Surprises Galore: The 100 Most Popular Active Adult Communities for 2013

Category: Active adult communities

Note: Our 2014 list was published in September of 2014. See “Florida Dominates 2014 List of Most Popular Communities
September 2, 2013 — There are some very big surprises in this year’s results for the 100 most popular active adult communities. First off, 4 states completely dominated our visitors’ favorite active adult communities: Florida (25), Tennessee (16), Delaware (16), and North Carolina (12) amassed 69 of the 100 most popular communities. Within that result, Tennessee’s 16 communities in the top 100 demonstrates that it is a state to be taken very seriously when it comes to baby boomer retirement. Of the remaining 46 states, only Pennsylvania (6), Texas (4) and South Carolina (4) put more than a few communities into the top 100.

Florida topped the 2013 list with 25 communities (it had 35 in 2012). Delaware’s 16 communities on the list is by far the best representation of any non-Sun Belt state (we are counting Tennessee as a Sunbelt state, although that could be argued).

We take several conclusions away from these results:

– Most people tend to think that traditional retirement communities are centered in Florida, Arizona, and the Carolinas. This year’s results break that mold, showing that states like Tennessee and Delaware need to be taken seriously as top retirement destinations.

– One great thing about this list is is that it changed significantly from previous years. There are 41 new communities on the 2013 list (there were 31 new ones last year), which we regard as a great thing – the more communities for our members to consider for their retirements, the better!

– Tennessee enjoys a reputation as a tax friendly state with a lower cost of living than states on either coasts. It could be that as baby boomers face reality about their retirement portfolios they are being more financially realistic about where to retire.

– Delaware is very popular for retirement, even though it is not in the Sunbelt. Its reputation as a low tax state, plus its great beaches and the lovely Delmarva Peninsulam make it very attractive. As with Tennessee, many folks from the northeast will find it familiar, and not too from their families.

– The Villages, the giant community in Central Florida, once again has the honor of being our #1 most popular active community in the USA.

The top 100 communities were chosen on the basis of visitor popularity at Topretirements during the period January 1 to August 31, 2013. The communities whose listings were viewed by our visitors the most (as reported by Google Analytics) were the winners. Please see the end of article for important details on the selection criteria.

And the 2013 winners are:
1. The Villages (The Villages, FL). The Villages sprawls over several counties and has 75,000 residents and 33 golf courses. The Villages page at Topretirements was viewed over 8,000 times by our members and visitors in the 7 month reporting period (note that the communities ranked 90 through 100 had between 500-600 visits).

Golf is big with 33 golf courses at The Villages

2. Indian River Colony Club* (Melbourne, FL) Ranked #12 in 2012.
3. Moores Valley (Asheville, NC)
4. Lake Weir Living* (near The Villages, FL)
5. Fearrington Village* (Chapel Hill, NC)
6. The Moorings* (Vero Beach, FL)
7. Tellico Village* (TN). Situated on giant Tellico Lake, this community has 6,750 residents and is open to people of all ages.
8. Valencia Lakes* (Tampa, FL)
9.Fairways at Savannah Quarters* (Savannah, GA)
10. Valencia Reserve (Boynton Beach, FL)


11. Peninsula on the Indian River* (Millsboro, DE)
12. Talking Rock* (Prescott, AZ)
13.Millville by the Sea (Bethany Beach, DE)
14. Silver Sage Village (Boulder, CO)
15. The Fountains at Lake Pointe Woods (Sarasota, FL)
16. Solivita (Kissimmee, FL)
17. Hot Springs Village* (Hot Springs, AR)

Hot Springs Village: Something for Everyone

18. Biltmore Lake (Asheville, NC)
19. Sun City (Sun City, AZ)
20. Holly Lake Ranch* (Tyler, TX)
21. Cascades of Sarasota (Sarasota, FL)
22. Fairfield Glade (TN)
23. Laguna Woods Village (Laguna Woods, CA)
24. Southern Palms* (Ladson, SC)
25. Harbour Crest on Lake Chickamauga (Chattanooga, TN) (was #70 in 2012)
26. Coquina Crossing (St. Augustine, FL) (was #87)
27. Penn National (Chambersburg, PA)*
28. Traditions of America at Bridle Path* (Bethlehem, PA, New)
29. The Coves* (Boone, NC)
30. Black Creek Mountain (New -Chattanooga, TN)
31. Avery Ranch (Austin, TX) (new)
32. Cottages at Feathers Chapel (Blountville, TN) (new)
33. Bay Aristocrat Village (Clearwater, FL, new)
34. Bay Forest (Bethany Beach, DE, new)
35. Central Park at Lakewood Ranch (Bradenton, FL)
36. The Landings* (Savannah, GA – new)
37. Bayfront at Rehoboth (Lewes, DE)
38. The Tides at Charleston (Staten Island, NY)
39. Willow Springs Reserve (Johnson City, TN)
40. Bayside* (Selbyville, DE)
41. Palmas del Mar (Humacao, Puerto Rico, new)
42. Hampton Lake (Bluffton, SC)
43. On Top of the World* (Ocala, FL)
44. Heritage Shores (Bridgeville, DE)
45. Steiner Ranch (Austin, TX)
46. Halfway Tree Mobile Home Park (Hendersonville, NC, new)
47. Lawton Station* (Bluffton, SC)
48. Village Walk (Bonita Springs, FL)
49. Riverbend (New Castle, DE)
50. Breakwater (Lewes, DE)
51. The Village at Providence (Mt. Juliet, TN, new)
52. The Orchard Villas (Apex, NC)
53. Snowden Overlook Villas (Columbia, MD, new)
54. Angola by the Bay (Lewes, DE, new)
55. The Settlement at Powhatan Creek (Williamsburg, VA)
56. The Village at Penn State (State College, PA)
57. The Villages at Crest Mountain (Asheville, NC)
58. Doral Village (Clearwater, FL)
59. Lofts at Mica Village (Asheville, NC)
60. Courtyards at Brandywine (Wilmington, DE, new)
61. Savannah Crossings (Clarksville, TN, new)
62. Lake Tansi Village (Crossville, TN, new)
63. Wildflowers at Wallkill (Middletown, NY, new)
64. Kinzel Springs (Maryville, TN, new)
65. Rockland Place (Wilmington, DE, new)
66. Tollgate Village (Franklin, TN, new)
67. Brunswick Forest* (Wilmington, NC, new).

Brunswick Forest

68. Bay Crossing (Lewes, DE)
69. Four Seasons at Silver Maple (Middletown, DE, new)
70. Toscana (Reno, NV, new)
71. Bahia Vista Estates (Sarasota, FL)
72. Bridgemore (Knoxville, TN, new)
73. Gulf Coast Village (Cape Coral, FL)
74. Sweetbriar* (Lebanon, PA, new)
75. The Village at Schilling Farms (Collierville, TN, new)
76. Floral Lakes (Bartow, FL, new)
77. Longhorn Village (Austin, TX)
78. Lake Providence by Del Webb (Mt. Juliet, TN, new)
79. Heritage Strasburg* (Lancaster, PA, new)
80. Bonita Fairways (Bonita Springs, FL)
81. Sedona Shadows (Sedona, AZ)
82. Lakewood Ranch (Sarasota, FL)
83. Carmella* (Harrisburg, PA, new)
84. Plantation Lakes (Millsboro, DE, new)
85. Crowfields (Asheville, NC)
86. Port Charlotte Village (Port Charlotte, FL, new)
87. Biltmore Park Town Square (Asheville, NC, new)
88. Village Green (St. Petersburg, FL, new)
89. Rarity Bay (Vonore, TN)
90. Alameda Isles (Venice, FL)
91. Heritage Creek (Lewes, DE, new)
92. Crystal Lakes (Fort Myers, FL, new)
93. Carlsbad by the Sea (Sand Diego, CA, new). This is the only Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) on this list.
94. Longacre Village (Dover, DE, new)
95. The Farm at Tralee (Knoxville, TN,new)
96. PGA at Verano* (Port Saint Lucie, FL, new)
97. Del Webb Village at Deaton Creek* (Hoschton, GA, new)
98. 4 Seasons at St. Margarets (Annapolis, MD, new)
99. Sun City Anthem (Henderson, NV, new)
100. Sun City at Carolina Lakes. (Charlotte, NC, new)
* Topretirements Advertiser

Here is a link to more than 2300 more active adult communities at Topretirements, by state.

Observations about the results and how they were compiled:
– This list is essentially a popularity contest. The more times a community’s page was visited on our site, the higher it placed in the rankings. We believe this is an approximate indication of baby boomers’ interest in these respective communities, which they might or might not have heard of before.

– Many of the active adult communities making the list are in towns that are 100 best places to retire at Topretirements. Communities listed with those towns have a better chance of making the list.

– Many of our Topretirements advertisers, who were no doubt aided by their preferred positioning on our site, made the top 100 list. Advertiser communities are identified by an *

– Finally, some of the larger, incorporated communities have additional, higher profile pages on our site, which also helps them in the rankings. Those include The Villages, Tellico Village, Hot Springs Village, Laguna Woods, etc.

For Further Reference:
2014 List: 100 Most Popular Active and 55+ Communities
Our 2012 List of the 100 Most Popular Active Adult Communities
See all the articles we have written about active adult communities in our blog.
Why the Villages is Perfect for Len and Ann
Sunbelt Dominates 2013 List of 100 Best Retirement Towns

Comments:
What are your impressions of this list? Are you surprised the west did so poorly? Is there a community (but not one you work for!) that you felt is overlooked? If you have visited or live in any of these communities please share your observations with your fellow members in the Comments section below.

Posted by Admin on September 2nd, 2013

62 Comments »

  1. […] This article provides our 2012 list. Here is where you can go to see the “2013 List of the 100 Best Active Adult Communities“ August 8, 2012 — The results are in, and Topretirements members and visitors are most […]

    by » Florida, North Carolina, and Delaware Dominate 2012 List of the 100 Best Active Adult Communities Topretirements — September 3, 2013

  2. […] in the top 10, and Sun City would been somewhere in the 80′s. See our 2013 list of “The 100 Most Popular Active Adult Communities” for […]

    by » 100 Best Places to Retire for 2013 Topretirements — September 3, 2013

  3. I am very disappointed in this list. The fact that you call it the “100 Best Active Adult Communities for 2013” is completely misleading. As soon as I looked at the top 10 I realized this list was worthless. If you want to be true to your readers than you should call this list what it really is, “The most clicked on communities on topretirements.com”

    I’ve traveled to many communities in many states and I can tell you first hand that many of the communities in the top 10 should not even be in the top 100. The only communities that are worth seeing in the top 10 are The Villages and the two Valencia communities.

    Indian River Colony Club…really? The HOA fees are outrageous. #3-6 barely sell any homes and their amenities are not good. The Fairways at Savannah Quarters is a tiny community with villas and a small clubhouse…there are hundreds of other communities just like it around the country.

    Where are the Del Webb Sun City communities and Shea Homes Trilogy communities??? I get that not everyone wants the same thing and it is great to have choices but one only needs to look at the number of homes a community sells to determine what is best for the most number of people. This list completely misses the mark on that fact.

    How can you claim a community like Lake Wier Living is in the top 10 when they probably have sold no more than a handful of homes in the last year. Yet a community like Sun City in Arizona, which has sold hundreds of homes is #19. Lake Wier Living might be nice for some folks, but it certainly isn’t “Better” in the eyes of the masses.

    I respect your site and what you are trying to do. But I don’t think it is fair that you mislead your readers by putting such bold claims in your titles in the hopes of attracting CNN to link to your article.

    Editor’s Comment: Sorry you were disappointed in our list. In our defense I would say that we were quite clear about what kind of list this is. In the first line of the article we said this was “the 100 most popular active adult communities”. In the second line we said “our visitors’ favorite active adult communities”. We referred readers to a very large section at the end of the article explaining how we compiled the list that starts out: “This list is essentially a popularity contest… ” At your suggestion, we also changed the word “best” in the title to “most popular”.

    So you might not like the choices on the list, but this is how the visitors at Topretirements voted – these are the communities they wanted to read about for the first 8 months of 2013. After reading about or visiting them they certainly might not choose to live there. There are many fine communities that would be on a different list – one that explicitly set out to identify the “best” communities. But this isnt that list, as we don’t have the resources as a free site to visit and evaluate the 1000’s of communities that exist. Instead, our plan is to provide as much information as we can, asking visitors to also contribute their insight, and let you make your own informed decision after you read about and visit these communities.

    All that said, thanks for contributing to the discussion. We like that you mentioned some specific communities you think need to be considered. We hope others will do the same and everyone’s knowledge will be increased!

    by Harold Miller — September 4, 2013

  4. I noticed that there were only a few Arizona cities listed. All the rest are in the southeast where it is so HOT and HUMID. 100 degrees in Arizona is cooler than 85 degrees and 90 percent humidity in Florida. We visited Tucson in June and it was 104 and people were out golfing, biking, walking etc. Felt like it was 84. To us the southwest without all that “sticky, humid, muggy, weather, is still the best weather out of all of them. One positive thing; if everyone moves to the southeast, it’ll be nice and quiet in the southwest. So nice to have warm weather all day and cool at night no matter what time of year. Even though Arizona has state tax, it is worth the exchange for the beautiful weather out there.

    by Mary — September 4, 2013

  5. I’m surprised that Sun City Carolina Lakes in Indian Land, SC did not make your list. I lived a few miles away and was a Realtor in the area. It is only
    16 miles into Charlotte, NC and sold out their first phase so quickly, the first year, they couldn’t keep up with the demand for construction. It still continues it’s growth 7 years later. The weather is great and Charlotte is a wonderful thriving city.

    by Liz Haley — September 4, 2013

  6. I respect what you are trying to do here but your top 100 list is a misnomer. As another gentleman mentioned it should be called the “Top 100 Clicked On List” with the most hits on your website. That however does not mean it’s a best place to live. None of the Robson, Shea or Del Webb properties made your list which is simply mind boggling. None of the Trilogy developments were mentioned. Sometimes I get the feeling that the marketing people of these developments are a huge factor in who gets top billing.

    by Don — September 4, 2013

  7. My husband and I will be retiring in the next few years and would enjoy living on a large lake – preferably in a gated community in the Northeast. Does anyone have any good info. to share?

    by Darci — September 4, 2013

  8. Finally will be retiring in summer of 2014. We bought in March 2011 at Del Webb’s Sun City Festival. Go to the website and check it out. If you decide to do like we did, one of their “stay-n-plays” you will fall in love with all the resort type amentities. When you call ask for Elaine Ransom. No hard sales from her at all, she will spend as little or as much time as you desire. Two of my co-workers did that and they both bought homes and live there full time. Cant wait to join them!!!

    by Bill Bap - AZ Bound — September 4, 2013

  9. I agree that the Caption was a little misleading, although the text did try to clarify how these sites were identified. I click on almost everything for some states, trying to learn as much about retirement locations as possible. Presumably you counted my surfing on these sites as a vote that they were popular. I have requested more information from the sites in the states that I am considering, and have started being contacted by some aggressive salespeople asking for more personal information.

    I am not enjoying the process of finding a retirement home at all. I feel like developers are just trying to get me in the door, bait & switch (model homes vs. stripped down models where everything is an extra cost option), get as much money from me as possible, and then I’ll be on my own to sink or swim. It would obviously be easier if I had family or friends somewhere, or had fallen in love with a particular destination. When you really, really, really don’t have any idea where to go, the options are overwhelming. I’m proud of myself for narrowing my options down to about 6 states!

    I wish there was a business that could do counseling, all of the research on options, and then coordinate my real estate efforts for me LOL!

    by Ted — September 5, 2013

  10. I agree with Ted! When my children needed guidance with college choices, we hired a private, independent consultant who steered them in the right direction. The process was highly personalized based on their interests and our ability to pay the tuition bills! I would gladly fork over a fee to a private consultant for us, now that we are approaching retirement and relocation with hundreds of options in front of us. I too am having difficulty separating sales hype from reality – websites, blogs, books, magazines etc. are so generalized. Anyone out there willing to start a business?

    by Sandra — September 5, 2013

  11. Just a quick note on how much I appreciate all your research and sharing it with us free. Not everyone will like what you post, many will disagree with what you offer and then there are those that just see the half empty rather than the half full. As for myself, I have gained a lot of information from this site as preliminary research. I will, of course, continue my research with the basics I’ve received on this site. I want to thank you for all your efforts and hope you keep it up!

    by Stacey — September 5, 2013

  12. I live in Phoenix-Scottsdale Arizona, and know about Del Web Sun City Festival in Buckeye. Here is the thing…it is way out from pretty much everything. Love it here in Arizona and there are other great communities closer to Medical, Shopping, Entertainment, etc, and I agree with Mary, our 104 with very low humidity is so much better than the crappy humidity, cloudy days and heat back east. We wake up to beautiful sunny days everyday! What more could you want!!!

    by Loralee — September 5, 2013

  13. I agree with the others who have stated that your title is misleading. As is your methodology. Just because someone clicks on a link on your site (for which I assume you earn money) doesn’t elevate it to a popular community. I clicked on some of those links and couldn’t believe what I found. Certainly not places I’d ever consider. But now I’ve “voted” them among the most popular? I don’t think so. I think if you want to maintain any credibility, you should be much more accurate in the title of your list.

    by Linda — September 5, 2013

  14. It was pretty clearly stated that it was a popularity contest.

    That said, I would love to hear about those places that folks think should have been included and why. As soon as someone mentions remote, it is not for me. So use the title, not the methodology to share some of YOUR great places. I will do the same if I ever get on the road.

    by Elaine — September 5, 2013

  15. I want to follow up on what Loralee wrote. We passed over Sun Citty Festival for Province in the city of Maricopa just south of Phoenix. Almost everything we need is close. Province is wonderful. We love our home, the activities, and our community. The people are great. The price on our new home was very affordable.

    by Carl — September 6, 2013

  16. I also appreciate this site and all the information you have gathered. Using click counts isn’t unusual. Let’s not perpetuate the “crotchety old people” sterotypes.

    by easilyamused — September 6, 2013

  17. I feel compelled to chime in with those who feel overwhelmed in trying to make a choice that makes sense for us. We have little-to-no money so when the sales people find that out they pretty much leave us alone. We’re not looking to build or buy a new home — the home we have is very comfortable. We are looking for a possible climate change – I do NOT belong in Florida & feel I have put in my duty-bound time for my hubby – now it’s my turn 😀 Our situation is 1. family both here, ‘up NOrth’, out West, & some in-between. The one thing that has really kept us here so far is the HOmestead Law – so that if we should get sick & have catastrophic bills they can’t make us sell the house to ‘pay up’. Most states have a version of this by allowing the person(s) to keep a certain amount of money from the sale but believe me – it is a small amount in the scheme of things. We are looking at (a), smaller home or at least a smaller yard; (b) moving to Tennessee – although we need to explore areas more. We both could possible live beyond our driving ability years so want medical transportation or reliable transportation very near our home. If we choose to go into an assisted living residence then I suppose it doesn’t much matter where that is. Nice to be by family but no guarantees they will be able to ‘stay put’ is there?

    by Jeanne C — September 6, 2013

  18. I agree with Carl. We also bought at Province in Maricopa. The Community is a gem Far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the Phoenix area, but close enough for major shopping. The residents are friendly and there is lots to do. We looked at most of the Active Adult Communities in Arizona before deciding on Province. We have not regretted that decision. 110 in Phoenix is much easier to take than the heat and humidity of the southeast.

    by Gail — September 8, 2013

  19. […] Read the full article here. […]

    by Topretirements.com Awards The Coves in Top 30 Communities Nationwide « The Coves at Round Mountain — December 20, 2013

  20. In defense of the awesome #2 community, Indian River Colony Club, I would first like to say that our “HOA” fees, (according to Harold Miller) are not HOA fees, as there is no home owners association. The community is ran and owned entirely by it’s residents. There is a resident Board of Directors.
    However, there are membership fees in this beautiful, friendly and safe community that include inside and outside maintenance. Nowhere else in Florida would the people find the freedom to enjoy our beaches, upscale shopping, 40 clubs and activities and more. They get to enjoy single family homes and really..don’t have to do a thing to maintain them. Car won’t start? Just call the maintenance team.. can’t reach to change a light bulb.. just call the maintenance team. All with smile, all on a personal basis. Priceless!! And if weighed out, actually less expensive than outside care. Come and meet a host resident and find out!

    by Maureen — January 8, 2014

  21. […] in the top 10, and Tellico Village would been somewhere in the middle. See our 2013 list of “The 100 Most Popular Active Adult Communities” for […]

    by » Most Popular Places to Retire for 2014 Topretirements — February 25, 2014

  22. We are in The Villages florida, and I wantaed to tell you that your 2013 information is outdated. We have over 100,000 people now with hundreds of homes being built as I speak and we have 44 golf courses with more being built. THIS IS THE PLACE TO BE!!!
    Wondering why you changed from active communities to ‘cities’. I think changing it and leaving out The Villages is a BIG mistake as this place is growing like crazy.

    by Z Crawford — March 5, 2014

  23. to Z Crawford = “growing like crazy” = is that good? From What I hear it really is “CRAZY” living there with soooooooo many people and Golf carts! supposedly lines everwhere you go etc. Correct me if I am wrong.

    we havent even mentioned the taxes and “bond-?” one must pay for.

    Be interested in your comments.

    tks,

    Robert

    by Robert — March 6, 2014

  24. I think the change to cities is positive…and TopRetirement always mentions the Villages (as well as some runner up locations) so all is not lost. TV is often discussed and I doubt that anyone who has been following TR for awhile has not heard of TV.

    by Elaine — March 6, 2014

  25. Z Crawford: Please, give us the true cost of living in The Villages. Property taxes, HOA fees. Do you pay separately for recreational activities? Are there any additional fees of any kind? Are you happy with the quality of construction? Should you wish to leave The Villages for a day trip, what is directly outside The Villages? I have been told it’s in the middle of nowhere, is this true? Thank you so much for any information you are willing to share.

    by Maureen — March 6, 2014

  26. Just curious what is the range of the membership fee at Indian River Colony Club? I am looking for a maintenance free living accommodation when we move to Florida.

    by Bob — March 6, 2014

  27. Loralee, can you give me the names of the Arizona cities that are near all?

    by Virginia — March 6, 2014

  28. Hi Virginia, I am not sure what you were asking me?? Arizona cities near what????

    by Loralee — March 7, 2014

  29. Z Crawford: 100,000 people? No Thanks.. If I wanted Urban living I would move to NYC… give me a nice quiet Beach Community where I can stroll the sands without being run over by a “Golf Cart”. Cc:cool:

    by Sunlovingal — March 7, 2014

  30. You mentioned that DelWebb was far away from it all and that you lived in Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Both those areas are large, so I was trying to ask you to zoom in on smaller towns within them? I don’t know Arizona at all so maybe my question is totally dumb, sorry. Thank you

    by Virginia — March 7, 2014

  31. Loralee:

    My wife and I are planning a trip in 2 months to check out Arizona. We currently live in Virginia. Do you know anything about Green Valley?
    Thanks
    L.D.

    by Lonnie — March 8, 2014

  32. Virginia Sun City Festival is in Buckeye about 20 to 25 minutes west of Suprise Az and about an hour west of Scottsdale, Arizona. I drove out there to see it about 6 months ago and it is a bit isolated, and I know someone that moved there and they said the same thing. Hope that helps.

    by Loralee — March 8, 2014

  33. Hi Lonnie

    I used to live in Virginia. All I know about Green Valley is that is is very popular place for retirees near Tuscon, and from what I know people that live there love it.

    Sorry I don’t have more info for you, but hope you enjoy your time in Arizona, so much different than Virginia!

    Loralee

    by Loralee — March 9, 2014

  34. Dick and I just got back from visiting AZ. We’ve decided to move to Sadddlebrook, which is 14 miles NE of Tucson. It’s a Roberson community and has all the amenities you could want. We stayed in a casita form two weeks, so we really got to experience the neighborhood. There was a wide range of prices and house sizes. People were friendly.

    by Barbara — March 9, 2014

  35. While AZ was second on my retirement list it wasn’t until I saw the article about Valley Fever that it went off my radar. My husband has asthma and I am very concerned about his ability to live in the Phoenix/Tucson area with this risk. I know there are other areas of AZ to live in, but this was our focus in terms of weather and affordability.

    by veloris — March 9, 2014

  36. Loralee, what commits are you in? What do you think about the valley fever issue?

    by Nancy — March 10, 2014

  37. Community rather

    by Nancy — March 10, 2014

  38. Loralee, do you hear much about Valley Fever in the Phoenix area. My choice is Phoenix or east of there, Apache Junction, Mesa area. But lately I have been reading more posts about Valley Fever. Is that something to be concerned about? I am in the praire in Colorado with wind blowing most of the time and dirt roads and lawns but I have never heard of that before and I understand it comes from the dirt. Any info you have as I know how you love that area!

    by svenska — March 10, 2014

  39. Svenska, I have been researching Valley Fever. Unfortunately I didn’t know about it until after I bought my place. Here is what I found:

    People with COPD/Asthma are NOT at greater risk of catching it. But they may be more impacted by it, if they catch it.

    About 1500 new cases a year in the hot area…phoenix and tucson.

    People with ethnic background more likely to catch it.

    People who work outside or do outside sports more likely to catch it.

    It ranges from very mild to chronic and debilitating.

    I have a number of friends in the area and none of them have caught it. They all say normal precautions to avoid blowing dust seem to keep them safe.

    Outside Phoenix and Tucson, risk goes way down.

    Valley Fever is present in California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. Basically, if there is desert, Valley Fever is present.

    I think my strategy will be to go to Tucson, take precautions, and get my house fixed…paint, floors, etc….then consider moving it to a more western location in Arizona (Yuma, Bullhead City, etc). I will also visit doctor there to get better assessment of my risk factor. Given that I am caucasion, don’t work outside and not really a sports person, perhaps my risk is very low.

    by Ginger — March 10, 2014

  40. Nancy, I know a lot of people here, and don’t know anyone that has gotten it. I don’t see it reported on the local news, so I would not worry about it. Find your spot, be happy…there is always something out there. Also, I live up North we don’t get the big dust storms up here. I find that some areas are windy than other. I live in an calm area! They usually start down in Mexico,or Near Tuscon, and pick up dust in open desert as they head North. The more structure and towns it hits the weaker it gets. So up where I am we really don’t get it. I would be more concerned if I choose to live down South or areas with a lot of open desert where the dirt is blown around a lot. I love the friendly people here and the reasonable cost of living plus the fabulous weather.

    by Loralee — March 10, 2014

  41. I would be more concerned about the ability for retirees in Arizona to have adequate water. The lack of rainfall, the diversion of water to agriculture in parts of the west will affect far more people than Valley Fever. While it would be nice to live in a dry, warm environment, I fear that moving into “desert” communities will not be a good long term situation for my retirement locale.

    I am totally uncertain as to where I will end up, but others aiming for Phoenix (I loved Scottsdale when I was there), make sure you do your homework on this in addition to a specific risk to health.

    by Lynne — March 10, 2014

  42. My husband and I just spent 10 days looking at various active communities around Phoenix. We were particularly taken with the Province at Maricopa community and I am glad to see some positive comments here about it. We have been concerned about being to far from medical and shopping. The other community we are considering is Sun City Festival, but were a bit underwhelmed by the community, though we did see a lovely, affordable home there.

    by Katherine — March 21, 2014

  43. Hi bloggers always enjoy readung comments..and now I have a question about the Villages in Florida..we were recently, told by a friend who purchased a home there..
    we asked what about Fla homeowners insurance and that we had read about escalating costs and that some companies are ‘junpin ship’..specifcally, they no longer issue new homeowner policies in the entire state..
    the reply was that the Villages has their own Village Insurance and does not rely on major companies..since they had no other info..we are inquiring as to whether that is the case and can anyone offer more amplifying data..
    sure appreciate any comments..Thanks

    by Robbie — March 22, 2014

  44. Some info from my visit and research about the Villages:

    The Villages – My Lifestyle Preview Plan Visit http://thesingleboomerslife.com/my-lifestyle-preview-plan-visit-to-the-villages-fl/

    Fastest-growing U.S. community? http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/27/us/census-fastest-growing-community/

    Cost of Living in the Villages http://www.thevillages.com/images/CostofLiving.pdf

    50 Questions Future “Villagers” Should Ask
    http://1154magrathway.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/50QuestionsFutureVillagersShouldAsk.76120706.pdf

    50 Things to Think About Before Buying a Home in The Villages, by Parker Sykes
    https://s3.amazonaws.com/TheVillagesMonthlyContent/50-things-2012.pdf

    I hope you find this info helpful.

    by Maggie — March 29, 2014

  45. I’m new to this blog so forgive me if this has already been discussed… Has anyone visited Del Webb Charleston in Summerville, SC? If so, would appreciate thoughts positive/negative. Charleston is one of our favorite cities and will be visiting next month. Thought we might drive over to Del Webb.

    by Dixie — March 30, 2014

  46. The Valencia Reserve here in Boynton Beach is truly an amazing development! I live and work from my building there and it is such a great community. On one hand I can’t believe its the only one to make the list out of South Florida, but I am also not surprised it made the list because it is such a unique and welcoming place to call home.

    Thanks!
    Wilma

    by Wilma — May 22, 2014

  47. The homes at the Valencia Reserve Boynton Beach start at 410,000. It would have to amazing at that price.

    by Vincent — May 23, 2014

  48. Has anyone checked out 55+ communities within communities not limited to 55+? I had not taken them into consideration in my initial search but want to make sure I have taken everything into consideration before making my final decision. What are the pros and cons?

    by veloris — May 25, 2014

  49. to Veloris. We have lived in 55+ communities and others that are NOT 55+.
    To be Clear – yes, I love children – have 3 Girls, Grand children and am now a Great Grandfather BUT from our prior experience we would never again move into a mixed mobile home park under 55+. The ones that we lived in that were under 55+ were a disaster!!! That is now our personal preference and have learned from experience. Too much to comment on so we will just leave it at that plus “a person convinced against their will is of the same opinion still!” Supposedly we learn from our mistakes – If ur over 55 I would heed my advice – ????

    by Robert — May 26, 2014

  50. Veloris,
    are you referring to active adult communities within a master planned community? Like Del Webb Ponte Vedra, a 55+, active adult gated community located within Nocatee or Vitalia at Tradition? I would be curious to know more about them and if any are located in NC or SC. I have never been to any. Feedback from any on the list?

    by Elaine — May 26, 2014

  51. Veloris – what I do now is to go to the community area, rent a motel, stay for a day or two and thoroughly check the area out. Some communities even offer 2/3 night pkgs at a supposedly discounted price. We are still in the process of trying to decide where to relocate. So far its either Central Gulf side of Fl or the NE part of TN. Manufactured/modular/mobile homes over time depreciate more so than the regular “stick built” homes. Lot rents add up very quickly and yearly LR fees are more than RE Taxes. If we can afford a small 2br/2ba regular home we will endeavor to purchase one. If u want a gated park, swimming pool, club house and all the rest you will certainly pay for it. Personal choices and bottom line (at least in our case) is FINANCES.

    by Robert — May 27, 2014

  52. Veloris,
    We moved into Vitalia at Tradition located in Port St Lucie FL in February. Tradition is the master planned community, and has 7 subdivisions with Vitalia as the only 55 plus. These are single family homes. Very nice community. Everyone is very friendly and there are lots of activities. We would recommend this community.

    by Ralph — May 27, 2014

  53. Ralph, I would be interested in knowing several things: Do you pay school taxes as a result of being in a mixed community? I understand some/many 55+ communities are not saddled with school taxes. Are the young people allowed to roam through your community? What about the community facilities? Do you have to wait for a machine while someone texts? Are kids allowed in all of the pools?

    by Valerie — May 28, 2014

  54. I lived for 6 months in Del Webb in Summerville, SC. Let me make a few comments about this community:
    1. They are 45 min. from the ocean. And it’s all freeway. Yet their street names are all after “ocean” names. Even the community name is Del Webb of Charleston. ???
    2. There are only 2 single/divorced/widowed women living there. Not a place to live if you’re single. Single women are shunned by the married women – as if they fear we’re out to steal their husbands.
    3. If you’re into yoga – forget it. They only have TaiChi.

    by Kathleen — August 13, 2014

  55. We just got back from the Phoenix, AZ area where we purchased a second home at Cantamia. it is located in the Estrella master planned community in Goodyear, AZ. We wanted to be within a reasonable driving distance of our two sons in LA, CA and this works. The only downside to a fixed budget is the HOA fees, you pay for both the Estrella fee and a separate one for Cantamia. We love it because it has both Mountains and water features, a huge 29K square foot clubhouse and will eventually have 1700 homes, now in the early stages of about 200 sold, 100 under construction. We are both in real estate and we have yet to find a major deficiency other than the fees. The Cantamia fee does include a gate which we both wanted as we live in a similar community now. More than anything we were impressed by the people: residents and the Cantamia staff were super. We looked at Verado, Pebble Creek, and resales before making a decision. You can really shop on line to narrow it down and we have lived in 5 states so are OK with making such decisions rather easily.

    As a second home we will have a chance to evaluate the community and we can rent it out for a minimum of 6 months at a time which we also liked as a feature, exactly like where we live now. The medical, college facilities there are also great, and being a shopper l loved all of the outlets. As we went during the hottest time of the year to see how that felt, another test. Our agent lived in Estrella for the last 8 years so she was a valuable resource also. We found it solved the live in CA dilemma we were facing and our family is thrilled we found a good spot as they can now drive to see us also. You can never plan on the kids staying put, we have seen that happen all too often to friends, you need to find a spot for you first!

    by 703 Sue — August 17, 2014

  56. Virginia near DC. Looked at Heritage Hunt-nice. Anyone know of golf community closer to DC or competitive w/HH? Thanks

    by Jeff F — August 18, 2014

  57. This comment came in from Ron and Susan:
    WOULD IT BE POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO ASK YOUR SUBSCRIBERS IF THEY KNOW OF ANY 55+ COMMUNITIES IN FLORIDA THAT HAVE 10,000-20,000 SQ. FT. HOME SITES? WE HAVE TWO GOLDEN RETRIEVERS THAT LOVE TO RUN AND PLAY, AND ALL THE HOME SITES WE COME ACROSS ARE LESS THAN 10,000 SQ. FT.

    by Admin — September 3, 2014

  58. 10,000-20,000 ft home sites and in a 55+ community – that is hilarious + ridiculous..

    by Robert — September 4, 2014

  59. Ron and Susan,
    We looked at a house at Lake Weir Living and it had a huge lot. We aren’t interested in the area, but the sites are very large with plenty of room for 2 Golden Retrievers (awesome dogs!) and the house we saw already had a privacy fence. This is near The Villages.
    We’ve noticed that if you spend more for the house, you get a bigger lot in several retirement communities, but probably not that large.
    FYI-check to see if you can put up a fence. Most will not allow any type of fence.
    Good Luck!

    by Sunny — September 4, 2014

  60. Ron and Susan,
    Not easy to find. You do not say what area of FL (or price range), but Naples may have more that might satisfy your requirements than other areas. I was looking at a job in that area, but never lived there. What I saw then were often listed under active adult, but no age restrictions, but that may work for you. Most near I75 or east of it. Here is an example of something in in FL meeting your other requirements. http://listings.annetowers55places.com/idx/18630/details.php?idxID=583&listingID=214039592
    Note that many of the ones with larger lots are meant for those who want there own pool (even if there is a community pool so resales may not work.

    Also in the Naples area some long narrow lots that allow horses, just use realtor.com to find them in all price ranges…many without the amenities that I assume that you want, but some “horse” areas of Naples may have them.

    As someone mentioned, there may be restrictions on type of fence (assuming they allow fences). If you do fence, you are usually responsible for lawn care inside the fence. And you usually have to go to HOA for other landscapping restrictions.

    Other restrictions are how much of the lot you can fence. For example, DelWebb allow fencing from the rear two corners (ie the width of the house) and the depth rules will vary by community and lot properties. A Lennar active adult community near me (not FL) allows fencing the whole lot. http://fredericksburg.com/Homes/detail?list_numb=SP8333033&prevList= . The privacy fences are only allowed by major roads, but there are several other types of apporved fencing for other areas that are 4 foot and usually aluminum (that looks like wrought iron).

    PS. Some still have restrictions on the number, size or breed, but not seem to be much of an issue today.

    by Elaine — September 4, 2014

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