Thursday, May 30, 2013

What's New Around Here

June 23 is our one year anniversary of living in The Villages. So we could submit any repairs within the one-year warranty period of our new home, we recently had a professional home inspection. Then, six different service professionals came to: replace a couple screws, recaulk along a countertop, regrout a few floor tiles, fill in some cracks, touch-up paint those cracks (inside and out), and replace a roof shingle that had blown off. We're as good as new again! Though I'm still adding the occasional home accessory - quilt on a wall or table, silk plant, or such - we're as settled as can be... except for personalizing our landscaping. We still don't have a palm tree, and that's something I hope to rectify in the next few months. This week I attended a palm tree lecture put on by the county extension service, and I learned that there's a whole lot to know about choosing the right palm species for a residential property, and growing, fertilizing and pruning them!

Anyway, we recently had a kitchen upgrade. Being the cook, it was my hubby who wanted this improvement.

While we love the size of this double-door pantry, it wasn't always easy to find what we were looking for in the dark depths.

The Tupperware/saver cabinet was always stacked to toppling, and two other cabinets with pots and pans, and kitchen utensils, were also somewhat disfunctional. Roll-out drawers were on the bottom, but those half-shelves were worthless.

So, one morning we unloaded everything...

... and had roll-out drawers professionally installed. Putting things back into cabinets afterward was hubby's responsibility, and he enjoyed it. The whole third drawer is his arsenal of spices and seasonings.

It now looks like this, and we even gained an additional shelf/drawer!

Every cabinet looks so much better, and it's much easier to put our hands on things.

All around us, the neighborhoods are filling in. Our Village is "old news" as newer ones - Gilchrist and Pinellas - are becoming the hot spots for new houses. One hundred two thousand people live here now, and more are moving in every day.

A sales agent - one of 218 sales agents - recently told me that in April, The Villages set an new, all-time sales month with 525 houses sold (200+ of them pre-owned homes), and that May was setting up to break the April record! A neighbor who works in the closing office related that 42 percent of houses sold are paid in full, in cash! 

In the next year, this open field will fill quickly with new houses. Another service professional told us that only 20,000 lots remain (The Villages lands will then be "full") and that the names of 34,000 people are on a waiting list for a house. Demand is making housing prices climb!

New regional and neighborhood recreation centers are going up too. Under construction now is the Eisenhower Regional (that means, "really big!") Rec Center, in the picture below, with yet another place to swim. If you were so inclined, you could visit a different rec center swimming pool in The Villages every day for 68 days!

On the far south side of The Villages is Brownwood, the third and newest town center where live music and dancing are available (free to the public) every night from 5-9 on the square - Paddock Square. Around the square, retail businesses and restaurants are beginning to open as streets of new stores are being built.

It's pretty exciting to live in an area where there's such growth! Across the road from Brownwood, huge excavators are moving earth in preparation for more retail stores (Maybe a Costco? And a DSW?)  including a new Publix grocery.

We know that we're still livin' the dream - in paradise. Just last night, it was shown to us when we went outdoors and saw this, right over our house (brown-roofed). The hint of a second rainbow can almost be seen too.

God has blessed us. Linda


Karen said...

I still can't believe you live in Florida and that it has been one year already!!! Where did that year go? I know it's been filled with good and bad for you, but we know that God is still on His throne. Have a great day.

Oops-Lah said...

Wow, that's more like a town than a village, isn't it. And it seems you've are settled very well and are feeling completely at home. I love your new kitchen drawers. It looks so organised now and it is indeed much handier than what you had before.

tink's mom said...

Oh thanks for all the details. We came and went in such a hurry that we saw lots of what you are showing but got no details. Love the drawers in the cabinets. Told MJ just this week that, they were the way to go. Sorry I didn't get a minute to check in.

Susan Snooks said...

Glad the home is good as new! Pity we can't upgrade a ageing bodies the same way! And you don't have a flourishing palm yet?!! Lol! Sounds like you are happy where you are- good for you!!

Pinkadot Quilts said...

The rainbow is like the cherry on top! It seems like you are very happy there, how wonderful!That first year went very fast.

Doris said...

Oh, I am a little jealous of your nie kitchen AND your hubby that cooks! I guess I'll keep mine since he does like ironing... ;-)

It will be interesting to see how things in the Villages change in the next 20-30 years, I can't imagine 42% of people in my generation of retirees will be able to afford paying cash for a new home in Florida. And I'm a few years post-Baby Boomer, so there are fewer of us to fill those homes eventually. But, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the stats of the growth there, and I CANNOT believe it has been a full year!

Carrie P. said...

now that is the way to get organized. I wish I had drawers in my cabinets.
Great photo of the rainbow.

Carla said...

Isn't that wonderful! Bless you Linda

Deb said...

I can't believe that it's been a year already. Time really does fly when you're having fun. I, too, will be having those wonderful pullouts installed as our kitchen remodel begins in a few months. They are marvelous and I know that Master Chef Dan will enjoy them. I'm happy that both of you are enjoying your life in Florida so much!

Teresa said...

It does sound like paradise and I am so happy for you that you you and your husband have your little taste of heaven right here on earth.


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