Del Webb Communities Home Ideas

What House to Buy?

Things to Consider When Buying in a 55+ Community

So you decided on a 55+ community and now need to consider what house to buy. What floor plan, new or resale, what location,  lot or home location within the community.

My wife and I were not mindful of many of these considerations before we bought our home in a Del Webb community, but through the process we became more knowledgeable about them. There is no right or wrong answers, but just some considerations that may be beneficial if you are beginning the process of buying in a 55+ community.

Floor Plans – My wife and I thought we wanted a ranch with a basement. Then we heard lofts were cheaper and that sounded good for awhile.  We ended up buy a larger ranch with a sun room in our 55+ community.

It’s hard to know what you want to begin with. It’s a process of looking at a lot of floor plans. Then it may even come down to availability or which one you can get a better deal on. There are many great floor plans in 55+ communities so enjoy the process.

New or Resale – Everyone loves a brand new home, but there are differences between new homes from the builder and a resale.

A new home is a spec home being  built by the builder or one you contract to have built for you on a lot you have picked out. Many people prefer a new home so they go for a premium. Many times the builder /developer will not negotiate the price and every option you add will add to your price. The new home is usually being built in the current “new” section, so your neighbors most likely will be new too and may be more open to making new friends.

A resale home is one that was owned by another owner and is being offered for sale. There are resales even in new communities that are still being built out. With a resale you are more likely able to negotiate the price with the seller. Many resales are cheaper than the new homes in the same community. With a resale you will be moving in a more established section and the neighbors have been there for awhile. The owner may have made some improvements already and the landscaping is more mature. There is no mud on the street from the builders, or loud noises or workman on your street.

Location within the community.  It may depend if you buy a new home or a resale. How close to the clubhouse and the ball fields? Will you be in the back, center or front of the community? Again, no correct answers, just considerations. How far to the entrance? Also there is a difference between an interior lot and a lot facing out towards green space and woods (or deserts). Exterior lots may have more wildlife but many have unwanted wildlife like snakes too.

Many 55+ communities report people moving once or twice in the same community. I have already heard of that a few times in my community. When we visited The Villages in Florida the agent said moves within the community are common.

So do your research and decide on a home that feels right for you. Be flexible. Later you can always move within the community.

Del Webb Communities Home Ideas

Landscaping Included? 55+ Active Adult Communities

One of the many benefits of moving to a Del Webb Community or any active adult community is that you don’t have to cut your grass or clip your shrubs anymore.

In fact it is mostly presented that “Landscaping is included”.   But is that true?

Having now lived in a Del Webb Community now for the last nine months, I can give you my perspective on that question.

Yes, cutting grass is something that is done on a regular schedule. In the Summer it is done weekly and in other seasons, done when needed.  The landscaping company hired by the homeowners association does cut, edge and blow and mostly does a good job.  You will not need a lawn mover to cut your grass, unless you want to.  Some people do, believe it or not.

Some people have a fenced back yard and they like to cut their own grass in the fenced area.  If not, the homeowner association charges an extra fee to cut, because of access issues.

Now the pruning of the shrubs in the front is included but some people want it done more frequently and either do it themselves or pay a company or person to prune.  Also if you add plants yourself, you will need to maintain them.  Any dead plants, the homeowner will need to replace at their own expense.

Fertilization and weed control is provided but I can tell you not to the extent it would be done if you hire a private company.  My neighbor and I have contracted with a lawn company and our yards look a little better than average.

You know when I moved here, I gave away or got rid of almost all my landscaping tools and equipment.  It is true I don’t need a mower or edger but I wish I had kept a shovel, an axe, a hard rake and other tools.  I really don’t have room for a wheel barrow but could use one. I did buy two water hoses and two sprinklers, for front and back.

Some maintenance that I did is to some replace some patches of Bermuda grass in bald spots, planted some flowers and did some aeration. In the Fall I need to spray for a fungus making spots in my Bermuda lawn. Also even though I have a pest control company, I am going to spay insecticide around the perimeter of my home.  Oh, I did have my Crepe Myrtles trimmed back in February.

They did put down pine straw in early Spring but that faded pretty fast.  I just put down mulch around my front tree and bought two bales of pine straw to freshen up my island and beds.

I have been watering myself in this hot weather but both my neighbors say they have an irrigation system and I should get one.  They may be right. I also heard the water bill for a sprinkler system can be quite expensive.

I am retired and in pretty good shape so this first year I have enjoyed doing a little around the house.  But I could see for many people this would be less than enjoyable and something they didn’t count on doing or having done.

Since this was posted originally, I have started to use a local landscaper more and more for small things I used to do. There are too many fun activities that I can be doing to get into landscaping like I used to.

So is landscaping included?  Well yes, but if you solely reply on the homeowner association supplied company, your yard will be lacking and probably below average for your 55+ community.