Categories
Del Webb Communities Home Ideas

Are Houses Too Close?

One of the negatives people considering active adult communities bring up is “houses are too close together”.  At first glance, that’s an understandable concern since the houses are closer together than in many communities, even though smaller lots have been the trend for some time. That’s why many older homes have larger lots.

Having lived in a Del Webb community for almost a year, here is my take on this.

The developer has done a wonderful job positioning the homes for maximum privacy using different lot elevations, varying house set backs, curving streets, berms, green belts  and woods.

Terraced lots
Terraced lots. Taken from the back corner of my lot.

I have only heard this “too close” concern voiced by people who do not live in an active adult community, not by those of us who do live in one. Here is why.

On a personal level, I know my house being close to the neighbors house on the side yards is not a problem.  In fact, I like my yard better than the one-half acre suburban lot I moved from. Getting a good lot for me was just luck because I didn’t even conscientiously consider that.

back yard
right side of my back yard
  • I have a better view that my last house. I can see the sun rise every morning from my back door. From my patio I see a larger view of the sky and at night I can see the stars.

    sunrise from my patio
    sunrise from my patio
  • I have never ever heard the neighbors while inside our house. The hardie plank siding plus extra insulation helps, but hey we don’t sit around playing ZZ Top and ACDC at full volume either. Remember most noise is made by kids, so that is not a problem.
  • Because lots are terraced, at least here at Village at Deaton Creek, I have a very private back yard.
  • Smaller yard is easier to take care of.  Even though the HOA cuts lawns and provides other services, I do water and flower planting. Much easier with a small yard.
  • Our smaller back yard is more usable. We rarely ventured off our deck over looking our larger yard at the last house. Here we are not lacking in yard to use. In fact we can make the surrounding area to our large patio more tailored to our likes. Smaller can be better. We added a railing along the edges of our patio ( with HOA approval of course!), put out some planters, put out Mary Ann mother’s Irises along the sunroom foundation and some calico river stones. I am thinking of my next project right now.

    patio
    patio
  • Because the community has plenty of green space and is located in a forest, there is all kinds of wild life. There are deer, foxes, coyotes, turtles, plenty of birds. There are also 8 miles of walking trails and a pretty large creek. So the allocation is really smaller lots to more undeveloped green space, not a bad trade off.

    Does this look too close!
    Does this look too close! Taken from my patio.

Pay Attention To Your Lot

Lots and homes vary quite a bit. I am sure some have more privacy than others. If this is a concern to you, then pay attention to the lot and position of the home, not just the inside of the home. Consider the back yard, the front yard, front door and window views.

Don’t let your first observations that “houses are too close” throw you off in your home search. Just be observant and mindful that your lot is important too.

View from my front door
View from my front door

Kind of nice not looking directly into a house across the street.  That’s just a little 8 house cul de sac street with not much traffic.  I don’t know that I would like the same set up with a street with heavy traffic.

 

Front looking left
Front looking left

One good thing for privacy is that the driveways are not right next to each other.

 

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Categories
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.