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Old 09-30-2014, 12:26 PM   #1
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Lake Weir Preserve

Our interest in Lake Weir Preserve (formerly Lake Weir Living) was stimulated by articles in RV-oriented magazines and the website Topretirements.com. We visited the development and met with Neil Schuster and one of his colleagues. The development stresses that it is all that the Villages is not--no HOA fees or HOA rules. They encourage RVers, boaters, bikers, and DIY automobile mechanics, and will build garages to suit. And it's only about a 15 min drive to the strip outside the Villages where there is every big box store or chain restaurant you can think of. It all sounded great until, back at home, our resident "bad boy" revved up his chopper bike on an otherwise peaceful Sunday morning. Would I be hearing that at Lake Weir Preserve? I'd love to live among fellow RVers and others, so long as it is reasonably quiet. I don't want to be hearing unmuffled motorcycles racing up and down my street or listen to home mechanics revving their hotrod engines. Would love to hear from anyone who lives at Lake Weir Preserve on whether my fears are well founded or not.
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Old 09-30-2014, 05:54 PM   #2
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If that's your concern, you probably wan to live in a community with an HOA and lots of rules. Cause even if there is nobody with aloud chopper today, one might move in tomorrow.

Personally I rather risk the chopper than have my neighbors vote on whether they like what I'm doing in the yard or what color to paint my house, but to each his own...
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Old 09-30-2014, 07:36 PM   #3
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My concern would be that somebody might build a shack next door to my castle.

Don't care for HOA's or "gated" communities either. Finally discovered "Deed Restricted" communities. Found one with a set of restrictions that I can live with and went for it....
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:02 PM   #4
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If that's your concern, you probably wan to live in a community with an HOA and lots of rules. Cause even if there is nobody with aloud chopper today, one might move in tomorrow.

Personally I rather risk the chopper than have my neighbors vote on whether they like what I'm doing in the yard or what color to paint my house, but to each his own...
Nope! Don't want HOA, specifically for the reasons you mentioned. Recognize that a biker group could take up residence next door in any non-HOA community, but concerned that it is more likely where bikers and diy mechanics are actively encouraged. Wondering neighborhood noise is an issue at Lake Weir Preserve. Would like to hear from any residents who see this.
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Old 10-01-2014, 01:03 PM   #5
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Well, the entire Lake Weir area is largely rural and unsophisticated, friendly to mechanics, bikes, small repair shops, etc. Presumably the Preserve itself is sufficiently upscale/pricey that nobody is going to build a shack, but a middle class bike or car enthusiast might well afford to live there. There are some quite nice homes around the lake here and there, but much of it is farm and scattered houses or trailers.

Looking at the Lake Weir Preserve web page, I have no idea where that pretty village photo is, but it sure isn't on Lake Weir. Judging from the number of golf carts, it's probably in The Villages, maybe 12 miles away by road.

I've lived in the area for 20+ years and often drive through there on Rt 25 or go to Gator Joe's Beach Bar & Grill for drinks or lunch. Communities on this side of Marion County tend to be loose and the residents pretty independent-minded. There are some HOAs, but few of them do more than maintain the common grounds and maybe enforce whatever land use restrictions there may be encoded in the deed. People live out here because they fish & hunt, keep an RV in the yard, own boats or motorcycles, etc. The western side of Marion/Ocala is where the strict rule-makers go to make their idealized communities. Or The Villages in Lee County.

My place is about a dozen miles northeast of Lake Weir, in a subdivision of about 200 houses and double-wides. If our HOA tried to make any restrictions beyond regular lawn mowing, the residents would probably riot! The guy 4 houses down from me likes to soup up ATVs and sometimes runs them up & down the street for testing, but I just grit my teeth for the brief time. He doesn't complain when I fire up the big diesel or change the oil in the side yard either. We live and let live.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:26 PM   #6
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We just moved into our Lake Weir Living (and now Preserve) home back at the end of April. So far, it's been extremely quite back here, just the normal traffic on Bay Road that goes through the place. Most of the neighbors that we have met have Baby Boomer toys, But there is a respect among us. Most of the neighbors with motorcycles have Harleys. Bottom-line, I haven't even heard our neighbor a hundred yards through the trees in back, start their Harley. The house we built (as with all of them here) have concrete block outer walls. I decided to have them shoot CORE FOAM into the outer walls for additional insulation and sound suppression,...we hear nothing when we're inside the house.

And oh by the way, the home shown at the top of this page in the Lake Weir ad is my place.
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Old 10-02-2014, 06:20 AM   #7
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We just moved into our Lake Weir Living (and now Preserve) home back at the end of April. So far, it's been extremely quite back here, just the normal traffic on Bay Road that goes through the place. Most of the neighbors that we have met have Baby Boomer toys, But there is a respect among us. Most of the neighbors with motorcycles have Harleys. Bottom-line, I haven't even heard our neighbor a hundred yards through the trees in back, start their Harley. The house we built (as with all of them here) have concrete block outer walls. I decided to have them shoot CORE FOAM into the outer walls for additional insulation and sound suppression,...we hear nothing when we're inside the house.

And oh by the way, the home shown at the top of this page in the Lake Weir ad is my place.
Thanks. That is reassuring. Might put Lake Weir Preserve back near the top of my list.
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:35 AM   #8
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Keep in mind that this whole area of Florida took a huge hit when the housing market crashed. There are still some REALLY nice places available at very reasonable prices , and building lots are not nearly as expensive as you might think (especially if you have the time to deal with the owners directly!). There are HUGE developments built, with streets and amenities in, that were never fully built up. A lot of them have a very low percentage of the buildable lots sold or developed/built on. You need to see this first hand....

Point being, c'mon down! If you're serious about finding a home, don't get in a hurry! Pretty sure you'll soon see there's a ton to see/absorb, and something for everyone.

Coming down here with just a week or 2 to find a place might be a mistake. Maybe bring your coach down, and move it around while you check out different areas? That's how we did it. At first we were looking at a lot of places seeing 2-3 a day. Found that didn't work. They all ran together pretty quickly. A couple of places every other day or so worked much better. That allowed plenty of time to relax, see the sights, and thoroughly check out the area you're considering at the time? We focused on 3 areas (suburbs surrounding Daytona, Orlando, Ocala), toured them all, then came back to the one we liked best, comfortable we could buy there without feeling we hadn't done due diligence.

Last, Zillow.com and Trulia.com can be your friend. Very often the homes listed there are not what you expect when you see them, but they will let you zoom in for a clearer idea of what to expect, and give a better feel for many different areas? Being familiar with homes/prices in the area can also help identify a deal when you see one? That's what we found anyway....

Don't worry about finding a place that will accommodate your RV....
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Old 10-02-2014, 11:15 AM   #9
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ahicks is right - plenty of inexpensive homes available in the area and many of the more rural locations allow for an RV on the premises. Perhaps not the big retirement communities (they often have storage lots, though), but individual homes on 1/4-3/5 acre lots in pleasant areas 2-13 miles from Ocala or Bellview or other "civilization". Outside of the city, you can buy a home and lot for $65k to $125k. All depends on whether you want a manicured community with a clubhouse or an unpretentious, laid-back lifestyle.
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Old 10-02-2014, 11:57 AM   #10
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Sorry, Gary mentions lot size, made me think of something else. I think, when it comes to finding a place that will allow/can handle your RV, that you're going to be looking at a larger lot. Something on the order of an acre? Don't let that suggestion scare you off either. As mentioned, there are a lot of really nice places to pick from down here, that are very attractively priced. I could tell you about it, but if you're interested, you really need to see it yourself.
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Old 10-04-2014, 11:46 AM   #11
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My place is a half acre, but the house is on one 1/4 acre lot and I have the adjacent shaded 1/4 acre for my workshop and RV parking. That works out to be quite roomy, but if the house wa sin the middle of the half acre it would be less so.
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Old 10-05-2014, 07:58 PM   #12
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Great thread! Thanks for all the thoughtful comments. Re lot size, we have a TT, so having space to pull around back and tow forward into the RV garage from the back, and then out the front, like a pull-thru site, would be ideal. Ya got me thinking of going to Zillow and look around a bit more. Want to stay toward the northern part of the state. If one goes way south, it could take a couple of days just to get out of the state! We plan to do a lot of cross country touring in the near future. A couple of years ago, we did come down and toured the Villages (too many rules) and Neil Schuster gave us a tour of Lake Weir living. He gave a good sales pitch, and we were attracted to the custom built home at a reasonable price, and the RV-friendly sales strategy--till I started worrying about motorcycle and hod rod noise. Glad to hear from an actual resident in the community that it has not been an issue.
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Old 10-06-2014, 05:56 AM   #13
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"toured the Villages (too many rules)"

like what rules?
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Old 10-07-2014, 06:32 AM   #14
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Villages rules

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"toured the Villages (too many rules)"

like what rules?
Well, for instance, grandchildren can visit for only a limited amount of time each year; no more than 2 pets; no fences around yards; can't park RV on premesis (they have a storage lot). Additionally, although not a rule, in spite of their many golf courses, which they market as a perk, they are way oversubscribed, making getting a tee time a challenge.
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