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Narrowing down Florida locations
Old 07-23-2016, 08:45 AM   #1
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Narrowing down Florida locations

Wife and I are 50, daughter 14. Want to travel more and more once daughter graduates. Considering condo in FLA for light use now, heavier use later. We really like walks on the beach, less crowded but still plenty to do (good restaurants, a few bars, etc.) Have budget of 250-300K and would LIKE to be directly on ocean. Considering cocoa beach on Atlantic side, then "anything below sarasota" on the Gulf side. (Venice, Englewood, Manisota Key, etc. even Naples or Marco Island maybe). We haven't done any exploratory trips yet. Cocoa beach strikes me as the most "old fashioned beachy" area where one can hear the surf from an open window.

I'd love to hear some thoughts from anyone who's spent time at any of the locations mentioned.

Thanks so much ...
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:01 AM   #2
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I lived in Cocoa Beach twice (80s & 90s) & loved it; also visited in 2000 & 2012 while scoping retirement locations. I think it's exactly what you describe...especially for direct ocean in that price range (although, as everywhere, prices have gone up since 2011).

You should also look just north (Cape Canaveral) and just south (Satellite & Melbourne Beaches). All fantastic, flat walkable beaches, not as crowded as other parts of FLA, although still crowded @ Spring Break.

Cocoa Beach has also developed a bit of unique funkiness (a GOOD thing), with several nice restaurants, hip cafes, etc.

DW & I have always liked the east coast of FLA best because, it seems cooler to us. If you're living direct ocean, you'll be in a little micro-climate (writhing ~500 yds of the beach) where it's a few degrees cooler & the ocean breeze makes it seem 5-10 degrees cooler, and (believe it or not) above ~the sixth floor direct ocean, there are virtually no mosquitoes (I think it's the salt air).

On the gulf side, DW & I checked out Sarasota & surrounds. If we lived there, we'd choose downtown Sarasota with a water view because we like to be able to walk to restaurants, cafes, shops etc. And, Sarasota has a great downtown area. For directly on the water, check out Siesta Key, Longboat Key & Santa Maria Island. This whole area is more expensive than just south in Venice or Cocoa Beach.

PM me if you want more info.
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:04 AM   #3
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We live in St. Augustine, lots of culture, average COL.
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:17 AM   #4
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I have a friend in Melbourne and they love it there.

FIL lived on Marco Island, bring $$$.

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Old 07-23-2016, 01:06 PM   #5
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There's an episode of Beachfront Bargain Hunt on HGTV tonight about a family buying a "home of the water with a large outdoor space" in Cocoa Beach. These are sort of fun to watch.
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Old 07-23-2016, 02:17 PM   #6
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A friend bought a water front condo in Fort Pierce last year that is beautiful. The asking price was $305k and they got it for $265k. They live on the inlet that is behind the A1A peninsula stretch that is ocean front, and a condo there would start at maybe $500k. Their view on the inlet is lovely with a three-sided view of the water.


Lucie County is definitely up and coming. Lots of development and people starting to move there, but real estate prices are still a good deal. $300K for an ocean front with any space at all might be hard to find anywhere in Florida. If you do....let me know! I'd like to check it out myself.
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Old 07-23-2016, 02:20 PM   #7
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Watch those Condo Fees in here in Florida, could be as much as a second mortgage. Water property takes one hell of a beating here. If they are looked after well, then the fees will reflect it & Visa Versa.
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Narrowing down Florida locations
Old 07-23-2016, 02:28 PM   #8
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Narrowing down Florida locations

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Originally Posted by ShokWaveRider View Post
Watch those Condo Fees in here in Florida, could be as much as a second mortgage. Water property takes one hell of a beating here. If they are looked after well, then the fees will reflect it & Visa Versa.


And insurance. Check out insurance. My parents live in a modest house about a mile from the coast in SC and their windstorm coverage got so high they dropped it. (No mortgage, so they could.). A condo association will have coverage on the building (should be in the fees) but you'll need to insure contents and have coverage for alternative housing if you need to rebuild after a hurricane.
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Old 07-23-2016, 02:31 PM   #9
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And insurance. Check out insurance. My parents live in a modest house about a mile from the coast in SC and their windstorm coverage got so high they dropped it. (No mortgage, so they could.)
Yes, I live 1.5 miles from the beach in NE Florida, Flood insurance & Hurricane & Property Insurance is ~$1600 Per year.
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Old 07-23-2016, 02:40 PM   #10
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And insurance. Check out insurance. My parents live in a modest house about a mile from the coast in SC and their windstorm coverage got so high they dropped it. (No mortgage, so they could.). A condo association will have coverage on the building (should be in the fees) but you'll need to insure contents and have coverage for alternative housing if you need to rebuild after a hurricane.

I have a beach front condo on the eight floor with a magnificent view in Hillsboro Beach just north of Ft Lauderdale. Condo insurance is around $1100/yr and condo fees are $1898/qtr, but includes high speed fiber optic Internet, basic cable, water and sewer and pest control. Also insurance for the building itself. Nice pool and beach is not crowded. They say to budget another $200/mo fir special assessments. The building has security and is very well maintained.


Enjoying life!
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Old 07-23-2016, 03:12 PM   #11
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I lived in Venice ,Fl for five years . I loved it . Quaint downtown with lots of restaurants & shops , nice beaches especially Casperon beach , good local theater . The bad part is it has been discovered and it is being overbuilt .Ocean front condos are no bargains .Maybe their are still bargains in Englewood.
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Old 07-23-2016, 03:21 PM   #12
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Try also Flagler Beach and Ormond Beach.


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Old 07-23-2016, 03:44 PM   #13
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One of the reasons, we chose St. Augustine is the fact they cannot build any new buildings over 4 stories high.

Have you ever seen Daytona or the West FL coast. They look like commercial holiday areas that sell time shares..... oh they do, or at least used to.

No we do not like living around high rises, so I supposed we are biased.
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Old 07-24-2016, 04:56 AM   #14
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MeLbourne, Vero Beach or Fort Pierce area. Vero Beach very nice with no high rises and old school Florida but bring all of your checkbooks$$$. Fort Pierce seems to be still a pretty good value and there are more and more decent restaurants and bars opening up.
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Old 07-24-2016, 05:08 AM   #15
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Also summers get more brutal the further South one goes. As if they are not bad enough here. We do get our fair share of snowbirds, and they are good citizens. However, If I were a snowbird I would go further South as the Winters are warmer once you get below Titusville or Palm Beach. No freezing where the Coconut palms begin going South. We do get a few freeze nights here in NEFLA.

As far as inland is concerned, "Forget-ta-bout-it". That is for the w*rking stiffs. Villages or no Villages.
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Old 07-24-2016, 08:37 AM   #16
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I have lived in Florida my whole life. My budget is less than yours @ 200k so l won't be living on the water lol. The Ft. Pierce-Port St. Lucie area is beautiful and very affordable. Very Beach is nice and close to family but I don't like it as well as some other areas. I'm leaning towards the Bradenton area because it's beautiful, located between my family in PSL, Port Charlotte and the Tampa Bay area and the golf courses are numerous and reasonably priced. A 3 br 2 bath condo with golf course view can be had for just under 200k. Of course between condo fees, mandatory club membership and taxes it will cost me an additional 8k per year for that lifestyle. Insurance is expensive here I pay 1800 per year on my SFH now.


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Old 07-24-2016, 11:26 AM   #17
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One of the reasons, we chose St. Augustine is the fact they cannot build any new buildings over 4 stories high.

Have you ever seen Daytona or the West FL coast. They look like commercial holiday areas that sell time shares..... oh they do, or at least used to.

No we do not like living around high rises, so I supposed we are biased.
And a lot of those high rise buildings on the intercoastal are sitting empty--and have been sitting empty since built.

I would think Daytona and just south of there would be great.

The Ft. Pierce area used to be going back in time. It's the Florida without the putt putt golf and the go cart tracks.

Our daughter lived in a $185K house east of St. Augustine. HOA fees and taxes were $5,500 per year--ouch! No one could sell their properties either. If you want warm winter weather, it's going to come at a price.
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Old 07-24-2016, 11:33 AM   #18
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Our daughter lived in a $185K house east of St. Augustine. HOA fees and taxes were $5,500 per year--ouch! No one could sell their properties either. If you want warm winter weather, it's going to come at a price.
I think you mean West of St. Augustine, any further East and you would need more than hurricane & flood insurance, or live on a boat.

For a $185k home the Taxes would have been about $2500. So the home must have been in a flood plane and made of wood.

One thing that a lot of Florida Migrants do not know, or fail to understand is; DO NOT BUY A "STICK" House. ONLY consider Concrete Block, or Poured Concrete. This can add $100k to the price of a home, but saves in insurance and maintenance.
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Old 07-25-2016, 06:26 PM   #19
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Wife and I are 50, daughter 14. Want to travel more and more once daughter graduates. Considering condo in FLA for light use now, heavier use later. We really like walks on the beach, less crowded but still plenty to do (good restaurants, a few bars, etc.) Have budget of 250-300K and would LIKE to be directly on ocean. Considering cocoa beach on Atlantic side, then "anything below sarasota" on the Gulf side. (Venice, Englewood, Manisota Key, etc. even Naples or Marco Island maybe). We haven't done any exploratory trips yet. Cocoa beach strikes me as the most "old fashioned beachy" area where one can hear the surf from an open window.

I'd love to hear some thoughts from anyone who's spent time at any of the locations mentioned.

Thanks so much ...
I have lived in Melbourne Beach, Orlando, now near Clearwater Beach. MIL has a place in Daytona Beach Shores. Cocoa Beach is ok, but would not high on my list.

If you are interested in Daytona Beach Shores, send me a PM, and I will give you information on MIL place. It's in your budget range. We are 95% sure we are selling this winter. It has ocean and river view, 8th floor. It's south of the driving on the beach area, so quiet. Easy walk or bike rides on the beach. Three bars/restaurants within walking distance.
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