 pickleball courts, 6 dog parks, and its own Polo stadium and league, just to name a few of the astounding amenities found within the community’s limits.

Cost of living

If you take a look at their website you will find all the information about the cost of living perfectly laid out for you, rounding up between $760 to 1,260 per month. This is the basic amount that you could spend while living in The Villages. This amount, however, might allow for a relatively simple and limited way of living so you might want to add to it. 

For everyday expenses like shopping, the amount of money spent is similar to other areas which keeps the prices competitive. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that you might wind up overspending on dining and other kinds of entertainment. Make sure to keep track of your usual spending habits to ensure you don’t start treating yourself too much. A side effect of this might be an increase in your cost of living.

There are CDD Fees that can not be overlooked which can range from $100 to $500 per month, depending on the District you move to, the amenities within that District, and also the yearly plans which can be changed at any point in case of new developments happening within that District. For this, one needs to be aware of the weekly newsletter where such plans are announced. The fact that these fees can be altered at any point is one of the few negatives of living in The Villages.

In regards to HOA Fees, there are none in The Villages. If you’re looking into limiting the CDD Fees or bonds expenses as much as possible, the older parts of The Villages have lower fees as well as fewer restrictions. 

That Florida weather

bright azzure sky

Can anyone ever get enough of the Florida weather? It’s like sun and breeze and just the ideal summer temperature all year round. Yes. It can be too hot sometimes but sitting on the terrace or next to the swimming pool, will make up for it. Just imagine … no more icy cold winters and ten layers of clothes before you go out. Only warm weather, a thin-fabric dress, maybe a pair of thin pants, and you’re done.

The Villages has that Florida weather where you can just take your grandchildren and go on a quick trip to Disney any time of year. Only a one hour drive and you’re at Walt Disney’s empire. Just make sure to avoid Orlando by taking the Tollway to get there extra-fast. Your visiting grandchildren will not only get to enjoy all the entertainment The Villages can offer but go to a child’s Paradise with you as well. After that trip you get to come back to the seniors equivalent of Disney World right there, in The Villages.

Conclusion

Live your best golden years in America’s friendliest hometown for retirees and one of the best places to retire in the U.S. The Villages connects everyone in the best ways through the many options for senior fun and a community that welcomes you with open arms. Fitting in with the lifestyle prompted by this great community depends on you. It can be a great place to live with many home options available. Grumpiness and sourness don’t really mix well with the way of living within the most active senior community in Florida. So let go of any old grudges and learn to have some fun because there is plenty of that going around in The Villages.

Keep us in the loop and share your thoughts in the comments below. Is there something in particular that you’re looking for in a retirement community or are you just browsing around? Like & Share this article with all of your friends and maybe you will all get to experience The Villages together.

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