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Old 04-23-2011, 07:14 PM   #41
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We plan to buy a home in Sun City Center this summer. We have a sales contract on our current home which is scheduled to close in June. We have been winter snowbirds in Clearwater for the past two years.

We chose Sun City Center due to the relatively affordable cost (we are looking mainly at 1980's homes), closeness to Sarasota and Tampa, lots of u-pick veggie farms and some u-pick orange groves, and the climate (DW is from Malaysia and loves lots of heat). We have made friends at a Church in Brandenton last winter.
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Old 04-23-2011, 08:56 PM   #42
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We plan to buy a home in Sun City Center this summer. We have a sales contract on our current home which is scheduled to close in June. We have been winter snowbirds in Clearwater for the past two years.

We chose Sun City Center due to the relatively affordable cost (we are looking mainly at 1980's homes), closeness to Sarasota and Tampa, lots of u-pick veggie farms and some u-pick orange groves, and the climate (DW is from Malaysia and loves lots of heat). We have made friends at a Church in Brandenton last winter.
Hey, hope it will be "welcome to the neighborhood". Live in Sun City Center myself. Been here just over one year and love it. If I can be of any help, just let me know via private message. Can talk about the various neighborhoods, amenities, golf, etc. Maybe you have got this all figured out. If you could use a good realtor, let me know. Hope you will enjoy it as much as we do.
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:11 PM   #43
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My home is in Plantation which is the city just west of Fort Lauderdale. I finished college at the U of Miami met my late wife and just stayed here and raised our family. Florida is a very diverse state so you have to check out the different areas. I think that the Ft Lauderdale area has a good balance for what I need. The schools were lacking but we chose private school, however, I am sure that is not a top consideration for anyone here anymore.

I am starting to think about spending the summers up north. The summers seem longer and harder to take as I get older. I am only semi retired at this point, however, I can probably work out an arrangement with my employer to work remotely for a few months during the summer. I was in NY in the middle of February after all of the storms. I sure don't want to live in the snow at this point.
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Old 04-24-2011, 05:14 PM   #44
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Love Naples

Retired on my 56th birthday last August and just returned from my first winter in Naples. It was beautiful. Great beaches, restaurants and lots to do. Some say it is expensive but after seeing some of the other messages it doesn't seem to me that 3 months there was any more expensive than other places. It is usually 5-10 degrees warmer in the winter than Venice, Tampa, and Sarasota which can make a nice difference.
I agree with some of the other posts regarding buying: If you only want to be there for the winter you are better off renting.

Related note: Wasn't sure if retiring was going to be for me but the winter in Naples made that a non issue, have already signed a lease for next year.
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:09 AM   #45
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We own a home on the East Coast in Merritt Island, and the West Coast in Palmetto. Both coasts have their pluses and minuses. We love boating and the water, so the Gulf Coast is great for that, plus the beaches are nicer and the water is calmer, clearer on the Gulf Coast. The East is great for the constant sea breeze, it's not as hot as Orlando or the West Coast. Less people here too, but also less public transportation, the county is the longest county in Florida, so everything is spread out. Viera is a nice, new area where lots of retirees are buying. Nice shopping at the Avenues, new VA hospital, and Space Coast Stadium for baseball. I was born in Tampa and wouldn't move back there due to the horrible traffic.
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:53 AM   #46
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You really need to tour Florida and find out where you fit . When we were looking I narrowed it down by what I wanted . Close Beaches , Good health care , shopping , reasonable home prices , public transportation for when I am older , restaurants and friendly people . We visited several times before we moved and then we rented for a year before buying a house . I also subscribed to the local newspaper for six months before we picked an area ( now you can do that online ).
Port St. Lucie area fits the fill, with maybe exception for public trans.
If you like bigger cities, areas around Tampa would work.
Also some place called the Villages that is for 55+ I think, heard a lot of people like it.
TJ
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:55 PM   #47
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MSULLY76 - How did you arrange to locate a place to stay in Naples from Boston? Did you physically go down and look around, use a realtor, stay with friends until you located a place, etc? I live in PA and would like to explore Naples as well, but not sure as to the best way to approach the process of finding a suitable place to stay. Thanks.
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:37 PM   #48
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One suggestion is to check the hurricane path patterns for the last 20+ years, to avoid the areas they frequent. Personally, I'd suggest North Central Florida, not far from both I-75 (north-south) and I-10 (East-west). It's not very cold in winter, about 4-7 nights below 32 degrees in winter, and not as hot and muggy as further south in Florida. Anywhere between Tallahassee and Lake City. If you're building a house, make sure it's "hurricane proof".
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Old 04-25-2011, 06:05 PM   #49
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Love Naples

Roadkill:
Since I had vacationed there for several years prior I was very familiar with Naples and I knew the exact area that I wanted to stay. I had stayed at a golf community and also rented a friend's condo near Venetian Village which is where we wanted to be. You can probably spend less by staying in a golf community but they are usually further away from the beach. You can either go online and find a real estate agent or go to a website that I believe is rentbyowner.com.

Good luck
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Old 04-25-2011, 06:39 PM   #50
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There is a very simple web site on rentals in Florida. It's called VRBO.
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:55 PM   #51
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We own a home on the East Coast in Merritt Island, and the West Coast in Palmetto. Both coasts have their pluses and minuses. We love boating and the water, so the Gulf Coast is great for that, plus the beaches are nicer and the water is calmer, clearer on the Gulf Coast. The East is great for the constant sea breeze, it's not as hot as Orlando or the West Coast. Less people here too, but also less public transportation, the county is the longest county in Florida, so everything is spread out. Viera is a nice, new area where lots of retirees are buying. Nice shopping at the Avenues, new VA hospital, and Space Coast Stadium for baseball. I was born in Tampa and wouldn't move back there due to the horrible traffic.
I'm in Viera and bought the house 8 years ago. Moved down from NY and glad I did. Some good values here but that is now changing fast. Now that the people who want to sell realize the prices are less than they were a few years ago folks are snapping up the bargains.
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Old 04-28-2011, 02:18 PM   #52
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MSully76 - Thanks for your input. I guess the best approach is to simply go there and check it out.........
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