Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

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spartanswami
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Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by spartanswami »

There are a lot of lagoon communities coming up in Florida in Wesley Chapel, San Antonio, Parrish etc. Since I'm looking to move there after retirement in a few years, I'm interested to hear if folks on the forum have any thoughts or personal experiences to share about such lagoon communities.

Is it wise to buy directly from the builder now? These are huge sub-divisions and supply seems plentiful but so does the demand. Am I likely to be priced out if I wait a few years until retirement? Are the lagoon amenities truly as attractive as advertised?
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Cocoa Beach Bum
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by Cocoa Beach Bum »

I see that "Lagoon Communities" are currently a 'thing' according to the WSJ:
Their Home Has Water Views and a Sandy Beach—And It’s Nowhere Near the Ocean.

I, personally, have no experience with any Lagoon Communities.
“How did you go bankrupt?" "Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”
LittleMaggieMae
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by LittleMaggieMae »

How expensive is it to maintain a man made lagoon? I assume the lagoons are man made. How stinky/Mosquito-y or buggy does it get when the water level drops? What happens when an overabundance of rain happens (and it happens more than you think in some areas of Florida).
Will these create new "flood plains" in surrounding areas? I almost bought a very nice townhouse in a moderately priced up and coming area near Fort Myers FL historically the area didn't have much in the way of flooding but with a lot of recent building the unthinkable happened with just a plain old Tropical storm that dumped a lot more rain that was typical - widespread flooding of homes for the first time in, well ever. I got lucky with my timing.
And that's what kicked off all my "uneducated guesses" about lagoon living.

Kind of reminds of Cape Coral with it's man made "canals". Which are kind of cool - if you have a boat, you have a personal dock for it at your house and access to various waterways and the Gulf. Not sure what kind of issues the residents have to deal with because of the man made canals.

Yeah, I got nothing. Just posting thoughts.

PS. I'd make sure your house is up on a rise of fill/land to help avoid flooding. Better to have your own personal island than to be underwater when an "weather event" sends lots of rain/water your way. :) You don't have to be near the coast for flooding to happen. Florida is very flat.
eri
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by eri »

Close your eyes and imagine what it might look like in 20 years. Some problem with hoa? I’m thinking of the beachfront condos where no one would vote to pay for maintainance. Combined with storms and sea level rise it’s hard to imagine these projects aging well.

Reminds me of those beach projects in Dubai.
Cruise
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by Cruise »

Make sure that these bodies of water are not formed by sinkholes that are part of karst formations. The State of Florida has detailed maps for the entire state.
mw1739
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by mw1739 »

I think the WSJ has covered these a couple times in the last year, so they must be getting more popular. Looks interesting, but I also question the long-term prospects once all the homes are sold. I deal with our HOA pool, which is a constant money pit. Make sure the HOA is adequately funding reserves to maintain and preserve the pool.
chassis
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by chassis »

Beware high HOA fees and large maintenance assessments if you expect to live long there long enough (10+ years).
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by jebmke »

eri wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 12:37 am Close your eyes and imagine what it might look like in 20 years. Some problem with hoa? I’m thinking of the beachfront condos where no one would vote to pay for maintainance. Combined with storms and sea level rise it’s hard to imagine these projects aging well.

Reminds me of those beach projects in Dubai.
Indeed. I can give people a tour of the county in MD south of me. Large areas where I used to walk and go birding 15 years ago are now gone. I think the county is third largest in the state and projected to be 11th in another 20 years. I was down to Hooper’s Island just last Sunday. Some parts of the road were flooded. One guy for sure isn’t leaving. He has his house jacked up 20 feet to install pylons and a floating dock around his house.
Last edited by jebmke on Thu Feb 08, 2024 5:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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HomeStretch
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by HomeStretch »

Are alligators an issue with man-made lagoons as they are with other bodies of water in FL?
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by jebmke »

HomeStretch wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 5:52 am Are alligators an issue with man-made lagoons as they are with other bodies of water in FL?
Alligators and snakes can get in eventually, yes.
Stay hydrated; don't sweat the small stuff
PMQ Magoo
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by PMQ Magoo »

You may want to rent for a year before you take the plunge. I owned a home down in Florida in a community that we used for a winter get away.(2017-2023) We thought we would love it down there, but it turns out we didn't like the crowds of people.We use to go grocery shopping at 6 am to avoid the crowds on the road and in the stores. There were times where I couldn't get a parking space in the grocery store lot. We were in a community named Stone Creek in Ocala. It's a beautiful community. However, the neighboring homes were too close for us. We thought we would get use to the close homes, but we didn't. You can't do anything in your yard without a neighbor coming over asking what you're doing. We were on the water (a man made pond) which was nice until the sink holes started happening. Make sure you research the prices of insurance in Florida. Home and Auto insurance have gone through the roof. Also, Medicare supplement costs are double what we pay in the northern states. We didn't like it in Florida, but maybe you will. My only advise would be to rent to be sure you will like living there 12 months of the year.
ETK517
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by ETK517 »

Seems like some people think these "lagoons" are like manmade ponds, but if you read the WSJ article, they are actually gigantic pools with chemically-treated water. Bugs and the like shouldn't be an issue.
Bcdkgf
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by Bcdkgf »

My husband and I looked at the one in San Antonio, Florida. Really a fake lined lake with some kind of filtration system. I could imagine the fees to maintain it would go up over the years as it malfunctions. HOA fees make you pay for it, regardless if you use it, outsiders can use it as well for a fee. If I want to canoe, or swim like that, I would canoe on a natural river and swim in a clean bubbling spring. There are also community development district bonds that you pay for with your real estate taxes. This was a no go for us.
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smitcat
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by smitcat »

PMQ Magoo wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 6:03 am You may want to rent for a year before you take the plunge. I owned a home down in Florida in a community that we used for a winter get away.(2017-2023) We thought we would love it down there, but it turns out we didn't like the crowds of people.We use to go grocery shopping at 6 am to avoid the crowds on the road and in the stores. There were times where I couldn't get a parking space in the grocery store lot. We were in a community named Stone Creek in Ocala. It's a beautiful community. However, the neighboring homes were too close for us. We thought we would get use to the close homes, but we didn't. You can't do anything in your yard without a neighbor coming over asking what you're doing. We were on the water (a man made pond) which was nice until the sink holes started happening. Make sure you research the prices of insurance in Florida. Home and Auto insurance have gone through the roof. Also, Medicare supplement costs are double what we pay in the northern states. We didn't like it in Florida, but maybe you will. My only advise would be to rent to be sure you will like living there 12 months of the year.
"Also, Medicare supplement costs are double what we pay in the northern states."
Not sure which Northern state you are referring to but some are higher, link here...
https://www.medigap.com/faqs/medicare-c ... %20monthly.

"Home and Auto insurance have gone through the roof."
Auto insurance is affected more by exact zip code then state.
Home insurance is also affected by exact location as well as details on the construction.
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by jebmke »

ETK517 wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 7:43 am Seems like some people think these "lagoons" are like manmade ponds, but if you read the WSJ article, they are actually gigantic pools with chemically-treated water. Bugs and the like shouldn't be an issue.
Sounds like a superfund site
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JoeNJ28
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by JoeNJ28 »

ETK517 wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 7:43 am Seems like some people think these "lagoons" are like manmade ponds, but if you read the WSJ article, they are actually gigantic pools with chemically-treated water. Bugs and the like shouldn't be an issue.
Oh that’s got to be healthy.
ETK517
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by ETK517 »

JoeNJ28 wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 8:57 am
ETK517 wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 7:43 am Seems like some people think these "lagoons" are like manmade ponds, but if you read the WSJ article, they are actually gigantic pools with chemically-treated water. Bugs and the like shouldn't be an issue.
Oh that’s got to be healthy.
Seems kind of like the land version of a cruise ship to me but different strokes...
goonie
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by goonie »

As others have mentioned, I'm wondering how costs are kept under control and how HOA fees are affected. Obviously, this is much more than just a neighborhood pool. It's basically a mini water park.
peterw
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by peterw »

Challenges of living by any body of water in Florida, even a lagoon, given rising temperatures are most notably algae blooms and cyanobacteria. See https://www.orlandosentinel.com/2023/06 ... ommentary/

And, if you are not careful, you or your pets may become subject to potential predation by gators. Not their fault. We have encroached on their spaces.

[EDITING to say maybe the above issues are not likely in lagoon communities because of chemical suppression of nature's processes.]

Other issues, some of which are also noted also in this thread:
- Many superfund sites across the state
- Home of the fertilizer industry which pollutes water leading to algae blooms, red tide, etc. ... in case you are an avid beachgoer
- High HOA and property taxes (someone also mentioned high cost of Medicare premiums and auto insurance)
- Sinkholes > Florida (as a place to live) sits on porous rock and has what is known as sinkhole alley. In places, saltwater is making its way into aquifers. There is no state regulation that says builders must disclose this risk, as far as I know... so look into this.
- Mosquitoes (maybe not if the water is heavily chemically treated, but that brings with it its own share of issues in terms of the breathability of the surrounding air)
- High humidity which makes hot feel hotter
- Only two seasons (ants season and no ants season)
- Heatwave intensity increasing... like in Arizona, it may in the future become difficult to get out in the summer months because of the risk of heatstroke, especially in the case of the elderly
- Zero or near-zero lots (okay if you want to hand-hold with your neighbor through open windows :) )
- Home insurers being increasngly unwilling to take on risk, and if so, only at high premiums
- Hurricanes
- Home builder activity (filling water bodies to build communities) increases flooding risk
- Affortability of housing and poor-quality construction -- potentially an issue depending on where you want to go and how much you can pay

Benefits:
- Year-round warm weather...sunshine state
- No state taxes

Scientists have predicted that in 10-20 years, there will be a reverse migration to the Midwest where temperatures are steadily becoming warmer, perhaps in reaction to the many real and possible issues noted above. This means, when you sell to move -- if you decide it is not for you later on -- you run the risk of selling at a significant loss and may have to buy at a higher cost wherever you are moving.
Last edited by peterw on Thu Feb 08, 2024 11:52 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by Pops1860 »

This thread has been moved to the "Personal Consumer Issues” forum. Moderator Pops1860
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SouthernInvestor
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by SouthernInvestor »

All these naysayers. They look pretty neat. Otherwise, don't know anything about them.

Only other comment is my standard condo comment, namely any HOA supported activity is much more affordable with more units rather than less (but alas, more crowded).
peterw
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by peterw »

SouthernInvestor wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 11:13 am All these naysayers. They look pretty neat. Otherwise, don't know anything about them.

Only other comment is my standard condo comment, namely any HOA supported activity is much more affordable with more units rather than less (but alas, more crowded).
We ignore reality at our own peril. I don't claim to know everything and clearly can't predict the future. Just my two cents and gut feel about where things may be headed. Everybody has their biases when providing advice, but some of what has been shared here are real issues that people are facing today. You can look all of it up. Just ask Google God.
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by csm »

HomeStretch wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 5:52 am Are alligators an issue with man-made lagoons as they are with other bodies of water in FL?
Absolutely. One can expect alligators and snakes in any body of water in Florida.
peterw
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by peterw »

I assume if a water body is heavily loaded with chemicals, they will choose not to live in or near it. They're smarter than humans.

If they do make these lagoons their home -- because we're filling up up their swamps and building our houses on them --, they might not find anything to eat in chemical-loaded waters and therefore go after other prey such as us. Who can blame them and why should they be killed for it? (Why doesn't "treat thy neighbor as thyself" apply to our fellow inhabitants of this beautiful planet? Wish humans could be kinder and more responsible than we are.)
Last edited by peterw on Thu Feb 08, 2024 1:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by jebmke »

csm wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 12:34 pm
HomeStretch wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 5:52 am Are alligators an issue with man-made lagoons as they are with other bodies of water in FL?
Absolutely. One can expect alligators and snakes in any body of water in Florida.
I'm in MD. No gators but I've fished snakes, snapping turtles and various mammals out of the (chlorinated) pool. The mammals often die from the cold but the snappers and the snakes are unfazed by it.

IMO one should not be put off by wildlife but be aware and respect their space. They were here first (except the invasives - in which case, no mercy)
Stay hydrated; don't sweat the small stuff
smitcat
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by smitcat »

peterw wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 12:50 pm I assume if a water body is heavily loaded with chemicals, they will choose not to live in or near it. They're smarter than humans.

If they do make these lagoons their home -- because we're filling up up their swamps and building our houses on them --, they might not find anything to eat in chemical-loaded waters and therefore go after other prey such as us. Who can blame them and why should they be killed for it? (Why doesn't "treat thy neighbor as thyself" apply to our fellow inhabitants of this beautiful planet? Wish humans could be kinder and more responsible than we are.)
"they might not find anything to eat in chemical-loaded waters and therefore go after other prey such as us"
Fact - you are much more likely to get killed by a cow than an alligator.
Same with dogs, horses, spiders, deer, bees and even vending machines - alligators are well down the list.
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by PMQ Magoo »

smitcat wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 8:24 am
PMQ Magoo wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 6:03 am You may want to rent for a year before you take the plunge. I owned a home down in Florida in a community that we used for a winter get away.(2017-2023) We thought we would love it down there, but it turns out we didn't like the crowds of people.We use to go grocery shopping at 6 am to avoid the crowds on the road and in the stores. There were times where I couldn't get a parking space in the grocery store lot. We were in a community named Stone Creek in Ocala. It's a beautiful community. However, the neighboring homes were too close for us. We thought we would get use to the close homes, but we didn't. You can't do anything in your yard without a neighbor coming over asking what you're doing. We were on the water (a man made pond) which was nice until the sink holes started happening. Make sure you research the prices of insurance in Florida. Home and Auto insurance have gone through the roof. Also, Medicare supplement costs are double what we pay in the northern states. We didn't like it in Florida, but maybe you will. My only advise would be to rent to be sure you will like living there 12 months of the year.
"Also, Medicare supplement costs are double what we pay in the northern states."
Not sure which Northern state you are referring to but some are higher, link here...
https://www.medigap.com/faqs/medicare-c ... %20monthly.

"Home and Auto insurance have gone through the roof."
Auto insurance is affected more by exact zip code then state.
Home insurance is also affected by exact location as well as details on the construction.
From personal experience, our Medicare supplement premiums were quoted at $238.58 for Florida, and only $127.39 for Michigan. Not quite double, but close enough. Our home insurance in Michigan for a 3000 sq, ft home is $948 a year, our small Florida home (1600 sq.ft) was $2150 a year. Regardless what our experience and costs were, anyone considering moving to Florida needs to do some homework before moving down there.
PMQ Magoo
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by PMQ Magoo »

PMQ Magoo wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 5:59 am
smitcat wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 8:24 am
PMQ Magoo wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 6:03 am You may want to rent for a year before you take the plunge. I owned a home down in Florida in a community that we used for a winter get away.(2017-2023) We thought we would love it down there, but it turns out we didn't like the crowds of people.We use to go grocery shopping at 6 am to avoid the crowds on the road and in the stores. There were times where I couldn't get a parking space in the grocery store lot. We were in a community named Stone Creek in Ocala. It's a beautiful community. However, the neighboring homes were too close for us. We thought we would get use to the close homes, but we didn't. You can't do anything in your yard without a neighbor coming over asking what you're doing. We were on the water (a man made pond) which was nice until the sink holes started happening. Make sure you research the prices of insurance in Florida. Home and Auto insurance have gone through the roof. Also, Medicare supplement costs are double what we pay in the northern states. We didn't like it in Florida, but maybe you will. My only advise would be to rent to be sure you will like living there 12 months of the year.
"Also, Medicare supplement costs are double what we pay in the northern states."
Not sure which Northern state you are referring to but some are higher, link here...
https://www.medigap.com/faqs/medicare-c ... %20monthly.

"Home and Auto insurance have gone through the roof."
Auto insurance is affected more by exact zip code then state.
Home insurance is also affected by exact location as well as details on the construction.
From personal experience, our Medicare supplement premiums were quoted at $238.58 for Florida, and only $127.39 for Michigan. Not quite double, but close enough. Our home insurance in Michigan for a 3000 sq, ft home is $948 a year, our small Florida home (1600 sq.ft) was $2150 a year. Regardless what our experience and costs were, anyone considering moving to Florida needs to do some homework before moving down there.
I forgot to mention, when we purchased our home in 2017 in Florida, our home insurance was $650/yr. Yes, prices have gone up every where, but it seems in Florida, they have inflated much faster. Just my personal experience. :happy
smitcat
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by smitcat »

PMQ Magoo wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 5:59 am
smitcat wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 8:24 am
PMQ Magoo wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 6:03 am You may want to rent for a year before you take the plunge. I owned a home down in Florida in a community that we used for a winter get away.(2017-2023) We thought we would love it down there, but it turns out we didn't like the crowds of people.We use to go grocery shopping at 6 am to avoid the crowds on the road and in the stores. There were times where I couldn't get a parking space in the grocery store lot. We were in a community named Stone Creek in Ocala. It's a beautiful community. However, the neighboring homes were too close for us. We thought we would get use to the close homes, but we didn't. You can't do anything in your yard without a neighbor coming over asking what you're doing. We were on the water (a man made pond) which was nice until the sink holes started happening. Make sure you research the prices of insurance in Florida. Home and Auto insurance have gone through the roof. Also, Medicare supplement costs are double what we pay in the northern states. We didn't like it in Florida, but maybe you will. My only advise would be to rent to be sure you will like living there 12 months of the year.
"Also, Medicare supplement costs are double what we pay in the northern states."
Not sure which Northern state you are referring to but some are higher, link here...
https://www.medigap.com/faqs/medicare-c ... %20monthly.

"Home and Auto insurance have gone through the roof."
Auto insurance is affected more by exact zip code then state.
Home insurance is also affected by exact location as well as details on the construction.
From personal experience, our Medicare supplement premiums were quoted at $238.58 for Florida, and only $127.39 for Michigan. Not quite double, but close enough. Our home insurance in Michigan for a 3000 sq, ft home is $948 a year, our small Florida home (1600 sq.ft) was $2150 a year. Regardless what our experience and costs were, anyone considering moving to Florida needs to do some homework before moving down there.
And ours is less for GAP insurance, the same for home inusrance and much less for property tax,sales tax, utilities, income tax, fees and registrations, etc - yes everyone should check out their own situations.
smitcat
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by smitcat »

PMQ Magoo wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 6:18 am
PMQ Magoo wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 5:59 am
smitcat wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 8:24 am
PMQ Magoo wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 6:03 am You may want to rent for a year before you take the plunge. I owned a home down in Florida in a community that we used for a winter get away.(2017-2023) We thought we would love it down there, but it turns out we didn't like the crowds of people.We use to go grocery shopping at 6 am to avoid the crowds on the road and in the stores. There were times where I couldn't get a parking space in the grocery store lot. We were in a community named Stone Creek in Ocala. It's a beautiful community. However, the neighboring homes were too close for us. We thought we would get use to the close homes, but we didn't. You can't do anything in your yard without a neighbor coming over asking what you're doing. We were on the water (a man made pond) which was nice until the sink holes started happening. Make sure you research the prices of insurance in Florida. Home and Auto insurance have gone through the roof. Also, Medicare supplement costs are double what we pay in the northern states. We didn't like it in Florida, but maybe you will. My only advise would be to rent to be sure you will like living there 12 months of the year.
"Also, Medicare supplement costs are double what we pay in the northern states."
Not sure which Northern state you are referring to but some are higher, link here...
https://www.medigap.com/faqs/medicare-c ... %20monthly.

"Home and Auto insurance have gone through the roof."
Auto insurance is affected more by exact zip code then state.
Home insurance is also affected by exact location as well as details on the construction.
From personal experience, our Medicare supplement premiums were quoted at $238.58 for Florida, and only $127.39 for Michigan. Not quite double, but close enough. Our home insurance in Michigan for a 3000 sq, ft home is $948 a year, our small Florida home (1600 sq.ft) was $2150 a year. Regardless what our experience and costs were, anyone considering moving to Florida needs to do some homework before moving down there.
I forgot to mention, when we purchased our home in 2017 in Florida, our home insurance was $650/yr. Yes, prices have gone up every where, but it seems in Florida, they have inflated much faster. Just my personal experience. :happy
Our home insurance is going up just about the same as in the NE.
Both of those homes have doubled in value, just our experience.
Sorry you owned a home for 6 years in a location you did not like - we would have sold much faster.
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by tennisplyr »

While this site has received some knocks, you may want to check it out.

http://www.city-data.com/forum/
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by SuzBanyan »

spartanswami wrote: Wed Feb 07, 2024 8:56 pm There are a lot of lagoon communities coming up in Florida in Wesley Chapel, San Antonio, Parrish etc. Since I'm looking to move there after retirement in a few years, I'm interested to hear if folks on the forum have any thoughts or personal experiences to share about such lagoon communities.

Is it wise to buy directly from the builder now? These are huge sub-divisions and supply seems plentiful but so does the demand. Am I likely to be priced out if I wait a few years until retirement? Are the lagoon amenities truly as attractive as advertised?
It is usually a good idea to wait to purchase your retirement home until you are have retired or are on the cusp. Things happen and what may seem like a certain move now, may be less certain when you are ready. Health and family issues can certainly cause you to change course.

As whether you will be priced out, the WSJ stated that buyer’s are paying a premium of $50 to $100k to buy and are paying large HOA fees (one location had a $400/month fee for just the “lagoon” and related amenities). In a rational market, I would expect that house prices will stabilize as maintenance fees increase. I live in a retirement community in a zip code that was the last area where Bay Area real estate prices were still climbing last summer. Those prices seemed to have recently stabilized as HOA fees increased substantially due to insurance costs.

Waiting will also give you a better feeling for how much you like the amenities in one community versus another as each matures. Public access seems to be a bit of a double-edged sword as day-use fees lower the cost to residents but increases the crowding. Over time, different communities may balance these issues in a different manner.
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by jebmke »

SuzBanyan wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 9:29 am It is usually a good idea to wait to purchase your retirement home until you are have retired or are on the cusp. Things happen and what may seem like a certain move now, may be less certain when you are ready. Health and family issues can certainly cause you to change course.
We didn't buy until a year after we moved here. In retrospect, I often think we should have waited longer. Your perspective changes after retirement and after settling into an area for a while and seeing it from a local perspective that you can't get in short bursts.
Stay hydrated; don't sweat the small stuff
goonie
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by goonie »

The Metro Development Group of Tampa is planning on building yet another lagoon in the north Tampa suburbs of Pasco County. This time in their new Angeline community in Land O' Lakes. That's in addition to the 2 other lagoons it has already built nearby - one in the Epperson community in Wesley Chapel (opened in 2018) and another in the Mirada development in San Antonio (opened in 2023). All 3 towns (Land O' Lakes, Wesley Chapel, and San Antonio) are near each other in the north Tampa suburbs of Pasco County.

I guess they're banking on all of these being successful because there aren't any beaches near there. The closest beach is Clearwater, which is an hour or more away.

Will the local population support this many lagoon water parks? Or will they struggle to maintain financial viability and pass more and more of the cost on to the community/development HOAs?

I know that's a growing area but as a prospective homebuyer, I would still have my concerns about how the costs for these water parks will be paid for. This is something I would want to investigate more before buying a home in one of these communities/developments.
csm
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by csm »

jebmke wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 12:53 pm
csm wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 12:34 pm
HomeStretch wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 5:52 am Are alligators an issue with man-made lagoons as they are with other bodies of water in FL?
Absolutely. One can expect alligators and snakes in any body of water in Florida.
I'm in MD. No gators but I've fished snakes, snapping turtles and various mammals out of the (chlorinated) pool. The mammals often die from the cold but the snappers and the snakes are unfazed by it.

IMO one should not be put off by wildlife but be aware and respect their space. They were here first (except the invasives - in which case, no mercy)
I agree with you. I find the alligators delightful in our small Florida town. I was only commenting that they should be expected. We see one or two nearly every day on our walks past manmade lakes and retention ponds, the water features on the golf course, etc.

Unfortunately, when they reach a certain size they are "relocated" as nuisances. It is disheartening to hear when people taunt them or feed them, or call to have them removed because they were walking their tiny dog near the water's edge at dusk and the inevitable happens.
jebmke
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by jebmke »

csm wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 2:12 pm
jebmke wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 12:53 pm
csm wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 12:34 pm
HomeStretch wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 5:52 am Are alligators an issue with man-made lagoons as they are with other bodies of water in FL?
Absolutely. One can expect alligators and snakes in any body of water in Florida.
I'm in MD. No gators but I've fished snakes, snapping turtles and various mammals out of the (chlorinated) pool. The mammals often die from the cold but the snappers and the snakes are unfazed by it.

IMO one should not be put off by wildlife but be aware and respect their space. They were here first (except the invasives - in which case, no mercy)
I agree with you. I find the alligators delightful in our small Florida town. I was only commenting that they should be expected. We see one or two nearly every day on our walks past manmade lakes and retention ponds, the water features on the golf course, etc.

Unfortunately, when they reach a certain size they are "relocated" as nuisances. It is disheartening to hear when people taunt them or feed them, or call to have them removed because they were walking their tiny dog near the water's edge at dusk and the inevitable happens.
they can be useful in removing tiny dogs :shock:
Stay hydrated; don't sweat the small stuff
Bcdkgf
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by Bcdkgf »

These "Lagoons" are supposed to take the place of golf courses. In the winter it is too cold to swim, but golf is delightful. We just got back from a round of Pitch and Putt on a glorious Florida Day.
Women and men plan, the Gods laugh.
peterw
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by peterw »

Apparently human technology has caught up with the alligator issue:

"The lagoon itself is something of a technical feat. It is constantly filtered, and there is a vacuum-like machine that runs around it all day, sucking up any foreign matter. The lagoon is monitored by a control center in Florida. It can see any foreign matter almost immediately, like an alligator. That happened once at the Epperson lagoon, but it was quickly detected and removed." - CNBC
rickcrna
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by rickcrna »

The whole State of Florida is one big lagoon.
goonie
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by goonie »

goonie wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 1:27 pm The Metro Development Group of Tampa is planning on building yet another lagoon in the north Tampa suburbs of Pasco County. This time in their new Angeline community in Land O' Lakes. That's in addition to the 2 other lagoons it has already built nearby - one in the Epperson community in Wesley Chapel (opened in 2018) and another in the Mirada development in San Antonio (opened in 2023). All 3 towns (Land O' Lakes, Wesley Chapel, and San Antonio) are near each other in the north Tampa suburbs of Pasco County.

I guess they're banking on all of these being successful because there aren't any beaches near there. The closest beach is Clearwater, which is an hour or more away.

Will the local population support this many lagoon water parks? Or will they struggle to maintain financial viability and pass more and more of the cost on to the community/development HOAs?

I know that's a growing area but as a prospective homebuyer, I would still have my concerns about how the costs for these water parks will be paid for. This is something I would want to investigate more before buying a home in one of these communities/developments.
I confirmed that the general public can buy tickets to these north Tampa lagoon water parks. Also, I learned that there are no lifeguards on duty (they do have lifejackets available). I'm shocked that they don't have any lifeguards.

The same development company (Metro) built another lagoon water park about 45 minutes away from these in Wimauma (south of Tampa, along I-75 going toward Bradenton/Sarasota) and is in the process of building a 2nd one in that same area (in Parrish). The area is another segment of the Tampa Bay metro that isn't close to any beaches (but is a little closer than the ones in the north Tampa suburbs).
Last edited by goonie on Sat Feb 10, 2024 8:36 am, edited 2 times in total.
goonie
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by goonie »

Here are a couple of articles I found interesting regarding one of these water parks in the Houston, TX area:

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/busine ... 466688.php
Several other residents of Balmoral say they were told by either the developer, a builder or a sales agent that the lagoon would be a resident-only amenity.
Johnson said selling passes is a way to help subsidize the cost of running the lagoon until more people are living in the community.

...

“We want to make sure that people in the community can enjoy the lagoon without their HOA dues going up or without fees increasing,” he said. “We had to figure out a way to make sure we could keep it open and keep the prices reasonable for residents.”

https://www.click2houston.com/news/loca ... s-private/
They said they bought into a Balmoral community where they thought they were going to have their own private crystal clear lagoon and water park, the Balmoral Crystal Clear Lagoon And Beach Club.
In addition, Neris said residents of the neighborhood have to pay between $1,200 and $1,600 a year in POA fees for that lagoon and the rest of their amenities.

“We, as homeowners, are being charged this high tax rate and these HOA fees and we are not even able to enjoy the lagoon and bring our kids over. Why? Because it is too crowded a lot of the time with non-residents from the public,” Neris said.

Residents pointed to a wild party that took place at the lagoon Wednesday night, involving dozens of teenagers and other nonresidents.

“They were loud and abusive. They were running through our yards, they were speeding, parking everywhere, all over the place, they were cursing,” said Anita Jones, a homeowner in Balmoral.
goonie
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by goonie »

Another interesting quote:

https://www.wfaa.com/article/money/crys ... 59aee9c608
Dallas-based Trez Capital financed both the first and largest Crystal Lagoon amenities in Texas, both of which are in Houston. The lender also is financing the redevelopment of Collin Creek Mall, which is one of the North Texas projects in which a lagoon is planned.

In the interview that follows, John Hutchinson, president of Trez Capital for the central and southwestern U.S., tells the DBJ why he thinks lagoons hold water from a financial perspective.

...

What’s the key to making a lagoon work, financially, for developers?

There’s only so many that are going to be built because you have to have a big community to support it. You’ve got to be able to spread the cost around.
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galving
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by galving »

LittleMaggieMae wrote: Wed Feb 07, 2024 9:27 pm How expensive is it to maintain a man made lagoon? I assume the lagoons are man made. How stinky/Mosquito-y or buggy does it get when the water level drops? What happens when an overabundance of rain happens (and it happens more than you think in some areas of Florida).
Will these create new "flood plains" in surrounding areas? I almost bought a very nice townhouse in a moderately priced up and coming area near Fort Myers FL historically the area didn't have much in the way of flooding but with a lot of recent building the unthinkable happened with just a plain old Tropical storm that dumped a lot more rain that was typical - widespread flooding of homes for the first time in, well ever. I got lucky with my timing.
And that's what kicked off all my "uneducated guesses" about lagoon living.

Kind of reminds of Cape Coral with it's man made "canals". Which are kind of cool - if you have a boat, you have a personal dock for it at your house and access to various waterways and the Gulf. Not sure what kind of issues the residents have to deal with because of the man made canals.

Yeah, I got nothing. Just posting thoughts.

PS. I'd make sure your house is up on a rise of fill/land to help avoid flooding. Better to have your own personal island than to be underwater when an "weather event" sends lots of rain/water your way. :) You don't have to be near the coast for flooding to happen. Florida is very flat.
The lagoons (detention ponds) are specifically designed to collect the storm water that falls on the impervious surfaces of the subdivision. They seem to have the design correct with several of the newer ones because although the lagoons fill up, all the houses are built up slightly from the street. This provides some additional water collection volume before homes get flooded. Definitely check out your target subdivision to see how it fared in the most recent hurricane or 1000 year rain event.

Bugs are a given in Florida. High water, low water. . . bugs are present.

Yes, if future building is not constructed with adequate design, or if the builders double count the ponds. . . additional runoff could impact you. Though that's more a result of a non-functioning gov't than being in a new lagoon community.

good luck,
galving
WillRetire
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by WillRetire »

This lagoon trend feels like a fad. Is swimming allowed? Is the water clear or murky? If murky, there could be tragic consequences if unable to see a child or person or pet.

Man-made lakes/lagoons are a developer's technique to create water-front properties, and perhaps also to manage drainage.

OP: If I were you, I'd look for a place with a really nice pool instead. Or a place on/near a natural lake with fishing. Whichever one appeals to you. What about a place with a shuttle to the beach?
Gash
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by Gash »

My close friends moved into a Lagoon community two or three years ago. The builder didn't install the liners correctly and water leaked, causing several sinkholes. Last I spoke to them the community had over $4mm in repairs, had to get mandatory sinkhole insurance, and building of new homes has ceased as nobody wants to come close to the subdivision. Their home has been on the market 60 days. No offers.

Good luck!
toomanysidehustles
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by toomanysidehustles »

WillRetire wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 8:50 am This lagoon trend feels like a fad.
I hate biting bugs. I wonder how mosquito/bug mitigation is done. Lagoon living typically means outside living areas are under a screened in porch.

Side question, why do people in the southeast in these communities have their pools covered with screens? Is it because the bugs are so bad?
goonie
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by goonie »

Looks like there's still confusion in some of the posts in this thread. Just to clarify, the lagoons the OP is referring to are not ponds. They're called "lagoons" but they're really just gigantic pools/mini water parks. They have clear, chemically treated water (like you would have in a pool or water park). They don't have the murky, "nature" water that you'd find in a pond, lake, or canal.
Last edited by goonie on Sat Feb 10, 2024 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
THY4373
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by THY4373 »

toomanysidehustles wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 9:00 am Side question, why do people in the southeast in these communities have their pools covered with screens? Is it because the bugs are so bad?
I live in the southern mid-Atlantic region and the bugs in summer are fairly bad here. They are not an issue to me if I am walking, hiking, or biking, but if I am sitting around (like I would at a pool potentially) I am going to get bitten pretty good by mosquitos. I can only imagine it is worse to the south.
goonie
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by goonie »

Gash wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 8:58 am My close friends moved into a Lagoon community two or three years ago. The builder didn't install the liners correctly and water leaked, causing several sinkholes. Last I spoke to them the community had over $4mm in repairs, had to get mandatory sinkhole insurance, and building of new homes has ceased as nobody wants to come close to the subdivision. Their home has been on the market 60 days. No offers.

Good luck!
Yikes, I didn't even think about that possibility.

Pasco and Hillsborough counties (where they've built 3 of the lagoons in the Tampa area and are planning on building another) are 2 of the 3 counties in Florida that make up "sinkhole alley".
dknightd
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Re: Lagoon communities in Florida - Thoughts/personal experiences?

Post by dknightd »

We have friends that live in a Lagoon community in Florida. They seem to be happy.
If I was going to buy there, I'd look for a house on stilts.
Retired 2019. So far, so good. I want to wake up every morning. But I want to die in my sleep. Just another conundrum. I think the solution might be afternoon naps ;)
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