Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Moving to South West Florida
Old 03-23-2014, 03:02 PM   #1
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Punta Gorda, FL
Posts: 666
Moving to South West Florida

At least that is the plan today. We initially were planning on buying a condo in the Ft. Myers, Punta Gorda, or Port Charlotte area. We were going to downsize our home here also. Well I stuck a for sale by owner sign in the yard and a few days later I had a buyer. The appraiser was here yesterday and things seem to be moving along well.

But since this winter doesn't want to end we are planning now to just buy a house down there and move. We can then figure out if we want something here also. I'm thinking not.

We have given most of our furniture to our kids, friends, and family. We are putting the rest and one car into storage. My wife is going to drive her car down and I'll fly the plane. When we nail down a closing date I'm going to hit VRBO and set something up for a few months. It doesn't look like I'll have any problem with availability in May thru September.

That will give us time to really look around and hopefully find what we want, whatever that is. But while this is going on, it could take several months, we may even change our mind living down there during hurricane season. What do people do about license plates, and other things that may expire. I guess I can get a PO Box, but is that ok for everything?

And should I buy a boat before or after we find a house?
__________________

__________________
dm is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-23-2014, 03:04 PM   #2
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Punta Gorda, FL
Posts: 666
Also does anyone have any opinions on the area. Anything to look out for? We are also going back and forth about buying a home on a canal. It would be nice, but I'm not sure Its worth the premium.
__________________

__________________
dm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2014, 03:43 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 5,574
You mentioned flying, does an airpark sound interesting. There's Buckingham air park, thought all the homes were required to have garages that were large enough to be used as hangers.

A canal, yes you pay up, probably get it back at somepoint. Boats there's lots for sale. I'd look at that, including sales tax.

Things to look out for, tourists.
MRG
__________________
MRG is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2014, 03:57 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
walkinwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Denver
Posts: 2,676
You have family in your area. Why not forward mail to them temporarily and ask them to bundle & ship it out to you once a week or month.
__________________
walkinwood is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2014, 04:26 PM   #5
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,877
Congratulations! What an exciting turn of events, and hopefully great adventure is in store for you as well in Florida.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dm View Post
What do people do about license plates, and other things that may expire. I guess I can get a PO Box, but is that ok for everything?

And should I buy a boat before or after we find a house?
I'd start right now by making a comprehensive list of every address change you will need to make, and how to do it (online as much as possible, I would think).

You can probably renew your license plates online, but that could confuse the state of residence issue. You don't want to end up paying income taxes to two states so your transition from one to the other should be pretty definite, I'd think, at least on paper. Amplifying on this, I think that for tax reasons you will need to officially be a resident of one state or the other, and to have a bricks and mortar address (even if it is your relatives' address up north) at all times. But I could be wrong about all of this; the RV'ers here would know. I'll bypass this whole confusing issue.

I am thinking that once you are in Florida for good, you may need to change your address at least a couple of times, first to your rental home and then finally to your own home once you find it.

I'd suggest buying your boat after you buy your house. It will be so much simpler. Besides, you may or may not have dock facilities at the house or development, and that might affect your decision. You may want to think about what, if anything, you plan to do with your boat in the event that a hurricane approaches. It's nice to have a boat small enough that you could just trailer it out of harms way.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg marina2.jpg (215.7 KB, 23 views)
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2014, 07:21 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
imoldernu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Peru
Posts: 4,616
We lived 6 and 6 in Floria and Il... never changed the Il license. Not critical.

Decision on where... we would spend plenty of time... not looking around but trying out the community or place where we would be moving.

Our feeling is that we could find a house that suited us almost anywhere. The people and the lifestyle are the most important. Best to find a way to spend time in the chosen community. Not all are created equal, though the websites and the personal tours may be wonderful... until we spend a few days or better still a week or so renting. What looks great on the tour, may be very different, when we find the pool is never used, the clubs and activities involve only a few people, and that exercise facility has been empty since it was built.

A best friend has a condo on Tampa Bay... beautiful 5th floor very large, with access to all facilities... I think he was too young to isolate himself as the social life was seasonal at best, and nonexistant at worst. Thus, the community, not the physical building. But, that's a personal preference.

In Florida, look for the prospectus and or the rules and regulations. If a Home owners Association or fee based services, look to see how much is in the Reserve. Rental or guest limitations..
Obviously check the taxes... but also the date of the last adjustment. If water access... rules are squirrely... dock, boat lift, sq ft of deck, and important... the actual access to water... depth, hightide depth, ocean access...
Check traffic. Off season, not bad at all... in season, could be a white knuckle ride to anywhere.
Residence... Permanent is where you choose... we kept our in IL...as taxes was not a problem. Voting and auto licence are enough to make a change.
As far as full time... depending on age, and activity level... If young and active, outside summers can be hot. Older folk... doesn't matter as much, as A/C means comfort. We tried July/August early on, and decided to keep our northern home, (downsized). Now, in our dotage, sitting home by the fireplace in winter isn't so bad, and we love Spring and Fall.

We went through the same kind of decisions when we retired in 1989... We had a different situation, retiring on pretty tight budget so some of our choices would be different, but the adjustment and search/moving situations were probably similar, as were the details of changing addresses, banks, and the thousand details that go along with a move.

FWIW... :
Sharing 23 years of Frugal Retirement

Wish you well on this new adventure...
__________________
imoldernu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2014, 08:21 PM   #7
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 24
check out Bonita Springs. It is an awesome town very close to Ft. Myers.
__________________
stephaniee36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2014, 06:53 AM   #8
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,446
Quote:
Originally Posted by dm View Post
Also does anyone have any opinions on the area. Anything to look out for? We are also going back and forth about buying a home on a canal. It would be nice, but I'm not sure Its worth the premium.
This is definitely an area where you should rent first. Foreclosure and distressed sales are still very high in SW Florida. Some communities and HOAs are also insolvent or distressed and you need to be careful to avoid these while you look for permanent housing.
__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2014, 07:52 AM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Historic Florida
Posts: 1,647
Definitely RENT First. Make sure any home you look at is made from Concrete block (Never, Never, Never buy a "stick" home in Fla.) and is insurable. Check cost of Homeowners insurance and Flood.

Remember most homes are under 5ft above seal level there and sure to be in flood zones. we are 10 ft above sea level and are in one.
__________________
"Arguing with an Engineer is like rolling in the mud with a pig. Just remember that the pig likes it."
ShokWaveRider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2014, 07:58 AM   #10
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Punta Gorda, FL
Posts: 666
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShokWaveRider View Post
Definitely RENT First. Make sure any home you look at is made from Concrete block (Never, Never, Never buy a "stick" home in Fla.) and is insurable. Check cost of Homeowners insurance and Flood.

Remember most homes are under 5ft above seal level there and sure to be in flood zones. we are 10 ft above sea level and are in one.
I am concerned about the flood insurance issue. I have been reading the horror stories lately about the big increases some are seeing. Not sure what the effect might be. I have seen a few homes mention the 10 ft. level. That must be somewhat of a good thing.
__________________
dm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2014, 08:07 AM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Historic Florida
Posts: 1,647
Quote:
Originally Posted by dm View Post
I am concerned about the flood insurance issue. I have been reading the horror stories lately about the big increases some are seeing. Not sure what the effect might be. I have seen a few homes mention the 10 ft. level. That must be somewhat of a good thing.
We live in NE Florida, floods are not a prolific but our flood insurance is currently $400pa. We do not expect it to go up because of a recent legislature vote. Our home owners is $1500pa. We are concrete, a friend of ours has a wood frame home about 2/3 the size of ours and his insurance is over $3k.

We do like the Port Charlotte area because of the water property prices. But we will most likely rent if we move there for any length of time.
__________________
"Arguing with an Engineer is like rolling in the mud with a pig. Just remember that the pig likes it."
ShokWaveRider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2014, 08:09 AM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Seattle
Posts: 2,906
+1 on the boat with trailer. This is what we plan to use in the Florida keys (although we will not be permanent in Florida but will make it our home state for taxes and insurance I think).
Attached Images
File Type: jpg starboard.jpg (84.2 KB, 19 views)
__________________
Fermion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2014, 12:02 PM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Chicago area
Posts: 427
Buy a big enough boat where you don't need a house!
__________________
AnIntentionalRoad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2014, 01:19 PM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 5,574
FIL/MIL spent 30+ great years in that area. Marco Island, Naples, Ft. Myers, a couple of years in the Keys, Andrew sent them packing back from the Keys.

Really check out what you want the boat for. I still remember FIL saying he had two boats. One big, one smaller. The big boat was too small for what he wanted, only had a single 350. He and BIL spend a terrifying stormy night 80 miles out in the gulf, when the engine died. He wanted a twin after that.

His smaller boat drew too much water for the fishing he wanted to do. :confused:
MRG
__________________
MRG is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2014, 03:53 AM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 63
Check the reserve situation with homeowners associations. Unfortunately the state allows associations to vote for no reserves. As buildings age maintenance fees rise and major infrastructure (roofs, elevators, paving, pools) must be replaced or undergo expensive renovation. I sold a beautiful high rise waterfront condo in south Fort Myers because the residents refused to establish and maintain adequate reserves. Plus the association was deferring needed maintenance. I heard this year the residents are facing $12,000 assessments above normal fees of over $1000 per month because the roof must be replaced.

When the condos were new I found many retired residents refused to vote higher fees in the present, to establish reserves, because they would' the alive when the reserves were needed. They didn't want to pay for something they wouldn't use. Many of the original owners did die or sell before large annual special assessments became the norm.

There is no way I would buy into a community without adequate reserves. State law does require associations to perform a reserve study every few years so some data does exist as to how much the association may be under reserved. The problem with these reserve studies is the underlying data. In the example above, for the reserve study they were still using the original developer projection of $120,000 to replace a roof. Low bid 10 years later was $480,000 and high bid was $950,000.

If it is a golfing community check the ownership and financial situation of the golf club whether or not you intend to join. If the club goes belly up the course can quickly return to nature depressing property values. In some instances owners of homes on golf courses in beautiful communities have found themselves joining together and pooling resources to buy the club in order to keep the land from being developed into more housing or cheap apartments.

From 2000 to 2008 southwest Florida went through a construction boom. There was a lot of poor construction during the period and those 10 to 15 year old properties may need significant work today.

SW Florida is a wonderful place to live. Great climate, low crime, friendly people, wonderful outdoor recreation, a growing number of cultural options, and many different housing options. Housing purchases do require extra careful due diligence.
__________________
Retired at 57. Now a happy camper!
NC 57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2014, 04:43 AM   #16
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Cocoa Beach
Posts: 406
We are located on the East Coast of Florida (Cocoa Beach), waterfront house directly on the Banana River and our house is not indicated as being in a flood plain but I got flood insurance anyways and it is very reasonable at only $414/yr.
__________________
Lucantes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2014, 05:56 AM   #17
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 223
Be sure to be in an area you are interested in when season is over. We investigated Punta Gorda Isles, houses on canals, along with Fort Myers / Port Charlotte 2 -3 years ago. Area dies when season ends - during season, activities abound - after season the area really changes. Not all of that is bad, reduce traffic but the number of empty properties / businesses in any given area bothered us. We ended up future north where area seems more stable (more like a community), there still is influx of snow birds, but not as significant as Punta Gorda area. Areas have year long activities planned for the residents not just tourists
__________________
I don't mind coming to w**k,
but that eight hour wait to go home is just bulls**t!
F-One is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2014, 07:46 AM   #18
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Punta Gorda, FL
Posts: 666
Quote:
Originally Posted by F-One View Post
Be sure to be in an area you are interested in when season is over. We investigated Punta Gorda Isles, houses on canals, along with Fort Myers / Port Charlotte 2 -3 years ago. Area dies when season ends - during season, activities abound - after season the area really changes. Not all of that is bad, reduce traffic but the number of empty properties / businesses in any given area bothered us. We ended up future north where area seems more stable (more like a community), there still is influx of snow birds, but not as significant as Punta Gorda area. Areas have year long activities planned for the residents not just tourists
Where did you end up? We do plan to rent for a few months this summer to see what it's like. It is easy to like the area in January when it's freezing at home.

We are leaning heavily to buying a house on a canal. But I am worried about flood insurance and the extra cost. I'll be 57 soon so I still have to make the nest egg stretch for a while.
__________________
dm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2014, 08:42 AM   #19
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 684
Quote:
Originally Posted by dm View Post
At least that is the plan today. We initially were planning on buying a condo in the Ft. Myers, Punta Gorda, or Port Charlotte area. We were going to downsize our home here also. Well I stuck a for sale by owner sign in the yard and a few days later I had a buyer. The appraiser was here yesterday and things seem to be moving along well.

But since this winter doesn't want to end we are planning now to just buy a house down there and move. We can then figure out if we want something here also. I'm thinking not.

We have given most of our furniture to our kids, friends, and family. We are putting the rest and one car into storage. My wife is going to drive her car down and I'll fly the plane. When we nail down a closing date I'm going to hit VRBO and set something up for a few months. It doesn't look like I'll have any problem with availability in May thru September.

That will give us time to really look around and hopefully find what we want, whatever that is. But while this is going on, it could take several months, we may even change our mind living down there during hurricane season. What do people do about license plates, and other things that may expire. I guess I can get a PO Box, but is that ok for everything?


And should I buy a boat before or after we find a house?
The first thing we did was get a Florida Driver's license. That was a little challenging to prove we lived there, and requires several forms of documentation. We still have out-of-state plates, but plan on changing over this year when the timing is more convenient. This also requires Florida auto insurance for us, so it is more complicated.

I would suggest waiting for the boat for a variety of reasons. We are still boat shopping as well. That centers around where we can catch edible fish, and so far, we have done the best off a dock in everglades near Marco Island. Also, a friend of ours has a boat in Port Charlotte. He rents a spot in the canal from someone who got rid of their boat. Apparently, that is fairly common. He is looking for a new spot now, however, since he gets caught on low tides, and cannot bring his boat into the canal during this period, so be cautious of depths to boat size ratios.

Good luck and welcome to Florida!!
__________________
48Fire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2014, 09:31 AM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,032
When we first moved down & rented we had a PO box which worked out well until we established our permanent address . You should also look at Venice ,Fl. .There is a lot of building going on in that area . Venice has nice beaches, a cute downtown & lots of activities.I lived in Venice for several years and loved it .
__________________

__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hi From Florida West Coast wdrevell Hi, I am... 11 02-02-2013 03:23 PM
South West Asian dryer sheet project2501 Hi, I am... 8 01-22-2012 12:09 PM
Fun Things to Do in South West Florida Kroeran Travel Information 0 01-05-2011 12:43 PM
Ever regretted moving south? uncledrz Life after FIRE 76 12-17-2006 02:03 PM
What would you do, switching jobs, moving s-west Skylark Young Dreamers 9 03-05-2005 03:34 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:27 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.