Living in The Villages of Florida: Advantages and Disadvantages
Living in The Villages of Florida: The Villages are located in central Florida about 30 miles south of Ocala and about an hour northwest of Orlando.
There are over 100,000 residents that live in the self-contained community filled with golf courses, along with more goods and services than you’d find in a regular city of that size.
The Villages is home to 56,268 single-family, attached home, and manufactured homes priced from the low $100s to the high $1 million. The community spans over three counties, three zip codes, and over 20,000 acres of space.
The Villages is a completely self-sustaining community with its own healthcare centers, hospitals, restaurants, banks, post offices, and dozens of recreational centers.
Positives of Living in The Villages
You’ll see sunshine almost every day and experience very mild winters. There will be no need to deal with lots of ice and snow. You can play golf and tennis, cycle, and socialize outside pretty much all year round if you wish.
The housing is affordable compared to many places in the US. There are also options available to suit a variety of budgets.
The area features quick and easy golf cart access to all kinds of shopping, restaurants, and other services.
The developers have a track record of providing an excellent and fun environment for those in the senior age group.
The community is lively and active. On an average day, you’ll see people running, cycling, walking, and riding in golf carts.
Most residents live alongside people in their own age group, so there’s very little disruption, and there are plenty of people to socialize with. The Villages’ population comes from all walks of life and professions.
Safety and Cleanliness:
Gated communities that are clean and safe mean that there is little to worry about in regard to trash, crime, or vandalism.
The area boasts excellent public transport, including The Villages shuttle, which is operated by Sumter County Transit, and the connecting bus to Jacksonville and Lakeland, which is operated by Amtrak. There are also plenty of options for those who need to travel between The Villages and Orlando International Airport.
Proximity to Beaches:
You are never far from beautiful beaches and blue seas when you live in Florida. Plus, the cities of Orlando and Ocala are close by.
Residents often provide mutual support for friends and neighbors suffering from illnesses, mobility issues, and other challenges associated with aging.
You’ll be safer from hurricanes:
You’ll be safer from hurricanes in Florida village than most places in Florida. The Villages is located near the center of Florida away from the coasts where most of the damage from hurricanes usually is incurred.
The Florida Move Guide says that hurricanes usually weaken after they move inland and they’re no longer fueled by the warm/hot water off the coast during Florida’s annual 6-month hurricane season.
Negatives of Living in The Villages
Heat and Humidity:
The heat and humidity in Florida can be overbearing, uncomfortable, and energy-sapping at times. Only the visiting tourists deliberately soak it up; the long-term locals avoid the sun and outdoors for most of the year and keep within range of the air-conditioning as much as possible.
Lack of Diversity:
If you like to socialize with a varied, cosmopolitan crowd, The Villages may not be the place for you. Pretty much everyone you will meet will be white, financially comfortable, and older.
Although this isn’t often discussed in the community, the developers own almost everything as far as The Villages go, and the residents have very little civic power.
People often feel isolated in the countryside due to the inconvenience of traveling. Sometimes it may even take a whole day for going into the city and returning after accomplishing important work. You need to have a study vehicle in case you got stuck in bad weather due to snow.
Certain tabloid newspapers have focused attention on what they portray as the seedier side of The Villages.
The owners of the development and many of the residents are republicans who are politically conservative, which can be challenging for some residents who are democrats or have more politically liberal ideologies.
Regardless of where in the state you live even if you’re living in The villages of Florida, there are lots of bugs in Florida, and many of them are quite large.
Effects of Weather:
Weather is one of the major factors for the drawback of living in the countryside. Blizzards, flooding, and torrential rain are some of the common phenomena in the rural areas. Recently though most of the roads are paved with cement, most of them are still uneven and full of dirt.
During blizzards in the winter, you have to regularly plow the snow; otherwise, you will be stuck down under the snow for days until help can reach you. During the rainy season or flood, you can be completely isolated in your house as most of the roads in the town will be underwater.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Live in The Villages?
The Villages is an age-restricted community. Usually, there must be at least one person aged 55 years or older in the household. To qualify for an exception to the Housing for Older Persons Act prohibitions against discrimination, The Villages needs over 80% of its residents to be over 55.
Residents below the age of 19 years are generally not permitted to live in The Villages unless granted an exemption. As of 2016, 2% of residents were under 5 years of age, 7.1% were under 18, and 56.3% were 65 or older.
What Is the Cost of Living in The Villages of Florida?
The cost of living in The Villages is above average for the USA, mainly due to the cost of housing. At the time of this writing, the median home price in The Villages was $268,600. Things like groceries, health, and transportation compare well with the US average in terms of affordability.