Why you should buy real estate OUTSIDE of the Villages
The Villages is an interesting real estate phenomenon. I've watched it grow for years now and still find it fascinating. The developers, whatever else can be said of them, have accomplished amazing things and have solved complex problems ingeniously.
Take the employment issue. (This relates to real estate so bear with me).
Most, of the residents of the Villages are very picky about the service they are getting. They demand (sometimes loudly) the highest and best service in fact. (Just stand at the Lowes service desk in the Villages for 5 mins you will see what I mean). This can be trying at times. It actually got very difficult to find willing employees to work in a massive city that would not allow the grand majority of them to live within its City limits. Most of the employees can't afford it anyway. If you consider what an employee at Publix makes for example, then consider how many shifts and departments each Publix has and how many stores Publix has in the Villages and that the average employee age of Publix is closer to 20 not 55+ you will begin to see there is a serious need for employees. But how do you entice an employee to work in a City that they aren't welcome to live in???
The developers created an amazing Charter School system that is unique in that your kids can go there ONLY if the parents are employed in the Villages.
These are some of the best schools in all of Florida. To have a 55+ only City, with amazing schools solves the dilemma of keeping younger employees. Parents will put up with just about anything for their kids.
But what about housing? If you have kids, you know. Your kids won't be going to school just during school time...nope, you have sports, band, theater and on and on and on. At some points, I actually feel like my kids live at school, or that I should, since I drive them back and forth so many times a week.
Again, what about housing??? Most of the employees of the Villages, and the kids that go to school in the Villages, don't/can't live in the Villages. This makes for a fantastic opportunity for some of the areas just outside of the Villages.
I work primarily in Marion County, so I am of course more comfortable with Summerfield and Belleview.
There are some amazing deals that can be found around the outskirts of the Villages and you will never lack for tenants and/or buyers.
I would stay within a 15-25 minute drive of the school, (in any direction) look for 3/2/2 cookie cutter homes. Also in high demand are the smaller, multi unit properties, of which there are not many near the Villages. I prefer duplexes and triplexes to quads, but that is because I have been a property manager in Florida for too long I think.
I hope this helps, or has at least been a fun read.
Andrea Proeber, Broker in Florida (#BK3191821)