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Wednesday, Nov 26, 2014
Real Estate

Spirited lifestyle makes Valencia Lakes a winner with residents

Special Sections correspondent
Published:   |   Updated: March 21, 2013 at 12:30 AM

The homes are beautiful at Valencia Lakes, but what people appreciate the most about this GL Homes' community is the spectacular lifestyle, says Marisa Lufkin, project manager and vice president for GL Homes.

Residents in this southern Hillsborough, active-adult community, built specifically for those aged 55 and older, appreciate the community's affordability, lush landscaping, close-knit atmosphere, amenities and particularly, the activities, Lufkin says.

"A lot of our residents have nicknamed our community 'Camp Valencia,' because that's what it feels like to them," Lufkin says. "If you want to play pickleball in the morning, attend a sculpting class in the afternoon and see a show in the evening, you can do that - all right here at Valencia Lakes."

A full-time lifestyle director lines up activities and ensures there's enough variety to appeal to everyone, every day of the year. Some activities, like jewelry design and poker night, take place in the 27,000-square-foot clubhouse that sports a café, full fitness center, social hall with dance floor and raised stage, card rooms, a billiards room and an arts and crafts studio. Other amenities include outdoor tennis courts, a resort style swimming pool, a resistance walking pool, a spa with steam room and sauna and outdoor pickleball courts.

"Our homebuyers have worked hard all their lives. When they retire, they want a place where they can reinvent themselves. Many take up new hobbies, like pickleball, painting, jewelry making and sculpting," Lufkin says. And they can learn all those things at Valencia Lakes. "When they were younger, they didn't have time to learn new things. They were working and raising their children."

Getting enough exercise is never a problem at Valencia Lakes, which features plenty of room for strolling and jogging around the gorgeous property, Lufkin says. Residents enjoy the location, nestled between Tampa and Sarasota, making it convenient to other Florida destinations.

But residents never need leave the community for entertainment. Concerts by performers like Frankie Avalon and The Diamonds are held at the 600-seat social hall, right in Valencia Lakes. Events such as trade fairs, plays and Broadway-style musicals are also held in the social hall.

Valencia Lakes is the only active adult, 55-plus community of its kind in the area, Lufkin says. "There's nothing else like what we offer in the marketplace," she says, explaining in part why the community has become so popular and is succeeding even in this time of financial strain.

Valencia Lakes offers plenty of styles of single family and twin villa homes, with 21 floor plans from which to choose. Homes run from 1,321 to 2,866 square feet and cost from $149,900 to $329,900. One-story and two-story homes are available, each featuring a two- or three-car garage.

Eventually, the community will house 1,000 homes. Currently, close to 400 homes have sold. A new parcel just opening up for sale is "magnificent," describes Lufkin. "Almost every home site has a water view or a preserve view."

Each home in Valencia Lakes features a tile roof, paver driveway, screen covered lanai and beautifully appointed interior with tile floors and Corian countertops, Lufkin says.

To allow prospective homebuyers to experience the community, GL Homes offers a Dream Stay and Play Package for $99 that allows them to spend three days and two nights in the community, taking advantage of the amenities and relaxing in a fully furnished home. "This gives prospective residents a chance to test drive the community," she says.

A model at 4927 Sapphire Sound Drive in Wimauma is open for viewing Saturdays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays, noon to 5 p.m.

For more information, including a video tour, visit www.glhomes.com/valencia-lakes or call (813) 634-8100.

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