Harold Schwartz, a Michigan businessman, began selling land tracts via mail order in the area in the 1960’s. Not too long after, the laws were changed to prohibit selling real estate by mail. It started to develop in earnest in the 1980’s when Schwartz brought in H. Gary Morse to run the operation. Morse had a gift for understanding what active retirees were looking for in a lifestyle, and he made sure The Villages had those factors. He was wildly successful, and The Villages Florida has altered forever the backroads travel pattern in this part of the state. Mr. Morse was active in the community until his death in October 2014. In 2016 and 2017 Forbes magazine named The Villages to the list of The 25 Best Places To Retire in the United States. In January 2017, the Holding Company of the Villages announced the purchase of 8,000 acres of land, south of Florida State Road 44 in and around the villages of Southern Oaks and Fenney. In the spring of 2017, The Villages announced a planned acquisition of 2,600 acres north and south of County Road 470 along the east side of Florida’s Turnpike for future development.
The Villages Real Estate Market