When it comes to having a new home built, make sure you pick a builder with an excellent reputation that you trust, advise Marie and David Sigler, residents at Valencia Lakes in southern Hillsborough County.
The Siglers chose GL Homes to build their three-bedroom home because they had heard good things about the builder when they lived in Fort Lauderdale, their home city for 40 years. GL Homes has created nine Valencia communities on the east coast of Florida, and the Valencia Lakes community near Sun City Center is the first on the west coast.
"We had a very good (home building) experience. We had an outside inspector do an inspection and he couldn't say enough about it. He said everything was up to snuff and more and that we should be very pleased, which we were. He said we had a good builder," said Marie Sigler, 69. Her husband added, "They build a good house. They have several sales every month."
The Siglers say they are grateful to their son, who lives in Riverview with his wife and two children, because he told them about Valencia Lakes. The couple wanted to be near their family and appreciate that their Valencia Lakes home is so close to Riverview.
A couple of the Siglers' favorite things about this active adult community, where they've now lived for close to four years, are that the staff and other residents are friendly and caring, and that there are so many things to do. They agree they've tried many new activities and have made a lot of new friends. Joining the Travel Club, Fishing Club and Breakfast Club plus attending shows and dinners and working out at the gym have allowed the Siglers to make a lot of good friends, they said.
"The clubhouse staff is great. They try to do their utmost to keep everybody happy. They go the extra mile. They're good folks and we're truly blessed; we really are," Marie Sigler said.
She added that she appreciates the diversity in the community, explaining that residents range in age starting at 55, and have many varied hobbies and interests.
"The clubhouse gives us opportunities to fully associate with more people who live here, who have different hobbies, interests, outlooks - that's fun, that's interesting, that keeps you alert, involved, interested. I think that's what makes for good conversation when we get together," she said. "Here, we have some common interests, some common goals. Each of us is looking for friendship, stimulation, conversation."
Jennie Stevens, 63, first set her sights on moving to Valencia Lakes after seeing an ad in The Tampa Tribune. She liked the floor plan, the fact that the community is for active adults ages 55 and over and that she wouldn't have to worry about maintenance. Also, she appreciated that teenagers would not be living across the street, as they had in her prior community.
She and her roommate are involved in Valencia Lakes' Singles Group and Travel Club. "Everyone is friendly and the entrance is inviting," Stevens said.
A welcoming committee of about 20 residents makes sure new folks feel at home from day one. In addition, a party is held by GL Homes every quarter for new and existing residents.
Clubs have been organized in everything from needlepoint to photography to horseshoes. Lessons are provided in a variety of subjects, such as Spanish, water coloring painting, sketching, quilting, tennis and personal training.
A few amenities include a massage therapist on the premises, professional ballroom dance lessons and tennis lessons. Some activities, like jewelry design and poker night, take place in the 27,000-square foot clubhouse with 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 pickle ball courts.
Homes cost between $154,900 and $331,900 and are offered in a variety of styles and sizes, from 1,321 to 2,866 square feet. One-story and two-story homes are available, each featuring a two- or three-car garage. Each home in Valencia Lakes features a tile roof, paver driveway, screen covered lanai and beautifully appointed interior with tile floors and Corian countertops.
Models, at 4927 Sapphire Sound Drive in Wimauma are 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 1-800-875-2176.