Considering Harmony

Discussion in 'Harmony' started by George Gonzalez, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. George Gonzalez

    George Gonzalez New Member

    Hello everyone
    I'm looking to retire in a couple of years, we are currently in NJ and have been researching LWR. I like the townhomes in the Harmony community...right around my price range ($300,000), near the amenities we seek and will buy soon as vacation home if we really like it. Just some questions before I start talking to the builders...
    Do the townhomes have two separate CCD for townhome, one for over all community? (Gran Paradiso has this for townhomes.)
    Are the townhome patios expandable?
    How's the sound proofing?
    Does anybody know if there is a standard price list on options...building options seen on Mattamy site and interior options such as upgrades? I'm really interested to know, ballpark how much more this adds to starting price.
    Thank you in advance, look forward to hearing from some of you.
  2. There is a CDD fee in Harmony. It applies to most Lakewood Ranch communities. Indigo does not have a CDD fee because the developer paid the fees for the land and bakes the cost of the CDD fee into the price of the home. One way or another, you will pay it. It's added to your property tax assessment. I have a homestead exemption as the house is my primary residence. My single family home (2,500 sq ft, 7.4k sq ft lot) was assessed $5,826 in property taxes including my annual contribution to the CDD fee. Without the $50,000 homestead exemption, I would pay slightly more. As a townhome buyer, your CDD fee will be smaller. The sales agent, or the real estate agent that you are using should be able to provide you with this information. So yes, you will have to pay for monthly maintenance in addition to the CDD fee.

    I saw one of the townhomes across the street add a patio extension with a screened cage. So, yes.

    Sound proofing? I don't know. I had a coworker that bought a Mattamy Homes townhome in Orlando a few years ago that said that his neighbor complained that he could hear his bedroom TV through the wall. He, however, was never disturbed by sounds from his neighbor. The walls are supposed to be insulated. I can't really answer because I live in a single family home, and don't know.

    Options pricing? I don't know. I don't know how options pricing would scale down from the single family home that I bought to a smaller townhome. I was also one of the first buyers, and they were just getting organized. They didn't even have a design center open in the area and I went to a third party design center in Tampa to price my options. The interior designer that was assisting me didn't even have all of the prices available and had to make phone calls to get pricing for me because I insisted on knowing before I made selections. Part of me thinks that they made numbers up on the spot. Did you sign a contract to build, or are you buying a quick move-in home? You might be able to negotiate a good deal on a quick move-in home if you an forego picking your options to your exact specifications. My next door neighbors, who are long time area residents, opted to upgrade the kitchen and bathrooms, but kept the cheapest flooring. They hired a contractor to redo their floors cheaper than the cost that Mattamy was charging.
    George Gonzalez likes this.
  3. George Gonzalez

    George Gonzalez New Member

    Thank you for the information, right now...just looking and planning a trip to the area next month. As much as the townhouses and LWR amenities attract us, the outside amenities are very important, proximity to beach, restaurants and entertainment.
    I got some info from Gran Paradiso in Venice and the townhouses had CDD fees as well as 2 HOA's. One for the community as a whole and another for the townhouses, found them to be a little out of my price range when you throw in the taxes too...I'll be retiring soon.

    As one of the many communities in the area.any regrets, thoughts? Thank you again.
  4. I think you know all of the pros from the marketing material, so let me list some of the cons. I'm being a bit nitpicky, but here goes:

    1. Travel time to gulf beaches. Marketing material may say that the gulf beaches are just minutes away. I remember reading 20-25 minutes. That's not true. If it was true in the past, it's not true anymore. The growth east of I-75 has increased traffic and slowed down travel to the beaches. It takes about 35-45 minutes to get to Siesta (google says 35-50) from Harmony on a weekend and that's not including circling around for an open parking spot. Lido, Bradenton, Holmes, etc., all take about 30 minutes minimum and up to 40 depending on weekend traffic. Driving distance is 20 miles (Holmes) to 23 miles (Siesta). There are several projects underway that should reduce east-west traffic in the future, but they could take years to complete, and might just only balance out the increased traffic due to growth. The diamond interchange at exit 213 should be completed this year. There are plans to improve the intersections or highway entrances/exits at 217 and 220. More importantly for Harmony, 44th Ave East will be extended east into LWR which will require a new highway overpass. That road will lead straight to Bradenton Beach, but it's years away from completion.

    We will also have more traffic coming our way when the Fort Hamer bridge to Parrish is completed. However, it will also speed up access to the Ellenton Outlet Mall.

    I personally think that the various road improvement projects will not keep pace with population growth and that traffic will get worse before it gets better.

    2. LWR is expanding south of the county line into Sarasota with its Waterside project. Ever since they announced Waterside, there has been no talk of the planned 2nd Main Street on Rangeland (that I am aware of). Investment in Waterside could delay construction of the 2nd Main Street, and who knows, might kill the project altogether. In my opinion, with what seems like exponential growth occurring north of 70, not just in LWR, but in surrounding communities, the area is ready to support a 2nd Main Street. I personally think that Waterside's downtown is far enough away not to compete directly with a 2nd Main Street. Due to growth north of 70, 64, and Ellenton/Parrish that will connect to LWR via the new bridge, a 2nd Main Street is not not only viable, but a sure-bet. As traffic is increasing, the current main street seems farther away. The first phase of CORE is underway with a project called The Greens. That will have to do for now, but it's not the same.

    3. Publix has a near monopoly on local grocery stores. There's a new health food store planned for the corner of LWR Blvd and SR70 and it might be completed this year or the next. Would love to see another supermarket in the area to create competition and reduce prices. I shop at Walmart and make monthly trips to Costco.

    4. Not that this affects you because you are an empty nester, but local schools are overcrowded. BD Gullet Elementary still has space and they are bussing in kids from Bradenton, but Nolan Middle School, and LWR High School are overcrowded. There are plans for new schools including a new high school, but they are likely years away.

    5. The gym in Harmony is too small to support 675 homes. Still, there is a YMCA less than a mile away, but I would have liked a community gym at least twice the size of the one that we currently have. Like I said, I'm nitpicking.

    6. Like most communities, the community pool in Harmony closes at sunset. Why? It's lighted and heated. Why not stay open to 9:00 PM, or 10:00 PM on Friday and Saturday nights (and during the summer)?
    George Gonzalez likes this.
  5. George Gonzalez

    George Gonzalez New Member

    Sounds like I'll have to make a trip down there sooner than I thought. I'm use to driving more than an hour here in NJ when heading to the beach and parking can take just as long. Being a NJ/NYer, I don't want to be bored somewhere after I've settled in. I spend a great deal of time outdoors when its nice here, so we'll be doing the same down there...just want to make sure there's stuff to do. It's always good to here from the locals...good and bad. There's no perfect place unless you're rich and then you can have as many places as you want. Thanks for the info.

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