The history of The Villages begins with Harold Schwartz, who began developing The Villages by selling land tracts through the mail in the 1960s. When mail order real estate sales were banned in 1968, Schwartz and his business partner Al Tarrson attempted to sell off the land by developing mobile home parks. In 1983, Schwartz bought out his partner and brought his son H. Gary Morse into the business. Together they refocused their efforts into creating retirement communities with extensive amenities.
Schwartz and Morse’s efforts paid off, and by the 1990s, The Villages had grown to include three golf courses, a supermarket, several restaurants and 8,000 residents. As years passed, The Villages continued to purchase nearby tracts of land and continue development. Between the years of 2010 and 2020, The Villages experienced such an explosion of growth that the community was named the fastest growing in the United States.
Over the past decade, The Villages has topped RCLCO Real Estate Advisors list of best-selling master-planned communities. The Villages is also considered one of the friendliest places to live in Florida.
The Villages is a master planned, census designated place that stretches across Sumter County, Lake County, and Marion County, Florida. The Villages is a unique place to live, as it comprises 17 Community Development Districts that are run by an elected board of supervisors. Each subdivision within The Villages has its own Declaration of Restrictions, which contains the regulations and operational aspects of each community. Altogether, at least 80% of households in The Villages must include one person aged 55 or older, so it’s the perfect spot for those who are retired or looking to retire! For the most part, residents under the age of 19 are not permitted to live in The Villages. The Villages is home to about 69,457 residents, and it is not a diverse community. The demographic breakdown of The Villages is 97% white, 1.8% Hispanic, 0.4% Black of African American, 0.3% Asian, and 0.4% Mixed or Other race residents. Is The Villages the perfect place for you? Check out the top-rated neighborhoods in The Villages!
Cottages at Summerchase | Best Neighborhood for Families in The Villages
- Average Home Price: $289,000
- Homes For Sale in the Cottages at Summerchase
If you’re looking for mid-sized homes, the Cottages at Summerchase is the perfect spot for you. These homes are about 1,500 square feet, and the location of this neighborhood is located close to main roads. If you need to get outside of this neighborhood, there are multiple transportation options. Sumter County Transit offers shuttle service throughout this neighborhood and the rest of The Villages, with several lines offering weekday service. Amtrak runs its Thruway Motorcoach bus through the neighborhood as well, making stops on its Jacksonville to Dade City loop to accommodate the Silver Star train. The Villages, and Cottages at Summerchase, are also unique in that they offer residents autonomous taxis – The Villages is one of the first communities in the country to initiate autonomous vehicles. Wildwood Elementary School is located close to this neighborhood, so if you have young kids, this is a good option.
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Village of Briar Meadow | Affluent Neighborhood in The Villages
- Average Home Price: $347,450
- Homes For Sale in the Village of Briar Meadow
If you’re looking for a high end neighborhood in the Villages, the Village of Briar Meadow could be for you. Located right on Lopez Legacy Golf and Country Club and the Briarwood Executive Golf Course, this is the perfect spot for those who are retired! These homes are larger, with lots that are on the golf course, so they come with quite the view. If you want a quieter community with laidback, retired individuals, you’ll find everything you need here. Over half of the homes here are being sold above asking price, so the market is extremely competitive. For those who love golfing, this is truly a paradise.
Whitney Villas | Master Planned Community in The Villages
- Average Home Price: $480,000
- Homes For Sale in Whitney Villas
If you want more than just a neighborhood but a community, Whitney Villas is the place for you! With the Whitney Villas Activity Center, you can get together with your neighbors and friends to do planned activities. But, that’s not all that’s offered here. It’s also right next to Lake Deaton, so you’ll be able to fish, go kayaking, or do anything else you’d like in your free time on the shores! It can be difficult to find a home in this area, which is just a testament to how much everyone loves living here! When homes do sell, they often sell for above asking price.
Village of Collier | Best Community for Golfers
- Average Home Price: $510,000
- Homes For Sale in the Village of Collier
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If you love golfing, you can’t miss out on this stunning community in the Villages! There’s not just one, but two golf courses that border this small area. You’ll have the choice between Sweetgum Golf Course and Mangrove Executive Golf Course. On top of that, there is also the Eisenhower Regional Pool & Rec Center, which offers aerobic classes, memberships, and more. With just a mile between the Village of Collier and Brownwood Paddock Square shopping center, you’ll have tons to do in your spare time. This neighborhood is really popular amongst retired individuals thanks to the many activities there are to do. This is not for the laid back and retired type. This place is for those who don’t want to stop living their lives and plan to have an exciting adventure each day. You’ll find larger homes on the golf course and neighboring streets that range from the $400,000s to the $600,000s.
Villa St. Simons | Affordable Neighborhood in The Villages
- Average Home Price: $240,000
- Homes For Sale in Villa St. Simons
The Villages isn’t always known for its affordability due to the many golf courses and recreation centers. But, that doesn’t mean that no affordable options exist. Much of the Villages neighborhood of Villa St. Simons is very affordable. The homes are smaller, and they start in the high $100,000s to the low $300,000s. The homes are fairly new compared to the rest of the Villages, but they are also on the smaller side. The majority of the homes are just two bedrooms, but you may find a few larger ones on the outskirts of this community. This neighborhood is bordered by the Cottages at Summerchase and the Village of Briar Meadow. Living here does come with a few disadvantages. It’s the furthest neighborhood from the two major highways, and there aren’t as many transportation stops on these streets either.
Leyton Villas | Safest Community in the Villages
- Average Home Price: $540,000
- Homes For Sale in the Leyton Villas
If you want homes that are on the shores of Lake Deaton, you’ll find them in Leyton Villas! Due to this, these homes are extremely competitive. Many people want them, and when it comes time to purchase them, you’ll find that they always go for higher than the listing price. Sometimes, they’ll even go in an auction style due to the competitiveness. The homes vary in cost depending upon the size of the home and where on the lake they are located. However, you’ll find that the majority of the homes are in the $400,000s to the $600,000s. There are even some homes that go for over $1,000,000 when they are bordering the lake. Though the homes are a bit further from the typical roads, like the Florida Turnpike and Highway 44, many people like living here because it’s a bit quiet. The majority of folks living in this neighborhood are retired, but it is one of the neighborhoods that allow people under the age of 55 as well, so you may see some children or teens.
Villa Alexandria | Low Maintenance Neighborhood in the Villages
- Average Home Price: $305,000
- Homes For Sale in Villa Alexandria
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Not everyone wants sprawling lawns or larger homes to take care of when they are retired. Villa Alexandria offers small, single-family homes that require little to no maintenance. The yards are small, and the homes are lined with white picket fences. Everyone living here is over 55, and there are no sidewalks that line the neighborhood. It’s fairly quiet here, as most residents enjoy the retired life. Some homes don’t have yards with grass at all but instead, patches filled with rocks. This is meant to maintain a low maintenance lifestyle. With plenty of walking trails, recreation centers, and golf courses nearby in The Villages, this is a great way to have access to all of those things without having to maintain a large home or yard.
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