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Old 02-13-2013, 03:36 PM
 
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I'm seriously considering relocating from New York to Naples and thinking of a house in the gated community Riverstone. It's in North Naples. Can anyone give me their opinion on the community and the area? Are there other gated communities that you would recommend? Other parts of Naples you would recommend? Is North Naples family friendly? Anyone else from New York that's moved down? Are you happy you made the move? We're a family with kids and we like to be active, which is a lot of the reason we're considering moving down. We hate being stuck in the house during the winter. Thanks for your help.
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Mtns of Waynesville,NC & Nokomis, FL
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Friends of ours bought a new SFH there this past summer: nice home and a well done development, imo.
Fwiw, it seems to be more family oriented than many of the gated communities, as it does not center on golf. I am not saying it is the most Fam oriented, as every community says they are, but RS may be more so due to its pitch toward fams with kids vs 'fams' with grown up kids. And, I haven't visited every non-golf gated community in area...

Their site suggests the same.

My opin is anecdotal based on 3 visits to our friends' home there.

High school is just down the street, a large Publix and a strip mall close by, but Immokalee Rd is busy, esp during morning/evening rush, etc. No RE maven, but seems like a well done development in its early middle stages.

By way of 'provenance', 30 yrs in/around NYC, 8 seasons here in north Naples, kids are early 40s & long gone, winter is sublime weather-wise; not my personal pick for the other 7 months. Everyone has different tastes.
My 50 Cts...
GL, mD
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:56 PM
 
Location: Naples
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Riverstone homes are stunning, the development is going to take a quite a while before its completed, I think someone mentioned around 10 years plus of construction as it's such a large development. It has been geared towards family's and the schools in that area are fine. Riverstone house prices are fairly high considering it's location, but I honestly believe that once completed it will have a great feel about the place. GL Homes make sure that the landscaping and everything is perfect, the amenities which Riverstone are going to have, will blow most communities away. It's a little bit out of town but if that doesn't bother you, Riverstone could be pretty much perfect. We brought in GL other development in Naples, It's a lot smaller and no where near the amount of amenities that Riverstone is meant to be having. But the homes are lovely and feel of the development in general is fantastic. I would advise that if you are seriously considering buying to use your own Realtor, we did when we moved and she saved us tens of thousand, everyone else I have spoken to who just went to the sales center may have got a small discount but nothing near to what our Realtor got us. Personal message me if you have any other questions.
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:46 AM
 
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Thank you for your replies. They were very helpful. Were coming down later this month and have a realtor but I wasn't sure if we should use her since I have no experience buying new construction so I'm glad you gave me advice about that. My husband and I both work from home so hopefully we'll be able to avoid most of the rush hour traffic but it is a concern. The area I'm in now doesn't have much traffic so it will take some getting used to.
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:39 AM
 
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I can't speak of that particular development, as I can't keep track of them any more, but I am an expatriot NYer that's been in Naples since 1987. I am married, with 2 teenage kids, in my 40's. Here's my take.......

The good:

The weather from November til April.

The cost of living (compared to NY and other Northeast states).

Low crime rate.

The bad:

May through October weather. Just think of the worst heat/humidity wave that you experienced in NY, and it is like that for most of these months. Unless your outdoor activities include water, it is very uncomfortable to partake in anything outdoors during these months.

Naples is pretty isolated from the rest of the state. If you never have to leave, it's a nice place to live. If you have to go somewhere else on a regular basis, it's a nightmare. The FL road system is about 20 years behind the times. Not much in the way of alternate routes without going way out of your way or backtracking. Nothing connects. There are still only 3 roads directly connecting Naples and Ft Myers. This is a huge improvement, since not long ago, there were only 2, and one of them was I75.

"Season".... When the weather is good, the snowbirds flock in from the north. While this is a good thing for the local, tourist driven economy, it wreaks havoc on the quality of life of those of us that actually live here. Unless you like lines and crowds, forget going out to dinner, the beach, the movies, boating, golf or any other activity in which humans partake. The roads also become a game I call "geriatric bumper cars" (although cell phones have made it so even young people "drive" like they're 100 years old). I've been hit 3 times in Naples, and my wife twice......

It really is not a kid friendly town, particularly for teenage kids. One of my biggest regrets is raising my kids in Naples. Aside from the transient nature of the place, there is simply not much, outside of school activities (HS band has been a Godsend for both of my kids), for them to do. It is very spread out, so they can't ride their bikes or walk to their friend's houses and it seems like anything they want to do is 5-10 miles away.

The schools are a lot better than they used to be. Both of my kids went to private school through middle school, and public HS. My daughter graduated Gulf Coast with honors (now at FSU), and my son is doing great as a sophomore there now.


The "gated" community thing is, in my opinion, overrated. There are very few that I would even consider living in, and things would have to have gone pretty bad in my life to do so. The entire "gate" thing is a major PITA, particularly for visitors. I hate dealing with Checkpoint Charlie every time I visit friends or family in those communities.

The biggest issue with gated communities is that you are subject to the whims of the HOA. This may be good or this may be really bad. HOA covenants are enforceable as civil law in FL. This might sound like no big deal, but it has the potential to make your life miserable.

Every decision you make re: the appearance of your house is made by committee. The type of shrubs you have, the color of your window dressings, house color and any other thing, the kind of car that can be parked in the driveway (in places that actually ALLOW cars to be parked in the driveway) etc. are all strictly controlled by the HOA. Any violations can (and often do) result in fines, which, if not paid, can result in a lien being put on your property. Many of these are not "big picture" kind of rules either. Common sense need not apply.... Oh, and you get to pay for this added level of bureaucracy in the form of "maintenance" fees.

Read the covenants carefully before signing on the dotted line.

Oh, and Victoria Park is a nice, family friendly community with a much more northern feel to it than most neighborhoods in FL. Palm River is really nice too..... Neither gated and they are older homes.

I live on 5 acres in the "Logan Woods" area, and that makes much of the Naples experience more bearable for me, but it's not for everyone..


Good luck!
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:40 PM
 
87 posts, read 278,349 times
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Thank you Tripower455. You gave me a lot to consider. I'm going to look into the areas you mentioned also. We're going to check out Riverstone and the area later this month and we're going to see how we feel about the traffic situation and the crowds at things to do. I like the heat and enjoy the pool so I think the summers will be okay for me. Is there any relief from the heat in the morning and evenings? Anywhere in the area you would recommend I visit to get a feel for the area? Thanks for your help.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:20 AM
 
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No problem.... I really try not to come off too negatively.

The heat and humidity in the summer is oppressive, even in the middle of the night. You open the door and it hits you like a sauna. You can't open your house windows all summer. The only way I can be outside is if I am wet, so I live in the pool from May until October.

As family neighborhoods go, several of my son's close friends live in Indigo Lakes and Pebblebrook. Both have lots of families and are well kept. These neighborhoods are about 10 years old IIRC.

Our best friends live in Victoria Park, which is an older neighborhood, but has a very northern "feel" to it. They do a huge neighborhood wide Christmas light display that is world class.

If you want some acreage, check out Oaks and Logan Blvd, as well as the Weber area. Not sure what's on the market, but the houses go from modest 3/2s to mansions in all these areas.

I'll try to think of more recs for you.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Naples
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You really need to decided what you want in a home. If you want privacy and space and are happy with having your own pool, then you are probably better of living in a non gated community. The people who decided to live in a gated community like their neighborhood to look a certain way, the houses to be painted in a certain color scheme, they expect everything to be looked after and kept the same as when they purchased, gated community normally have more amenities but you end up paying for them in your monthly dues. If you want someone else to look after everything and you just to enjoy it, this may suit you better. Gated communities can be very friendly but there are always residents that love to complain about every little imperfection, and having children gives them always something to complain about. Make sure that if you do buy in a gated community that it is family friendly as a lot of them get upset when the youngster jump into the swimming pools, ride their bikes on the sidewalks and the list goes on.
Good luck
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:43 PM
 
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Great advice JMark......
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:04 PM
 
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Tripower455 I checked out Indigo Park and that may fit us well too. JMark72 I'm leaning toward a gated community that is family oriented. I would like the amenities that come with it. I'm not thrilled about having someone else dictate what the outside of my house should look like but then again I live in a house now with no community and I keep it very neat and clean and I'm not thrilled when neighbors don't take care of their lawns and leave things all over, so maybe a gated community is for me. I have 3 kids, one of which is 4 and I think it might be a little easier to make friends in a community. I don't know if it being gated or not though really makes a difference. I think once I come down and explore I'll get more of an idea of what I like, but I want to be prepared. In addition to kids I have dogs (who are my kids too) so that limits the communities also.
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