Welcome to “The Villages Florida Guide”.
Many of our site visitors are “newbys” when it comes to The Villages. This section will give you a bit of historical perspective.
The Villages is a planned retirement community located in Sumter, Lake and Marion Counties in central Florida. 8,333 people were residents of The Villages as of the 2000 census but today approximately 80,000 people call The Villages “home”.
The Villages, Florida is the fastest growing retirement in the United States. The majority of the population at The Villages, Florida is 65 or older (roughly 54 percent) followed by the 45 to 64 year age bracket at 40 percent.
Michigan businessman Harold Schwartz and his business partner Al Tarrson began selling tracts of land through mail order in the 1960s in the area that would become The Villages.
Unfortunately a law passed in 1968 would ban mail order sale of real estate in Florida. As a result, Schwartz and Tarrson were left with a large amount of land. They developed Orange Blossom Gardens, a mobile home park located in Lake County.
Sales, however were slow. Moving into the 1980s, only 400 units had sold. Harold Schwartz made the decision to buy out Tarrson. He brought his son H. Gary Mose into the business.
Morse noticed that other retirement communities in Florida offered many amenities and were on well kept land. These successful developments were centrally located to commercial areas, offering residents a major convenience. This gave Morse the idea to upgrade the properties he and his father already owned. This lead to an increase in sales by the mid 1980s.
As a result of this success, Schwartz bought more land in Marion and Sumter counties for further expansion. They developed these areas as well, making them attractive to seniors.
The name of the property was officially changed to The Villages in 1992. Expansion and development continued. This lead to further sales and success. Amenities such as tennis courts, swimming pools. well maintained golf courses, recreation centers and golf cart trails would eventually be added.
Today relatives of Harold Schwartz and his son are in charge of many aspects of The Villages. The basic premise that lead to its success still exists today.