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Old 08-12-2011, 06:21 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,093 posts, read 13,234,579 times
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I've heard of some 55+ communities that have a rental system - a sort-of rent for a few months to help you decide.

It never hurts to ask if the community you're investigating has a program like this.

All they can do is say no
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:23 PM
 
28,242 posts, read 39,901,543 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandalara View Post
I've heard of some 55+ communities that have a rental system - a sort-of rent for a few months to help you decide.

It never hurts to ask if the community you're investigating has a program like this.

All they can do is say no
Good idea.
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:32 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,691 posts, read 33,695,295 times
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I have lived in several locations in three states plus the District of Columbia and I have never had a clue about my neighbors' religiosity, their "open mindedness" or how they vote.
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:43 PM
 
5,090 posts, read 13,548,911 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flipsideoffifty View Post
"I've found the answer to be living near a major university. There's so much diversity of population and points of view. You can always find the social and sports outlets that you are looking for, and there's an incredible wealth of arts, culture, education, entertainment, what-have-you. "
What a wonderful idea!!!!!!!!!!
This is a good idea for many. It made me think of an article I read about retirement communities being built on and near University Campus. Here is that article

Alumni Condos on Campus - New York Times

Since this article is a few years old, I am willing to bet there are many more of these campus retirement communities. Well, sure enough, here is newer information

College Linked Retirement Communities

Retirement Communities 101: Seniors Flock to College Towns - US News and World Report

It is good for those people who really do not want to leave; or want to return to the security and belonging of a University Communty. Of course, it would benefit these institutions because they can keep potential alumni donors close by and perhaps get more of their estates.

Livecontent

Last edited by livecontent; 08-12-2011 at 11:58 PM..
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Old 08-13-2011, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Henderson, NV
3,456 posts, read 2,255,905 times
Reputation: 36562
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy in Wyoming View Post
You are so right. Those dystopic hells attract the shallow who become even shallower as a result of community pressure. They have no values or morals beyond what their peer groups give them. I can't even imagine not helping an animal in distress even if the only thing I can offer is as painless a death as possible. It's no fun; it ruins my day, at least. But I've had to do it a number of times and I'll almost certainly be called to do it again.

I do understand the desire to live where there are no children. I hate them and their noise and their doting parents. But living in a pretty prison isn't the only answer. My nearest neighbor is over 1/3 mile. No kid can scream that loud although in this case the folks who live there are long past their child-bearing years. There are so many great rural areas of all descriptions and climates where people can have their way. They can make noise but nobody else can. They can have a private junkyard but no one else can. My dogs can bark with joy when they come in or go out and chase and play at 3 A.M. But the only other dogs I hear are coyotes. The list is endless.

As far as activities are concerned, I don't need someone else to provide them. I could fill every day three times over with things I must or wish to do. Bingo Ceramics I have my animals, my library and the other things that fill my life right here at home. Even my work is here at home.

And the only gate is my personal gate, the one I own.

Planned communities are prep schools for nursing homes.
Wow! So many misconceptions! My friends here are from all walks of life -- former State Department employees, college professors, attorneys, company CEOs, teachers, small business owners, soldiers, nurses, homemakers, librarians, artists.... I was a teacher of the blind and had a second career running a foundation. Our conversations are stimulating and run the gamut. No lock-step marching here. And we all have interests beyond those that bring us together.

My original post was to shed light, not heat.
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Lexington, SC
4,281 posts, read 10,739,306 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tek_Freek View Post
Mrs. Tek and I are leaning towards a Del Webb type community for a number of reasons. One of them are THE COVENANTS as noted above. Why? Well, let me tell you about the area around me.

When we moved in the neighborhood was well taken care of, neighbors were friendly and fun to be around. We could come home from work, sit in the driveway and within an hour have it full of the neighbors and their children having a good time. Now we barely know them, the yards are a mess, people with four or five cars block the sidewalk because they park them in the drive and street instead of the garage, which is full of junk.

We want to live in an area where every drive way doesn't have a basketball hoop in it. Where the yard behind us doesn't have a basketball court in it. Where the yard next door looks like a junk yard in those areas where it doesn't look like a migrants garden. Where we aren't constantly bombarded with balls, Frisbees, etc coming over are fence at all hours, with the resultant door bell ring asking for it all back. Where I can sit in my back yard without having to constantly dodge all that stuff coming over the fence. Where we can find people that are intelligent, care about their home and yard, and don't think the entire world should revolve around their spoiled kids.

We want some control. If an HOA is what it takes I'm all for it.

And we were impressed with Sun City Anthem. If we move there I want the same view KiwiKate has from her back yard.

Some 12 or so years ago we were debating between Lexington SC (suburb of Columbia SC) and Mount Pleasant SC (suburb of Charleston SC). We were looking at two near identical neighborhoods. 120 or so houses, all single family, 1/4 acre lots, swimming pool, play park, clubhouse, tennis courts, etc.

Both controlled by Home Owners Association with a home owner elected Board Of Directors who operated under a set of Covenants that each homeowner had to read and sign before they could purchase a home.

We bought in Mount Pleasant and ironically my wifes cousin bought in the Lexington neighborhood some 6 months later.

Toady there is pretty much a day and night difference between the places. The one in Lexington did not enforce the covenants and many of the houses have gone down hill. The one in Mount Pleasant tightly enforced the covenants and the place looks pristine.

My wife's cousin used to rag on us how we needed permission to do anything (like plant a tree, build a fence, etc.) while they pretty much did as they wanted. After a few years her cousin was taken by how good our neighborhood looked and the increasing propery values while theirs was becoming "raggy" around the edges. Today, the Lexington HOA has realized the errors of their ways and are now trying to correct them. It has become somewhat neighbor against neighbor.

One example. Our place allowed no permenant basketball hoops. You could have a portable one but it must not be left up over night. Now the question is how "tight" does one become on this things like this. What if the "kids" did not roll it into the garage one night? Technically the home owner could be fined for a covenant violation.

One of our covenants bannded vehicles with commercial lettering/signs (like SO and SO Heating and Air) on them, from parking in their driveway overnight. They had to be parked in the garage.

There was quite a legal battle at a Del Webb complex when a couple took custody of their 6-7 year old Granddaughter and she came to live with them. Against the covenants. No one under 18 can live there.

Another recent one in Ohio? where a retired militray guy erected a flag pole in his front yard and ran the American Flag up it. Against the covenants. One could fly the American Flag on a flag staff off their house (as many did), but not erect a flag pole.

Personally, I say covenants were read and signed by all thus they should be honored and enforced.

Last edited by accufitgolf; 08-13-2011 at 10:47 AM..
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Old 08-13-2011, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,178 posts, read 9,418,182 times
Reputation: 9552
Default Caution - perhaps a little TMI!

My DH and I watched them build Sun City Hilton Head. We worked EMS there and we also had other jobs that took us into the complex frequently over many years. We had many friends in there, or who moved there.

GOOD: The people with whom we actually associated there loved it, hands down, bar none. There was always so much to do; there were so many things going on - everything from group suppers, performances, and social events (their Veteran's Day and Memorial Day events attract everyone in a 40 mile radius) to golfing, swimming, baseball, softball, ceramics, and writing organizations. You can be as involved or uninvolved as you want. There are people from all walks of life there; liberals and conservatives, war heroes and CEOs, politicians and farmers. If there is anything you are interested in, you'll probably find some others who are interested in it and who have already started a group for it! One friend, a retired (and famous) concert pianist had his house specifically designed for his grand piano and art; he loved to sit in front of the big glass doors and windows and play. Another friend makes his own colloidal silver and distributes it. Another is a quilter who not only makes amazing quilts but teaches quilting. I was invited to teach a writers' group there.Three others love to tend their little gardens in the designated 'garden' area, and grow and share their own vegetables. Others volunteer at the local food banks, schools, and second-hand stores; even participate in local political and social events. There is no pressure... You can stay in your house and watch TV all day if you want; or you can go out to eat, play tourist, and enjoy the many things the area has to offer, and meet many fascinating people both in Sun City and outside of it. Hilton Head is not far away and there are lovely shops and restaurants, and the Chamber of Commerce there is second to none, especially with planning their events. One year you may find yourself on a midnight cruise, the next on a weekend trip to Daufuskie Island resorts (accesible only by boat) with a crowd of very entertaining and intelligent people.

BAD: There is a lot of squabbling between some factions; retired people don't always retire, and you will meet people not only from all over the country but all over the world who have very different attitudes and opinions. While this is sometimes in the "GOOD" column, it can also be in the "BAD" - some people are still the same self-righteous, arrogant, outspoken, and vicious knotholes they were in business or politics. Sadly, these types often make it onto the HOA board because no one will contest them. They are determined to make everyone fit into their preconceived notion of perfection. There are severe covenants that occasionally defy common sense; SCHH is in a hot and very humid area, which means that if you like to grow flowers in front of your house, you should only use drip-irrigation and only in the early morning, as mold, black and powdery mildew, and all manner of bugs, are the rule instead of the exception. The HOA does not believe in drip irrigation, and they have cost people some lovely rose and other types of garden plants because of this. You can't park your car in front of your house, or even in your own driveway, for longer than 4 hours - it must be in the garage. You cannot change your oil or fix your carbuerator or do anything other than wash your car in your driveway. Before you buy lawn furniture or a canopy, or build or paint anything, you must get approval from the HOA for its construction and/or colors. There is a strictly enforced limit on how many visitors - epecially children - you can have in your home, as well as how long they may visit. Because of SCHH's popularity and appeal to people from all walks of life, many SunCity events are very crowded; there is limited seating, and if they are selling tickets you'd better know someone on the committee, because they go very fast.

TMI: One of the local nicknames for SCHH was "Viagra Falls". This is because human nature does not change, and when unoccupied by things like work and raising children, some people become very self-indulgent, even over the top. There were frequent calls for EMS and the sheriff's department for not only Viagra reactions, but for domestic violence/ assault charges, often stemming from a wife coming home too early from her bridge or swimming tournament and discovering her husband up to his old tricks - or new ones. There was an entre group in the complex that had weekly Friday or Saturday night "key parties" where all of the men put their keys into a basket, and take the woman home with them who picks out their key. There was a lot of Sturm and Drang over these incidents and their aftermath. As EMS, we got to witness it up close and firsthand.
Of course, OUR friends would NEVER participate in such things - and IF they did, they behaved in a mature and private fashion.

If this is the kind of lifestyle that appeals or that you can either accept or overlook, then by all means, go for it. My BF (a police chief) and I used to laugh about what would happen if WE ever moved there - we'd be growing our own weed, sitting on our porches of a Friday night with Led Zepplin on the speakers inside, and offering 'hits' to passerby! But I and DH don't like that sort of constrained lifestyle, and don't like crowds of people much - so instead we bought 60 acres and a 100 year old farmhouse and raise our own cows, chickens and vegies (no weed ). Different strokes for different folks.

Last edited by SCGranny; 08-13-2011 at 01:22 PM..
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Old 08-13-2011, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA
121 posts, read 253,763 times
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A family member lives in Anthem, AZ. I love the huge park with the lake and waterfall, the cute train that circles the park, the Outlet Center, the safe neighborhoods, the wonderful recreation facilities and the nice way the neighborhoods are laid out. However, I would not be happy in such a community because of the overbearing HOA. You get monthly fines if your backyard is not up to Del Webb specs. If the gravel by your trash cans on the side of your house is a few millimeters the wrong size, you will be fined until you have installed the correct sized gravel. I kid you not, some busybody got down on her/his hands and knees, reached under the wooden gate and grabbed a gravel sample and measured the rocks with a caliper. My relative was fined again until they replaced the newly installed gravel with the "correct" size. They laughed about it. I would have had a less favorable reaction! Monthly fine for non-landscaped backyard $150.00. Monthly fine for wrong sized gravel in trash can area, $75.00. Also, all plantings and landscaping must be pre-approved by the homeowners association.
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Old 08-13-2011, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,740,386 times
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Default HOA horror story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairwinds View Post
A family member lives in Anthem, AZ. I love the huge park with the lake and waterfall, the cute train that circles the park, the Outlet Center, the safe neighborhoods, the wonderful recreation facilities and the nice way the neighborhoods are laid out. However, I would not be happy in such a community because of the overbearing HOA. You get monthly fines if your backyard is not up to Del Webb specs. If the gravel by your trash cans on the side of your house is a few millimeters the wrong size, you will be fined until you have installed the correct sized gravel. I kid you not, some busybody got down on her/his hands and knees, reached under the wooden gate and grabbed a gravel sample and measured the rocks with a caliper. My relative was fined again until they replaced the newly installed gravel with the "correct" size. They laughed about it. I would have had a less favorable reaction! Monthly fine for non-landscaped backyard $150.00. Monthly fine for wrong sized gravel in trash can area, $75.00. Also, all plantings and landscaping must be pre-approved by the homeowners association.
The above is about as extreme as I've ever heard of. I wouldn't want to live their either. I am an HOA board member of a 26-unit townhouse association. We don't fine anybody unless there has been a notice of violation first, with a stated time limit to correct it. Our fines are mostly $25 or $50. And there are no rules here nearly as Mickey Mouse as the size of gravel business you cite. That just takes the cake!
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Old 08-13-2011, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,218,356 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by accufitgolf View Post
We have some friends that live in Sun City, Hilton Head (Bluffton), SC. My wife and I spend a few days there with them, several times a year.

The place is lovley with plenty of things to do and ability to be as busy as one wants to be or not to be. They are enjoying the fruits of their retirement which they both earned in the hustle/bustle/snowy world of a big Northeast city area.

It is important to understand what/whom these places are geared for. It is important to understand what covenants are/do/control for any place that operates under them. Especially the covenants and allow me to shout it, ESPECIALLY THE COVENANTS....

The bottom line of your understanding might well be that this place is or is not for me. That is your decision and please enjoy your decision while allowing others to do the same.

In general much of the complaining I see about many things is from begrudgers, especially from those that cannot afford what others have. Snippy things like, yes they have a beautiful home but do you realize they are both working all the time to afford that thus missing valuable time together...such as we have in this small mobile home....LOL
Actually, your observation sounds incredibly snobby, i.e. "...such as we have in this small mobile home...LOL". If I had to choose between living in a small mobile home or a home in a segregated community, I'd choose the former. No begrudging here.
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