Florida-East or West North or South?

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gdetore
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Florida-East or West North or South?

Post by gdetore » Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:49 am

Hi
This is a half-serious post. I have family in West Palm Beach Area (ie not ON the beach) and I am retiring soon but live in Marin California, pretty much on an earthquake fault. Although small shakes now and then are tolerable (like Florida afternoon thunderstorms) I'm not sure I want to be in the rubble of "The Big One". I like the beach. So which part of Florida is best? Sunsets on the Gulf side? Sunrises on the Atlantic side? (I've worked part time some summers in Daytona and loved sitting on the balcony as the sun rose and the seagulls flew by-that optimistic time of day). But...some wine and a gorgeous sunset dropping into the Bay sounds good too.
Ok, a reality check from those of you who have actually lived there? St. Augustine? The Keys? Panama City? Tampa?
My 60 year old tract house here would net me around $500,000 (one of the benefits of staying put for 26 years) so I don't have to live in a box in the Everglades, but also won't be living in a Miami Vice style drug lord mansion near Donald Trump (retired teachers, even Boglehead savers, don't get much pension)
Thanks for your responses. They don't have to all be serious. There are some pretty funny posters around here.

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Post by Dude2 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:17 am

Well, I've lived and been pretty much all over FL. I think that the change in climate is going to be a big one for you. Therefore, you may want to decide based on that. There are several zones in FL. In Northern FL, i.e. let's say Pensacola or Jacksonville, you are going to get a definite change in the weather in winter (forget about anything called Fall). The coast is going to be your best bet to get some break in the heat. It really cooks inland. I'd compare Gainesville to Memphis in the summer. Land locked, stagnant heat just builds up. On the other hand, as you know, the ocean breeze really helps.

However, reality check on living too close to the water. Salt will destroy everything. Say you live on the East coast and have a house facing East. Everything metal facing that side is going to corrode, including your car, for sure. Need to bear it in mind when purchasing, i.e. get a fiberglass, not metal door, etc. Realize the life of any appliances are going to be reduced.

Central Florida is nice because you are pretty close to everything else. In Orlando you are only an hour or two away from either side, i.e. Tampa or Melbourne. Now you're talking on average that there is one season, Summer. You may drop below 32 degrees a couple of days of the year. That is supposed to make the Orange Juice sweeter. Warmer in winter on the coast than inland. They may never drop below freezing all year. You will get some week long cold spells of maybe 50 degrees. (Talking normal, pre- "global warming" weather).

Tampa and below is where you start to hit "sub-tropical" I think they call it. You can see the vegetation change. Now you are in the Amazon.
Dade county is the big one. If you are used to LA and urban sprawl type stuff, maybe Miami, Ft. Lauderdale is for you.

West Palm Beach/Boynton Beach areas are pretty ritzy. If I threw a brick I would probably hit 5 Mercedes.

I guess we'd need to know more about you to make a call. There are plenty of low-populated, very rural areas. Not sure if that might be your thing.

Any small-medium size city is going to have all the modern amenities of anywhere else in America.

No state tax. Warm all year. Sunshine to fry your eyeballs out. What more do you want?

There are alot of Floridians on the board, so you'll probably get some good replies.

Marin, CA looks like it might be pretty cold in the summer.

rwwoods
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Post by rwwoods » Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:24 am

I lived 10 yrs in Boca Raton 12 miles from the beach, but retired to central Florida 1.5 hrs from the beach. Cost is a big issue as is congestion. The cost of living in The Villages is 10% below the national average and 10% above average in Boca Raton (6 year old data).

SE: There is heavy congestion from West Palm Beach to Miami and it is expensive. Boynton Beach may the be lowest cost area in that region as well as north of West Palm Beach. All of this area is heavly populated by transplants from the NE except for Miami-Dade area where Cuban transplants predominate. Its hard to find a native Floridian in the SE.

Central East: Vero Beach is expensive, with other areas from Stuart to Melbourne at lower cost. Melbourne might be a good location for you.

For some reason, the transplants from the midwest move to the west coast. I find the people there more friendly than in the SE.

SW: Naples area is very expensive and mostly upper class. Fort Myers is a lower cost area, and I found it is is popular with blue collar retirees.

Central West (Tampa area): Bradenton/Sarasota has been listed as one of the best places to retire. The cost is lower than Naples, but still on the high side. Moving north up to Port Richie will lover the cost, but there is only swampland along the shore north of Clearwater until you get to the panhandle.

Panhandle: Great beaches!
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Post by ddb » Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:18 am

I'm not sure I'd be willing to exchange earthquake risk for hurricane risk, and I personally wouldn't be able to stand the Florida summers, especially coming from such a perfectly-moderate climate as you have in Marin.

Plus, I find many parts of Florida to be completely void of character (exception of Miami and surrounding areas, and certain parts of the Keys), certainly compared to the area surrounding San Francisco. But maybe I'm biased, because if I could live anywhere in the world without having to worry about money or proximity to family, I'd live in or around San Francisco.

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Taylor Larimore
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Moving to Miami ?

Post by Taylor Larimore » Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:41 am

Hi gde:

I'll give you a thought:

Miami is just finishing a glut of new high-rise condominiums (many for rent) in its downtown area. They are selling for about half the original price due to oversupply. If that's your style, you could consider renting or buying a luxury condo at a great discount. High taxes and expensive insurance are the downside.

Regarding this statement:
However, reality check on living too close to the water. Salt will destroy everything. Say you live on the East coast and have a house facing East. Everything metal facing that side is going to corrode, including your car, for sure. Need to bear it in mind when purchasing, i.e. get a fiberglass, not metal door, etc. Realize the life of any appliances are going to be reduced.
I've lived in Miami, on the water, facing East most of my life, and I believe the above quote is overstated. In recent years, with improvement in auto anti-corrosion finishes, we have never had auto corrosion problems (and we don't have a plastic door). :)
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Post by four7s » Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:58 pm

If you are thinking of North Florida remember that it is sometimes called South Georgia or East Alabama. It is much more Dixie than other parts of the state. It can be cold in the winter and you can run into a bit of prejudice from the locals toward new people moving in.
The Keys are so laid back you will forget what reality is. You live with the sun. Up early and in bed early. In the Keys they call (jokingly) 9PM midnight. This may be good or bad, depending on what you're looking for. I have lived in both areas and would recommend renting for 3 months in any place you are thinking of moving to.

S&L1940
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Re: Moving to Miami ?

Post by S&L1940 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:17 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:Hi gde:

I'll give you a thought:

Miami is just finishing a glut of new high-rise condominiums (many for rent) in its downtown area. They are selling for about half the original price due to oversupply. If that's your style, you could consider renting or buying a luxury condo at a great discount. High taxes and expensive insurance are the downside.

Regarding this statement:
However, reality check on living too close to the water. Salt will destroy everything. Say you live on the East coast and have a house facing East. Everything metal facing that side is going to corrode, including your car, for sure. Need to bear it in mind when purchasing, i.e. get a fiberglass, not metal door, etc. Realize the life of any appliances are going to be reduced.
I've lived in Miami, on the water, facing East most of my life, and I believe the above quote is overstated. In recent years, with improvement in auto anti-corrosion finishes, we have never had auto corrosion problems (and we don't have a plastic door). :)
my sister is in Jensen Beach which is on Hutchinson Island (Martin & St Lucie Counties). she is on the fourth floor of a beach side condo and her windows are never salt free. the condo has a manual car wash contraption for the owners' cars that are parked outside. compared to further south in Palm Beach or Broward or Miami Counties, the cost here is great if you love the sound and sight of the ocean at your door AND can make do without much in amenities or restaurants. of course a couple more hurricanes like '04 and '05 and she will be at the waters edge (they lost 50 feet of beach)

going south it is like the bell curve -- or tracking market returns -- as the costs go up and down depending where you are along I95. higher in Palm Beach, slightly lower in Boynton and Delray, higher in Boca, lower in some parts of Broward (Ft Lauderdale) and the same bumpy ride as you go thru Miami- Dade. but bare in mind if you have problems or envy associating with retired NYC teachers as a couple taking down $100 K in yearly pensions things can get tense as the area is crawling with them. for me, I just drool a lot...

good luck
Rich

BTW the hurricane threats are an added spice of life since the last three (four?) years have been hurricane free. just waiting for the catch up storm of the century...

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Post by pr » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:36 pm

I am a physician and have lived in FL since the mid 90s.
Finding good healthcare outside the major metropolitan areas can be a real challenge. For that reason alone I would stick to Tampa, Orlando, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Miami and Ft Lauderdale (Broward County).

South Florida is very expensive but has the most to do (all 4 professional sports, theater, opera, etc). I think it depends on your interests. The Tampa/St. Pete area is a nice compromise bet cost of living and things to do. Also, Southwest flies to Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville and Ft Lauderdale which is a major advantage IMO.

Dude2
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Re: Moving to Miami ?

Post by Dude2 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:46 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote: I've lived in Miami, on the water, facing East most of my life, and I believe the above quote is overstated. In recent years, with improvement in auto anti-corrosion finishes, we have never had auto corrosion problems (and we don't have a plastic door). :)
I wonder if this is an issue with where the "trade winds" lie.

Sorry, Taylor, I'm probably coming across a little too extreme in my language. I have had issues with salt, but you are right it isn't anything that amounts to more than having a fly buzzing around my head. (Literally buzzing because that is what the salt causes the transmission lines to do. :) It is not life-altering, but in hindsight I would keep my eye out for builders not doing their due diligence with respect to proper materials and proper painting/corrosion prevention.

True, I think salt on the roads in the Northeast will corrode your car faster than wind salt on the FL coast.

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Post by fishndoc » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:52 pm

Let's see if I can avoid politics here;

Something that I find very puzzling about southern Florida: voters there --political and climate change comments deleted--

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Post by midas3005 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:36 pm

I would vote for Pensacola - Destin, FortWalton - beautiful beaches and sunsets. Watchout for hurricanes though.

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Post by mlebuf » Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:32 pm

My tastes and preferences about Florida are simple: Anywhere north of Ft. Lauderdale is fine. If you like a smaller Southern town, Pensacola is great. I haven't spent any time in Gainesville, but I have friends who live there and love it. Tallahassee is a mixture of culture and agriculture. It's the state capitol and home of FSU. Orlando is a great city and so are Tampa and Jacksonville. If I were moving to Florida, Orlando and Tampa would be my first choices.

I think the idea of renting somewhere you think you may want to live for 3 months is a great one. It no fun buying a place and then learning that you really don't want to be there.

I spent a year in Miami in the mid 1950's as a kid. Other than the mild winter, it was hell. I've been back several times since and left feeling that things have not improved. But as the old lady said when she kissed the cow, "It's all a matter of taste." :D
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Post by wolfbay » Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:41 pm

After we retired we left S Florida for NW Florida.We enjoy the 4 seasons but with mild winters.The biggest consideration was the cost of living. Insurance costs were 40% less. Property taxes on our 2000 sq ft home on 121 acres are only $ 660.00 a year.Those kind of taxes we can afford.

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Post by mathwhiz » Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:01 pm

Considering you are from Marin County and the culture and politics prevelant in that area, you will most likely find much of Florida a cultural black-hole. I don't know if anybody can go from Marin County to Pensacola or Jacksonville or even Miami. Talk about culture shock.

I'd stick to southeast Florida, Gainesville, and Tallahassee.

The problem with Tallahassee is that it's isolated in the middle of nowhere.

Southeast Florida has a high hurricane risk, is very expensive, and is very crowded with all the problems of any major metropolitan area in respect to crime and traffic.

My choice would probably be Gainesville if you can tolerate the summers. The hurricane risk is low as it's in the north central part of the state that rarely gets hit with stronger than tropical storm winds. It's a neat college town with lots of things to do and a progressive outlook on things similar to what you would have in Marin County.

But aside from the town the main thing it has going for it is how centrally located it is within 2 hours to 3 major metropolitian areas of the state (Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa) as well as the Atlantic ocean, gulf of mexico, and numerous state parks, rivers, and springs.

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Post by Ruprecht » Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:28 pm

four7s wrote:If you are thinking of North Florida remember that it is sometimes called South Georgia or East Alabama. It is much more Dixie than other parts of the state. It can be cold in the winter and you can run into a bit of prejudice from the locals toward new people moving in.
I can't speak for North Florida, but I'm originally from north Alabama, in a town with lots of transplants from all over, including half of my own family. I found the most prejudice in the "new people", who seemed eager to broadcast their delusions of superiority over the locals at every turn. The worst were the northeasterners, after that the Californians. The most polite newcomers were the midwesterners, Canadians, Germans and Koreans -- these tended to blend in and become a part of the "locals". I've got a few Korean friends with much stronger southern accents than my own.

I think your comment is invalid.

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Post by diasurfer » Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:51 pm

mathwhiz wrote: Southeast Florida has a high hurricane risk, is very expensive
I would be surprised if anyone from Marin County found south florida to be expensive. I lived in Miami for 8 years for grad school and am very reluctantly considering moving back there after 10 years in Hawaii. (I've been offered a job at UM that may be too good to refuse). Also because I'm still a renter - and the first home that would cost me $600K in Honolulu looks to be going for $250K in Miami, and that number is still dropping at a rate that exceeds anyplace else.

It definitely has hurricane risk though. I'd lived in Miami for all of two weeks when Hurricane Andrew hit. Welcome to Florida!
Ruprecht wrote: I found the most prejudice in the "new people", who seemed eager to broadcast their delusions of superiority over the locals at every turn. The worst were the northeasterners, after that the Californians.
This is very consistent with my experience growing up in Texas surrounded by transplants fond of saying things like "this place is a cultural black-hole". As if there aren't 'rednecks' in every state in the U.S.

But then I guess I don't care much for "Culture" because I don't like to worry about what to wear to the symphony. In the islands, just wear da slippahs brah, mo' bettah! I love it here.

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Post by scuttlebuttrp » Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:53 pm

Ruprecht wrote:I found the most prejudice in the "new people", who seemed eager to broadcast their delusions of superiority over the locals at every turn.
And being a polite midwesterner who's lived here in Jacksonville for 15 years, I've noticed that a few people from the North do have an attitude and the people here in the south seem to think that most yankees will be this way and get highly defensive about way too much until they get to know you. Then you get the treatment you deserve.

And Jacksonville is the nice, family oriented, boring (meaning wild crazy out of control things rarely happen here) part of Florida that gets the fewest hurricanes. Great place if that's your scene.
Royce.

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Post by Eureka » Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:57 pm

I've never lived in Florida for more than a few months but have spent time on both coasts. I much prefer the Gulf, and Sarasota is my favorite part of it. Manatee County (Bradenton) just to the north is a cheaper place to live.

As far as the interior, I don't see any point in living in Florida if you're more than a 15-minute drive from a beach.

Carefully consider what homeowners insurance will cost. I have heard it can be hard to get in some areas and expensive. You'll want to have that part nailed down before you close on a property.

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gdetore
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Post by gdetore » Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:36 pm

Thanks all for vignettes. It's hard to fault Marin, but there's a high price to pay to live in a county that is home is multiple national parks, redwood forests, dramatic beaches and easy access to wine country, Berkeley food, San Francisco culture. It all pretty much costs a lot. The weather is hard to beat-low 40s in winter, 70s in summer. But at least with hurricanes you get out of way. Here beaches are often fogged in (our natural summer air conditioning) and a fixer up starter home starts around 350,000. Not a welcoming place for regular folks. Thanks for all the advice on Florida, my goal is to be able to take a walk on the beach every day. The simple (and less expensive ) life. I have to admit I worry about leaving the foodie culture here-lots of year round farmers markets, local fish fowl and beef-but again, ya pay a price for locavore.
Most people in Marin don't need air conditioning, so that would be an adjustment, but as an old Jersey boy I am used to humid summers and crowded beaches.
Again,
Thanks for the ideas
Gary

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Post by mathwhiz » Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:03 am

Thanks for all the advice on Florida, my goal is to be able to take a walk on the beach every day.
Since beach is a must have, you can wipe off gainesville and tallahassee from my list of suggestions.

That leaves me back to southeast florida.

My recommendation would be north palm beach county specifically around Juno Beach/Jupiter/Tequesta.

$500,000 would buy you a direct ocean front condo in Juno Beach and you probably could get it for lots cheaper than this in this market.

http://www.trulia.com/property/10330721 ... h-FL-33408

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gdetore
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Post by gdetore » Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:52 am

Thanks mathwiz; although we'll take out that much cash when we sell, I think a good chunk of it will be needed to help with ongoing home expenses-taxes, insurance of retired teachers. I could just see Glenn Beck doing a special on retired teachers in condo mansion on the beach! So rolling it into a $500,000. condo would be extravagant (although the trulia condo you linked sure has the beach view I'd like not so crowed either-!)
I'll have to check into Florida taxes (my prop13 taxes are less than $3000 a year, and that's with lots of renovations over the years).
Will hurricane insurance really protect you financially if you are smack on the beach? Last time I checked our earthquake fine print, a really 'big one' that wiped out the fund (and a good chunk of the Bay Area) might mean the insurance company didn't have to pay up. As it is, we would have a $50,000. deductable if we had earthquake insurance.

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Post by HearDoc » Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:57 am

Dude2 wrote: West Palm Beach/Boynton Beach areas are pretty ritzy. If I threw a brick I would probably hit 5 Mercedes.
I think you need to take a look at the demographics of Boynton Beach.
It's NOT on scale with WPB or Boca or even Delray. Much more plebian,
more condo than mansion.

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Post by englishgirl » Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:28 am

I think if you have family in WPB, then you should look into WPB. Depending on your relationship with them, of course. If you are the type of person that will want to visit your family on a semi-regular basis, and have holidays with them, then if you live in the same city, you may end up with a more rewarding, and more frequent, relationship. This could more than make up for any perceived downsides. Of course, if you hate them, you may want to reconsider! :wink:

Personally, I find WPB a great city, and it has really grown on me. You don't have to live ON the beach to be able to visit the beach daily. Look into neighborhoods such as Flamingo Park and South Side. I would think they would be slightly less of a cultural adjustment to someone coming from Marin than going to Jupiter. In Flamingo Park you would be able to walk to downtown. In South Side you can walk along the intracoastal, easily bike to the beach, and take the bus downtown if you wanted. There are farmers markets, but usually only October-April. Northwood is another neighborhood to think about - it's a bit more downmarket than the two others I mentioned, but has a growing restaurant scene.
Sarah

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whitemiata
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Post by whitemiata » Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:33 am

I would recommend Hollywood Florida.

Happens to be where I live, but I'm not the major attraction LOL.

It's located just south of Fort Lauderdale, just north of Miami.

So you have easy access to both metro areas, and fairly easy access to West Palm farther north and the Keys farther south.

Compared to it's northern and southern neighbour it's a traffic paradise (well especially it's southern neighbour... Miami doesn't hold a candle to LA traffic, but Hollywood is Montana compared to Miami) LOL.

The City isn't that big, it's got more character than pretty much everything else around it, there are tons of events that go on, it has a relatively vibrant downtown, is very family friendly, elderly friendly and crime statistics are SIGNIFICANTLY better than either metro area north or south.

It has a fantastic boardwalk that made the top 10 beaches in the country a couple of years back, outdoor cafes right on the boardwalk, cheap eats, expensive eats... whatever it is you want... it's there. Access to the ocean is very easy, there are major thoroughways to get traffic in and out even during massively popular events like the 4th of July Fireworks show or the Candy Cane Parade in December.

Frankly I would call this place my ideal paradise if it weren't for ONE thing that I dont' personally love about it: it takes 6-7 hours of driving to get out of the Darn state(of course this applies to anyone in South Florida). That's the only black mark... I'd like to be able to take the family on nice road trips and the prospect of 13 hours of the driving being just to get out and then back into the florida flatlands quite frankly SUX.

Oh... Orlando is only about 3 hours away, the west coast with it's wonderful sunsets is about 1.5 hours. We have one of the best Library Systems in the country (you will never need to buy another book or DVD LOL), TONS of cultural events (ok, maybe not as much as San Francisco... but we're not Flagler Beach either), 40 minute (15 to the closest of the two) Access to two major international Airports, access to two major Cruise Ports... zoos, botanical gardens, museums, shopping, dining and more. Oh, someone mentioned healthcare as a concern... Hollywood is home to the heart of Broward's best hospital Megalith, Memorial Hospital... and it's core component, smack in the center of Hollywood is a regional Trauma Center with helipads and all the latest doo-dads ... and Jackson, UM's research hospital is only maybe 20 miles away. So we got your health covered no problem.

For more info see: http://www.visithollywoodfl.org/

What else could you want?

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Post by CAP » Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:41 am

I grew up in Florida & still live here mainly because of relatives & the weather. I believe it is a matter of taste & what you get used to as to whether you will enjoy living here upon retiring. I agree with those who suggested renting or a prolonged visit in the area before buying. We live in two areas--South Florida & Central Florida. When I get tired of one area, I just pack up & leave for the other & so forth. I enjoy the change that way-- some culture, the beaches, nightlife, solitude, wildlife, orange groves etc. So if you really decide to leave CA, I would try before you buy. Good Luck!

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Post by arthurb999 » Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:21 am

I lived in Boynton Beach for a couple of years and it was nice.

I would definately rent for 3 month stints and go explore south east and west florida...

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Post by Dude2 » Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:38 am

HearDoc wrote:
Dude2 wrote: West Palm Beach/Boynton Beach areas are pretty ritzy. If I threw a brick I would probably hit 5 Mercedes.
I think you need to take a look at the demographics of Boynton Beach.
It's NOT on scale with WPB or Boca or even Delray. Much more plebian,
more condo than mansion.
Sure. Just the perspective of a person driving through West Palm toward Boca, you just get the idea it is all rich. Please substitute Boca for Boynton Beach in the above quote. Mostly I was referring to the sea of Mercedes you will encounter once you reach West Palm driving south on I-95.

People have brought up some very pertinent considerations for the OP. I think that the culture of FL is far more welcoming and friendly than many of the other areas of the country. However, you are going to have to get used to it, and that might take years.

Floridians don't wear many clothes, for example. The first thing you might think is that men are walking around in their underwear all the time and it is somewhat obscene. (or that people are just show-offs, trying to seem cool). However, as the heat weighs on you, I think you rapidly realize this is just common sense. That's just one example.

The more South and more densely populated the area you go to, you are likely going to be very surprised at first at the proportion of old people. It may really freak you out (even if you yourself are old, it is just something you are probably not used to).

Then there are the thunderstorms and lightning. Very heavy downpours. Occasional tornadoes. Bugs like crazy, reptiles, birds. Roads are straight as arrows and the land is flat as a pancake. You adjust to it all, but it takes time.

I've never been to the SF area, but I have often heard the same sentiment that DDB expresses above.

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Post by Adrian Nenu » Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:51 am

Having lived here since 1977, I recommend avoiding the Tampa-St.Petersburg area like the plague. Also avoid Pasco county, Miami and Orlando.

Anything from Bradenton to Sarasota, Cape Coral, Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs, Naples is fine. Most of the medium-sized inland cities are OK. Don't buy waterfront property (except lakes) because most of it is built on barrier islands which are constantly shifting and will get hammered during a hurricane.

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ryuns
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Post by ryuns » Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:07 am

Don't let the threat of a disaster make your decision for you. On balance with the threat of hurricanes and having your Florida home under water in 20 years, your home in San Raf might just be safer assuming you're at a triple digit elevation. For my part and for a number of reasons, I'd prefer San Raf.

Ryan
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered. -- GK Chesterton

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gdetore
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Location: San Rafael, California

Post by gdetore » Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:55 pm

My son currently lives in Santa Barbara, but unless I win the lottery, that's probably not on my short list. In Marin I live below sea livel behind a levee (built in the 1950s when filling in the bay was seen as progress). So rising sea levels will get me anyway. My brother lives south of Lake Okeechobee (sp?) and it is pretty different from here-plus isn't there a problem with the Lake someday flooding the southern area? I guess every place has its plus and minuses. You've all given me lots to think about, and I hope none of the posts offend people. We all live where we live and make the best of it.
Thanks
Gary

mathwhiz
Posts: 820
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:58 pm

Post by mathwhiz » Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:58 pm

Thanks mathwiz; although we'll take out that much cash when we sell, I think a good chunk of it will be needed to help with ongoing home expenses-taxes, insurance of retired teachers. I could just see Glenn Beck doing a special on retired teachers in condo mansion on the beach! So rolling it into a $500,000. condo would be extravagant (although the trulia condo you linked sure has the beach view I'd like not so crowed either-!)
This one is $375,000. Ocean view Juno Beach. Looks like across the street.

http://www.trulia.com/property/10782336 ... h-FL-33408

And if you are willing to go maybe a half mile or mile inland from the beach, you'll find plenty of listings under $300,000.

These are also the "asking" prices. You could probably knock off 20% or more to get a true market price on many of these.

I would keep your options and mind open. If you could ever afford to live on the ocean in Florida, it will be in this real estate market. Good luck.

carolina
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Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 4:41 pm

Post by carolina » Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:44 pm

My section of Florida hasn't been pitched as yet, so I thought I'd thought I'd add it to the discussion -- appropriate, I think, since you mentioned it in your inquiry and love the beach.

The Daytona Beach area has wonderful beaches. It's one of the most affordable coastal regions of Florida and lacks the congestion of the Tampa Bay or South Florida areas.

Daytona Beach proper wouldn't be my first choice, but some smaller surrounding beach towns such as Port Orange, Ormond Beach and New Smyrna Beach are excellent choices.

Yes, this area has a bit of a honky tonk rep from its days as a Spring Break mecca and its NASCAR roots. Special events weeks, such as Bike Week and the NASCAR events, can be annoying to residents (though they are vital to local businesses so reliant on tourism dollars).

Yet there are more cultural events than you would think, and Orlando is an easy 50-minute scoot down I-4.

I've lived here for 20 years now. Yes, the heat is repressive in the summer. But I love the beach and take full advantage of it, and -- having spent time in all areas of the state -- wouldn't want to live anywhere else in Florida.

My second choice would be the Longboat Key, Siesta Key, Lido key area near Sarasota.

If you're looking to make this move soon, now would be a great time. Prices in the Daytona area are probably 25-30 percent off their highs from a couple of years ago. Some real steals out there.

366Abbott
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Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 10:15 pm

Post by 366Abbott » Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:00 pm

Having lived in both California (Orange County) and Florida (Central Florida between Orlando and Tampa), I would suggest you think long and hard about leaving Cali. Hoping to one day end up back in California. Prices are high, but quality of life is as well.

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MahoningValley
Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2007 12:38 pm
Location: South Florida

Post by MahoningValley » Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:06 pm

Recently the wife and I drove through Alachua,FL just north of Gainsville. Very nice open pasture land and rolling hills. Very upscale farm/ranches. St Augustine is also a very nice place but a little touristy. We live in Ft Lauderdale and can't wait to go to our land up in Clay County for long weekends.

BobB
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:01 pm

Post by BobB » Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:20 pm

I am from California and have lived in Florida now for thirty one years. We have lived in Fort Lauderdale, Tallahassee and in Jupiter for the last 20 years. Jupiter, is a great place to live, miles of beaches and nature preserves, a small town feel, while still in South Florida. I love living within walking distance of the beach. The sea breeezes, walking on the beach, riding a bike on AIA and jumping in the Ocean during the endless summer, all make life good, even during the endless summer. The water is warm and you can actually swim in it compared to the cold Pacific ocean. If you can afford it, I say live near the ocean, the lifestyle is worth the extra expense.

vandering
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 4:01 pm

Florida

Post by vandering » Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:06 am

Agree with BobB. go for water.rent before you buy. Grew up on TampaBay (west coast) great to drop the ski boat off the davits after school and mess around. Has sports.culture.great intl airport. TIA.friendly people. then on to Miami(east coast). UM. beautiful city. much different culturally.need to learn spanish. more crime.need a concealed carry. line for everything.outstanding cuban coffee. crappy airport. friendly people. culture. sports. Rinse Repeat.
Both suck evacing hurricanes but it's a seasonal thing and most ride it out.
Lived for a number of years in Naples and Panhandle P.C.B. These 2 cities are alternate universes. One is pretty,polished,somewhat claustrophobic.No actual Floridians. Lousy overpriced flights. Alas, no private jet :) The other has winter and rednecks and no discernible infrasructure. Rednecks are actually splendid people.
There is no state income tax. Property tax can be stiff. Homestead exempt is only on first 75K. Currently live out of state but have a place on barrier island on Manatee/Sarasota county line. No, I don't consider this a good investment but rather an emotional attachment I picked up 10 years ago when I moved out of state. Yes,any direct CAT 4 will wipe my sandcastle. Because I live out of state, I haven't kept up with intangible tax on stocks etc.which I think is 1500/mill/yr.
I would give serious consideration to your personal tax situation and rent for a while.
Also Florida depends on tourism and property tax for infrastructure which
are currently in free fall with first net out migration in decades so it's a great time to get in there. No irony intended.

JDCPAEsq
Posts: 1835
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Southwest Florida

Re: Florida

Post by JDCPAEsq » Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:59 am

vandering wrote:I haven't kept up with intangible tax on stocks etc.which I think is 1500/mill/yr.
The Florida Intangibles Tax was repealed effective 1/1/07.
John

bog
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Post by bog » Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:30 pm

Suggest you visit Palm Beach/Boca/Miami area in September before you decide. The three H's: Heat, humidity and hurricanes.
Then there is the Naples area: A mausoleum for the living, where old people go to wait to die and everything is over-air-conditioned.
Finally, the Keys: Great to visit, but does anybody with a job actually live there?

JDCPAEsq
Posts: 1835
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Southwest Florida

Post by JDCPAEsq » Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:07 pm

bog wrote:Then there is the Naples area: A mausoleum for the living, where old people go to wait to die and everything is over-air-conditioned.
I "waited" in Naples for 30 years before moving to another part of Florida. The waiting ain't bad - better than my old home town in Western New York... Also, your comment about air conditioning is a new one to me.
John

Rajsx
Posts: 465
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Location: Florida

Post by Rajsx » Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:37 pm

We have lived in Florida since 1990, initial 3 yrs in Bay Harbor Islands/Miami Beach, and then moved to Orlando area.

We have lived in Pittsburgh & Buffalo in the past, so right of the bat, the worst day in Florida is better than the best day in places where sun does not shine.

The effect of the ocean breeze is a definite plus for one's quality of life, although the traffic, crime & the requirement of learning to speak Spanish in many parts of Miami were the major deterrents.

Orlando is a good medium sized city of a little more than a million people, it has more than its share of crime problems but for the most part I think it is a very livable place, if one can make friends with the summer heat & humidity. We heat the house for 2 - 3 weeks in winters, if that.

1) One can visit most parts of the state and be back the same day to sleep in your own bed.

2) Cocoa Beach is about a hour's drive & Clearwater Beach is 1 1/2 hr.

3)The cost of living is much less than in Miami, half the price of your house in California will get you a very comfortable house/condo. Maybe 1/3rd in the present recession.

4)The pace of life is quite relaxed, the focus is on relaxation & enjoying life at a casual pace. At the same time it is not like living without the conveniences of a major city.

5)Your relatives are only(safe) 2 hrs drive from here

6)If you are coming to find a high paying job, you are better off in California, as Orlando is for people who enjoy life with modest means. for the most part only service jobs here.

-Orlando Int Airport - very well connected to major US cities & the world

- NBA Basket Ball - Magic

- World Class Theme Parks

- High End Shopping

- A international touch with visitors from all over the world, restaurants galore

- Socially always in touch, as all kinds of friends & relatives come to visit you here in Orlando

- All national chains, no matter which & what kind , one will find them here

- Cruises depart from Port Canaveral, again a hour's drive

- Space Coast with frequent launches

- A good mix of native Floridians & transplants from all over the world

- Plenty of lakes with water related recreation & lots of fishing

- Better roads(Although with tolls) than many cities I have visited

- A good mix of retirees & younger families-(It is not all Sun City here)

I do not work for the Orlando Chamber or the Tourism, I just like it here in the city beautiful, I live in the paradise year round where people come for vacation.
We do not stop laughing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop laughing !!

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