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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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Encore at Briar Chapel

Encore at Briar Chapel

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Encore by David Weekley Homes is an exclusive 55+ section within the master planned community of Briar Chapel. With a great location in Chapel Hill, you'll enjoy thoughtfully-designed one-story homes and bright, open floor plans. These exceptional homes are situated on 45-foot and 55-foot homesites and feature expanded Outdoor Living Areas for entertaining.
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NC


Brunswick Forest - A North Carolina Coastal Retirement Community

Brunswick Forest - A North Carolina Coastal Retirement Community

Leland, North Carolina

Brunswick Forest, the Coastal South's fastest growing community, is located on North Carolina's Cape Fear coast, just minutes from historic Wilmington. This 4,500-acre retreat features a wide array of neighborhoods and lifestyles, 18 holes of golf at Cape Fear National, a Clubhouse, River Club, Fitness & Wellness Center, parks and more than 100 miles of walking, biking and nature trails linking residences and amenities.
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NC


Woodside - South Carolina Gated Communities

Woodside - South Carolina Gated Communities

Aiken, South Carolina

Carefully planned 2,800-acre gated community, recently named one of Money Magazine's "Top Ten Retirement Communities." Three private 18 hole championship golf courses, tennis pavillion, wooded walking trails and more. Top medical facilities, university town with a mecca of cultural events.
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SC


The Bluffs on the Cape Fear

The Bluffs on the Cape Fear

Leland, North Carolina

The Bluffs on the Cape Fear is a vibrant, master-planned community perched on a pristine stretch of the Cape Fear River. Just 15 minutes from the classic waterfront hometown of historic Wilmington, NC, The Bluffs is a private, coastal haven for the families who call it home.
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NC


Wycliffe Golf & Country Club - Florida Golf Community

Wycliffe Golf & Country Club - Florida Golf Community

Wellington, Florida

In the heart of Palm Beach County, Wycliffe Golf & Country Club members enjoy a newly renovated 100,000 sq.ft. Clubhouse with casual and fine dining, two beautiful Championship golf courses, 15 Har-Tru tennis courts, 4 pickleball courts, fitness center & spa and an exhilarating social lifestyle. Most importantly, Wycliffe offers a warm, friendly embrace to new residents. We want everyone to feel like family. Even visitors! Come see if the Wycliffe lifestyle is right for you.
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FL


Southern Springs by Del Webb

Southern Springs by Del Webb

Spring Hill, Tennessee

55+ Community Near Nashville TN is Southern Springs by Del Webb this Active Adult just South of Nashville is full of amenities and outdoor and indoor fun!
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TN


Dataw Island

Dataw Island

Dataw Island, South Carolina

There is a place off the South Carolina coast, near the charming town of Beaufort, where nature and luxury share center stage. Shaped by the Intracoastal Waterway and a rich Southern history, the gated golf community of Dataw Island is a pristine parcel of 870 acres waiting to be discovered.
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SC


On Top of the World Communities - Florida 55+ Communities

On Top of the World Communities - Florida 55+ Communities

Ocala, Florida

Renowned for beautiful homes and an unrivaled method that combines top-notch programming, talented staffing and incredible amenities, On Top of the World Communities in Ocala, FL, is truly a leader in creating quality lifestyles
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FL


Keowee Key - South Carolina Lake Community

Keowee Key - South Carolina Lake Community

Salem, South Carolina

Maintenance-free lifestyle, condos, town homes, cottages. Choose a lakefront home with private dock or use 5 community docks with 324 boat slips.. kayak rentals, and a supply store.
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SC


Celadon

Celadon

Beaufort, South Carolina

Located in SC's Lowcountry, a mere three miles from downtown Beaufort, this beautiful master-planned community allows you to focus on a simpler, happier, healthier life.
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SC


The Fives Hotel & Private Residences

The Fives Hotel & Private Residences

Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico

The Fives Hotel & Private Residences is comprised of residences, suites and penthouses surrounded by numerous pools, a protected natural area with a cenote, a tennis court, restaurants, a spa, a beach club, a kids club, and other installations. Experience Playa del Carmen's exclusivity enjoy the amazing beaches of the Riviera Maya!
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MEX


Vista at Blacksmith Run

Vista at Blacksmith Run

Hendersonville, North Carolina

Nestled between Historic Hendersonville and Lake Lure's picturesque coves is Vista at Blacksmith Run-an exclusive Western North Carolina mountain property designed for residential development. Blacksmith Run's secluded mountain lifestyle and four season climate turns an ordinary day into an unforgettable experience. With convenient access to all of Western North Carolina's treasures, this quiet mountain gated community was developed for those who appreciate the best that life has to offer.
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NC


Palm Cay / One Marina - Homes in the Bahamas

Palm Cay / One Marina - Homes in the Bahamas

Nassau, Bahamas

Palm Cay is a unique oceanfront gated community, set within 70 acres, which successfully blends the exclusivity of a magnificent 200+ berth marina with panoramic waterfront and glorious beaches, to offer an idyllic and affordable lifestyle-unsurpassed even by Bahamian standards.
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BHS


Noble's Pond

Noble's Pond

Dover, Delaware

Delaware 55+ Community Situated on 293 acres with wooded areas and natural habitats Low Tax Living - Delaware taxes for retirees are ranked #1 in the NE
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DE


The Landings on Skidaway Island - Savannah's Choice for Island Living

The Landings on Skidaway Island - Savannah's Choice for Island Living

Savannah, Georgia

The Landings on Skidaway Island is a private gated community known as much for its beauty as for its personality. Located on the Intracoastal Waterway and just 12 miles from the charming and historic city of Savannah, GA, The Landings celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2012.
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GA


Vista at Bill's Mountain - North Carolina Gated Community

Vista at Bill's Mountain - North Carolina Gated Community

Lake Lure, North Carolina

Perfectly shaped since the beginning of time, Bill's Mountain is your chance to experience the picturesque town of Lake Lure. Every contour...every pristine ridge of this Lake Lure property offers incomparable views Western North Carolina. Set just five minutes from Lake Lure's crystal blue waters in Rutherford County, Bill's Mountain's 800 spectacular acres invites you to reconnect with family and friends, nature and the spirit within you.
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NC


Osprey Cove - Georgia Private Communities

Osprey Cove - Georgia Private Communities

Saint Marys, Georgia

Located just 21 minutes from Jacksonville, FL International airport, and just a 90 minute drive to Savannah, GA and St. Augustine, Osprey Cove is a constant recipient in the "Top 100 places to Retire." Kiplinger rated Georgia as the #3 in the Top 10 Tax Friendly states for Retirees. This plush coastal community boasts 665 homes. Home buyers in search of an active lifestyle are finding the right fit at Osprey Cove with private golf, tennis, boating and fishing available year round.
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GA


Savannah Lakes Village

Savannah Lakes Village

McCormick, South Carolina

Savannah Lakes Village is on the 71,000-acre freshwater Lake Thurmond in McCormick, South Carolina with 1,200 miles of shoreline. The community boasts two championship lakefront golf courses with restaurants and pro shops..
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SC


Arenal Hills — Gated Mountain Community Costa Rica

Arenal Hills — Gated Mountain Community Costa Rica

Tres Esquinas, Provincia de Alajuela, Los Angeles, San Ramon, Costa Rica

Arenal Hills is nestled in a valley surrounded by the rain forest and rivers. Homes are designed to showcase the panoramic views and forested setting surrounding Arenal Hills. Enjoy International Living at its finest!
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CRI


Fairfield Glade & Fairfield North - Tennessee Resort Communities

Fairfield Glade & Fairfield North - Tennessee Resort Communities

Fairfield Glade, Tennessee

If you are looking for spectacular mountain beauty...look no further than Fairfield Glade. This well appointed community is located high atop Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau at 2,000 feet elevation, which accounts for the near perfect seasonal changes with very comfortable summers and mild winters.
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TN


Cresswind at Victoria Gardens

Cresswind at Victoria Gardens

DeLand, Florida

Discover the distinct difference in active living, nestled within the scenic beauty of historic DeLand, Florida at Cresswind at Victoria Gardens. Cresswind at Victoria Gardens is the natural choice in a master planned community, tucked away from the hustle and bustle, yet centrally located with all the amenities to enjoy, near great shopping, dining, and entertainment. DeLand is home to one of the top Main Streets in America.
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FL


Cresswind at PGA Village Verano

Cresswind at PGA Village Verano

Port St. Lucie, Florida

Cresswind at PGA Village Verano is a 55+ gated neighborhood within the gates of PGA Village Verano. This new age-restricted neighborhood features four unique floorplans, exclusive to Cresswind at PGA Village Verano. Cresswind neighbors enjoy access to Club Talavera's amenities including a 27,000 sq. ft. Social Center and 13,000 sq. ft. Fitness Center, as well as its own neighborhood pool and pool house. The social clubs and full-time Lifestyle and Activities Director make it easy to try new activities along with meeting your neighbors and lifelong friends
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FL


Plantation at Leesburg

Plantation at Leesburg

Leesburg, Florida

Orlando Realty Solutions wants to welcome you to award winning Plantation at Leesburg, which we believe is the premier 55 and up Active Adult community in Central Florida. Plantation at Leesburg is located in the hills of Leesburg. This region of Florida is known for its geological ridge providing hills covered in ancient oak trees, combined with massive lakes nestled in-between small historic towns
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FL


Currahee Club

Currahee Club

Toccoa, Georgia

With 1,200 breathtaking acres, Currahee Club offers some of the finest real estate in North Georgia. The master-planned community features golf course, lake, and mountain homes on unique lots shaped by their natural surroundings. Visit us today, and enjoy the lifestyle you deserve...
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GA


Savannah Quarters  - Modern Savannah Living.

Savannah Quarters - Modern Savannah Living.

Pooler, Georgia

Developed by Freehold Communities, Savannah Quarters, Savannah Quarters is a master planned community ideally located less than 15 minutes from the center of historic Savannah, GA.
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GA


Anah Tulum Bahia Principe Resort Community

Anah Tulum Bahia Principe Resort Community

Akumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Anah Tulum Bahia Principe is a beautiful resort-style gated community sitting on 4.94 acres of Mayan jungle. It is an oasis where you can enjoy the Resort Living at its best since it is located within the Bahia Principe Hotel & Residential Complex. It offers exclusivity and security in a luxurious and elegant atmosphere.
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MEX


Cresswind Peachtree City

Cresswind Peachtree City

Peachtree City, Georgia

At Cresswind Peachtree City, residents enjoy a long list of amenities specifically designed for those 55 and over. Located among 400 wooded acres with rolling hills and winding trails, Cresswind Peachtree City offers a haven for active living in an ideal location near Atlanta, Georgia. With a focus on fitness, nutrition and relationships, Cresswind Peachtree City is designed to help residents live better, longer. Cresswind Peachtree City features a brand-new 17,000-square-foot community clubhouse, offering a fitness center, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis, arts & crafts room, and more.
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GA


Retire NC

Retire NC

Cary, North Carolina

From four distinct seasons to its geographic diversity and welcoming communities, North Carolina draws those seeking retirement options that feed the senses and the soul. Retiring to North Carolina is like coming home...
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NC


Shepherds Cove

Shepherds Cove

Shepherdstown, West Virginia

Shepherdstown, convenient to Metropolitan Washington, D.C. nestled in the Shenandoah-Potomac Valley Highlands, was chartered by Colonial Virginia's General Assembly in 1762. Today it still offers its quaint and unspoiled charm to the sophisticated adventurer with Boutique Shops, Refined Dining and Culture, and a diverse array of Activities and Entertainment.
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WV


Compass Pointe - North Carolina Coastal Communities

Compass Pointe - North Carolina Coastal Communities

Leland, North Carolina

Compass Pointe is more than a community. It's a destination. Only 10 minutes from historic downtown Wilmington, NC, and 20 minutes from Wrightsville Beach, it is the very best of coastal North Carolina.
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NC