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Get to Know the Gilliams: Finding What They’re Looking ‘Fore’ at Lakeside at Waterman Village

September 9, 2021

Out on the links, you’re faced with many choices: which club to use, which approach to take, which snacks or drinks to grab from the beverage cart attendant. In retirement, you also have to make a lot of important decisions: where and when to downsize, how to secure your future, what type of daily lifestyle you want to enjoy and more. Michele and Jeff Gilliam found themselves deliberating many of those decisions simultaneously. Avid golfers and proactive planners, the duo look forward to frequent tee times and the low-stress future that they’ve been planning for years. And by making a reservation deposit to secure their future home at Lakeside at Waterman Village, they’ve got nothing but soft greens and birdie tap-ins ahead. Michele and Jeff will call Lakeside at Waterman Village in Mt. Dora their next home.           Let’s get to know Michele and Jeff and learn why they’re taking their next step at the brand-new Lakeside at Waterman Village in Mount Dora. Fore!

Planning for more security, less stress

“My lists have lists,” Michele quipped when discussing how much of a highly organized and determined planner she is. So, it’s no surprise that she and Jeff developed a sound plan for their retirement years. It’s a plan—with a slight change—into which Lakeside at Waterman Village fits perfectly. “Our plan was to live here at the house we had built in Dade City, move to an age-restricted community and then later move to a senior community,” Michele explained. “Now we’re actually eliminating that middle step because Lakeside has everything that a 55+ community has, and more, and we don’t want to move again.” “The whole reason for making the move is the security of future care,” Jeff added. “Not that we need it now or plan to need it, but we don’t want to move again because it would be much harder later on.” As Jeff alluded to, nothing can match the peace of mind that having a strong plan for the future gives you. Conversely, the Gilliams’ plan is also about taking something away: stress. “We realized we don’t want the responsibilities of the home with a yard and a pool to maintain. We want less stress,” Jeff said. For her part, Michele will be less stressed once Jeff is done with those chores. “If he never gets on a ladder again, it won’t be too soon!” she joked. The good news for Michele is that she won’t have too much longer to wait, as this new neighborhood will be open in early 2022. Plus, she and Jeff have plenty to look forward to at Lakeside at Waterman Village.

Finding the fairway (and their perfect fit)

“We were happy to find this place because it had exactly what we wanted,” Jeff said. “The complimentary membership to the Country Club of Mount Dora was really one of the things that sealed the deal.” But the Lloyd Clifton-designed championship course with all the fairways they’ll find on it wasn’t the only factor. They look forward to enjoying the paved trail encircling shimmering Lake Margaret, the state-of-the-art fitness center with professionally instructed group classes—plus everything at their disposal at the existing Waterman Village campus. Besides the beautiful setting and luxury, resort-style living experience, Michele and Jeff discovered very quickly that Lakeside at Waterman Village is simply where they’ll fit best. “We started doing our research in 2019, gathering a lot of brochures and materials from quite a few communities,” Michele explained. “We toured a handful of communities, but when we went to Waterman Village, toured The Oaks, and learned about Lakeside, that was it. It had absolutely everything we wanted. A brand-new home, ideal location, the amenities, the future care.” Michele and Jeff even canceled a tour at a different community the next day because Waterman Village and the Lakeside at Waterman Village team made such an impression. “Everyone we met was just so darn happy, the residents at The Oaks as well as the Lakeside management team of Abe, Pamela, Ingrid and Ryan,” Michele shared. “We knew in our hearts that it just felt right; there’s just such a warm sense of community there.” 

Excited to live their best lives

Michele and Jeff have been busy preparing for this exciting milestone and are eagerly awaiting when they can move into their customized Merlin garden home. In the meantime, they’ve also happily gotten the chance to connect with their future neighbors by attending exclusive events for future Lakeside at Waterman Village residents like themselves. “We’ve tried to go to every depositor activity,” Jeff noted. “We feel it’s important to be visible and meet our future neighbors. We want to be part of a tight-knit community.” Based on what Michele has noticed about their future fellow neighbors, they’re in luck. “Everyone seems so excited and really wants to make it a special place from the moment we turn the key,” she said. In addition to the friendly neighbors, the Gilliams are glad that they’ll be living at a not-for-profit community that genuinely puts its members first. “Everything is such a top-shelf operation, and everything is being done the right way and with such transparency,” Michele noted. “What the leadership team of Andrew [Dujon] and Jeff [Bassett] has said is proving to be so true: that we’ll all be living our best lives.” So, yes, for Michele and Jeff that means more time for golf and everything else they enjoy. We’re so excited for when they can tee off on their next adventure when Lakeside at Waterman Village opens in early 2022! — If you’re looking to reserve your spot and secure your best-possible future at Lakeside at Waterman Village, it is strongly recommended to reach out now as fewer than 25 brand-new residences are still unreserved. Click here to contact us and schedule an appointment, or simply call 352-385-1120 today.

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