Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

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Van-Guard23
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Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Post by Van-Guard23 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:34 pm

My wife and I are in the preliminary process of purchasing a possible "forever home" in a new 55+ active adult community in Central Texas' Hill Country and would like to ask a few questions of those esteemed forum members who may have gone through the process we find ourselves going through. We are looking at a new construction home and were initially taken aback by the lot premiums in this master-planned community with an 18-hole golf course and plenty of amenities for residents. One home site (one we were initially considering) in particular, with stunning views of the signature hole with views of the lake and the greens, came with a lot premium of $315k! Yikes!
Our questions:
1. What are the going lot premium rates for a new construction home in a gated 55+ golf course community? We don't intend to sell any time soon if we do indeed purchase a home there, but if we did, how much of the lot premium can we reasonably expect to recoup upon selling?
2. We contacted the builders ourselves and didn't go through a realtor. We heard it might be beneficial to have a realtor contact the builder on our behalf and there would be no impact on the purchase price as the realtor would be paid by the builder...is this true?
3. If we don't have a realtor, can we reasonably negotiate certain discounts as the builder wouldn't have to pay a realtor's commission? What sorts of things can we actually negotiate...everything, or are there certain things better to negotiate for than others? We were considering negotiating lower lot premiums and maybe an extended back deck.
4. For those who've gone through this and live thousands of miles away from the new house, did you hire a third party contractor/inspector to periodically inspect construction progress? I asked the builder's agent if we could do this and they said YES, and even recommended one they work with...but will probably not go with their recommended inspector to avoid any conflicts of interest.
5. I have read about golf courses in a community not surviving and the course eventually built over with houses...basically eliminating any favorable location along the golf course original owners paid a premium for. How concerned should we be of this occurring?
6. HOA fees are currently set at a reasonable $210 per month and were told that since this project would go for another 10-12 years, that we could expect the HOA fees to remain the same over that span. I have heard of new 55+ communities start with teaser HOA fees only to see those fees skyrocket within a few years. Is this something we should be concerned about?
7. The builder uses Whirlpool/KitchenAid and "upgraded" Jenn-Air appliances. I have read less than flattering reviews for them and was considering going with LG refrigerators and Bosch dishwasher even if the builder wouldn't cover them in their warranty...but maybe stick with the Whirlpool range, oven and microwave. Anyone have any experiences with those brands?
8. For those who've done this, was there anything you wished you could've done differently? Any other advice you can pass on?

VG23
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littlebird
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Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Post by littlebird » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:42 pm

I know this isn't the answer you're looking for, but faced with the same issues, though on a much reduced financial scale, we opted for an established, but extremely well maintained community. Vastly better value. Have been here 24 years with not a moment of regret.

Edited to add: HOA fee now $404/year/person. Yes per year. 24 years ago $125/year/person. This is for a very large development with the most extensive amenities in the country, with the possible exception of The Villages in Fla.
Last edited by littlebird on Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jebmke
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Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Post by jebmke » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:47 pm

Van-Guard23 wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:34 pm
5. I have read about golf courses in a community not surviving and the course eventually built over with houses...basically eliminating any favorable location along the golf course original owners paid a premium for. How concerned should we be of this occurring?
This is in process about three miles from me (I do not live in that community - it is on my way in to town). The golf course was spun off and changed hands multiple times, the last time at auction. The current owner hasn't kept it up or even operated it as a golf course. The city has threatened to seize the property if they don't start cutting the grass. I suspect it will be converted to housing although the zoning around here may require that it be converted to some other use like a park or other type of greenspace.
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Ruger
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Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Post by Ruger » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:55 pm

I don't know how they can tell you that the association fees won't go up for the next 10-12 years.
Expenses go up, and so will the fees.

PartIrish
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Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Post by PartIrish » Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:02 pm

Van-Guard 23, One thing to consider in making such a large investment is in the event you decide this is not the right place for you, all of the concerns you voice now as a buyer will become your obstacles once you are a seller. In addition, a 55+ community restricts your pool of potential buyers at some point in the future. We looked at a couple of 55+ places in the city to which we wish to retire, but our realtor weighed in on the problems such a choice might create in the future.

One way to do due diligence on your questions is to research a couple of more recent 55+ communities and compare the current prices of units for sale to what the original buyers paid. Several property sites will give that information. A quick check at a local premium 55+ community in my current city shows several prime lot properties for sale on a golf course that are listed for less than they were 10-15 years ago. YMMV, of course.

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El Greco
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Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Post by El Greco » Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:07 pm

FWIW. My father-in-law bought a condo in Florida, right on the golf course of the community. Shortly before he passed away, the golf course was closed and was looking for a buyer to keep it operating. It still was closed after his death and greatly affected the value of his property by about 35%. The condo has since been sold by the heirs for a significantly lower price than it would have fetched if it were located on an active, operating golf course.

runner3081
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Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Post by runner3081 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:23 pm

Van-Guard23 wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:34 pm
6. HOA fees are currently set at a reasonable $210 per month and were told that since this project would go for another 10-12 years, that we could expect the HOA fees to remain the same over that span.
I would not count on that. In fact, if they do not raise them, I would be concerned as it may leave reserved underfunded and could lead to a 1-time special assessment if something is needed.

SR II
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Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Post by SR II » Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:25 pm

Van-Guard23 wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:34 pm
6. HOA fees are currently set at a reasonable $210 per month and were told that since this project would go for another 10-12 years, that we could expect the HOA fees to remain the same over that span. I have heard of new 55+ communities start with teaser HOA fees only to see those fees skyrocket within a few years. Is this something we should be concerned about?
7. The builder uses Whirlpool/KitchenAid and "upgraded" Jenn-Air appliances. I have read less than flattering reviews for them and was considering going with LG refrigerators and Bosch dishwasher even if the builder wouldn't cover them in their warranty...but maybe stick with the Whirlpool range, oven and microwave. Anyone have any experiences with those brands?
6. Not in a 55+ community, but my son bought a new-build house in 2013 with an HOA that was kept artificially low by the builder pitching in the difference between the homeowners payments and the actually reserves required until the development sold out. He was on the tail end of the community build-out at which time the HOA went up as the last home was sold. If the HOA doesn't have specific reserves set by the government, the fees have to increase. I wouldn't count on the HOA fees staying the same for another 10-12 years. Anything can happen: this builder may default, go out of business or sell the project to someone else. Who knows!

7. My son's house included all Whirlpool appliances (washer, dryer, refrigerator, stove, microwave and dishwasher) in the sale price. So far, all of his appliances have been trouble free. I'd just stick with the builders standard appliances and upgrade them if/when they wear out. Could be many years down the road.

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Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Post by itstoomuch » Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:32 pm

I was told to avoid golf course communities, if possible, for park model, plus 55, because of higher HOAs.
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tri-james
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Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Post by tri-james » Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:12 pm

Is this Kissing Tree in San Marcos? I can't answer your questions but that is going to be a beautiful community (I ride my bike near that area) and live in a community that has Brookfield Residential as a builder. Their houses are are very nice.

San Marcos is also a pretty neat town in and of itself.

delamer
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Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Post by delamer » Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:06 pm

We have family who are in a gated community that initially had a golf membership and much-less-expensive social membership (both in terms of buy-in and monthly fee), one or the other membership required of property owners. The social includes all facilities (tennis, pool, clubhouse) except golf. Now the fees have increased dramatically for the social members basically because they weren't getting enough golf members and they needed money has to maintain the golf course. Golfers' monthly fees are still higher but the gap has narrowed significantly.

So take any promises regarding non-golfers not being responsible for the golf course with a grain of salt. In many (most?) of the communities, the course is highly integrated into the overall landscaping and the whole community suffers if the course isn't maintained.

Note that this is not a 55+ community legally, but virtually all the owners are retirees or near-retirees.

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Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Post by cherijoh » Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:22 pm

runner3081 wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:23 pm
Van-Guard23 wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:34 pm
6. HOA fees are currently set at a reasonable $210 per month and were told that since this project would go for another 10-12 years, that we could expect the HOA fees to remain the same over that span.
I would not count on that. In fact, if they do not raise them, I would be concerned as it may leave reserved underfunded and could lead to a 1-time special assessment if something is needed.
+1 I was in a condo where they kept postponing maintenance and then eventually had to have a special assessment.

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Van-Guard23
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Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Post by Van-Guard23 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:30 pm

littlebird wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:42 pm
I know this isn't the answer you're looking for, but faced with the same issues, though on a much reduced financial scale, we opted for an established, but extremely well maintained community. Vastly better value. Have been here 24 years with not a moment of regret.

Edited to add: HOA fee now $404/year/person. Yes per year. 24 years ago $125/year/person. This is for a very large development with the most extensive amenities in the country, with the possible exception of The Villages in Fla.
We are still considering other communities but having a new house built to our wishes appeals to us...not to mention possibly younger residents. One of the "complaints" I have read about established 55+ communities is the almost daily presence of ambulances, presumably due to older residents.
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Van-Guard23
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Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Post by Van-Guard23 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:42 pm

PartIrish wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:02 pm
Van-Guard 23, One thing to consider in making such a large investment is in the event you decide this is not the right place for you, all of the concerns you voice now as a buyer will become your obstacles once you are a seller. In addition, a 55+ community restricts your pool of potential buyers at some point in the future. We looked at a couple of 55+ places in the city to which we wish to retire, but our realtor weighed in on the problems such a choice might create in the future.
Yes, we are quite aware of the possible challenges with selling a house in a 55+ community...and as my wife tells me, that would hopefully be our heirs who would have to worry about that and, even at reduced prices, the proceeds would still be quite substantial.
PartIrish wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:02 pm
One way to do due diligence on your questions is to research a couple of more recent 55+ communities and compare the current prices of units for sale to what the original buyers paid. Several property sites will give that information. A quick check at a local premium 55+ community in my current city shows several prime lot properties for sale on a golf course that are listed for less than they were 10-15 years ago. YMMV, of course.
We intend to visit another 55+ community next week to compare and contrast...and yes, I can imagine how those homeowners of lots/houses along the golf course might end up not being able to recoup lot premiums upon sale of their house a few years down the road. Our intent is to not purchase a lot along the golf course...so premiums shouldn't be as steep.
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delamer
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Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Post by delamer » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:48 pm

Van-Guard23 wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:42 pm
PartIrish wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:02 pm
Van-Guard 23, One thing to consider in making such a large investment is in the event you decide this is not the right place for you, all of the concerns you voice now as a buyer will become your obstacles once you are a seller. In addition, a 55+ community restricts your pool of potential buyers at some point in the future. We looked at a couple of 55+ places in the city to which we wish to retire, but our realtor weighed in on the problems such a choice might create in the future.
Yes, we are quite aware of the possible challenges with selling a house in a 55+ community...and as my wife tells me, that would hopefully be our heirs who would have to worry about that and, even at reduced prices, the proceeds would still be quite substantial.
PartIrish wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:02 pm
One way to do due diligence on your questions is to research a couple of more recent 55+ communities and compare the current prices of units for sale to what the original buyers paid. Several property sites will give that information. A quick check at a local premium 55+ community in my current city shows several prime lot properties for sale on a golf course that are listed for less than they were 10-15 years ago. YMMV, of course.
We intend to visit another 55+ community next week to compare and contrast...and yes, I can imagine how those homeowners of lots/houses along the golf course might end up not being able to recoup lot premiums upon sale of their house a few years down the road. Our intent is to not purchase a lot along the golf course...so premiums shouldn't be as steep.
Not sure if you are being facetious, but I wouldn't bet on your heirs having to deal with the house sale. Odds are pretty high that one or both of you will need to move out of the house before you die, either due to a specific illness or just a general inability to maintain the property as you age.

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Van-Guard23
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Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Post by Van-Guard23 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:48 pm

tri-james wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:12 pm
Is this Kissing Tree in San Marcos? I can't answer your questions but that is going to be a beautiful community (I ride my bike near that area) and live in a community that has Brookfield Residential as a builder. Their houses are are very nice.

San Marcos is also a pretty neat town in and of itself.
Yes, it sure is a pretty development and the location checks off a lot of what my wife and I are looking for. We like the variety of floor plans and elevations/designs as well as the amenities, but have some lingering concerns.
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Beehave
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Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Post by Beehave » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:51 pm

This potential home purchase for you just does not sound right to me.

(1) With a twelve year community build-out there is lots of risk. Check the contract they'll ask you to sign. You will be promising to commit to a million long-term things and in all odds in return they'll be telling you that they can change the lot sizes, homes, clubhouse or anything else in the community for whatever reason they choose whenever they choose.
(2) If you are talking about a "forever" home and yet you are worrying about retaining value for the hugely expensive lot there's a mismatch embedded, as there also is with the concern over whether a set of builder's quality appliances are going to be reliable. I can almost guarantee you that reliability in that kind of community will NOT be the issue. Your neighbors will be dumping those Whirlpools and installing top-of-the line appliances inside and outside their homes and I'd be VERY wary of whether at these prices they'll be likely to be the type of people who will hold their noses up at you if you don't keep pace. Moreover, you are concerned with having HOA fees kept low when your neighbors who toss the lot premium amount of money around with ease may well want higher fees for the high degree of services they demand. I could be wrong about this - - but there are many over-55 communities where this is the case - especially where there are lot premiums of $300K as opposed to well under that amount.
(3) I'd suggest being very careful about whether this community matches what you want and expect financially and socially. I live in a much less costly 55 and over community and could not stand to live in a fancy one where people are concerned about your car and watch etc.,and I am comfortable that whatever happens with fees (which are now about $4000 per year and the builder will be leaving soon - - they started at about under $2000 a year 7 years ago) I can afford it because I am about as well-off as others and well-able to pay whatever they can pay.
(4) Based on my experience first researching and now living in a 55 and over community and based on my reading of your questions I would strongly advise you to think twice and then again about this $300K-plus lot and even a community with $300K lot premiums.

Obviously, there is so much I do not know about you or the community that I could be flat-out wrong in all I've written about these things. But I'm doing the best I can with what I've got and hope it is helpful to you and I wish you well!

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Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Post by S&L1940 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:54 pm

Ruger wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:55 pm
I don't know how they can tell you that the association fees won't go up for the next 10-12 years.
Expenses go up, and so will the fees.
HOA fees depend
how large the community; smaller (say 200-500 homes) can equal substantial increases
what are the maintenance rules for amenities like the golf? there could be added fees for golf membership and then yearly 'dues' as well? some communities bar resale of the home without mandatory membership in the golf which could adds multiple thousands to the selling price
What about reserves? storm damage, wear and tear, upgrades to amenities, simply maintaining facilities, property taxes, landscaping.
will there be a dining room?
I think predicted HOA fees are a very low estimate and a guarantee they will not go up should be in writing with the builder putting money in reserve to cover shortfalls. doubt that will happen
good luck
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Van-Guard23
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Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Post by Van-Guard23 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:17 pm

Beehave wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:51 pm
(1) With a twelve year community build-out there is lots of risk. Check the contract they'll ask you to sign. You will be promising to commit to a million long-term things and in all odds in return they'll be telling you that they can change the lot sizes, homes, clubhouse or anything else in the community for whatever reason they choose whenever they choose.
I guess we didn't really consider the longer buildout as additional risk...but I see your point
Beehave wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:51 pm

(2) If you are talking about a "forever" home and yet you are worrying about retaining value for the hugely expensive lot there's a mismatch embedded, as there also is with the concern over whether a set of builder's quality appliances are going to be reliable. I can almost guarantee you that reliability in that kind of community will NOT be the issue. Your neighbors will be dumping those Whirlpools and installing top-of-the line appliances inside and outside their homes and I'd be VERY wary of whether at these prices they'll be likely to be the type of people who will hold their noses up at you if you don't keep pace. Moreover, you are concerned with having HOA fees kept low when your neighbors who toss the lot premium amount of money around with ease may well want higher fees for the high degree of services they demand. I could be wrong about this - - but there are many over-55 communities where this is the case - especially where there are lot premiums of $300K as opposed to well under that amount.
The $300k premium is almost certain to be the highest in the community and the lot(s) we are considering (despite combining 2 smaller lots to fit a bigger house) will have a premium of about $100k or so.
We've met a few of the future residents and, for the most part, believe they are the kinds of people we can relate with...certainly not the type(s) you paint in your comments above...but can certainly see how that can be an issue.
Beehave wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:51 pm
(3) I'd suggest being very careful about whether this community matches what you want and expect financially and socially. I live in a much less costly 55 and over community and could not stand to live in a fancy one where people are concerned about your car and watch etc.,and I am comfortable that whatever happens with fees (which are now about $4000 per year and the builder will be leaving soon - - they started at about under $2000 a year 7 years ago) I can afford it because I am about as well-off as others and well-able to pay whatever they can pay.
We feel comfortable with the community from a financial and social standpoint...but of course that's as prospective buyers. In speaking with current and future residents during a get-together sponsored by the builder, we felt an immediate kinship with the folks there. We don't know how dynamics would change when/if we decide to purchase a house in that community, but initial impressions were favorable.
Last edited by Van-Guard23 on Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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jbuzolich
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Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Post by jbuzolich » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:24 pm

That is one hefty lot premium I personally would not pay. In my experience the lot premiums are only a factor during new construction to the first buyer. We paid a few thousand premium on ours and looking back it was basically a scam. At the time of sale to the next owner it is highly unlikely that anyone will pay that much of a premium versus the neighbor houses. Might be a slight premium for great views but I'd say no more than 5% from other view homes

Beehave
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Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Post by Beehave » Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:13 pm

Van-Guard23 wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:17 pm
Beehave wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:51 pm
(1) With a twelve year community build-out there is lots of risk. Check the contract they'll ask you to sign. You will be promising to commit to a million long-term things and in all odds in return they'll be telling you that they can change the lot sizes, homes, clubhouse or anything else in the community for whatever reason they choose whenever they choose.
I guess we didn't really consider the longer buildout as additional risk...but I see your point
Beehave wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:51 pm

(2) If you are talking about a "forever" home and yet you are worrying about retaining value for the hugely expensive lot there's a mismatch embedded, as there also is with the concern over whether a set of builder's quality appliances are going to be reliable. I can almost guarantee you that reliability in that kind of community will NOT be the issue. Your neighbors will be dumping those Whirlpools and installing top-of-the line appliances inside and outside their homes and I'd be VERY wary of whether at these prices they'll be likely to be the type of people who will hold their noses up at you if you don't keep pace. Moreover, you are concerned with having HOA fees kept low when your neighbors who toss the lot premium amount of money around with ease may well want higher fees for the high degree of services they demand. I could be wrong about this - - but there are many over-55 communities where this is the case - especially where there are lot premiums of $300K as opposed to well under that amount.
The $300k premium is almost certainly the highest in the community and the lot(s) we are considering (despite combining 2 smaller lots to fit a bigger house) will have a premium of about $100k or so.
We've met a few of the future residents and, for the most part, believe they are the kinds of people we can relate with...certainly not the type(s) you paint in your comments above...but can certainly see how that can be an issue.
Beehave wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:51 pm
(3) I'd suggest being very careful about whether this community matches what you want and expect financially and socially. I live in a much less costly 55 and over community and could not stand to live in a fancy one where people are concerned about your car and watch etc.,and I am comfortable that whatever happens with fees (which are now about $4000 per year and the builder will be leaving soon - - they started at about under $2000 a year 7 years ago) I can afford it because I am about as well-off as others and well-able to pay whatever they can pay.
We feel comfortable with the community from a financial and social standpoint...but of course that's as prospective buyers. In speaking with current and future residents during a get-together sponsored by the builder, we felt an immediate kinship with the folks there. We don't know how dynamics would change when/if we decide to purchase a house in that community, but initial impressions were favorable.
I'm glad to hear you have met other people who have bought or may be buying there and that they seem compatible. If that's the case and if everything is affordable for you, then the other main thing to try to verify would be the reputation and longevity of the builder. It sounds like you may have already done this - - it is important to know that the builder stands by the product and has a reputation, for example, of fixing things even after the warranty has expired. Example: our home has a limited period wall-to-wall warranty and a ten year structural warranty from the builder. After the wall to wall warranty period ended, the kitchen sink came completely loose. The warranty dep't said that was not a structural issue (walls and roof only, not including floor!) however, they would send an engineer to look. The engineer came, said "that shouldn't be" and they dispatched a worker to fix it even though the sink issue was outside of the warranty period. The builder matters!

Regarding using a broker, the broker will only make money if there is a sale, so there's motivation to get you to buy and not walk. On the other hand in order to get the sale the broker may know how far things can be pushed (free gutters or crown molding or closing costs). For home and lot price information, if county records are in place and there have already been buyers, you may be able to scan the county property and tax rolls to see what others have paid for the homes they bought in this community. I was able to do that and add the incentives I was receiving into the equation to see that I was getting a good deal. If possible, see if you can ask residents who already bought what added freebies they were able to get. If you will be selling your current residence and need those funds to close on the new house, see if you can get extended time to complete your sale. As with the builder, try to get a broker with a solid reputation. If you can get one who is in the know about the area and the builder and community then grab them to help.
My opinions, and again, best wishes!

littlebird
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Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Post by littlebird » Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:11 am

Van-Guard23 wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:30 pm

We are still considering other communities but having a new house built to our wishes appeals to us...not to mention possibly younger residents. One of the "complaints" I have read about established 55+ communities is the almost daily presence of ambulances, presumably due to older residents.
This is an "urban myth". Ambulances are very rarely heard in my community, because streets are wide and uncrowded, and residents are unhurried and deferential to emergency vehicles. The only times sirens are heard is in the case of auto accidents on busy main roads immediately adjacent to the community.

mouses
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Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Post by mouses » Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:30 am

So you're in your house with a view of the golf course. How often does a golf ball come sailing through a picture window and conk someone on the head?

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Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Post by dcabler » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:42 am

Van-Guard23 wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:48 pm
tri-james wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:12 pm
Is this Kissing Tree in San Marcos? I can't answer your questions but that is going to be a beautiful community (I ride my bike near that area) and live in a community that has Brookfield Residential as a builder. Their houses are are very nice.

San Marcos is also a pretty neat town in and of itself.
Yes, it sure is a pretty development and the location checks off a lot of what my wife and I are looking for. We like the variety of floor plans and elevations/designs as well as the amenities, but have some lingering concerns.
Was wondering the same thing. I live in Austin and the San Marcos/Wimberley area are on the list of possible retirement spots. And of course I looked at Kissing Tree's website once and now ads for it show up in my feeds all the time. :D

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Van-Guard23
Posts: 228
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Location: Hawaii

Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Post by Van-Guard23 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:41 am

littlebird wrote:
Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:11 am
Van-Guard23 wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:30 pm

We are still considering other communities but having a new house built to our wishes appeals to us...not to mention possibly younger residents. One of the "complaints" I have read about established 55+ communities is the almost daily presence of ambulances, presumably due to older residents.
This is an "urban myth". Ambulances are very rarely heard in my community, because streets are wide and uncrowded, and residents are unhurried and deferential to emergency vehicles. The only times sirens are heard is in the case of auto accidents on busy main roads immediately adjacent to the community.
Note, I didn't write "hear" ambulances almost daily. I just read about some who complain about the almost daily presence of ambulances in established communities. I can't vouch for this and YMMV
Last edited by Van-Guard23 on Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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S&L1940
Posts: 1528
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:19 pm
Location: South Florida

Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Post by S&L1940 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:36 am

Van-Guard23 wrote:
Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:41 am
Note, I didn't write "hear" ambulances almost daily. I just read about some who complain about the akmost daily presence of ambulances in established communities. I can't vouch for this and YMMV
you gotta look for a healthier community!!
I do not know if it was mentioned but long term residence can change your needs. A second level with a gorgeous sweeping staircase loses some appeal as all that golf and tennis take a toll on your body. A single level layout gives you more enjoyment and better future sale-ability.
And I agree that the lot charge is a bit pricey even for an upscale community.
One good thing about new developments is that in-groups and cliques have yet to form so you don't have to worry about breaking into the establishment and being a part of the privileged in-crowd :beer 8-)
Don't it always seem to go * That you don't know what you've got * Till it's gone

littlebird
Posts: 1255
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:05 pm
Location: Valley of the Sun, AZ

Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Post by littlebird » Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:41 pm

Van-Guard23 wrote:
Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:41 am
littlebird wrote:
Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:11 am
Van-Guard23 wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:30 pm

We are still considering other communities but having a new house built to our wishes appeals to us...not to mention possibly younger residents. One of the "complaints" I have read about established 55+ communities is the almost daily presence of ambulances, presumably due to older residents.
This is an "urban myth". Ambulances are very rarely heard in my community, because streets are wide and uncrowded, and residents are unhurried and deferential to emergency vehicles. The only times sirens are heard is in the case of auto accidents on busy main roads immediately adjacent to the community.
Note, I didn't write "hear" ambulances almost daily. I just read about some who complain about the almost daily presence of ambulances in established communities. I can't vouch for this and YMMV
In my community EMT (ambulance) services are provided by the Fire Dept. We have three large well-equipped fire houses inside the community. Our firefighter/EMTs are a valued part of our community and we see them everywhere; in the café, the bank, at community events. They moon-light by moving our furniture and changing our faucet washers. They bring and install free smoke detectors, and take our blood pressure on Saturdays. Seeing an ambulance here means reassurance that they'll be here for us when (not if) we need them, -or- they're making a dinner run. :wink:

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