What to look for and look out for when choosing a retirement community.
Activity Center at the Villages of Citrus Hills
When you begin looking through some of the options for active adult communities that might interest you, you will be amazed how many communities there are.
As you proceed with your search for the perfect retirement community, you will naturally gravitate towards focusing on your “must haves” for a community.
Concerning yourself with what types of benefits a particular community has is a great place to start, but don’t forget that you also want to be on the lookout for the things that you DO NOT want in a retirement community.
In order to help you out on that side, we put together a list of 8 things that you definitely want to avoid in a Florida retirement community. If you happen to come across any of these things, your best bet is to run in the other direction as fast as you can!
What’s the easiest way to tell if a community has grown too big for its infrastructure? Traffic!
As you are driving around the community, take note of the traffic levels, particularly at busy intersections. Waiting in traffic might not bother you too much while you are in the excited “community shopping” phase of your relocation, but imagine dealing with the traffic you encounter on a daily basis.
Even if a community isn’t overbuilt just yet, you should be checking on their plans for expansion to make sure that it won’t become overbuilt after you are already committed to investing there.
The planning and design of the Villages of Citrus Hills has not gone unnoticed. A well-respected authority on retirement living, Where to Retire magazine, has named us one of the top 50 Master-Planned Communities in the country, and Terra Vista as a top neighborhood in the U.S.
The Foxfire neighborhood entrance in Terra Vista at the Villages of Citrus Hills
One of the problems that tend to go hand-in-hand with overbuilt communities is crowded facilities.
When many active adult communities expand and grow, increasing the capacity of their amenities is often last on the to-do list. In those situations, you are going to have a hard time getting a chair at the pool or a treadmill at the fitness center…and that doesn’t sound like anyone’s version of the ideal retirement.
Once again, it will pay serious dividends for you to ask about the community’s plans for expansion so that you know what you are getting into before you commit.
At Villages of Citrus Hills we offer three different areas with fitness centers, pools, and golf courses. You will not find our amenities overcrowded.
BellaVita Spa & Fitness Center at the Villages of Citrus Hills
As you continue shopping for the perfect active adult community you will likely notice that just about every community boasts a “state-of-the-art fitness center” as one of their featured amenities. Unfortunately, many communities have very different opinions on what exactly “state-of-the-art” means.
Take a good look at all of the amenities as you tour a potential community. Make sure that they appear to be recently updated. If a community has not kept up with their amenities before you move there, they likely won’t bother to do so after you move there either.
One of the places many residents of the Villages of Citrus Hills find that healthy mix of staying active while enjoying the good life is at the BellaVita Spa and Fitness Center. This 45,000-square-foot world-class complex includes a full-service spa, indoor lap pool, 150 pieces of exercise equipment, dozens of classes, racquetball courts, and elegant locker rooms with sauna and steam rooms for men and women.
BellaVita Indoor Pool
Some of the active adult communities that you consider will attempt to lure you in with first-class amenities and then charge you thousands more for a house compared to what it would cost in another community.
There is nothing wrong with paying more for homes in a nicer community, as long as you are making a conscious decision to do so and not being lured into paying more than you would for a home of the exact same quality and the same features somewhere else.
We have more than 18 home styles from which to choose, ranging in size from 1,666 square-feet to more than 4,000 square-feet of living area. Within these designs are outstanding floor plans and design options, allowing homeowners flexibility to create a home that fits their needs. Depending on the style and neighborhood you choose, home and home site packages range from the mid $300s to more than $1.2 million.
The Callington Model
Amenities You Won’t Use
Another thing that you don’t want to overpay for is amenities that you won’t use. Some of the more elaborate communities have amazing amenities, but if you aren’t going to make use of them you are just throwing money away.
Be honest with yourself about what amenities you will actually use and which ones you probably won’t ever get around to using. Be sure to check on the cost of social memberships and if there are any per activity fees.
Villages of Citrus Hills Amenity Map
Depending on your personality and energy level, you also want to keep an eye out for communities that might be just a bit too active for your tastes…especially if you are looking at a house that is close to an activities center.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to spend your retirement quietly sitting outside after a calm round of golf. But that isn’t the type of vibe you are going to find everywhere, so be aware of what you’re getting into.
The Oaks Golf Course
On the other hand, you don’t want a community that is too calm for your tastes either. If no one is ever doing anything then your retirement years are doomed to be pretty boring.
Regardless of how active you choose to be during your retirement, there is a community out there that is a perfect fit for that lifestyle, so don’t settle for anything else.
Skyview Tennis Center
Too Many Restrictions
Restrictions are great when limited to a healthy extent. You probably don’t want your neighbor to paint their house lime green, and with the restrictions that are in place in most communities, that likely won’t happen.
But one of the easiest ways to ruin your experience in any community is to be aggravated by an overly strict set of rules you must abide by.
Make sure you talk to some current residents about what they think of the community restrictions before you commit to a particular community.
Each of these eight things to avoid in a Florida retirement community seems pretty obvious while you are sitting at home thinking about your plans to move.
But be careful!
As you visit different communities, you will be tempted to ignore some of the obvious signs that a community is not the right fit for you.
Make sure you go in with your eyes and ears wide open before you make that decision.
Terra Vista at the Villages of Citrus Hills