The Villages is one of the most desirable communities in Florida. No wonder it was the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the USA between 2010 and 2020! That growth shows no signs of slowing.
The picturesque community near Ocala, Florida boasts pristine nature, top-notch amenities, and a low crime rate. Oh, and did we mention the weather? High daytime temperatures, low humidity, and mild winters make The Villages a haven for outdoorsy types.
If you’re considering making a move to The Villages, we want to help. Read on and enjoy our comprehensive guide to moving to this fantastic community, as well as finding quality Ocala real estate.
A Quick Introduction to the Villages
Lying just 20 miles south of Ocala, The Villages is an age-restricted community that’s widely regarded as one of the most pleasant places to live in the state. It spreads for just over 31 square miles, straddling the border between Marion County and Sumter County.
Established in the early 1970s, the area is one of the most peaceful and highly sought-after residential developments in the state.
Sometimes called “Disneyworld for retirees,” The Villages has everything older people need to live life to the full. From peaceful streets to ample recreational activities, there are so many great features in this little corner of pristine Florida living.
Local Ocala Real Estate
For a successful move to Ocala, you’ll need to find a great home for yourself. Luckily, there is a huge abundance of different properties in the area to suit all requirements.
For that added sense of security, many are located in gated communities. The prevalence of gated communities keeps the crime rate in this area one of the lowest in America.
The vast majority of homes in The Villages are owned by their primary resident, with less than 5% renting their homes. This high level of homeownership helps to foster a strong sense of community, as people set down roots and take pride in their community.
The Villages is divided into multiple separate neighborhoods. Each one has its own advantages and may suit different needs. Be sure to do a little research into each one before deciding where to live.
Village of Collier
This is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in The Villages. With its easy access to nearby recreational facilities and green space, it’s no wonder that Village of Collier is so popular.
Villages of Duval
Villages of Duval consists of about 1,500 homes. Although it’s still a great place to live, it’s also the most affordable neighborhood in The Villages, with homes averaging around $250,000.
Cottages at Summerchase
Cottages at Summerchase offers a slightly more luxurious option. There are lots of nearby activities and amenities, while the medium-sized homes provide an extra level of comfort.
Moving to Florida is made simple thanks to the numerous amenities available for residents. Whether you’re worried about staying healthy, food shopping, or getting around, this amazing community has got you covered.
There are 14 markets in the area, so you won’t have to travel far to do your food shopping. These range from convenience stores like Walmart to farmer’s markets selling local produce.
The Magnolia Shopping Plaza is one of the key shopping facilities in The Villages. Offering a wide range of stores for all your needs, it’s perfect whether you’re looking for new clothes, household items, or luxuries.
There are lots of places of worship throughout The Villages. Churches cater to various Christian denominations. There is also a synagogue.
Medical facilities are widely available throughout The Villages. You’ll find everything from general clinics, to specialist surgeries like dermatologists and hearing specialists right here in The Villages. There are even a variety of fully-equipped hospitals, so you won’t need to travel out of town for routine medical care.
The Villages isn’t just a great place to be. It’s also close to a range of other great cities and attractions. Whether you’re looking for a great place for a day trip or easy access to friends and family, you’re sure to find it.
The city of Ocala is just a short hop away and has plenty of attractions and amenities for those looking for something extra. Orlando, Lakeland, and Tampa are also within relatively easy driving distance.
If you don’t drive, there are shuttle buses provided to nearby airports, as well as a variety of popular day trip locations.
Things to Do
The Villages is the perfect place for older people to enjoy all kinds of great activities. Whether you enjoy being active or just sitting back and relaxing, you’re sure to find something you’ll love here.
Since The Villages is an age-restricted community, most businesses target their services toward an older demographic. That means you aren’t likely to encounter lots of all-night raves or rollercoasters!
Golf and Other Sports
One thing The Villages is well-known for is its abundance of golf courses. There are over 50 courses throughout The Villages, with something to suit all ability levels. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or a seasoned pro, you’re sure to find something to suit your needs.
Although each course is different, they all have one thing in common. Each one benefits from the beautiful scenery that visitors can enjoy while they play.
Golf isn’t the only sporting option in The Villages. If you’re a fan of the equestrian life, the Villages has got you covered. The Villages has its own polo stadium where visitors can enjoy relaxing with a few drinks while the action unfolds in front of them.
If you like to go out for a few drinks or a bite to eat, there are lots of options for that, too. If you like dining with a touch of class, you could visit one of the many esteemed country clubs or golf clubhouses, where fine dining is the order of the day.
If you’d like something a little more casual, head to one of the town squares. Each one hosts a variety of restaurants, and many offer outdoor dining if you prefer to eat in the sun.
Seeing a Show
The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center is the local venue for music and theater. This popular venue has played host to concerts by The Beach Boys, Willie Nelson, and Kenny G. There’s something for everyone!
Like movies? Pay a visit to the Barnstorm Theater. This independent movie theater screens films regularly, so it’s perfect for a night out.
The Villages is home to over 100 recreation centers. Divided into neighborhood centers, village centers, and regional centers, they include a variety of opportunities for recreational activities, including swimming, tennis, and pickleball.
If you enjoy spending time in the great outdoors, The Villages is perfect for you. There are a wide variety of parks (both regular and dog parks) as well as nature trails. The trails are perfect for those looking to enjoy some time in the outdoors, offering the chance to see local nature up close.
The Villages may be a planned, modern community, but it has the feel of an old, quaint town. One reason for this is the three town squares that dot the community.
Brownwood Paddock Square has a wild-west theme. It’s the home of the Barnstorm Theater and also plays host to weekly farmer’s markets.
Lake Sumter Landing Market Square offers stunning views over Lake Sumter. There’s a boardwalk for those wishing to take a stroll by the water and the square is packed with quaint restaurants and cafes.
Spanish Springs Town Square has a Spanish theme, with beautifully-designed buildings creating a truly continental feel. This is the home of the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center, so it’s perfect if you like to enjoy dinner before or after a good show.
Each square offers a great venue for socializing. There are shops, cafes, and restaurants, so you can enjoy plenty of good food and drink while having fun with old friends and maybe meeting some new ones!
Different activities are held in the town squares every night, so there’s always something to do.
Let Us Help You Move to Your Dream Home
Life in the Villages moves at a different pace. It’s all about relaxation, enjoying time with friends, and making the most of your beautiful natural surroundings.
If you’re planning on making a home for yourself in Ocala’s premiere community, we can help. We have over 30 years of experience in Ocala real estate. We can help you find a place to lay your head at night and enjoy your Ocala retirement.
Contact our Ocala office today for more information on properties in The Villages.