I get at least 2-3 emails a week asking me something along the lines of “Everything people say about The Villages seems too good to be true. What are the problems in The Villages that we need to know about?”
While it wouldn’t be practical for me to cover all of the problems in The Villages, what I will do in this article is cover a few of the problems facing The Villages today, and point out a few of the resources (websites/publications/books) where you can go to learn more and keep an eye on the less “rosy” issues going on in The Villages. I list all of these resources and several more in my book, so if you haven’t purchased a copy yet, what are you waiting for?
Probably the #1 problem facing The Villages today, and a question I’m asked about frequently, is the IRS case vs. The Villages. When this issue came up last year, it was big news locally and the story even got picked up by some National websites and publications. Since that time though, the articles and chatter on this have died down. According to the most recent issue of the Property Owner’s Association (POA) Bulletin, the District Counsel states that “the investigation is ongoing and no recent updates have been provided by the IRS.”
On page 11 in the same issue of the POA Bulletin you will read about a construction problem that has “bubbled” up recently in The Villages. Specifically, this is a shingle problem with certain types of homes in The Villages where the shingles have proven to be defective and can lead to a leaky roof. Most original owners are having no problems getting the shingle manufacturer to respond with a fix or replacement, but people who bought pre-owned homes are being told that the product warranty did not automatically transfer to them when they bought the pre-owned home. This issue is also covered in the July 2010 issue of The Villages Voice (published by The Villages Homeowner’s Association).
Some things that people consider problems are actually positives for others. Compared with most communities, The Villages is a very active and involved community. Some call this “people always being nosy or in your business” but most Villagers call it “looking out for each other”. If you want to move somewhere and just be left alone, you might want to consider somewhere other than The Villages.
Another issue is restrictions. There are a lot of restrictions in The Villages and they vary based on where you live. If you’ve lived in a restricted community before, you might be used to most of these, but if you live somewhere that you have free reign to do what you want to your home and property, you might be in for a shock. The bottom line is most Villagers don’t see this as a problem, but rather a means to keep the community looking great.
The last issue I’ll touch on is the age restriction issue. As you probably know, The Villages is a 55+ Community, and its part of the reason why people choose to retire to The Villages. But some people have issues with that and consider it a problem. This topic (along with various other topics I’ll leave to your imagination) are covered in Andrew Blechman’s book titled Leisureville: Adventures in a World Without Children. You should definitely pick up a copy if you’re thinking about moving to The Villages, but take it all with a grain of salt
Here’s a few of the sites where I recommend you go to keep up with all the problems (both real and imagined) facing The Villages: