The Villages is the best-selling community in the country (retirement or otherwise) for a reason, but not everyone who takes a look at The Villages for retirement falls under her spell.
We thought it'd be fun to compare The Villages to a number of other popular Florida retirement communities so you can see which one might come out on top for you.
We're not here to say that one community is better than another. Only you can pick the community that comes out on top in your eyes based on what you are looking for in a community.
Today let's compare some of the popular features and amenities of The Villages to those of nearby Villages of Citrus Hills.
The Villages has more holes of golf than any other community in the world, with more than 700 holes of golf spread out over 13 Championship courses (most feature 27 holes) and 42 9-hole Executive courses.
So if your dream involves waking up and playing a new track every day, The Villages can help you achieve that.
That's assuming you can get a tee time.
Despite the large number of courses available, because of the sheer number of people living in The Villages (more than 130,000 at last count!), it can be tougher than you might think to get a tee time.
That's especially true during the busy season which runs from about Mid-October through April.
By comparison, the Villages of Citrus Hills has 63 holes of golf spread across 4 courses, but the population here is only a fraction of what you have in The Villages, so even during the winter season, it's no problem to get a tee time.
Interestingly, I hear from a lot of Villagers who tend to play the same 4 or 5 courses over and over.
One reason for this is they are playing courses near their home so they don't have to travel too far. Another reason is that 4-5 seems to be the number of courses that provides just enough variety, while also allowing for some level of mastery.
The thinking is, if you rotate through all the courses on a regular basis, you'd probably never get particularly good at any one of them, but if you play the same handful of courses on a regular basis, you'd probably get pretty good at some of them.
The Villages is smack dab in the middle of the state.
One common complaint I hear from people is that their Florida retirement dreams involved living near the water.
Then they learn that The Villages is about as far away from either coast as you can get, and they are understandably disappointed.
On the plus side though, The Villages is set up with everything you need at your fingertips, like shopping, restaurants, and medical care, and most of it is golf cart accessible.
You're just going to have to live without the beach.
It's a nature lover's dream with a ton of options for things to see and do over there, like Cedar Key, Homosassa Springs and Rainbow Springs state parks, and exciting excursions like swimming with the manatees, scalloping and much more.
On the flip side, at the Villages of Citrus Hills, you do have some restaurants within the community at the clubhouses, and there's also a regular lineup of entertainment available, but for other services like shopping and medical facilities, you will have to leave the community.
The Villages has a lot more in the way of restaurants and shopping inside the community than the Villages of Citrus Hills.
New Home Choices
While there are plenty of great floorplans available in The Villages, they tend to go through different phases every couple of years as far as allowing people to personalize their new homes or not. Sometimes it's a “take what they give you” type of situation, and sometimes they let customers make changes and customize things a little more to their needs.
At the Villages of Citrus Hills, you also get a great selection of homes to choose from, but they are always very flexible with allowing customers to personalize their homes to their liking.
As far as lot selection goes, in The Villages, nearly all new construction will be in the southern part of the community.
At the Villages of Citrus Hills, you have a little more choice regarding where you'd like to be within the community and aren't as limited.
There are some resales in the Villages of Citrus Hills, but if you are looking for resales, it's hard to beat the selection of resales available in The Villages.
Plus, if you do want to be in part of The Villages other than where the new homes are being built, resales are your only opportunity to do that.
Here's a look at some resales recently listed for sale in The Villages:
What's Your Decision
So for you, will it be The Villages or do you think the Villages of Citrus Hills is worth a look?
If your heart is 100% set on The Villages, you should definitely check out my book, Inside the Bubble to learn everything you need to know before you move there.
I've been researching and writing about The Villages for more than a decade, and thousands of people have bought my book and followed my advice before retiring there.
On the other hand, if you are open to exploring a great alternative to The Villages, you should definitely request more information about the Villages of Citrus Hills today: