3300 MacGregor Drive, Palm Harbor, Florida 34684
Large, Established 55+ Community of Highland Lakes Sits Along Lake Tarpon and Has Single Family Homes, Town Homes, a Waterfront Lodge, Mature Landscaping and a Good Menu of Amenities
Palm Harbor, pleasant and primarily residential, is about half an hour north of downtown Tampa and is bounded by the Gulf Coast on the west and by 2,550-acre Lake Tarpon on the east. It is also the is the site of Highland Lakes, a large, established 55+ community set amid gently rolling land.
Built primarily from 1976 to 1989, Highland Lakes has a solid, sedate quality. The community sits along the western shore of Lake Tarpon and boasts mature landscaping, including willow trees, southern magnolias and bald cyrpress trees. Small fountains in the development's many lakes and ponds shoot water into the air.
All of the nearly 2,500 residences sit in quiet cul de sacs or along meandering lanes with sidewalks. Some properties have a garage that faces the street while others have a garage that is at a right angle to the house. Driveways range from short and compact to long, curved and elegant. Over the years, interiors have been updated and modified to include granite countertops, hardwood flooring, recessed lighting and more.
The town homes have one to two bedrooms, one to two baths and an attached one or two car garage. The single family homes have two to three bedrooms, one to two and a half baths and an attached one or two car garage. These dwellings also have a screened-in porch, and some of them have a private swimming pool.
Prices start in the low-$100,000s. Most homes have two HOA fees, totaling between about $325 and $425. One fee covers maintenace, grounds, water/sewer and other basics. The other fee covers amenities. Please verify these prices with a Realtor as they are subject to change.
Speaking of amenities, Highland Lakes has many. Between the two clubhouses and one waterfront lodge, the community boasts a library, a fitness center, a billiards room, a woodshop, a ceramics room, a darkroom, a catering kitchen and a ballroom. Tennis courts, a Jacuzzi, shuffleboard courts and bocce ball courts await as well. Perhaps best of all, home ownership includes free, unlimited access to the 27-hole executive golf course that winds its way through neighborhoods.
A long list of activities and events, everything from potlucks and water aerobics to coffee get-togethers and holiday parties, keeps everyone active and engaged. Residents have access to Lake Tarpon but when not on the water, they are welcome to keep their boat in the community's locked RV/boat storage. The Highlander Newsletter keeps everyone up to date on neighborhood news.
Nearby Honeymoon Island State Park, which is accessible via the Dunedin Causeway, has four miles of beautiful beaches, not to mention mangrove swamps, tidal flats, a pine forest, nature trails and plenty of wildlife. A good variety of town events, including a First Friday celebration, a Citrus Festival, a beer fest and the long-standing Harbor Arts Festival, add to Palm Harbor's quality of life.
Palm Harbor does not have a hospital but Tarpon Springs, five miles away, is home to Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital. It is accredited by the Joint Commission.
Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s with high humidity levels and frequent rainstorms. Winter temperatures are in the 60s and 70s.
Visit www.highlandlakeshoa.org for more information. Go to tinyurl.com/ychq2auv for listings.
Named Pascua Florida by Juan Ponce De Leon, the Sunshine State did not enter the Union until March 3, 1845. Balmy mild winters began attracting "snowbirds" to the state in the late 19th century, and retirees continue to flock to the state today. It's not hard to see why tourism has become Florida's leading industry.
International trade and citrus are also major contributors to the state's economy. Eighty percent of the nation's oranges and grapefruits are grown here, and 40 percent of all U.S. exports to Latin America flow through Florida.
Florida's landscape includes uplands and coastal plains. It contains more than 11,000 miles of waterways and about 4,500 islands.
Florida also has 1,045 golf courses, more than any other state in the Union. The 47 mile Pinellas Trail is the longest urban trail on the east coast. Orlando theme parks attract more visitors than any other theme parks in the U.S. The only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles co-exist is in National Everglades Park.
Who Buys in a 55+ Community?
Age-restricted communities, at least those for residents age 55 or better, generally appeal to people seeking a sense of community with other people from similar socioeconomic backgrounds. Most developments are gated or at least have some type of secured access and appeal to retirees seeking a sense of security. People who enjoy lots of amenities, planned activities and social interaction also buy in 55+ developments. Just an FYI: newer communities tend to have a younger demographic while older communities usually have a more mature set of residents, primarily because residents in older developments purchased when they were younger and have stayed put.
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