The Villages is among the best retirement communities in Florida.
Whether you are planning to buy a new home, buy a resale, or possibly rent a home in The Villages, you should find a lot of good information on this page.
For your convenience, I’ve broken this page into four sections:
Let’s jump right in!
The Villages New Homes
The Villages consistently sells more new homes each year than any other community in the country, retirement or otherwise.
That’s pretty crazy considering that The Villages is a privately held company and they compete with a lot of publicly traded companies that despite their even bigger bank accounts, can’t seem to outsell The Villages.
If you are thinking about moving to The Villages and buying a new home, you must work with a salesperson assigned to you by the developer.
Unlike most other places, you cannot bring your own real estate agent to the table.
Over the years, The Villages has built a variety of homes styles, or “series” as they typically refer to them, including Patio Villas, Courtyard Villas (this series includes Bungalow Villas and Cabana Villas), Cottage Homes, Verandas (a blend between Courtyard Villas and Designer Homes), Designer Homes, and Premier Homes.
Patio Villas are going to be your smaller, less expensive options and Premier Homes account for the biggest and most expensive. All the other home series fill in the gap.
Construction materials vary between (and sometimes within) each series, with some homes being constructed of frame and vinyl siding, while others are concrete block construction.
Keep in mind that over the years home classes and styles have changed, so the home styles The Villages is selling today does not necessarily reflect the full range of homes you might see in The Villages if you were to also look at resales.
Your best bet to get a feel for what each home type entails and what current prices are is to browse them on The Villages website at TheVillages.com.
The Villages Average Homebuyer Will Move 2.5 Times
This isn’t necessarily a documented fact, and I’ve heard both higher and lower figures tossed around, but most people that have lived here awhile feel that 2.5 times is pretty accurate.
In some cases this has been fairly easy to do from a seller’s perspective due to the tremendous growth and continued strong home demand, plus the relative stability of home prices.
But it might not always be that way.
So why not try and get it right the first time?
The first way to do that is understand why people move around in The Villages in the first place, so you can think through and hopefully avoid their missteps.
People move for a variety of reasons. Here’s a few of the more common ones:
There may be a desire to substantially downsize when moving to The Villages.
They were tired of maintaining a big home and yard and they had no need for the room required by an expanded family.
However, later they may find that they downsized too far.
They may find there just isn’t enough room and they feel claustrophobic, the garage is too small, there’s no room to entertain, it’s hard to accommodate guests, they want more hobby or office type space, or they need more buffer space between the neighbors.
These folks often change homes to get something larger. There’s a rule-of-thumb; never downsize more than 50%, and even this sort of change can be too much for some.
Others decided to buy a large home because they had cash out of their prior home sale, they wanted to have room to entertain, they wanted to have plenty of space for the kids and grandkids, or, some won’t necessarily admit it, but they wanted the prestige of a larger home.
Then, once they maintained this large home for a while, or their health fails, or the kids and grandkids stop visiting as often, they decide to move to something smaller.
Some may find where they first bought has started to undergo a bit of a demographic shift. They want to move to a “younger” neighborhood so as to stay as active as possible by enjoying the things their new neighbors enjoy.
Or, it could be that for whatever reason they just don’t like some of their current neighbors. Sometimes people issues alone can force a move.
They worry about their home value in an aging neighborhood and want to sell before it’s too late. I think this reason is a little bit of a hand-me-down from past moves in prior housing markets in previous locations. But, it still goes on, especially if there is a bias towards managing an inheritance legacy.
Or maybe they made an initial home purchase mistake and chose the wrong location, house plan, etc.
This one happens more often than you would expect. This one can be minimized by thinking through as many issues as possible before buying. The more thorough you are in your decision making the better chance you’ll have in making the right decision the first time.
The Villages Lot Premiums
Lot premiums are an additional charge that the developer tacks on to the price of a new home depending on where in the community a lot is located.
Basically the way most new homes are sold these days is a builder will advertise their homes based on standard features and a “standard” lot, and anything they can use to justify an increase in price is a premium.
As you can imagine, the definition of “standard” varies widely.
So, in general, what kinds of lots in The Villages demand a premium?
- Oversized lots
- Lots that back up to a preserve
- Lots that back up to private land
- Golf front lots
- Golf view lots
- Cul de sac lots
- Corner lots
- Waterfront lots
- Lakefront lots
What Can You Expect to Pay?
As you can imagine, the figures vary widely, and it’s all based on the lot, the location, type of home and current demand.
I’ve seen lot premiums in The Villages range from a few thousand dollars to well over $200,000 if you can believe it!
Now that’s a pretty broad range, right. Why?
Well when you consider that there are a few different types of homes in The Villages and you combine that with the several different lot types available, things can get out of hand pretty quickly.
Now another questions is, if there is financing involved, will it appraise? That’s a great question.
One appraiser shared this rule of thumb:
- A golf view lot is worthy of a $12,000 upcharge on a $125,000 house
- $25,000 on a $250,000 house
- $50,000 on a $500,000 house
- $80,000 – $100,000 on a $1,000,000 house
- The upcharge for a Pond/Greenbelt View is exactly the same.
But again, this is just one appraiser’s opinion, nothing here is set in stone.
Are Lot Premiums Worth It?
That all depends on how badly you desire a particular lot and how much it is ultimately worth to YOU…not the builder or any potential future buyer.
One agent I spoke with offered this advice:
“Is it worth it to have a house on the golf course or on the Lake or Pond. Of course. Will it add value to your home. Of course. Is it wise to pay the ridiculous upcharges for the premium lots that The Villages charges? NO! Find a resale that gives you what you are looking for without the high new bond and ridiculous premium lot upcharges.”
That’s great advice if you can find a resale that fits your needs, but if not, you’re sorta stuck.
Can Sellers Recoup The Cost of a Lot Premium?
This boils down to how much of a premium you pay and what a future buyer is willing to pay.
Again, this from an agent I spoke with:
“Rather than try to get back the premium the original owners paid, let’s get top dollar for the home as a complete package. I have seen Realtors go crazy trying to figure out what The Villages charges for premiums…ultimately, it doesn’t matter. A house is worth today what a house is worth today irrelevant of what was paid for it.”
Does The Villages Offer Discounts on New Homes?
For many years it was nearly unheard of to get discounts on new homes in The Villages. Homes were sold faster than they could be built, and so it made no sense for them to offer any discounts or incentives.
Things seem to have changed in the last few years though, and getting discounts and other incentives is possible on certain kinds of homes, usually completed homes that the developer has in inventory just sitting and waiting for the right person to come along.
I’ve heard of people getting tens of thousands of dollars off the advertised price, free furniture packages, and even free pools. It all depends really on how badly they want to sell a particular home.
I’ve heard that The Villages is sometimes offering discounts on homes in the newer areas, to further entice people who might otherwise feel that Fenney and other neighborhoods down there are too far and disconnected from the rest of the community to consider buying a home there.
The Villages does not typically advertise their discounts and incentives, preferring to let their salespeople pull them out when they’ve got someone they think is a hot prospect.
The Villages Resales
If you don’t like where The Villages is building new homes, or prefer not to have to wait for your home to be built, you could buy a resale.
From what I’ve heard, approximately the same amount of resales are sold every year as new homes, so you’d be far from alone going the resale route.
When buying a resale, you’ve got two options:
- You can work with the developer’s sales team to look at resales listed with them, or
- You can work with an outside Realtor to see resales that are not listed with the developer. In my experience this accounts for about 40% of resales available.
So basically, if you want to see everything available, you unfortunately have to do both things.
I explain this problem a little more in depth in this video:
If you are not ready to make the jump to owning a home in The Villages, you’ll be pleased to hear that there is a thriving rental market here.
Depending on where you’re looking, you can find rentals for or short as a few days, weeks, or months, as well as long term rentals for a year or more.
When you plan to rent, though, is a major factor, as pricing goes way up and availability goes way down during the busy season which is generally November through May, with the peak being January through April.
I’ve put together a complete guide on finding a rental in The Villages that includes what you can expect to pay, where to look, and more right here.
Alternatives to The Villages
People ask me all the time, “what are other communities like The Villages that I might also want to consider?”
As the most popular retirement state in the country, Florida has certainly got a lot of retirement community options.
On my other website, floridaforboomers.com I’ve written several articles comparing The Villages to other popular Florida retirement communities:
- The Villages vs. Citrus Hills
- The Villages vs. On Top of the World
- The Villages vs. Solivita
- The Villages vs. Tradition
More articles like those are in the works.
You might also be interested in my list of all 55+ communities in Florida that are currently under construction and selling new homes.
As the most popular community in the country right now, The Villages gives people plenty of options when it comes to real estate.
But with more options comes more things that potential buyers and renters need to be aware of.
You can find all of the information you need in my book, Inside the Bubble.