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ideal-LIVING
Retirement Blog
Discovery Tours

How to get the most out of your discovery package

By JG Walker

Nearly all residential developments and retirement communities now offer “Discovery Package” deals designed to encourage in-person visits. Generally speaking, for a fee starting at $100-$300, you’ll get a night or two of accommodations at an on-site property or nearby hotel, plus complimentary extras like meals, a round of golf, a spa visit, and the like. You’ll also be given a tour of the development.

If you’re serious about making a move and finding out what a given community has to offer, a Discovery Package can be a great way to jump-start that process. Here are some tips to get the most out of your visit:

  • If you’ve focused on a particular geographical area, consider scheduling more than one Discovery Package while you’re there. Comparing and contrasting what each community has to offer is a great way to enhance the quality of your decision-making process.
  • Prior to your visit, research local real estate values and trends. Also, think about the lifestyle you envision in the context of what amenities and social opportunities that the community offers.
  • Inquire about state and local taxes: Does the community’s state have an income tax (some don’t) and what are the rates? Does the state tax pensions and investments? What are the local property tax rates, as well as any state or local sales taxes?
  • Find out how the community is governed: Is it still controlled by the development company or has that authority been ceded to a homeowners association? Who owns the roads and common areas? Is there a reserve fund for that work and/or an annual assessment for their upkeep? What is the mechanism for determining when any special assessments are necessary?

Woodside

  • Ask about any architectural guidelines or other building restrictions in the community, particularly if you’re planning to build a new home or make any renovations/additions to the property. You can also request a copy of the community masterplan and a timetable for the establishment of new neighborhoods or the completion of promised amenities.
  • Take advantage of every opportunity to talk with current community residents. Many Discovery Packages include a meeting or shared meal with designated “Community Ambassadors.” These can be very enlightening. But don’t pass up the chance to introduce yourself to other residents you may encounter and ask about their experiences.
  • Set aside some time to go “outside the gates” and explore the area around the community. How far is it to the nearest medical facilities and what is the quality of services they provide? Where are the local grocery stores and other retail outlets that you’ll frequently visit? What cultural amenities and entertainment attractions are available in the region?

Whatever your goals are for your future, taking advantage of a Discovery Package deal can be a smart first step in achieving them. After all, getting the information you need—and having some fun while you’re doing it—can be a win-win proposition.

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Haig Point Club

Haig Point Club

Daufuskie Island, South Carolina

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Vista at Blacksmith Run

Vista at Blacksmith Run

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Salters Haven

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Ocean Ridge Plantation

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Colleton River Club

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The Governors Land at Two Rivers

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Black Creek Chattanooga

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At Black Creek, we are building a community that embraces all that has been forgotten about what defines a life well-lived. Imagine access to 1000s of acres of protected land just footsteps from your door while living just 10 minutes from downtown Chattanooga, where shopping, dining, entertainment as well as top hospitals are quickly within reach.
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St. James Plantation - NC Gated Community

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With its private oceanfront beach club, 81 holes of signature golf and Intracoastal Waterway marina, St. James Plantation personifies the relaxed coastal Carolina lifestyle.
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Cresswind Charleston

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Cresswind Charleston brings the award-winning Cresswind active adult lifestyle to the Charleston area. This gated community is integrated within the thriving community of The Ponds while maintaining its own privacy. Cresswind features a full list of resort-style amenities, all located within a natural, Lowcountry setting. Residents can take a short walk to the 12,000-square-foot clubhouse, enjoy pickleball and tennis or participate in activities at the event lawn and amphitheater.
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Pacific Lots and Homes of Costa Rica - Costa Rica Real Estate

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TAO Mexico

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TAO Mexico is one of the premier developers of real estate in the Riviera Maya, with more than 15 residential communities located in Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Akumal, and more. TAO embodies a philosophy of love and care in every community.
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Tidewater by Del Webb

Tidewater by Del Webb

Estero, Florida

The 55+ active adult community of Tidewater by Del Webb, perfectly situated in Estero, offers award-winning amenities and extraordinary lifestyle. Experience for yourself the two-story, coastal inspired clubhouse, with elegant community gathering room, state-of-the-art fitness center, group fitness studio, several activity rooms, 2nd floor balcony and catering kitchen. The famous Del Webb active adult lifestyle awaits at Tidewater.
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Fairfield Bay - Arkansas Lake Resort Community

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Keowee Key - South Carolina Lake Community

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Plantation Bay Golf and Country Club — Florida Golf Communities

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An abundance of sparkling new facilities take this prestigious private community to luxurious new heights, with two clubhouses, a magnificent 7,000-square-foot Spa and Fitness Center, 10 tennis courts and 45 holes of golf to challenge and delight players of all levels. Plantation Bay is the perfect place to get pampered, stay in shape and play, all right in your back yard.
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Shepherds Cove

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Hampton Hall Club

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Imagine for a minute you're visiting the private club community of Hampton Hall in Bluffton, SC. You've gotten over the awe of the dramatic and picturesque Lowcountry landscape, and you're starting to take in your surroundings. For while everything here is beautiful to look at and expertly maintained and cared for, the key component is fun and enjoyment.
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Wycliffe Golf & Country Club - Florida Golf Community

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Traditions of America at Richland

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Horizon Homes of Wilmington LLC

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Tellico Village - Tennessee Retirement Communities

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Compass Pointe - North Carolina Coastal Communities

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Hot Springs Village - Arkansas Communities

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