Lake Oconee GA – Del Webb Community

Lake Oconee GA

Another month, another visit to 55+ communty at the lake.  Life is good.  This time Mary Ann and I visited the Del Webb community at Lake Oconee Georgia that was started about two years ago.  We did the vacation getaway for two nights staying in one of their villas. I think the price was about $190 including tax for the two night stay.
We arrived Sunday at about 3pm which is their check in time.  Sandy greeted us with big smile and good conversation at the sales center.   We met George our sales counselor and set an appointment for 10:30 the next day to meet with him and get the tour.  We followed Sandy over to check us in the villa model where we stayed.   It was clean and looking good.  The villas seem bigger once you actually stay in one. We jumped in the golf cart in the garage and headed to the lake front.  There was several boats at the community docks including 5 or 6 pontoon boats.  It seems everyone has one. We walked up to the covered pavilion which was large, including a fireplace, many sets of tables and chairs, an outdoor grill and a nice view of the lake and docks. On the way back, we saw the 80 sots for boat and RV storage with an automated gate and some of the walking trails.
Next we took the golf cart up to the clubhouse, oops I mean the Amenities Center.  Bob met us at the door (expecting us?) and gave us a tour of everything. Tom lives at the community and works part time, moving from Michigan via Canton GA.  The indoor pool was lovely, outdoor pool and spa also, giant ballroom with kitchen, game room, exercise room, pool room, craft room, etc.  But where was all the people?  It seems Sunday night is a slow time at the amenities center which is expected.

We head back to the villa and then head out to one of the restaurants mention by George, the Big Catch.  Mary Ann had a fish sandwich and I enjoyed a fish reuben sandwich, which were good.   Sleep well.

Next morning we made coffee and had cereal and toast.  The villa has all appliances, micro and toaster.  We meet up with George and after chatting got the overview.  This community will have 850 properties and about 130+ have already sold.  The sign in the lobby says 11 sales in the last 40 days.  We let George know Bob already gave us a tour of the Amenities Center the day before.  Most of the people who bought homes come from all over.  I was surprised to see so many states represented by yellow pins in the map of the US where people are from.  Must have been 25+ states or more, mostly in the Eastern half of the US (and some from overseas).

Next we toured the models. George got us started with the first one to show us what was included and what was an upgrade.  It starts with the smallest and then every model gets bigger.  Must have been 7 model homes we toured.  At first we thought we needed a basement, but after touring the models, we changed our minds.  You can get a loft and upstairs bath if you need more space, and at a lot better price.  George offered to show us a home with the loaf and Mary Ann said she would like to see it.  George really was very helpful and not pushy at all.   I think Mary Ann was ready to sign up for the Vernon Hill with the Loft.  I agreed that was our favorite.  Another feature we really liked for the sunroom and why not add a screened porch to boot?   Yes, that would do it.

We spend about 2.5 to 3 hours and before leaving George presented us with a card for $50 credit at Filet’s, the fancy steak house at the corner of Linger Longer Road, and two tickets to the movie theater.  We had our evening planned.

So we drove hwy 44 up to the town of Greensboro which I don’t think we have ever visited.  It has interesting little downtown of antique stores, sidewalks and restaurants.  We asked a local for a place to go for lunch and she pointed across the street to Yesterdays.  Since we were going out for steak later, we both got vegetables.  We loved this place.  Southern style food, fried okra, squash casserole, fried green tomatoes, collard greens, etc. Of coarse they had meats and fish also.  All at a very reasonable price. Out tab was $10 for both our meals.

Back to the villa to take a nap.  Then to the Amenities Center where a group was out playing Pickleball.  You play with paddles kind of like ping pong but on a court smaller than a tennis court.  There were maybe 15 people at this outing.  Inside I check my email one of their computers.  That night we did visit Filet Steak and Seafood at Lake Oconee Village. Mary Ann got the encrusted salmon and I got the filet. This is a top notch restaurant and we both enjoyed our meals.  Thank you George.

Overall I was very impressed with Del Webb at Lake Oconee.  No they did not pay me anything. They didn’t even know I have a web site and are not a paid advertiser.  We just try to visit with the eyes of someone looking at 55+ community to live in and at age 62 and retired, that just comes naturally.
More retirement homes at Lake Oconee Georgia.

Lake Lure, NC

Lake Lure NC

A month ago I had never heard of Lake Lure NC.  Then researching Western NC retirement towns, I stumbled upon it, at least on the web.  It sounded like a great place to check out with it’s mountains and a beautiful lake.  We decided to check it out.

One of our friends recommended The Lodge on Lake Lure, a bed and breakfast right on the lake, as a place to stay during our scout trip.  We booked a 3 night stay, actually getting a special of 3 nights for the price of 2 nights.   Breakfast included and wine each day at 5pm. Not too bad.  We went Monday – Wednesday, returning Thursday.

The town of Lake Lure is a quite charming small town right on  Lake Lure, a clear 700+ acres lake right in the mountains of Western NC.  Next door is the Chimney Rock park, which is now at NC state park and at the park entrance is the village of Chimney Rock.  You can get anywhere in Lake Lure or Chimney Rock in 10 minutes.  The lake and beach are actually owned by the town of Lake Lure.  Parts of the movie Dirty Dancing were filmed in Lake Lure.  The 2006 HGTV Dream House is in Lake Lure.

We toured two communities and spoke with more folks.  It seems everyone wanted to move to Lake Lure in 2007, a lot on new developments were started, and then the financial crises hit.  There are plenty of lots in failed subdivisions around the area.  Also plenty of seconds homes, some may be in trouble.  Some of the communities say there are about 50% permanent residents and 50% seasonal residents.  People have come from all over, many from Florida to escape the hurricanes, and high costs.  You can see the communities and other info about Lake Lure on the page we did at Lake Lure NC

The area was certainly appealing and gorgeous.  From the Lake Lure marina we took an hour boat ride tour and enjoyed it very much.  Some really large homes and some regular older homes lived in by the locals, make a good mix.   Living in a town this small may get take some getting used to by city folks used to Whole Foods, Publics, Targets, and such. I spotted on Ingles grocery store.  When my air pressure light came on in my wife’s care, the only place I found was a general store with a gas pump (and a air pressure pump).  I ask the guy at the counter if there was a full service gas station or repair shop around and he replied “nope, this is it”.  Luckily for us adding some air did the trick and made the warning light go off.  But it did bring home the point that living here would be very different from living in a metro area.

Those who have a seasonal home in Lake Lure may have the answer and the best of both worlds.  At least they would transition to full time if they wanted or just enjoy the season. I have the feeling it is a buyers market, like it is throughout the country. Maybe more so because of all of the second homes and failed subdivisions.

Lake Lure is worth a trip to check out.  A 3 or 4 day trip would make a nice vacation. Vactions sometimes turn in to a “nice to live here” decision.