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Old 03-11-2015, 02:31 AM
 
71,637 posts, read 71,777,271 times
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after buying a home years ago in an hoa in pa i can see see the attraction of 55 plus communities.

everyone was so busy with family it was hard to meet or become from friends with anyone .

as many things as the development did to socialize few took part because they had family living with them and really wanted little to do with others outside their little core.

55+ are structured usually just for that socialization and many do take part .
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Old 03-11-2015, 03:01 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
7,629 posts, read 14,382,758 times
Reputation: 18706
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomchard View Post
Thank you for taking time to provide this specific information about "Hill Country Retreat" ... I've been online and looking at that community! From everything I've seen (pictures and descriptions), this might be an ideal place for DW and me. We're currently in Santa Clara (CA) and will be leaving, shortly after we retire full-time, in 2-3 years.
Having come from a few miles North of where y'all are, I can testify that the Texas Hill Country has some of the most-beautiful ("beauty" being in the eye of the beholder, of course! ) scenery in the whole State, if not the Country.
It's good to know about "visitation privileges" there, because most of our Families are from either North California, or Central Texas (around Austin). Having the younger ones visit wouldn't be that much of a problem - unless they wanted to stay too long.

For us, the time to plan for relocating is now. I don't want us beginning our relocation search by waiting until after we retire. Of course, DW does not want to think about it either, except when our current low-life-neighbors fire-up their professional-grade sound system in their back yard, and other neighbors want to make sure we hear their style of "music" too. Then, she's ready to move, tomorrow!

If I may ask, Paka, can you tell us about any "surprises" you might have encountered, either prior-to, or during your relocation and acclimation to "Hill Country Retreat"? I'd sure like to know as much as possible about the place, should we ultimately decide to buy-in there.

Many Thanks! - I hope I haven't committed some unpardonable blog/thread sin by asking! ... TC
No, no surprises at all for us, but we lived 7 miles down the road and watched the place from the inception. (We actually attended the 1st ever "gathering" at the Hyatt down the road when they started planning this place). We attended the "dusty shoe" model home showing (the very 1st) and decided to watch and ensure it was being "built out as described" given it was at the height of the housing bust and we wanted to ensure things went well....everything did. We LOVE it here, and the only thing I can say is that if you are wanting a fireplace/sliding glass doors (which some people LOVE and need and others don't care for) you might consider a resale as the new models now are beautiful but you can not get either in the new models. Feel free to DM me if you want any further info, have helped others on this thread that have come down and visited and always willing to help others! It is a BEAUTIFUL place and I can tell you that all our neighbors coming from CA have paid cash for their homes and had LOTS left over (given the price differences and no state tax!)
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Old 03-11-2015, 05:17 AM
 
10,355 posts, read 9,385,677 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotleyCrew View Post
I believe they do still charge the fee. We felt it was worth it considering how low the property taxes are here and all the recreational activities they offer. Our HOA fee is far below most communities here as well.
Lower taxes are wonderful! With the extreme summer heat, on an average, how high does the electric bill run?

Does any of the SC area get hit with the dust storms?
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Old 03-11-2015, 09:30 AM
 
5 posts, read 3,474 times
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Could someone on this extremely helpful thread comment on this?

One thing that worries me about "communities" is that gardening would probably be highly restricted, maybe even verboten. Or one might be instructed to "use the community gardens," which isn't remotely the same as having your own home-made park.

I totally understand that communities are not interested in "enabling" people who turn their little yards into vegetable plots which they don't bother to weed.

However, if I couldn't cultivate perennials around my own home, I myself would wither up and die.

Monty55

Quote:
Originally Posted by ByebyeWisconsin View Post
ots of gardening. (most of the almost 1 acre yard is now perennial gardens). I want to be somewhere that I can interact with people who have varied interests, there is SO much to learn from others.


S
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Old 03-11-2015, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Texas
2,847 posts, read 1,960,672 times
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If looking into HCR Del Webb San Antonio do your homework on the very high property taxes and allergies, you may be shocked.
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Old 03-11-2015, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,850,322 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BestintheWest View Post
If looking into HCR Del Webb San Antonio do your homework on the very high property taxes and allergies, you may be shocked.
The property taxes in TX are less then almost all the Northeast, several midwest states and the west coast. As for allergies, not sure what is special out there but.... it is always important to try before you buy.
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Old 03-11-2015, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Oxygen Ln. AZ
9,321 posts, read 16,584,408 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katie45 View Post
Lower taxes are wonderful! With the extreme summer heat, on an average, how high does the electric bill run?

Does any of the SC area get hit with the dust storms?
We pay for 1,800 sq.ft in the summer/high heat, around $170 and a tad more if we are using the juice more. We reinsulated our home, just put on a new foam roof and will see if that helps this summer. We keep our home around 80 to 82. I don't care for chilly homes myself and enjoy the summer heat here.

Most of the home here will need some updating and I would highly recommend new insulation if possible. We also replaced all windows with Milgard low E windows, added large overhangs on the back patio.

Our former home, which was built in 2004 and was 2,000 sq. ft, ran in the mid to high $200's in the summer. You can do a lot to these little shacks.
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Old 03-11-2015, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Florida
19,813 posts, read 19,910,927 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monty55 View Post
Could someone on this extremely helpful thread comment on this?

One thing that worries me about "communities" is that gardening would probably be highly restricted, maybe even verboten. Or one might be instructed to "use the community gardens," which isn't remotely the same as having your own home-made park.

I totally understand that communities are not interested in "enabling" people who turn their little yards into vegetable plots which they don't bother to weed.

However, if I couldn't cultivate perennials around my own home, I myself would wither up and die.

Monty55
I'll be extremely unhelpful about this.
It all depends on the rules of the particular community.
That's the kind of thing you have to check on with each one.
The rabbits here have told me they are going to make it very difficult.
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Old 03-11-2015, 01:16 PM
 
530 posts, read 538,436 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfingduo View Post
The property taxes in TX are less then almost all the Northeast, several midwest states and the west coast. As for allergies, not sure what is special out there but.... it is always important to try before you buy.
Owned 3 different properties, in, around, and well-North of, Austin. Back then, property taxes weren't what they've become, today.
That said, I would say that, generally, your tax burden for a piece of property (with or without a home on it) will run y'all less $$$ in a small(er) town than in a city that has many more infrastructure needs. Hopefully, y'all can agree with that.
And, for that main reason, we're actually limiting our "Lookie-Loo" property searches to small cities and towns ... preferably in the Hill Country, roughly on a line either side of US Hwy 281, to areas from Bulverde all-the-way to the Burnet area. That's quite a large area to cover, and the taxing entities are numerous. But, whatever location we decide to get serious about, it will definitely have to figure into our schema for being able to afford the taxes, while we're retired.

... Lived nearly 25 years just-Northwest of Austin ... Was eventually able to get Allergy Shots for Ragweed, Cedar (Mountain Juniper), and Pet Dander. Those helped a lot.
So, I believe those are the most-prevalent allergies that cause many folks some serious discomfort, along with the ever-present Molds that seem to just hang in the air, in the Summertime.
Some folks are allergic to Grass; some are allergic to the Soil; most people are allergic to Poison Ivy/Poison Oak, for which there's an ample supply, out in the Hills.
Should we get to the point where we buy in TEXAS, we're for-sure gonna check the whole property for "things that cause reactions" ...

As always, YMMV ... TC
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Old 03-11-2015, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Dover, DE
1,802 posts, read 3,836,669 times
Reputation: 2499
Quote:
Originally Posted by katie45 View Post
Lower taxes are wonderful! With the extreme summer heat, on an average, how high does the electric bill run?

Does any of the SC area get hit with the dust storms?
I live in SC and have not had any dust storms in the 7 years we have been here.

Not sure if you were asking about SC cooling bill, but I can tell you a few things that will help tremendously and would be available everywhere. First, our electric bills run about $80-120/month depending on how hot is has been. And it can get pretty hot around July through beginning of September. Here are some of the things that we did to help:

1. We added extra blown in insulation in our attic and over the garage. Probably about 6" to whatever was already there.
2. We have double cellular blinds on our windows which helps to insulate a lot better that the shutter type blinds that a lot of people have around here.
3. We put 3M Window Film on all windows that would have any direct sun on them. The only ones we didn't film were the ones that were in shade all day. This was probably the most helpful thing we did as not only does it cut down the heat and glare in the summer but it also helps keep in heat during the winter. And with it's UVA/UVB protection you also protect furniture, curtains and flooring from fading. I just can't recommend this enough to anyone who lives in sunny and hot climates. I am already planning on adding this to our new home in Delaware.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monty55 View Post
Could someone on this extremely helpful thread comment on this?

One thing that worries me about "communities" is that gardening would probably be highly restricted, maybe even verboten. Or one might be instructed to "use the community gardens," which isn't remotely the same as having your own home-made park.

I totally understand that communities are not interested in "enabling" people who turn their little yards into vegetable plots which they don't bother to weed.

However, if I couldn't cultivate perennials around my own home, I myself would wither up and die.

Monty55
You will need to read the HOA documents (called CC&Rs) for the community you are looking at. Most of them do not permit large vegetable gardens due to the fact that the HOA takes care of the yards, plus vegetables attract "critters"...bad enough that our hoard of rabbits chews some of the flowers down! But as far as flowers, as long as you get it approved by the HOA compliance committee, you can put in flower beds and intricate landscaping (at least in our community). Around here some of the backyards are gorgeous with water features and all kinds of trees and bushes and flowering plants. You can also add flowers and plants to the beds that the builder puts in. In fact except for 1 crape myrtle tree we have ripped out everything that the builder put in and replaced it with what we wanted. We have also enlarged our front bed and added a stone wall, added a large stone walled bed to the back, and added 3 other separate beds with trees in them. Again.........you MUST check with the CC&Rs of whatever community you are interested in, but I don't find ours overly restrictive at all. We are also allowed to have container gardens. I actually have a couple of tomato plants and several herbs in containers sitting on my back porch. I run drip tubes from my irrigation system into the containers. I usually plant Roma grape tomatoes and have to give them away I have so many. I am actually thinking of getting a container blueberry bush at the new house.
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