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Retirement House
Old 08-08-2019, 08:08 AM   #1
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Retirement House

I am ready to pull the plug next year. My wife and I ended up in Florida to work at our “last jobs”. We bought a home based on the location to make our commutes easier not knowing if we would want to remain in Florida. We knew this home was okay but not a long term solution.

At this point we are starting to look for a home based on our retirement lifestyle needs. We want to do some traveling while our health still allows. We now face the decision regarding how much to spend on the house vs. traveling and other stuff. One option is to buy an Air BnB friendly house so that we could buy something in a nicer location and not feel guilty when we are not using it while traveling.

I was wondering if anyone else has done this approach and how it worked out.
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Old 08-08-2019, 08:39 AM   #2
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One option is to buy an Air BnB friendly house so that we could buy something in a nicer location and not feel guilty when we are not using it while traveling.

I was wondering if anyone else has done this approach and how it worked out.
Not us. There's no way I'd want someone else living in my home while I was away.

If we had planned to travel that much, we would have rented rather than buying.
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Old 08-08-2019, 08:43 AM   #3
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Not us. There's no way I'd want someone else living in my home while I was away.

If we had planned to travel that much, we would have rented rather than buying.
Same here. When we do travel, we like things to be just as we left them when we return.
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Old 08-08-2019, 08:54 AM   #4
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I agree with the above. I am retired and I do travel, but there is absolutely no way I would allow someone to stay in my home while I'm gone. Plus you would have to hire someone to clean the place between guests, make sure there was no damage or missing items, do any repairs. That would eat into your profit.
I don't even do Airbnb when I'm home. Don't like the idea of giving up my privacy and having people I don't know staying with me.
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Old 08-08-2019, 09:13 AM   #5
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Not us. There's no way I'd want someone else living in my home while I was away.
+1. We plan on buying a retirement home someday, but I'm planning on a downsized house at a cost about equal to our current house. That way I won't feel compelled to get income from it to offset increased cost.
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Old 08-08-2019, 09:14 AM   #6
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I am ready to pull the plug next year. My wife and I ended up in Florida to work at our “last jobs”. We bought a home based on the location to make our commutes easier not knowing if we would want to remain in Florida. We knew this home was okay but not a long term solution.

At this point we are starting to look for a home based on our retirement lifestyle needs. We want to do some traveling while our health still allows. We now face the decision regarding how much to spend on the house vs. traveling and other stuff. One option is to buy an Air BnB friendly house so that we could buy something in a nicer location and not feel guilty when we are not using it while traveling.

I was wondering if anyone else has done this approach and how it worked out.



Hi! I've spent the greater part of 20 years in Florida, and am intimately familiar with most of the major cities in Florida. You have MANY choices in Florida, and despite Florida never making the top-10 for retirement places (which is totally absurd), it really is one of the best states.



Some benefits to Florida:
1 - No emissions and safety inspections for cars (no politics please)
2 - Low vehicle registration
3 - No state income tax
4 - Lots of laws to protect the homestead (over 55, veterans, homestead, etc.)
5 - Comparatively speaking, very reasonable sales tax. It's anywhere from 5% to 7% throughout Florida.
6 - Property taxes are actually QUITE reasonable. Case in point, I have a home in Florida that is worth TWICE the value of my home in Texas. But my home in Texas has property taxes that are 2x what they are for my Florida house. And my Florida house is in Fort Lauderdale.




Now that we've established you just can't go wrong in Florida... there are several cities which may interest you based on cost and opportunity:


1 - Jacksonville: Please don't laugh. The city is quickly becoming a mecca for well-educated and growing income earners due to its business-friendly environment, and the low taxes. Homes are *absurdly* cheap compared to what you'll find in Metro-Dade / Broward area, and even compared to what you'll find in Tampa. You can literally buy a nice home on the water for $250k within walking distance to night-life.



2 - The Villages: Have you heard of them? It's a huge city of over 140k people who are aged 55 and up. The entire city was designed by Disney. There are 4 major town squares, one called Spanish Springs (Spanish style), one called Fenny (still being built which is "old Florida"), one called Brownwood (country-western styled), and another which name I forget that's modeled after Cape Cod / Martha's Vineyard. Anyway, there is a free concert every night at one of the four towns. There is every store you could possibly want, everyone drives around in golf carts, and there are even separate roads, everywhere... for golf carts. There's a regular FREE shuttle that goes from the town squares to the Orlando International Airport, so if you want to do any traveling, you can just take the shuttle back and forth. They even allow you to walk around with alcohol. There are things for kids to do, and everyone is *absurdly* nice... I mean, you feel a sense of happiness the second you drive into town.


3 - Pensacola: In that whole 30A area, there's a lot of really affordable homes in a nice "classic beach town" setting. It's still affordable, but I think if you don't get in within the next couple of years, it's going to boom.


4 - South West Florida: Naples, Punta Gorda, Rotunda, etc... this area is VERY inexpensive, and you get all the benefits of Florida. It's weird to me because it's a very sleepy area. Many roads were built up at one point, but expansion stopped. So homes are affordable, and it's a peaceful area, but not great if you like to do a lot of vacationing by car.




Options 1 and 3 are going to be best if you want to visit the rest of the country by car because you're basically at the ends of the state and can just drive North to get out.


Hope that helps, but I think it really depends what you're looking for in a forever / retirement home. If you could give us more information on your likes and dislikes... what you want (party town, serene, whatever), that will really help.
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Old 08-08-2019, 09:19 AM   #7
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You'd have to stow away all of your private stuff, and also hope nothing you value was stolen or damaged while you are away. You'd also need to pay for someone to manage it while you are gone.

"not feel guilty"?? Just don't feel guilty. That's a terrible reason to do anything when it's only affecting you. If you can't afford it, that's a valid reason for renting it out, but it's also a reason to go cheaper.

Wouldn't you be more likely to stay around during prime time and travel in your off-season? That would reduce your occupancy and the rate you can charge, making it less worthwhile.
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Old 08-08-2019, 09:19 AM   #8
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We unloaded a large house. Big downsize. Rented for four years. Then bought. 1450 sq feet on one level. One bedroom on main. Finished basement with BR, LR, etc for guests. HOA for all gardening and snow removal.

Our goal was to get an open plan non condo bungalow or duplex bungalow that would essentially be lock and leave. We go for two months at a time.

We achieved our goal.
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Old 08-08-2019, 09:20 AM   #9
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We unloaded a large house. Big downsize. Rented for four years. Then bought. 1450 sq feet on one level. One bedroom on main. Finished basement with BR, LR, etc for guests. HOA for all gardening and snow removal.

Our goal was to get an open plan non condo bungalow or duplex bungalow that would essentially be lock and leave. We go for two months at a time.

We achieved our goal. Glad we took our time and that we rented prior to buying.
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Old 08-08-2019, 09:28 AM   #10
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If I were in the OP's shoes and wanted to travel, I would probably get a condo. I love our Florida condo... if we want to go away, clean out the fridge, turn off the water, close and lock the door and arm the security system.... easy peasy.

Our annual costs, excluding mortgage payments since we bought for cash, are about $9k a year all in so it is very affordable too.
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Old 08-08-2019, 09:40 AM   #11
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Not us. There's no way I'd want someone else living in my home while I was away.
+4

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If I were in the OP's shoes and wanted to travel, I would probably get a condo.
+1

BUT - - first I would retire, and spend a couple of years in retirement before selling or buying any real estate. My reason for this is that many of us seem to find it much easier to figure out what we need and want in retirement, after:
(1) completely adjusting to retirement, and then
(2) experiencing retirement.
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Old 08-08-2019, 09:59 AM   #12
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Thanks for the replies. When I say nicer location, I meant waterfront and/or in a “walkable” neighborhood which adds about $100K+ to any home. It is a given it will be a smaller (<2200 sq ft), low maintenance home in SW Florida. Condos/townhouses are preferred but they have limited space for “toys” and some have hefty HOA /CDD fees. So a single family can be much cheaper even with out sourcing maintenance.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:05 AM   #13
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Hi! I've spent the greater part of 20 years in Florida, and am intimately familiar with most of the major cities in Florida. You have MANY choices in Florida, and despite Florida never making the top-10 for retirement places (which is totally absurd), it really is one of the best states.



Some benefits to Florida:
1 - No emissions and safety inspections for cars (no politics please)
2 - Low vehicle registration
3 - No state income tax
4 - Lots of laws to protect the homestead (over 55, veterans, homestead, etc.)
5 - Comparatively speaking, very reasonable sales tax. It's anywhere from 5% to 7% throughout Florida.
6 - Property taxes are actually QUITE reasonable. Case in point, I have a home in Florida that is worth TWICE the value of my home in Texas. But my home in Texas has property taxes that are 2x what they are for my Florida house. And my Florida house is in Fort Lauderdale.




Now that we've established you just can't go wrong in Florida... there are several cities which may interest you based on cost and opportunity:


1 - Jacksonville: Getting Very crowded, went to Costco yeaterday, 295 is becoming an apartment desert. Jax itself is OK, but I would go further North or South


2 - The Villages: Too Old for us.

3 - Pensacola: In the line of fire for hurricanes.

4 - South West Florida: Naples, Punta Gorda, Rotunda, etc...

Naples is very expensive, others mentioned are as stated.
We agree for the most part, except where noted above.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:19 AM   #14
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We agree for the most part, except where noted above.

Respectfully, the recommendations were for the OP... so the "too old" comment may not apply to him. It's too old for me too, as I'm only 41, but for anyone 55 and up, you could live there.



For Naples though, it's relative. The values of homes in Naples is what they were in Miami / Fort Lauderdale back in ~2000. Prices are relatively the same to Tampa. But the real bargains are the areas immediately surrounding Naples.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:19 AM   #15
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We retired and bought our house at the same time. We have 1400 sq ft with low maintenance yard. We leave for a month or two with no issues. I would never have strangers while we were gone.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:26 AM   #16
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+4





+1



BUT - - first I would retire, and spend a couple of years in retirement before selling or buying any real estate. My reason for this is that many of us seem to find it much easier to figure out what we need and want in retirement, after:

(1) completely adjusting to retirement, and then

(2) experiencing retirement.


Wise words to wait until retirement before making big changes, especially since you don’t seem to have a specific plan other than travel more. We’re in our 5th year of retirement and are just getting the hang of it. I know some here immediately build their dream retirement home or hit the road with all their toys in a class A RV, but these are people of seem d to have been planning and dreaming for years.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:59 AM   #17
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Wise words to wait until retirement before making big changes, especially since you don’t seem to have a specific plan other than travel more. We’re in our 5th year of retirement and are just getting the hang of it. I know some here immediately build their dream retirement home or hit the road with all their toys in a class A RV, but these are people of seem d to have been planning and dreaming for years.



It took my dad many years before he finally "retired." He's been working hard his entire life, and for the entire time I've been alive, he was always the big boss in charge of everything. He managed large hotels, resorts, etc. When he first retired... he went (metaphorically) crazy, and started doing consulting for large hotel chains. Then he decided to retire again, and then couldn't hack it, so he bought a restaurant and ran that for a few years. Then, he decided he was going to finally retire, and sold the restaurant.


It still took another 2 years for his demeanor and attitude to change. Every waking day there was a hard task to be completed, and he went nuts thinking of things to do. I lived nearby so I hung out when I could, but everything had to be done perfectly, as if he was still running a hotel. My mom was going nuts with it too. FINALLY... they moved to The Villages (hahaha), and they never answer their phone because they're always doing stuff. My dad spends all his time golfing or hanging out with his buddies, and my mom is always out hanging with her buddies, and then they have dinner and cocktail parties at night at their house when they're not out on the town. When I do get an answer, I can tell my mom is holding up her friends... hahah, so I let her go.
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:58 AM   #18
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We are going to check out the villages. A “lifestyle visit” is a four day minimum.
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Old 08-08-2019, 12:10 PM   #19
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Just went through this. Would never do our permanent home as a rental.

We paid cash and kept the value at about 10% of our net worth. The numbers seemed to work that way. So it gave us a good budget to use.

Try to find a lock and leave. We did and feel ready to travel now.

Think about aging in place too. So all one level or at least an elevator for 2 stories or more.
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Old 08-08-2019, 12:22 PM   #20
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We are going to check out the villages. A “lifestyle visit” is a four day minimum.



My parents absolutely love it there, and we love visiting as well. There's so much to do in the immediate area. It's 1 hour from Disney World, 1 hour from Lego Land, and surrounded by dozens of state parks. As if there wasn't enough to do inside the Villages. There's always parties, clubs, you name it. They have something like 50+ golf courses, and an equal number of entertainment centers (which each have pools, arcades, whatever...).


The town squares are awesome too... as a 41 year old with a family, I genuinely love visiting there.





The things they won't tell you though... it gets PACKED in the Winter. Many of the people living there are wealthy from NY, NJ, or even retired GS-15s, Seniors and O6+s from the DC Metro Area. Also, half of Canada shows up during the Winter. So, if you don't mind that... it's worth it. On the contrary, during the Summer, there's almost no one there.



You may also be happy to know that The Villages are actually building condos now too. They have two condo buildings that they're building within walking distance to one of the major town squares (forget which one). So that may be a less expensive option that provides the "freedom" that you're looking for so you can lock up and go at any point.
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