Purchasing a unit in one of these units new can be a full time job. It takes 40–60 hours to pick all the colors and fabrics, landscaping and more. We opted for a resale unit that was about 10 years old. The disadvantage was that most original owners are 10-15 years older than ourselves but the advantage was that the clubs existed and had leaders, whereas the new construction was just starting to organize clubs, etc.
There are a lot of little things that might not seem importanto but could cause you to love or not love the new home in the long run.
So in no particular order, here is a list:
- Orientation of house, where does the morning sun and evening sun hits the house.
- General landscaping what does the HOA take care of and what can you customize
- Mail delivery-to home or central pick up (newer communities are central)
- Sports – type of court surface, procedure for court times and how to find players . How competitive. Teams?
- Sidewalks, bikes, shopping
- Clubs, how to join, etc.
- How to buy tickets, any special seating or other things you should know
- Unique customs like how to buy cards and certificates for condolence and happy occasions
- Card playing- – how to find and join games, what expected
- Do people entertain or go out , who pays who drives (frankly I don’t mind going out and splitting down the middle unless one side h s drinks or wine and other, but I prefer Friday nights homecooked. (Of course there was the time that we accepted an invite from someone wo said she used to be kosher and I said we were kosher style. Ron especially wasn’t too happy when she served chicken parmigiana).
- Closets (how many, layout – the difference between a bedroom and a den is that a bedroom has a closet and door and a den doesn’t have to have either
- Colors (Dark woods that you love up north may not work.)
- Flooring (open layout – we wanted to be able to do a table for 20 for seder if necessary)
- Street names (Our complex has really odd street names generally two unrelated words but our street is on of the funniest – Playa del sur Blvd – which translates to South Beach Blvd. We are a standard E-W street in the northeast corner of the complex)
- Grandchildren Friendly (Valencia Shores has special Kids Week events including entertainment and field trips)