Where to Retire Magazine July 2019

TheShortList: 50BestMaster-Planned Communities in the United States

BY BRENT STOLLER with an introduction by Annette Fuller

See PDF of article here.

NEW NEIGHBOR WAS UNPACKING a moving van near Katrina and Chuck Hans in the Arlington Ridge active-adult community in Leesburg, FL. “He needed to use a dolly, and I was like, ‘We have one,’” Katrina says. “Then he needed a ladder and another neighbor said, ‘I have one.’ We look after each other. It’s like another family.”

The Hanses are two of the 92 people you are about to meet who have relocated to one of our 50 best master-planned communities across America. Their kind spirit is representative of the folks we interviewed. They clearly speak the same retirement relocation language.

Every other year in the July-August issue, Where to Retire provides a comprehensive look at the best of the best in master-planned living. Our office staff has been working on this issue for more than six months. This is our 11th listing; our first such feature was in 1999. We evaluated hundreds of communities, but chose only established neighborhoods with enough acreage to build at least a year’s supply of homes.

The developments are in 17 states, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, in towns beautified by beaches, mountains, clear skies, lakes, rivers, rolling hills and other earthly assets. (See the Letter From the Editor on page 10 for more detailed data on the compilation.)

Some of our 50 are active-adult neighborhoods; others are all-ages. And some are a mix of the two, meaning an enclave of active-adult housing within a larger all-ages development.

A few logistics: The communities are listed alphabetically, by state and then by development name. This is not a ranking, so they are not numbered. Each has a short description, including interviews with residents. A databox shows home prices, websites and more. (Note that costs fluctuate; we provide here the latest figures available at press time.) The chart on pages 78 and 79 lists all 50 as well as a rundown of amenities, making comparisons easy.

When senior writer Brent Stoller interviewed the residents for this story, two people — one in North Carolina and another in Colorado — mentioned the same phenomenon, with no prompting from him. Both recounted how the development they were considering somehow resonated with them on a deeper level.

“It just spoke to me when we drove through the entrance,” says Michelle Schuller, of the first time she and husband Charles drove onto the grounds of Compass Pointe in Leland, NC. “It met all our needs.” The same thing happened to Scott and Diann Edwards when they were introduced to Toll Brothers at Inspiration in Aurora, CO. “We came out to Inspiration one day and toured, talked to people and looked at the home sites and the models, and it really kind of spoke to us,” Scott says. We hope our research and our story speak to you, too.

THE LURE Blue Ridge Mountain views inspire a blissful atmosphere in this development. The golf course makes the most of its beautiful setting, as elevated tee boxes give way to rolling fairways that ramble past waterfalls. Following workouts in the fitness center, matches on the tennis and pickleball courts or time in the community garden, residents retreat to the on-site restaurant for a meal among friends. Broadway-style musicals and a symphony are staged in Hendersonville, while the nearby French Broad River allows additional outdoor recreation.

WHAT RESIDENTS SAY “You never get tired of watching the sunsets and sunrises,” says Gary Elam, 59. He and wife Tamera, 57, purchased their lot here in 2008 but didn’t relocate from Fishers, IN, until 2016. Avid golfers, they play in the development and compete in tournaments around the state. They also exercise in the fitness facility and are members of multiple hiking clubs. “We did not realize the importance of moving to a planned community of other retired people who are active,” Tamera admits. This September, they’ll join some Cummings Cove friends on an Alaskan cruise. “We have four kids, and they laugh at us, because we are much more socially involved than we were when we worked and certainly more social than they are,” Tamera says.

DEVELOPER Cummings Cove Co. LLC

PRICES $350,000s to $1 million for condos, villas, townhomes and singlefamily homes


STATUS 347 homes built of 650 planned on 675 acres

AGE-RESTRICTED No, but the development is targeted toward retirees

INFORMATION Cummings Cove Golf & Country Club, 20 Cummings Cove Parkway, Hendersonville, NC 28739, CummingsCove.com or (800) 958-2905

Where to Retire Magazine July 2017

TheShortList: 50BestMaster-Planned Communities in the United States

BY BRENT STOLLER with an introduction by Annette Fuller

See PDF of article here.

JANE SUNDERLAND has a ritual that brightens her days in the Brunswick Forest master-planned community in Leland, NC. “My neighbor and I sing, ‘It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood’ when we see each other, because that’s how it is,” she says. She and her husband, Gerry, both 60, moved from Massachusetts to North Carolina in 2015. Their retirement relocation inspires Jane to sing the “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” theme song on a routine basis, bringing a recurring smile to both her and her friend. Isn’t it nice when everyday living leads to breaking out in song?

A superb transplantation, like the one Jane and Gerry made, requires a move to an advantageous and nurturing spot, so here is our list of the 50 best master-planned communities across America. Every other year in the July-August issue, we bring our readers a comprehensive look at the best of the best. This time around, the developments are in 18 states, in towns that are stunning in the viewfinder. Check out locations on the coast, in the mountains, near low-humidity deserts, by rivers and lakes and in proximity to major cities.

Our staff has been working on this issue for nearly a year. It is our 10th listing; our first such feature was in 1999. We evaluated hundreds of communities, but chose only established neighborhoods with enough acreage to build at least a year’s supply of homes. With every 50 best issue, we see trends, such as an emphasis on fitness through pools, trails and exercise equipment. Other enticements are dog parks, communal gardens and green home options. Of course, many have golf courses and tennis courts.

For years, people choosing a master-planned community had to decide whether they preferred an active-adult or all-ages neighborhood. A new trend combines the two, with a 55-plus section inside an all-ages development, so that your inner circle is people of your own age, and your outer circle includes families, teenagers and tykes. (See our story on page 44 that gives the pros and cons of all three options.)

Retirement relocation means the logistics of selling and then buying a home. But a year after uprooting yourself, your thoughts about the success of the move most likely will be based on more than paint colors, kitchen countertops and closet space.“We will never ever leave, because it’s so wonderful,” says Kris Close, 59, who moved from Minnesota in 2015 with husband Kerry, 62, to the Sugar Mill Pond community in Youngsville, LA. “We came for the house, but we’re staying for the people.”

A quick preface to this feature: The 50 communities are listed alphabetically, by state and then by development name. This is not a ranking, so they are not numbered. Each has a short description, including interviews with residents. A databox shows home prices, websites and more. Note that costs fluctuate; use them as a guide. Lastly, the chart on pages 98 and 99 lists all 50 as well as a rundown of amenities, making comparisons easy.

THE LURE Temperate weather, mountain vistas and a welcoming atmosphere foster a sense of tranquility in Cummings Cove. This gated development features a 6,415-yard golf course framed by verdant forests, a fitness center and multiple athletic courts, including two for bocce that were added in 2016. A former farmhouse is the social center, complete with a library, sitting porch with rocking chairs, picnic area and outdoor space for volleyball and horseshoes. Locals attend Broadway-style musicals at Hendersonville’s Flat Rock Playhouse Downtown and enjoy rafting and tubing along the French Broad River, which runs adjacent to the community.

WHAT RESIDENTS SAY “We are sitting at our dining room table and we can see out to the Great Smoky Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains,” says Charlie Faure, who retired here with wife Annette Dubrouillet. “It is another beautiful day without a cloud in the sky.” Since they relocated from New Jersey in 2016, Charlie has enjoyed
hiking and playing pickleball, while Annette has joined a book club and hopes to start a knitting group. Though they were not looking to move to a master-planned community, the couple, both 69, are thrilled they landed in this one. “It’s a balance of beautiful scenery, a wonderful climate, happy people and great activities,” Annette says. “It has far exceeded our expectations.”

DEVELOPER Cummings Cove Co. LLC
PRICES $320,000s to $1 million for condos, villas and single-family homes

STATUS 330 homes built of 650 planned on 675 acres

AGE-RESTRICTED No, but the development is targeted toward retirees
INFORMATION Cummings Cove Golf & Country Club, 20 Cummings Cove Parkway, Hendersonville, NC 28739, CummingsCove.com or (800) 958-2905

“It’s a balance of beautiful scenery, a wonderful climate, happy people and great activities, it has far exceeded our expectations.”
— Annette Dubrouillet, who moved to Cummings Cove in 2016

Hendersonville and Cummings Cove Featured in Where to Retire Magazine

IMAGE_1_29062010152144Where to Retire Magazine’s May-June, 2010, issue has an in-depth story about Hendersonville, North Carolina. Writer Jim Kerr describes the city as a town that “combines scenic beauty, historic Main Street and rich culture.” Kerr describes several developments in the Hendersonville area including Cummings Cove where he interviewed two couples who tell their stories of discovering Hendersonville and choosing to live at Cummings Cove. Read the story online, or contact us by phone or e-mail for a print copy. To see what other residents have to say about Cummings Cove, click on Testimonials.

Read the full story online or download the Pdf.

Best for Convenience to City Life

IMAGE_1_03122009130158LINKS Magazine Premier Properties Guide 2009 – In these busy times, sometimes it is difficult to find the time to appreciate life in premier golf communities, which traditionally have been second homes or retirement addresses. These 32 communities are located near jobs, culture, sporting events and other advantages of the city, so residents can enjoy the amenities of golf course living without having to take time away from their busy lives.

Cummings Cove Golf & Country Club
Hendersonville, NC

The owners at Cummings Cove have the best of both worlds: tranquil seclusion in the Blue Ridge Mountains and proximity to the thriving shops, restaurants, galleries and attractions of nearby Asheville.

Learn more about Cummings Cove and the North Carolina Mountain Golf Communities found at this pristine location in the Western North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains.  Click to see great North Carolina Mountain Golf Real Estate Lots and Real Estate Hendersonville NC.

100 Best Master-Planned Communities

IMAGE_1_07122009101223 Where to Retire Magazine – July/August 2009 – As baby boomers retire and relocate, they are discovering homes and lifestyles they previously associated with exclusive vacation properties. As we prepared our biennial list of 100 Best Master-Planned Communities, we can across retiree after retiree who was surprised and delighted to find their dreams came at prices they could afford. A common refried: “It’s more like a resort. Our friends can’t believe it.”

Bill and Honey Wilcox discovered that at Albemarle Plantation in North Carolina, they could get almost four times the water frontage they had at their beach house in Connecticut for the money, and at a tax rate that saved them thousands of dollars a year. “It’s incredible,” Bill says of their new home. And as they economy recovers, he believes their purchase will be a prudent investment.

Almost everyone we contacted had a special reason for the choices they made. “We were going to be snowbirds,” laughs Jane McCabe, who moved to On Top of the World Communities in Florida with husband Jim. When they left for their summer home, they missed the amenities and activities. So they decided to live at On Top of the World full time, building a larger house that was more conducive to a permanent lifestyle. In their neighborhood, a 10-minute walk can turn into an hour as they stop to chat with new friends. “They keep you young here because there is so much to do,” she says.

As we talked to retirees and pre-retirees about their relocation decisions in moving to the 100 master-planned communities, these were among trends we noticed.

More pre-retirees are moving to mater-planned communities to get a jump on the retirement lifestyle while working. Some found they could telecommute for the last few years of their careers. Others were eligible in terms of age to move into active-adult communities and discovered opportunities close to home, with the proliferation of such communities outside traditional retirement states. Thus, they could live where they wanted to retire eventually and still drive to work.

Moving near children and grandchildren remains a major temptation. Many retirees said that they would like to be in the same general area but far enough away to maintain separate lives. Mike and pat Sabo, for example, moved to Robson Ranch in Texas about 25 minutes from their town daughters and four grandchildren. “We’re close enough to see them all the time but not next door,” Mike says.

Some retirees commented that prices of homes in their neighborhoods had dropped significantly in the declining economy, but none expressed regret that they moved when home prices were higher. Some said that while they paid more for their homes than they would if buying now, they also sold previous homes for more than they would if they were selling now. In fact, many said they wished they had moved sooner rather than later. A few did indicate, however, that they economy had somewhat affected retirement plans. Some had put off buying a second home, gone back to work to pad nest eggs or delayed full retirement.

Most communities now recognize that many potential buyers are interested in the environment and want greener homes. It is up to buyers, of course, to determine how green they want their homes. But most developments now at least tout energy-saving features of homes and eco-friendly attributes of neighborhoods, if not outright adherence to strict guidelines of green-building standards. For example, John and Pat Greanias feel good about “doing something for the ecology,” he says. They moved into the first solar home at Trilogy central coast in California, and John checks daily to see if his home is taking from or giving back to the power grid. They save significantly on utility bills, too.

Almost to a person, residents we interview said fabulous neighbors and contributed immeasurably to their happiness at the communities they chose. All said it had been easy to make friends, and that indicates retirees and pre-retirees are doing a good job of matching themselves with the right community. Many noted that by moving to a new community, it was more likely their neighbors also were looking to make friends. “We’re all in the same boat,” retirees said.

Our 200- list has many repeat communities, but there are also new ones, as some previous 100 best designees have sold out. We do have a few caveats. Home prices are subject to constant change, especially in these economic times. We give the range of base housing prices; but these may rise as the economy improves, and some lots command premiums. In considering any community, it’s a good idea to check the financial status of the developer and confirm that common-area amenities such as clubhouse have been completed.

nc master planned communitiesThe Lure: Set in the Blue Ridge Mountains just east of the Great Smoky Mountains, Cummings Cove is a tranquil hideaway, yet close to cultural attractions, restaurants and other amenities. Residents enjoy stunning views from a hilltop clubhouse with restaurant and lounge, an 18-hole golf course and a sports complex, which includes fitness facilities and classes, tennis courts, and outdoor pool and space for massage therapy. A social center adds a setting for activities.

What residents say: “We wanted nice surroundings that were well-maintained, someplace that was serene, and Cummings Cove fits that,” says Lynn Johnson. He and his wife, Erika, both 61, have lived in Hendersonville for three decades but for his retirement this year, they wanted a change in lifestyle and moved last December. “We love it. It’s an extremely friendly community, and we like the location – it’s convenient to Hendersonville, Asheville, Brevard and the (Asheville) airport.”

Price: High $300,000s-$1.2 million for single-family villas and homes.
Status: 300 Homes sold of 700 planned on 650 acres.
Age-restricted: No
Information: Cummings Cove Golf & Country Club, 20 Cummings Cove Parkway, Hendersonville, NC 28739, (800) 958-2905 or www.cummingscove.com.

Best of the Mountains Award

IMAGE_1_07122009103805Pinnacle Living Mountain Homes Magazine – Spring 2009 – With moderate temperatures during all four season and plenty of amenities to keep residents active, this gated community is ideal as a permanent home. In addition to the golf course and a new sports complex with tennis courts, a swimming pool and fitness center, numerous clubs and organizations created by homeowners target a variety of hobbies and interests.

Learn more by clicking to our Real Estate Hendersonville NC for sale in the North Carolina Mountain Golf Communities at Cummings Cove.

Top 100 Communities

ideal2Ideal Living Magazine – Summer 2008 – ideal1Stories about Cummings Cove’s residents share a common theme of people coming from all over the country and abroad and immediately feeling the community’s welcoming and friendly atmosphere. All the amenities you expect to find in a gated golf course community are there and so much more. Hiking groups explore abundant forest trails. “Lunch bunches” sample gourmet fare at area restaurants. Books clubs and card clubs enjoy lively discussions and friendly competition.

From Cummings Cove’s central location a 15–minute drive takes you to Asheville Airport, medical facilities, shopping and top-notch entertainment. Nearby Flat Rock Playhouse in North Carolina’s state theater, and Hendersonville has its own symphony orchestra. The renowned Brevard Music center stars Boston Pops’ Keith Lockhart as Principal Conductor. Although you may go there to get away form it all, it’s nice to know a 15-minute drive opens a world of possibilities.

top 100 golf communitiesWith over 650 acres, Cummings Cove translates dreams into reality, from getaway condos to golf course villas and mountaintop estates. Amazing Blue Ridge Mountain views, towering trees, streams and waterfalls create a magical landscape for golfers and residents. A stone and timber clubhouse is the bud of activity with complete golf shop, Lake Ridge Restaurant for fine dining and Golfhouse Grill & Lounge serving lunch daily. The sports complex provides state-of-the-art fitness center, aerobics, heated pool, large hot-tub spa and three joint-friendly tennis courts. At Cummings Cove, you can get away from it all without giving anything up.

Check out information on Real Estate Hendersonville NC and other tracts of Western NC Land for Sale currently in the gated North Carolina Mountain Golf communities at Cummings Cove.

Southern Living Magazine’s – Readers Choice Awards

IMAGE_1_11122009102038In their annual “2008 Readers’ Choice Awards,” Southern Living’s readers from all over the United States voted and ranked the following on their TOP TEN LIST of southern places:

BEST SMALL TOWN:    Hendersonville–#10

BEST CITY:    Asheville–#8

BEST HOTEL:  Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa–#1


Hendersonville and Asheville regularly appear on “Top Ten” lists in many publications. With a multitude of attractions in addition to its natural beauty, the area continues to draw new residents as well as vacationers. With its covenient location near Hendersonville and just 15 minutes from Asheville Airport, Cummings Cove enjoys the small-town charm of nearby Hendersonville as well as easy access to the larger city of Asheville.

All About Divots

Q: There seems to be confusion among the membership about how much divot mix should be used to fill fairway divots. Is there a proper amount? (Missouri)

A: The proper amount of divot mix (usually sand or a mixture comprised primarily of sand) is surprisingly small because it should be only the amount needed to replace the soil that was removed. Filling divot level higher than the existing playing surface, i.e. turfgrass canopy, is overfilling. Not only is this a waste of divot mix, but the extra sand will slow turfgrass recovery because seedlings and/or lateral regenerative growth of surrounding vegetation will be scalped by mowers. This leads to the second problem when divots are overfilled because sand particles dull and damage mower blades.

Source:  “Fore The Golfer”


Do You Know The Proper Use Of The Word “Green” In Golf?

A good deal of confusion surrounds the use of the word green in proper golf terminology. Should one use “green fee” or “greens fee?” Is it “greenkeeper” or a “greenskeeper?” Exactly what area does the word “green” pertain to on a golf course? And is it the “USGA Green Section” or the “USGA Greens Section?”

Green is a noun and has two proper golf meanings. The first meaning is chiefly of Scottish origin. It simply defines all territory of a golf course, or all areas outside the confines of the clubhouse. Thus, it can be used in relation to all outdoor areas of a golf course. The second meaning, most readily known to modern audiences, means the area of short grass surrounding a hole. This area is generally mown and rolled to the smoothest possible texture. In keeping with the first meaning, a greenkeeper is someone whose responsibilities entail maintaining all areas of the golf course outside the clubhouse. The term was changed to golf course superintendent in the United States several decades ago.

In most cases of using the word green in golf terminology, the use should be singular. Green fee, greenkeeper, green committee, and USGA Green Section are all correct uses.
One final word on this subject. Green, in proper golf terminology, does NOT refer to any particular color found on a golf course. It only applies to areas or regions of a golf course.

Use this information to impress your less knowledgeable golfing friends!


Courtesy of The USGA Green Section Record