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Laguna Woods

24351 El Toro Road, Laguna Woods, California 92637

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Well-Established Southern California 55+ Community of Laguna Woods Draws Retirees Thanks to its Variety of Housing Styles, Good Selection of Prices and Plentiful Amenities

Roughly seven miles from Laguna Beach in Orange County (and 40 miles from Los Angeles), Laguna Woods is a town almost entirely comprised of Laguna Woods Village (once known as Leisure World), a well-established 55+ development with 13,000 homes and 18,500 residents. This development was built from 1964 to 1986 and has an interesting variety of architectural styles and a wide range of amenities. And while one resident in each dwelling must be at least age 55, anyone age 45 or better may purchase property (some financial restrictions apply).

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Residence styles include one story single family homes and attached homes (and apartments), and the ownership legal structure is either condo ownership or co-op ownership. Buyers of condos receive a deed and own the the airspace within the domicile, plus a share of common spaces used by other residents. Buyers of a co-op become a shareholder in a corporation that owns the building, and the buyer carries a leasehold interest in the individual unit.

Buyers have more than 90 different floor plans from which to choose, and sizes range from one bedroom to three bedrooms. The variety does not end there, though. Some homes have a two-car garage; other have a carport. Some have flat roofs; some have pitched, tile roofs. Some share laundry facilities; some come with a washer and dryer. Most residences have air conditioning.

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Prices start at around $35,000 and top out at a little more than one million dollars. Please verify these prices with a Realtor as they are bound to change.

Laguna Woods' apartments are located in two tall towers named, appropriately, The Towers. They are comprised of two look-alike buildings with a receptionist office in the center. Residents enjoy two restaurants on the ground floor, one which requires formal attire and one which does not but still does not allow t-shirts, shorts, bermudas, capris, hats (except ladies) or baseball hats.

Each apartment has a mini kitchen (electric cooktop), a fridge, a sink and a pantry space. The residents (owners or renters) have a monthly mandatory meal fee and maintenance fee ($2,000 for one person and $2,800 for two persons). Breakfast and lunch are not included in the fee, so owners/residents are on their own to provide both meals. Seventy-seven has been the average resident age in The Towers for years, but the age has dropped to 67 years now that baby boomers have begun to move in.

Community amenities are many. There are golf courses (one 27 hole and one 9 hole, plus a driving range and chipping area), seven clubhouses (with five swimming pools, indoor and outdoor), a fitness center, a performing arts center, a tennis complex with ten courts, a computer lab, a community library, two garden centers, classes, workshops and more than 250 activity groups. The equestrian center features a show ring and a grandstand and provides an opportunity for riding lessons and trail rides. Horse boarding is available.

There is also a community bus system, and new residents are greeted with monthly orientations. Saddleback College offers the Emeritus Program in which 100 courses are available to residents of Laguna Woods. Channel 6 is the community TV station. The development is gated with controlled access and roving security patrols.

All homeowners, condo owners and co-op owners, pay a monthly HOA fee. It covers an extensive list of items, including water, trash collection, basic cable TV, landscaping, all home exterior maintenance and amenity upkeep. For co-op owners, the monthly fee also includes interior maintenance. Property taxes and insurance are not covered.

Medical facilities, shopping centers, theater events and restaurants are all close by, but none are located within the development itself.

Temperatures vary between 65 degrees and 85 degrees throughout the year, and precipitation is low.

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Visit www.lagunawoodsvillage.com for more information. Go to http://tinyurl.com/y75y9xzn for listings.

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