Saturday, February 2, 2013

Cheap but Risky Timber Pines Florida Retirement Homes

Timber Pines Retirement Community in Spring Hill, Florida, just north of Tampa Bay, has many appealing reasons to recommend it.  However, there are also some problems in this community that prospective homeowners will want to know about.

Reasons to Buy a Home in Timber Pines, Florida

This community has many wonderful amenities that have attracted people to this highly rated community for many years.  Among the amenities are:

24 hour gated community
Minutes from the Gulf Coast beaches and fishing areas
A choice of single-family homes and attached villas
Four golf courses
Nature areas
Walk and bike paths
Tennis, shuffle board and bocce ball courts
Pools and spas
Dance Hall Lodge
Fitness Center
Facilities for woodworking, ceramics, painting, bridge, theatre, choir and other activities
Nearby shopping and medical facilities

In addition, the homes in this community are very reasonably priced.  Currently, there are a number of lovely single-family homes in the $50,000 to $80,000 price range.  It sounds like the perfect place to live.  Right?  Keep reading.

The Risk of Buying a Home in Timber Pines, Florida

The area around Spring Hill, and within the gates of Timber Pines in particular, is riddled with sink holes.  These are not the dramatic sink holes that you see on the news that have swallowed up entire neighborhoods.  These sinkholes are deep underground.  However, they are still a serious problem.

We have relatives who live in the community.  They have reported to me that there are weeks when dump trucks drive by their home all day.  The dump trucks contain a special filling material that is pumped into the ground underneath the homes in order to fill in the underground voids and provide underpinning to the homes.  Our relatives had 12 dump trucks of this filling material pumped into the ground underneath their home.  Other people they know have required many more truckloads of material.

The real estate information site, Zillow, also had a contributor point out that there is no true warranty on either this underpinning work or on the repairs that have been made to the home.  In addition, if you purchase a home that has been repaired, it now has a pre-existing condition that may not be covered by your insurance company.  Therefore, if your home begins to crack again from another sinkhole, your insurance company may not cover it.  If the house has not been repaired, many sellers are unwilling to spend the $5000 necessary to have the ground under their home tested, so you won't know if the home has a sinkhole under it until you already own it.  In addition, some insurance companies will no longer insure against damage from sinkholes, even if it has not occurred under that home in the past.

Should You Buy Property in Timber Pines, Florida?

All this does not necessarily mean you should not buy property in Timber Pines.  Some of the homes rent for as much as $2000 a month during the winter when the "snowbirds" come down from Canada and the Northern United States.  If you purchase one of these homes for an average price of about $60,000 and rent it out, you can receive a very high return on your investment.

Second home buyers may also enjoy owning one of these homes because they are so cheap to purchase.

Even if this is going to be your primary residence, you may decide that the affordability of properties in Timber Pines makes buying one worth the risk.  This is a perfectly reasonable decision, as long as you are aware of the potential problems.

To find more information about Timber Pines, you can contact their community association at (877) 862-7767 or go online at www.timberpines.com.

You may also be interested in reading these additional blog posts:

Over 55 Retirement Communities by Four Seasons 
Over 55 Retirement Communities by Del Webb
The Best Sunny Places to Retire
Sun City Texas is a Premier Retirement Destination

You are reading from the blog:  http://baby-boomer-retirement.blogspot.com

Photo of entrance to Timber Pines courtesy of www.en.wikimedia.org

3 comments:

  1. It's refreshing to read an article about an appealing community that includes both the pros and cons. Thanks for the honest assessment.

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  2. Thank you. Whenever I know anything negative about a property, I feel an obligation to pass that information on to my readers.

    In addition, if my readers know a negative that I have not yet heard about and, consequently, did not mention in my blog post, I really appreciate it when these readers pass this information on to everyone else in the comment section.

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  3. A couple of months ago I retired and was looking for a new home in warm, sunny Florida. I wasn’t sure where to start, then a friend suggested I look at the Ocean Reef Club, he had worked in the past with Bob at Swenson & Ecuyer Realty. Bob and his team were excellent! They helped me find the perfect home right on the a golf course with ocean views. Now Howard can have fun with his new golf buddies. You should check them out at www.swensonrealty.com or call (305) 367-3600.

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