“The Villages Light” if you wish.
Frankly, The Villages is too big and too crowded for a lot of people, and other communities like On Top of the World that offer the same or similar amenities are a better fit for them.
Let's look at a few key aspects and help you decide what's right for you.
One of the biggest complaints I hear about The Villages is that it's in the middle of nowhere. This complaint is mitigated quite a bit by the fact that, really, pretty much anything and everything you'd need can be found within the community.
Residents call it living in “the bubble”. Venturing outside the community is called going “outside of the bubble”. For some, this is great…totally what they're looking for, while others yearn for more diversity in the surrounding community.
On Top of the World gives people that diversity with its location in Ocala.
You get the active adult lifestyle you want within the community itself, but you also have a more “typical” representation of daily life outside the community gates.
Ocala, called the “Horse Capital of the World” because so many thoroughbred horses are raised and trained there, is one of the most scenic Florida locales, and is rich in history, culture, shopping, and dining.
So if I had to pick a winner as far as location goes, I'd have to say On Top of the World, but you might have different tastes.
If you enjoy this sort of thing, in my private, member’s only community for future Florida retirees, I’m comparing lot's of other popular Florida retirement communities just like you see here. Learn more here… (opens in a new window)
When complete, On Top of the World is slated to have around 13,000 homes, making it much much smaller than the size of The Villages.
Again, personal preference will rule the day here.
Are you looking for smaller and perhaps more close-knit, or is bigger better for you?
This video from my recent visit to On Top of the World may give you a better understanding of the size and scope:
On Top of the World has most of the same amenities you'll find in The Villages, just fewer of them because there are far less people to serve.
Clubhouses. Golf. Tennis. Organized activities and more than 175 clubs , leagues, hobbies, and lifelong learning opportunities.
There's a town square with entertainment Friday and Saturday nights. A farmer's market. Restaurants, coffee shops and a pub. An art gallery. Dog parks. A spa. Basketball courts. Walking trails.
And, they have an indoor pool … something The Villages DOES NOT have.
Home prices and sizes at On Top of the World are pretty similar to what you'll find in The Villages. Prices currently start in the $200k's in both communities.
We've mentioned this in other head-to-head's, but one thing I know a lot of people are looking for is the concept of “maintenance-free”.
It's very hard to find that in The Villages, but On Top of the World offers maintenance-free neighborhoods where all of your home's exterior maintenance and lawn care is taken care of.
It's “lock and leave” convenience for those who travel frequently and/or just want less hassle with those types of issues in retirement.
Which community should you choose?
Some of our head to head comparisons come down to location, but while we gave On Top of the World a slight edge in the location department, this decision really comes down more to size of community than anything else.
Whichever way you choose, we don’t think you could go wrong with either On Top of the World or The Villages.
You can request more information about On Top of the World here, or if your heart is set 100% on The Villages, grab my book, Inside the Bubble here.