After looking at a couple of retirement communities I felt we should take a look at something I felt might be a more likely option in our short term future. Although I know we will eventually end back in a sticks and bricks house I really don’t see us stopping RV’ing anytime soon. What I see s a transitional phase where we would acquire a small home as a base, keep an RV and travel seasonally. With this in mind we went to visit Gold Canyon, Arizona to Superstition Views, a Cal-Am resort.
What appealed to me here were the casita models similar to ones we looked at when we were staying in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas at Bentson Palms. We drove over to the Cal-Am resort and checked in with the sales office. They had three basic models with varying floor plans available to look at. The smallest was 12 feet wide, the middle, another one 14 feet wide and the largest one was 16 feet wide resulting in casitas ranging form the low 600 square feet to just under 900 square feet of living space.
The smallest place we saw at Robson Ranch was over 1,200 square feet so we were curious what we would think about these smaller casitas. Along the tour we felt the smallest one was just a bit too small despite having a floor plan that made it appear much larger inside. We could live in a unit this small but really liked the other two larger casita better than the smallest one.
We happily discovered this trip that we had very similar likes and dislikes about our future living arrangements. We do have some differences but nothing too earth shattering. The biggest difference we have is that I see no need for a second bedroom whereas Sharon would like one. I figure that since these casitas allow for an RV pad alongside the casitas, this would provide us guest accommodations when needed. Sharon also preferred the plan with a laundry room rather than a closet for stackable washer/dryers. She seemed very happy with the plentiful resort amenities although they were on a smaller scale than those at Robson Ranch.
The least expensive were the smallest units starting right at $90,000 and the largest one was just over $100,000 so there would be no reason in my opinion to settle for the smallest one. We would need an additional $10,000 for the full hookup RV pad. We would also upgrade the basic flooring and kitchen options to our tastes and add the optional deck.After a quick tally we found it would be pretty easy to move into a place at this resort for $150,000 or so. Now the downside would be the "lifestyle fee" (they don’t call it an HOA) as they are pricey at just over $500 per month with the likelihood of increasing about $24 per month at each anniversary until year five.However when considering all you get and the fact that you have no real estate taxes it really isn’t all that bad. If a buyer purchases an already built casita, this lifestyle fee is waived for two years whereas a custom built casita has a one year waive of the fee.
The biggest wow factor for us in this area out were the stunning views to be had by spending the additional money for the outside staircase for access to the roof as a patio deck. With the views of the Superstition Mountains I could see us spending a lot of time on that patio for sure…
After our complimentary lunch and tour we noticed while driving back a small pull out along the road that appeared to be a parking lot for a trail. We stopped and sure enough found a nice series of trails that traversed some small hills with those same fabulous views of the Superstition Mountains. There was a lot of color on the trail as many flowers were blooming giving a beautiful contrast to the saguaros and other cacti as well as the beautiful reddish brown hue of the rocks. We did a short loop of less than two miles and wished we had found this trail system earlier..
We have come to the end of our stay here in Mesa and will leave today for Casa Grande. Yes it is only about 50 miles but that is the way I prefer to travel when we can. I am looking forward to Spring and resuming our life on the road again!