For the last year or so, we’ve been “thinking” about slowing down and putting down some roots in a tax-friendly location by the time I retire . . . and really did plan on taking a couple years to check out locations and research houses. In the back of our minds, though, we were definitely favoring The Villages in Florida. We have several friends who have settled here, and they love it . . . and we love what we see of the lifestyle!
Our goal for this first 6 weeks was to research . . . decide on an area that we like, narrow down to a few floorplans that suit us, and have some criteria in place to watch sales for the next year or so before making any moves.
Sounds like a plan, doesn’t it?
For several days, we looked at some pre-owned homes in various models and neighborhoods . . . and were getting a little discouraged at what we were seeing . . . so many of them just looked OLD, and there were multiple things that we would want to update.
Talking to a Realtor at an open house one day, we mentioned that we assumed that new homes were probably more expensive than pre-owned, and were shocked when we were told that the opposite was true – you could actually get the same model, new, for less money than the pre-owned.
Hmmm . . . we told our Realtor that we’d like to look at a few new homes, so she took us to Monarch Grove – where the developer is currently building spec homes. Tom had seen one home on the Villages website that we wanted to see, and it wasn’t on her list yet, but she took us to look at it. It had pretty much everything we were looking for at a very good price . . . and we found ourselves comparing every house we looked at after that, to it, and they all came up short in some way.
Our Realtor was able to hold the house for us to give us some time to think it over, and the next day she took us to a few more comparable houses so we were seeing everything that was available.
And so it happened . . . 10 days after arriving in the Villages, we had signed a contract on a new home! Actually, compared to a lot of people, that was a long time! LOL
Let’s take a tour . . . in the front door,
and into the front entryway.
The floor is tile that looks like wood planks. I thought we wanted wood laminate floors, but the tile looks much nicer . . . just need to get used to standing on it!
The living room and dining room are straight ahead and wide open . . . we love this open floorplan!
The view from the kitchen . . .
and into the lanai off the great room.
Off the front entry, there’s a guest area – with a bathroom,
and two bedrooms – although the front room is going to be my sewing room.
On the other side of the house is the master bedroom,
his and her walk-in closets, and a large bathroom with a walk-in roman shower.
Then there’s the kitchen . . .
nice cabinets, Samsung stainless appliances . . . it’s going to be nice to have a big kitchen again!
There’s a nook area in that front window – plenty of room for a small table & chairs, but I think we’re just going to have the one eating area, and I’m going to put a desk in the nook area.
The laundry room is around the corner,
between the kitchen and garage, and just a few steps from the master bedroom . . . definitely a well thought out floorplan.
We definitely wanted a 2 car plus golf cart garage . . .
plenty of room for vehicles and extra depth for storage, too.
The houses are close together . . . but we’re not here to maintain a yard!
Just enough space, and with some carefully placed shrubs and trees, we can get a little privacy, too.
The neighbors next door and the one across the street both closed on their homes the same day as us, so we’ve met them already . . . and the remaining homes on the street are in the process of being sold.
The 30 days between signing the contract and our closing last Friday passed very quickly . . . we’ve been very busy! We did manage to find a few pieces of furniture, and the bulk of it was delivered yesterday.
We have some living room furniture,
and a table and chairs that’s going to be delivered on Friday (and a cow picture that I bought back in Missouri!)
My decorating theme is urban farmhouse (very popular right now), and we’ve been really lucky to find some furniture that fits right in to the style! We’ve been shopping exclusively at thrift and consignment shops, and all of this furniture came from a thrift shop that supports veterans in their post-military careers. He had nice furniture, at very nice prices!
We filled our first house with very high-end, brand new furniture . . . and saw how much we got for it when we sold it . . . we were not going to do that again!
We’ve always had a queen bed – at home and in the RV – but the shop had a bedroom set still on the truck that looked very much like what I wanted – and it turned out to be a king set. We weren’t going to buy it at first, but for $400, we couldn’t pass it up.
I am so glad we didn’t – it’s perfect!
Of course, none of my quilts are big enough . . . but I already have one in mind to make . . . and I’ll just make it a king!
He threw in a queen bed for the spare room for $20 . . . nice! This one will get the new quilt I made at the RV Quilters Rally last spring.
We also picked up a bench and table for the front entry – I’m going to refinish the bench – I’ve got a whole plan for that area.
Am I enjoying decorating a house again? Yeah, I think so!
That’s going to be it for now, though. We’ve taken care of everything we need to for now, and we’re going to close up the house and spend the next few months in the RV . . . we weren’t supposed to buy this quick, remember? We have RV reservations for Dec – Feb!
We’ll be back towards the end of February, though, and then we can continue outfitting the house . . . and maybe even spend some time enjoying the lifestyle of The Villages!