HoA fees can be as much as a mortgage in some subdivisions & condo properties, so beware of the monthly bottom line. Now that the inventory in Central Florida is so voluminous, builders are offering the moon on a silver platter to get buyers to closing. They will entice you with spectacular offers, but beware of hidden & inflated costs. I can't say for sure that North Florida is experiencing this same phenomenon.
In your case, i would consider the financial implications of seasonal use (maintenance, homestead exemptions and utility cutoff & restart fees) & work with a competent CPA or financial analyst who can help crunch the numbers you need to see. A local Realtor who is not affiliated with this or another builder is your best bet. I can recommend a colleague who works that area & has more expertise than me.
Please don't hesitate to ask the hard-hitting questions but consider the internet as an "undocumented source." Very often, people who are bitter about their own bad choice will bad-mouth the builder and others with ungrounded claims. Your best bet is to hire a competent home inspector (for new & existing homes) with a contingency in your purchase contract to reflect buyer's satisfaction of inspection issue resolution and deadlines for punch-list items.
Finally, Realtors are here to help, not hinder, the process & those builder representatives should not be your sole source of information. As a company-certified Relocation specialist, i take the time to match my clients with the best possible property for their needs, whether new or resale. Ultimately, the choice, like the mortgage, is theirs.
I wish you and your husband much happiness when you settle into your new home, Vivian
The Del Webb communities have a purchase incentive promotion next week beginning June 20th 2008 for Riverwood and Sweetwater.
They are offering 1 year free HOA
Up to $20,000 in discounts
Free options and upgrades.
Contact me if I can assist you.
Here is a link to Articles in the St. Augustine Record in October and November 2007 about the Cascades. I haven't heard much since November. There are several resale homes in the MLS.
Have you heard or looked at the Del Webb community of Riverwood at Nocatee? Perhaps you should take a look before you make a decision. Here is a link. http://nocatee.com/ Nocatee is about 5 miles closer to Jacksonville than WGV. It is also closer to the Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway. It is still very close to St. Augustine. Nocatee is one of my favorite communities. My clients love Nocatee. It is first class all the way.
I will see if anyone has the 411 on the Cascades and I will post it here.
If I can assist in any way, please contact me.
I live in the World Golf Village and am a Real Estate Broker here. I think you will be pleasantly surprised if you visit Cascades again. The homeowners there seem very happy. I could connect your with many different homeowners to get their opinions. A new builder has taken over in Cascades. They are starting construction on 6 new models very soon right by the clubhouse. While Levitt was in Bankruptcy there was a company handling Cascades but now the new owner seems to be moving forward. If I can help you in any way, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New World Realty & Property Management, Inc
St Augustine, Florida
Cell: (904) 377-1016
Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS)
Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR)
Transnational Referral Certification (TRC)
In order to find you the right home for you I must get to know you a little. There are so many things to cover. call me Ron Barry. p.s. I have been selling homes in st. Augustine for almost 9 years now.
Perhaps other REALTORs have not seen this recent article yet but things have definitely improved in the Cascades and they are definitely selling properties in there now. Go to this Jacksonville business journal article for more information. http://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/stories/2008/07/14/d I think it will give you an unbiased viewpoint. Call me at 904-687-5146 when you are ready to make that decision. You may already have a relationship with a REALTOR, but just in case you do not, I will be happy to show you the Cascades and Anastasia Island. Both have their pros and cons and are unique. You may find out more information about me, the area, and other informative links by going to my personal web site. I look forward to hearing from you.