A 55+ Community in North Fort Myers, Florida

September - October 2019

Edition No. 22

Welcome!

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Manager's Corner
 

Cathy's headshot

We’d like to wish a very warm welcome to our new community manager, Cathy Winfree! While we’ll miss Darlene, we’re so happy for her as she has been given a promotion to another Hometown America property. Read on to learn more about Cathy.

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Manager's Corner

Cathy's headshot

We’d like to wish a very warm welcome to our new community manager, Cathy Winfree! While we’ll miss Darlene, we’re so happy for her as she has been given a promotion to another Hometown America property.

Cathy brings with her many years of experience in the manufactured housing industry and was even a previous community manager at another Hometown America Florida community. She’s looking forward to managing Tara Woods and is excited to meet all of our wonderful staff and residents.

If you see her out and about around the community, make sure you say hi and introduce yourself!

We're Closed
 

We're closed sign

The Community Office will be closed on Monday, September 2, in observance of Labor Day. However, the sales office may be open. Be sure to check with them about any sales appointments or tours.

Food

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Healthy Fast Food

It seems like health articles tell us to give up our favorite fast-casual chains, but it is possible to eat healthy while still enjoying our top places to grab a quick bite. Find your new favorite meal from Chipotle, Starbucks, Panera Bread, Subway, Panda Express, or Domino’s in this list of healthier options!

One Call Now
 

Hand holding phone

In a crisis, communication is only as good as its delivery speed. That’s why Hometown America is introducing One Call Now to send messages instantly to our residents during an emergency situation. Keep reading to learn how you can get set up.

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One Call Now

Hand holding phone

In a crisis, communication is only as good as its delivery speed. That’s why Hometown America is introducing One Call Now to send messages instantly to our residents during an emergency situation.

Our new alert system will enable the community office to send recorded phone messages, text alerts, and/or emails to the resident contact information on file. The system also allows for two-way emergency communication, meaning residents may respond by pressing “1” or “2.” This will allow us to adjust our emergency response plan based on real-time feedback.

The community office will be sending out test calls in the upcoming months. If you wish to receive text message alerts, you are required to “opt in” by texting ALERT to 22300. If you desire to “opt out” at any point, you may text STOP to 22300, but this will put you at risk of not receiving time-sensitive information. Hometown America strives to provide top-quality service during times of crisis and One Call Now will allow us to deliver this commitment.

Thank You!
 

Thank you graphic

On behalf of the Tara Woods and University Lakes staffs, we’d like to thank everyone who donated to the Tools for School supply drive this past July. Due to your generosity, many students kicked off the school year right– thank you! Keep reading for a message from Florida Regional Manager, Gena Paugh.

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Thank You!

Thank you graphic

Many years ago, several of the all-age communities in Florida banned together to create the "Tools for School" program to collect and distribute school supplies to all-age communities. This year, we brought back the program to University Lakes.

Made up of a unique demographic, 90% of University Lakes residents are Cuban, many of who came directly from Cuba to enjoy the freedoms, education, and opportunities we have in the United States. Many of these residents move to the US without knowing anyone or having family here to rely on. That’s why, this year, we collected approximately 320 various back to school supplies from all of our 55+ communities in Florida and organized for them to be delivered to University Lakes before the start of the school year.

We kept it simple - each community collected only one or two items. For example, one community may have collected 3-ring binders, while another collected rulers and crayons. Every community manager participated somehow, whether that was helping advertise and organize collection efforts or driving to a nearby community to pick up their supplies.

Eventually, all of the supplies were consolidated enough for Franco, the University Lakes manager, to pick up on the east coast and Kelsey, the University Lakes area manager, to pick up on the west coast. Franco and his team had advertised the event for a few weeks before the supplies were delivered and had an open house in the office, where parents and students could stop in and pick up what they needed free of charge.

On behalf of the Florida regional office, we’d like to give a huge thanks to our phenomenal and giving residents at our 55+ communities. We feel incredibly blessed to have so many caring residents. This is just one small example of what they do continually to help others.

- Gena Paugh
Florida Regional Manager



Sales Update
 

Money bag

Keep dry this rainy season under a brand-new roof in this month’s featured home, 19234 Potomac Circle. Read on to see why everyone loves our “Sweet Bay” models.

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Sales Update

Money bag

Keep dry this rainy season under a brand-new roof in this month’s featured home, 19234 Potomac Circle. Everyone loves this “Sweet Bay” model home offering a split floorplan, 3 spacious bedrooms, and nearly 1400 sq. ft. of space. This home also features a two-car garage and a gorgeous lake view overlooking the fountain. For only $173,900, this home is a steal!

Stop into our sales office and chat with our fantastic sales staff, Sam Schmidt and Mary White, and find out how you can become a part of the Tara Woods magic.

Your Health

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Better Night's Sleep

Looking to get a deeper and more fulfilling night’s rest? From regulating your daily schedule to limiting your digital screen time, there are plenty of ways to help you sleep better every night. Check out this list of potential insomnia causes and tips for sleeping easier, your body and mind are sure to thank you.

Hot Dog! What Fun!

Hot dog pattern

We had one hot dog of a good time on National Hot Dog Day, July 21. We celebrated with free franks and fun times with friends and neighbors at the Tiki Bar. Thank you again to our sponsor, Bill Black and Friends!

Exterior Improvements

Man repairing roof

Thinking about making some exterior changes to your home? Before you do, remember to check with the community office and get written approval before starting on any projects. You can pick up an exterior modification form while you’re there. Not sure if your project requires approval? Double check with the office.

Don’t Lose Touch
 

Couple on computer

With new technology and apps, distance no longer prevents grandparents from keeping in touch with their grandchildren. Skype and FaceTime are just the beginning of ways to stay connected. Read on for tips for using new tech to keep in touch!

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Don’t Lose Touch

Couple on computer

With new technology and apps, distance no longer prevents grandparents from keeping in touch with their grandchildren. Read on for tips for using new tech to keep in touch!

  • Beyond Messaging. WhatsApp is a messaging app that will let you stay connected with your grandkids no matter the distance. Like texting, the app lets you send messages, photos, and videos to individuals or groups that you can create. Unlike other texting apps, it can also do calls and video chat. WhatsApp is especially helpful if you or your grandkids live, or are traveling, outside the United States as you have internet access.
  • Digital Photo Frames. Sharing photographs has always been a great way for grandparents to stay connected to their grandkids and digital photo frames, like the Skylight Frame, are improving it. With the Skylight Frame, as soon as a photo is taken on a phone or device, it can be emailed directly to the frame. Being able to share and receive high definition photos in an instant ensures that you won’t miss a moment. The Skylight Frame can also hold enough photos that would require multiple albums without taking up as much space.
  • Facebook Portal. Facebook has long been a way for grandparents and grandkids to stay connected and they have expanded on that connection with the Facebook Portal. The Facebook Portal is a video streaming device that includes a smart camera that follows a person’s movement. One of the most popular uses of the Portal for grandparents is “Storytime” that brings a story to life on the screen as you read classics like Little Red Riding Hood.
  • Working Together. Apps like Scoot & Doodle let you connect with your grandkids and help them with activities. This app works with Google to allow you to work on projects with your grandkids that you couldn’t before, like sketching, drawing, and even helping them with their homework during the week.

To learn more about how technology can help you stay connected, click here. New types of tech are always popping up, so make sure that you stay “in-the-know” and, connected with your grandkids.

Home & Garden

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Become a Composting Pro

If you’re looking to grow your garden and help the environment this year, try composting! It gets the reputation of recycling’s older, more intimidating sister – but it’s not at all. Composting keeps organic items out of the landfill, in your garden, and it’s the best fertilizer your flowers and vegetables could dream of. With these basics and benefits of composting, you’ll be a pro in no time.

Cruisin' into the Fall

Cruise ship

Summer may not be the best season to take a cruise. Autumn offers both great prices and less crowded destinations for travelers. If you’re looking to get the best bang for your buck on your next maritime vacation, keep reading!

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Cruisin' into the Fall

Cruise ship

Summer may not be the best season to take a cruise. Autumn offers both great prices and less crowded destinations for travelers. If you’re looking to get the best bang for your buck on your next maritime vacation, keep reading!

We’ve compiled some of our favorite tips for cruising during the fall months below:

  • 1. Don’t let the season fool you. In many cruise destinations, the weather will still be warm during the autumn months, so you don’t have to sacrifice your tropical cruise for less expensive fares. Plus, more northern destinations will have pleasant weather in addition to beautiful sights like foliage and changing leaves. You get great views and nice conditions, it’s the best of both worlds.
  • 2. Find ways to save onboard. Many cruise companies offer age-restricted discounts. For example, Norwegian offers up to $100 off select cruises for AARP members. You can also save by pre-booking packages for things like drinks and spa treatments. Plus, many solo travelers spend more than needed by booking a standard two-person room. Save by asking for a single room if that works for you.
  • 3. Be your own pharmacy. While many cruises may offer complimentary motion-sickness medication and infirmaries, it’s likely that they only have a limited supply. By bringing your own medications (whether it’s something you take daily or something to bring just in case), you can enjoy your trip uninhibited knowing you have everything you need.
  • 4. Explore the shore. Cruises offer excursions at every port, ranging from swimming with stingrays to walking tours. Using their support program, you can find the excursions you most want to join. These adventures are a great way to see the world while creating memories that will last forever.
  • 5. Cruise Your Way. Interested in more than tropical destinations, drinking, and children scurrying about the deck? There’s a whole host of cruise lines that cater to adults with specifically curated activities revolving around cultural immersion, delicious culinary choices, and other enriching activities. Check out a few of these options here.

If you want more helpful hints like these, click here. Armed with this knowledge, it’s sure to be smooth sailing when planning your next cruise vacation!

Negotiating Tips
 

Man on phone

Negotiation is an important skill and a great way to score discounts on purchases. Yes, you should always research your purchase, but there’s more to it than that. Read on for haggling hacks that are sure to help you get a deal!

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Negotiating Tips

Man on phone

Negotiation is an important skill and a great way to score discounts on purchases. Do your research, explain why you should get the item for a lower price, and see the tips below for the best haggling hacks to help you get a great deal:

  • • Keep Your Eyes Open. When you’re out shopping, stay alert for ways you can save and negotiate. If you notice an item you want to purchase, such as a microwave or mixer, and it has slight damage, like a scratch, ask for a discount. Also, if you are buying more than one of an item, don’t be afraid to ask if there is a volume discount or a bundle deal.
  • • Research Prices. Before you go out to the store or click the purchase button, make sure to research the price of the item beforehand. Comparing the price of a product from various stores can help you find the best deal and the best price. Also, don’t be afraid to ask the salesperson you are talking to if they do price matching, as some stores don’t advertise their policy online.
  • • Make a Connection. You might think shopping online means there’s no way to negotiate the price, however, never underestimate the power of starting a conversation with a customer service rep or live chat. After a few minutes of chatting, you can nicely ask if there is any wiggle room for the price of the item.
  • • Don’t Let a “No” Stop You. When trying to get the best price you can, the first representative might say no or hang up on you, but don’t let this stop you from negotiating. Stay calm and try to get a hold of another representative. When calling stores, this is as simple as calling the customer service line again.

Interested in learning more before giving negotiating a shot? Check this article and go into your next negotiation feeling confident.

Come Socialize
 

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Join us on social media through Facebook to stay updated, see pictures from the latest community event, and connect with neighbors. Our community page is also a great place to learn about sales specials and enter fun contests. Follow us today!

Travel

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Flying Frenzy

Think back to your last flight. Did it strike you odd that people were shouting about overhead bin space, taking off their socks to “get more comfortable”, or just forgetting about common courtesy entirely? The Boston Globe recently investigated our strange flight behavior/rituals and you wouldn’t believe some of the causes.

SafeHaven Insurance

Safe

Hometown America is proud to promote SafeHaven National Insurance Agency, specializing in coverage for manufactured homeowners and renters. Many companies are difficult to work with or do not write policies that provide adequate protection for prefabricated homes. Make sure you are dealing with an insurance company that offers competitively priced policies and the protections important to you. Visit SafeHaven online or call 1-800-536-8999 for a quote.

E-Z Pay
 

E-Z Pay

Take the hassle out of making rent payments with Hometown America’s E-Z Pay. With E-Z Pay, your lot rent will be automatically deducted from your bank account on the third of each month. New sign-ups earn a $10 credit.

 

Entertainment & Leisure

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Don't Miss a Touchdown

Fall brings changing leaves, cooler weather, and the beginning of football season! Catch every second of your favorite NFL games without cable. If you’re looking to keep up with your alma mater or other college teams, we’ve got you covered too. Click here to learn more.