Waterfront Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

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furnace
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Waterfront Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by furnace »

An elderly aunt of my friend has a vacant lot of land on the water on the Florida Gulf coast. Currently this property sits unused. My friend wants to help her aunt earn some income from that property. She bounced some ideas off of me, but I am kinda clueless.

1. Rent out the lot to a mobile home or RV. There are no utilities on the property.
2. Build a dock and rent out the dock to someone with a boat.
3. Build a small house and rent it out. It's FLA and it's on the water. Any idea what it would cost for a 1200 to 1500sqf house on pilings?
4. Something else?

Any help is much appreciated.
Chadnudj
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Re: Waterfron Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by Chadnudj »

furnace wrote:An elderly aunt of my friend has a vacant lot of land on the water on the Florida Gulf coast. Currently this property sits unused. My friend wants to help her aunt earn some income from that property. She bounced some ideas off of me, but I am kinda clueless.

1. Rent out the lot to a mobile home or RV. There are no utilities on the property.
2. Build a dock and rent out the dock to someone with a boat.
3. Build a small house and rent it out. It's FLA and it's on the water. Any idea what it would cost for a 1200 to 1500sqf house on pilings?
4. Something else?

Any help is much appreciated.
1. Sell it.
2. Take the proceeds, invest in an appropriate asset allocation.
3. Take income from that.

Alternatively to 2, take the proceeds and invest in an appropriate immediate annuity.

Now, on 1, there are some different ways to do this -- work with a developer to make plans for the property, etc. so that you can sell it with the plans. Build a house and dock that is nice based on the area and sell that.

But, really, your best option is to sell it and make some money. Waterfront property on the Gulf Coast of Florida is still lucrative in value.
psteinx
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Re: Waterfron Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by psteinx »

Footage of beachfront?

Depth from beach/acreage?

Accessibility?

What are the typical uses of nearby beachfront properties?

Roughly where on the Gulf Coast? - some areas likely higher value than others...

But in general, the previous poster's suggestion is reasonable. An "elderly aunt" is perhaps not the best person to be doing real estate development. If it has significant value, sell it and invest in something simpler. Is there some reason why she DOES have the property? Some kind of long-time family campsite, or maybe there used to be a beach shack there but now it's gone?
Last edited by psteinx on Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
123
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Re: Waterfron Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by 123 »

Does it come with alligators included? (I'm sure many of us non-Florida people are wondering)
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Re: Waterfron Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by blueberry »

In my area (western Washington state) until you know whether a lot is developable you won't know the value. Is there a sewer system you can connect to or does the lot need a septic system and if so, can the lot support that? That can mean a difference of maybe $500k (developable) or < $100k (camping lot) here.
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Re: Waterfron Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by beardsworth »

This forum's rules don't allow "political" discussions, and I don't intend to engage in one, let alone to start one. I'm looking at the OP's question only within the framework of a financial decision.

Science is telling us that, at some point in the decades ahead, "waterfront" lots in much of Florida are destined to become "underwater" lots, either permanently or during certain seasons of the year.

It therefore seems to me that short-term efforts to generate rental revenue from this land, simply as undeveloped land, may be perfectly appropriate for now, but construction of "permanent" housing risks sinking (literally) a lot money into what may become a stranded and sacrificed former asset. Decisions about this subject may, of course, depend on the length of time during which the present owner and her heirs expect to own the property, and the extent to which they could sustain losses from increased storm activity and rising sea levels.
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Re: Waterfron Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by Gill »

You say it's a lot on the water on the Florida Gulf coast but is it on the Gulf or on a pond/lake near the coast? I live on the water near the Florida Gulf coast but not on the Gulf of Mexico. Beachfront property on the Gulf can have a value of $5000 per front foot or more depending on location.
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furnace
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Re: Waterfron Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by furnace »

psteinx wrote:Footage of beachfront?

Depth from beach/acreage?

Accessibility?

What are the typical uses of nearby beachfront properties?

Roughly where on the Gulf Coast? - some areas likely higher value than others...
She said it's a standard lot size, whatever that means. It's in the Tampa/St Pete area. There are houses on the street, with public water/sewer available to connect to. It's on the water but not on the beach. I heard there is good fishing nearby. They don't want to sell because it's a special property emotionally and want to pass to the next generation.

Another question. Would this be a good place for someone who wants to live "off the grid" since it doesn't have utilities? But because it's on the water, they could catch their fish and eat or trade with others.
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furnace
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Re: Waterfron Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by furnace »

123 wrote:Does it come with alligators included? (I'm sure many of us non-Florida people are wondering)
Gators are everywhere in Florida. Some of them even play football :mrgreen:
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Re: Waterfron Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by furnace »

Gill wrote:You say it's a lot on the water on the Florida Gulf coast but is it on the Gulf or on a pond/lake near the coast? I live on the water near the Florida Gulf coast but not on the Gulf of Mexico. Beachfront property on the Gulf can have a value of $5000 per front foot or more depending on location.
Gill
She said it's not beachfront or oceanfront. It's on water that connects to the ocean. I'm not sure what that's called, but from the property you can take your boat to the ocean.
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Re: Waterfron Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by Gill »

You are kidding aren't you about living off the grid in the Tampa area? I suppose if you want to live in a refrigerator box under a bridge
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Re: Waterfron Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by englishgirl »

"On the water" is totally meaningless in Florida. My house is "on the water" but it's not water that goes anywhere useful and is not boat-able. Putting a dock in there would be pointless. You need specifics. Even if you are already aware that it connects to the ocean, the bigger question is how and what size of boat can travel to it?

The value of building a dock would depend very much on what size of boat can access the dock, and whether there is access to the Gulf itself from there. I am on the other side of FL and while many many places are "on the water" there is a huge difference in value to direct ocean/intracoastal/bay access as opposed to just lake/canal access. Or if any boat would have to travel under a low bridge to reach the deeper water channels. A large boat cannot easily go under a small road bridge so it would cut down the people prepared to rent the dock. Also, how do they get their car/truck to the dock to load their fishing supplies on the boat?

I might try to rent the land out to someone who wants to boondock their RV or tiny house there, but that's about it if she is really resistant to selling. With expected sea level rise, I'm afraid great aunt's dream of it remaining in the family forever might not come to much anyway.
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Re: Waterfron Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by Gill »

Tampa is on the Gulf, not the ocean. Some lots have access to the Gulf but that could be anything from a canal to Tampa Bay.
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Re: Waterfron Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by The Wizard »

furnace wrote:
Gill wrote:You say it's a lot on the water on the Florida Gulf coast but is it on the Gulf or on a pond/lake near the coast? I live on the water near the Florida Gulf coast but not on the Gulf of Mexico. Beachfront property on the Gulf can have a value of $5000 per front foot or more depending on location.
Gill
She said it's not beachfront or oceanfront. It's on water that connects to the ocean. I'm not sure what that's called, but from the property you can take your boat to the ocean.
It's called a canal.
Cape Coral has hundreds of miles of them...
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Re: Waterfron Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by blueberry »

With utilities available and wanting to keep it in the family for use as family recreation and/or rental, maybe an rv pad with utilities hookup would be the optimal investment. Without any utilities (so might as well go camping proper) I would think it would be hard to rent.
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Re: Waterfron Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by Gill »

The Wizard wrote:
furnace wrote:
Gill wrote:You say it's a lot on the water on the Florida Gulf coast but is it on the Gulf or on a pond/lake near the coast? I live on the water near the Florida Gulf coast but not on the Gulf of Mexico. Beachfront property on the Gulf can have a value of $5000 per front foot or more depending on location.
Gill
She said it's not beachfront or oceanfront. It's on water that connects to the ocean. I'm not sure what that's called, but from the property you can take your boat to the ocean.
It's called a canal.
Cape Coral has hundreds of miles of them...
That's right and many of them you can't give away.
Gill
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Re: Waterfron Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by ShenziNation »

Could be a canal lot, or intracoastal waterway accessible.
You'd be surprised that there are quite a few people in Tampa Bay who are off the grid using solar panels. A local schoolteacher is one of them, was profiled by the Tampa Bay Times. Or can still be grid-connected for emergency purposes or selling excess power back to TECO/Duke Energy.
Standard lot could be a 10,000 sq.ft lot (100 ft x 100 ft).
Science may say it will underwater in the future, but doesn't say which decade. Science also says you will not live long enough to see the great flood. So make money while the sun shines and enjoy it.
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Re: Waterfron Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Waterfront could simply mean "the alligators don't have to climb over anything to get to you".
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Re: Waterfron Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by Rupert »

We can speculate all day about what could be built there. But the important question for you is what do the local zoning laws allow to be built there? Because of the hurricane risk, the building codes are pretty strict in Florida. They may not allow you to put a semi-permanent structure, such as a mobile home or RV, there. Take a look at the other houses on the street. If they're newer houses, that may give you an idea of what's allowed. If they're not newer, they may not because likely the code has been strengthened since they were built.
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Re: Waterfron Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by The Wizard »

Jack FFR1846 wrote:Waterfront could simply mean "the alligators don't have to climb over anything to get to you".
From what I've seen, most of those canal-lot houses have heavy-duty screens to keep the gators from getting into your pool...
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Re: Waterfron Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by meowcat »

Gill wrote:
The Wizard wrote:
furnace wrote:
Gill wrote:You say it's a lot on the water on the Florida Gulf coast but is it on the Gulf or on a pond/lake near the coast? I live on the water near the Florida Gulf coast but not on the Gulf of Mexico. Beachfront property on the Gulf can have a value of $5000 per front foot or more depending on location.
Gill
She said it's not beachfront or oceanfront. It's on water that connects to the ocean. I'm not sure what that's called, but from the property you can take your boat to the ocean.
It's called a canal.
Cape Coral has hundreds of miles of them...
That's right and many of them you can't give away.
Gill
Water front lots in Cape Coral are highly desirable. Some go for a big premium. The OP already said that there are other houses on the same street. This tells me that it's zoned residential. (highly desirable on Florida's west coast). He also stated that it connects to the ocean and is boatable. Again, very desirable. If it has deep water access with no fixed bridges to the ocean it become a prized piece of property and is considered extremely desirable. I wouldn't sell it.
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Re: Waterfron Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by livesoft »

furnace wrote:They don't want to sell because it's a special property emotionally and want to pass to the next generation.
And then the next generation will have this albatross around their neck. Maybe by then there will be vaccines for chikungunya, dengue, west nile, and zika viruses.
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Re: Waterfron Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by NotWhoYouThink »

From another current thread:
Jack FFR1846 » \


That's not at all out of line. My dad, his brother and 3 sisters inherited a building plot in Florida from my grandmother. The siblings bickered over it pretty badly. In the end, it was given to the HOA of the development because when offered for sale with a real estate broker, there were zero offers.....even at $1000 asking price.
So maybe it's worth a fortune (in which case I'd recommend selling now, before something changes), or maybe not. Location, location, location, and all that.
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Re: Waterfron Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by furnace »

meowcat wrote:Water front lots in Cape Coral are highly desirable. Some go for a big premium. The OP already said that there are other houses on the same street. This tells me that it's zoned residential. (highly desirable on Florida's west coast). He also stated that it connects to the ocean and is boatable. Again, very desirable. If it has deep water access with no fixed bridges to the ocean it become a prized piece of property and is considered extremely desirable. I wouldn't sell it.
I got some more info from her. She said it's on a canal. A power boat can probably get to the open ocean in 15-20 minutes with no bridge. A residential neighborhood for sure, with a mix of old and new houses. As far as "deep water access" she doesn't know. There's low tide and high tide and the water level varies. She sees some sizeable 20+ foot boats on the canal but no huge yacht.

As far as the sea rising, I heard that when this happens, the Earth will open a large hole for the excess water to flow into, so we'll still be safe :mrgreen:
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Re: Waterfron Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by kenner »

Why not obtain an appraisal from a knowledgeable local Florida real estate expert in order to determine the highest and best use for this property? I imagine there may be a history of sales for similar assets.

Is this property ocean-front or canal-front? What are the dimensions of the property?
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Re: Waterfron Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by livesoft »

Sell the lot to the neighbors, but first tell them you are considering building a 4 story monstrosity which will block their views.
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Re: Waterfron Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by delamer »

It is odd to me that a vacant lot would have sentimental value. Does the next generation even want the property?

Why would an elderly woman want to take on the task of building a house that she won't live in?
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Re: Waterfront Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by tinscale »

One thing to do is look at what has been done with similar lots in the area.
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Taylor Larimore
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Re: Waterfront Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by Taylor Larimore »

An elderly aunt of my friend has a vacant lot of land on the water on the Florida Gulf coast.
Furnace:

Three more considerations:

* In my opinion, most elderly people are wise to simplify their lives -- not become a landlord.

* Many elderly people have money tied up in real estate that they otherwise could use to better enjoy their remaining years.

* If the property is sold for a profit, capital-gain taxes may be due (consult an accountant). Capital-gains are eliminated at death.

Best wishes.
Taylor
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Re: Waterfron Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by Shallowpockets »

delamer wrote:It is odd to me that a vacant lot would have sentimental value. Does the next generation even want the property?

Why would an elderly woman want to take on the task of building a house that she won't live in?

This is exactly right. It is all a pipe dream. Nothing has been done before regarding this property and why so now? A waste of time and money. The BH investing philosophy with the market is to take out the emotional aspects of using your money, why should that not apply here? Sentimental value is such a poor Indicator of real value.
For an elderly person the development of that property is fraught with miscalculations, overruns on cost, management problems.
Very few replies here are anywhere near to saying this is a good idea.
OP should just let this woman read these replies. If she cannot even do some of the 'legwork' with investigating whether this is a good idea (I.e. this thread) she will never be able to handle the actual development of the property.
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badbreath
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Re: Waterfront Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by badbreath »

Why cant you just Zillow or Google map the property to get a cost and see it it should have a address
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Re: Waterfront Lot in Florida - Worthless or Priceless?

Post by CWhea1775 »

Get the lot location fixed on a map. Go on Zillow, realtor.com, or some other current real estate site. Look at houses in the area that are recently sold. Make sure the area and data is comparable and recent - neighborhoods can vary quite a bit. That will give you an idea at least of what developed, marketable houses like what you might or could build in this area are worth. Might help you answer your headline question.
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