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Old 10-27-2009, 07:37 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by Kroeran View Post
have you already shared with us how you made out during the hurricane, flood, and "recovery"?
Yes - - thanks for caring. I was one of the lucky ones. I had a lot of wind damage, outer doors torn off, trees knocked down, and more of the same, not to mention the trashed refrigerator, but no water in the house from either flooding or roof damage. Very few in my neighborhood or even my region were as fortunate. It is unsettling as there was no logical reason for my good fortune. Damage on my property was actually less than damage last year from Hurricane Gustav, although Katrina was much, much worse because of the unbelievable extent of the damage everywhere for miles and miles and the consequent lack of essential services for a long time.

The storm was on 8/29, we were permitted to return for a "look and leave" on 9/5 (and with no water or sewage or electricity etc, and few people in town other than military and press I was not tempted to stay). But I was one of the earliest to really return on 9/17 and was happy to be home, for good I thought. Re-evacuated on 9/21 for Hurricane Rita which was projected to centerpunch us as well, though it didn't. Returned permanently on 9/25.

I was doubly lucky because I was also one of the few who still had a job, and was able to return to work on 10/28 though my highrise work building did not have a working elevator until the next year and five floors were unusable due to water damage from the damaged roof. The K-Mart next door to it was still being used as a staging area.

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Old 10-27-2009, 08:53 PM   #82
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We have been watching the house hunting shows on the Home and Garden channel and have been amazed at the low prices for the really nice looking homes you can get in Florida, with enclosed pools even. Moving there is a very intriguing idea.

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Old 10-28-2009, 10:27 AM   #83
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Florida is a great opportunity, especially for limited income, however, if you don't educate yourself on the risks, you may get mushed.

Easy button is to drive around A LOT on vacation, to get a sense of which area you like, as each area is very very different, then rent for a year, and then listen to all the complaining.

become a savy insider, rather than being a sucker yankee stuck with a collapsed association or bundled golf course, bankrupt county, high crime area, high flood risk zone, chinese drywall, out-of-state-owner/non homesteaded tax ripoff, and so on.

the only new construction worth looking at in SWF is Stock Development products, otherwise buy existing, all facilities in place, check health of association, crime, flood zone, liens, talk to neighbours - capital outlay or mortage is the bait, watch out for the monthy support costs - taxes, insurance, hoa, cable, electric, which can be minimized if you go non-hoa, and if you are in the 50-100k range, 50k is pulled out if you are homesteading. Lots to read and learn...check out city data forum fort myers

I thinkt the smart money is with renting now, unless you have some money you want to hide from madoff and your investment "advisors"

that being said, if you get your location right and are smart about it, Florida is indeed paradise

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