Home Buying in 32092>Question Details

Beverly Smith, Real Estate Pro in Broad Brook, CT

My husband and I are 55 (live in CT)and have visited the Cascades at World Golf Village

Asked by Beverly Smith, Broad Brook, CT Thu May 8, 2008

We have settled on St. Augustine as a retirement location at least 1/2 of the year. My husband is interested in Anastasia Island, but I really loved the Cascades when we visited. However, there is so much out on the Internet about shoddy workmanship by the Levitt Brothers at the Cascades, and also some question as to whether it is going to come together as planned. Would love to have insight from someone who has the inside scoop as we try to home in on the best area for us.

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Almost 2 years ago, i represented buyers who chose a Levitt property near Orlando. I tried to show these clients existing homes in the area which were very competitive with the new construction offerings, but they wanted to buy a brand new home ... due to the decline in area sales, some amenities were delayed & others were just removed from the development.

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
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 8, 2008
Beverly, Now is not the time to buy in a development that is going through a transition or in a new development. Builders are starting projects then changing plans and home designs prior to completion. I know a developer building 3000 sq foot homes for $400,000 and now, in the same neighborhood, are building 1700 sq foot homes for $180,000. I would suggest looking around at different areas and get educated on the market. A great Realtor will be more then happy to show you several homes in different locations. Remember, when buying Real Estate, you make your money on the buy. Who cares if a builder is giving "FREE" stuff when the home is overpriced to start with? Knowledge is power!. E-mail me if you have more questions.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 10, 2008
Beverly

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.
Web Reference: http://www.cathysloan.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 12, 2008
Beverly

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.

http://staugustine.com/stories/102107/news_10212007_001.shtml
http://staugustine.com/stories/111107/news_065.shtml

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.
Web Reference: http://www.cathysloan.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat May 24, 2008
Beverly,
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 sdavidson@davidsonrealtyinc.com.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 7, 2010
I am a Real Estate Broker here in St Augustine. One of my really good friends lives in The Cascades. He is in his mid-sixties. I could put you in contact with him and you can ask for his HONEST answers in regard to your questions without B.S. from anyone else!!. If you like what you hear, I can help you buy a place in there.

Phil Orrill
Broker-Associate
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)
http://www.homesinstaug.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 13, 2008
Beverly, You really need to talk with a realtor (in person if possible) A good realtor will talk with you about your likes and dislikes, what type of home you are accustom to living in. What type of area your are use to. How close you want to be to the beach - or not be close to the beach. If you talk with me for about 25 min and I get to understand your wants and needs. I am sure I can find you the right home, I've Been doing it for years.
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.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 26, 2008
Hi Beverly,
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.
Web Reference: http://www.kathfloryan.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 19, 2008
Wolrd Golf Village and Anastasia Island are very different lifestyles communities. What kind of activities / lifestyles do you anticipate participating in when you retire? Will you want to be close to the city of St. Augustine for arts/ cultural events and dining? Will you want to visit the beach often? Do you like a nice ocean breeze blowing during the heat of the summer and the temperature moderating effect of the ocean in the winter? If you answer yes to these questions, you will be happier on Anastasia Island. It's a long drive into the city of St. Augustine and the beach from the World Golf Village. The World Golf Village may have a St. Augustine mailing address but it is not close to the city. The Cascades has gotten some really bad press here. I am not a realtor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 9, 2008
The community of Cascades is going through transition what it will become at this point is unknown. If your husband liked Anastasia Island you should look at Marsh Creek Country Club which is a beach close community great amenities and similar to the cascades lifestyle. Homes range from 350,000 to over 1 mil.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 10, 2008
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