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Old 07-22-2008, 08:53 PM   #21
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May I ask you why Sebring ? I've lived in Florida for 13 years and it really is pretty diverse so you need to think about what you want . If all you want is nice weather anywhere may fit but if you want some decent amenities Sebring may not be a good fit . I second the opinion to visit different area of the state and see what you like .
Maybe she's an American LeMan's fan.
The middle of Florida reminds me a lot of the central valley of California. It's California, but it's not exactly Bay Watch. It's more like Cow Watch.
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Old 07-22-2008, 10:02 PM   #22
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The middle of Florida reminds me a lot of the central valley of California. It's California, but it's not exactly Bay Watch. It's more like Cow Watch.
If you like Chihuahua, you'll love Fresno.

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Old 07-22-2008, 10:08 PM   #23
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op mentioned friends there. i'd consider mid state. there are some pretty neat historic houses in some of the older towns like bartow, lakeland even and i think arcadia (though i haven't been there yet). also gainesville is mid state and prices are holding well there (not that sebring is g-ville.)

as to mobile homes, i could consider that if it were mid state and on an acre or three with no trees too close. you could tie it down pretty good and as long as nothing falls on it, you could do ok. heck, a good sized tree can kill you in a trailer or in a concrete block house. but especially since this is just going to be a winter home, it won't be a safety issue at all.
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:37 AM   #24
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Thanks for all the responses, as I said in my orginal post I have friends that live in Sebring and he has been going there since the 60's. But I am open to a number of areas. I am going to fly down and check it out. I have been to Florida many times and spent the winter there many years ago. My friend is very knowledgable in realestate and said he had some hot leads on property that was priced right.

I am not fond of moving and never really thought about renting. I have lots of personal belongings and tons of furniture to bring with me. My stuff is to expensive to leave behind. Besides my wife likes the things we have.

From searching the weather on the web, winter is 70 days and 60's at night. Sounds like midwest summers to me. You have to keep in mind that last winter was the second snowiest in history, a very cool spring, and not a very good summer so far. So much for global warming here.

I think hazard (home owners) insurance is going to be a problem, moving expense high, and someone told me last night that there is a 1% tax on your cash assets every year. Never heard that one before, and to get a Florida license you have to take the test over, wife cannot parallel park, so that's out.

But keep the responses coming I am all ears, thanks again.
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:56 AM   #25
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Have lived in Florida for about 20 years (86-05). One year in Orlando (hated it; too commercial, Disney oriented 86-87). Moved to NE Florida (Orange Park (near Jacksonville)). Enjoyed it (even has lots of Pine trees) two routes of evacuation (if necessary) I10 or I95 - never evacuated in 18 years, never had to. Fairly hot April - August, great weather from about mid-September to March. Hurricanes were always a "Weather Channel Event" not a reality event for us. Recently (2005) moved to Central Ohio and have enjoyed the past 3 years here. Sort of like the 4 seasons but we are retired and can just "stay home" if the snow gets too deep (or head South for a few weeks).
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:59 AM   #26
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and to get a Florida license you have to take the test over, wife cannot parallel park, so that's out.
My wife didn't start learning to drive until three years ago and only got her license 2 years ago. We lived in Houston when I was teaching her, and the one thing that stopped her from taking the driving test was the parallel parking requirement. We practiced it a lot and she improved some but might have hit the curb or a pylon which was an automatic fail.

So when we bought our house out here two years ago, they had a small DPS office (TX equivalent of DMV) open two days a week. She called there and asked if there is a parallel parking requirement. The guy said, "there is a requirement, but we have no facility to test it." So we waited until we visited up here for a long weekend, and she took (and passed) the driving test here.

Maybe there are small drivers license offices in Florida that may be similar?
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:29 AM   #27
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I have lots of personal belongings and tons of furniture to bring with me. My stuff is to expensive to leave behind. Besides my wife likes the things we have....someone told me last night that there is a 1% tax on your cash assets every year.
i might reconsider mobile home if you had stuff you didn't want destroyed by a storm. though likelyhood of being hit is really not as great as many think, you'd be taking whatever chance that might be.

no tax on cash assets here. used to be a intangible tax but since revoked. basically the only taxes here are on property, sales and tourists.
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Old 07-23-2008, 11:41 AM   #28
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Old 07-23-2008, 11:44 AM   #29
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A lot of people (me included ) move everything to Florida and then realize it was a waste as a lot of the things do not translate well into the Florida life style . I moved a huge dark dining room set that ended up at Goodwill.
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Old 07-23-2008, 01:24 PM   #30
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My wife didn't start learning to drive until three years ago and only got her license 2 years ago. We lived in Houston when I was teaching her, and the one thing that stopped her from taking the driving test was the parallel parking requirement. We practiced it a lot and she improved some but might have hit the curb or a pylon which was an automatic fail.

So when we bought our house out here two years ago, they had a small DPS office (TX equivalent of DMV) open two days a week. She called there and asked if there is a parallel parking requirement. The guy said, "there is a requirement, but we have no facility to test it." So we waited until we visited up here for a long weekend, and she took (and passed) the driving test here.

Maybe there are small drivers license offices in Florida that may be similar?
I could be wrong but I think Florida eliminated Parallel Parking from the driver's (operator's) license test a few years ago. Guess one could check at the FL DMV site.
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Old 07-23-2008, 05:21 PM   #31
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If you like Chihuahua, you'll love Fresno.

Ha
Cow Watch didn't get picked up by NBC. Well, at least the central valley of California has the mountains nearby so that there's always skiing, cycling, and rafting to enjoy. Central Florida is a long way from any interesting geography.
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Old 07-23-2008, 05:27 PM   #32
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A lot of people (me included ) move everything to Florida and then realize it was a waste as a lot of the things do not translate well into the Florida life style . I moved a huge dark dining room set that ended up at Goodwill.
Moemg, I had no idea that traditional furniture doesn't fit the Florida lifestyle. How is that so? I had traditional furniture that I dragged all over the continent until the last 2 moves because I down sized from a townhouse to an apartment.
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Old 07-23-2008, 05:45 PM   #33
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Moemg, I had no idea that traditional furniture doesn't fit the Florida lifestyle. How is that so? I had traditional furniture that I dragged all over the continent until the last 2 moves because I down sized from a townhouse to an apartment.

Traditional furniture is fine but a lot of people have very dark heavy furniture that they move to Florida and then get rid of it because it just does not fit . I had family room furniture that looked great ( IMHO) in New Jersey but looked like crap in Florida . Everything is so light and airy here and the lifestyle is very casual .I have several antiques that made the transition but most of my other furniture I either sold before the move or got rid of it after a year in Florida . Same thing with clothes my wardrobe has completely changed living in Florida .I kept a few things for visits up North but the rest is history .
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Old 07-26-2008, 05:16 PM   #34
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I could be wrong but I think Florida eliminated Parallel Parking from the driver's (operator's) license test a few years ago. Guess one could check at the FL DMV site.
Based on what I've seen while visiting there, they also eliminated the general Driving Ability requirement. I understand the problems of old people, I'm 63 now. But the Dangerous Dumbness of many Florida drivers really alarms me. I wonder if that could be influencing the auto insurance rates?
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Old 07-26-2008, 08:36 PM   #35
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I could be wrong but I think Florida eliminated Parallel Parking from the driver's (operator's) license test a few years ago.
They eliminated the parallel parking test because it's really not possible to do it wrong down here. If the available space is too tight, you just bam-bam-bam back and forth until there's plenty of room. It's also OK to leave your front or back end sticking out into traffic if you're too lazy or incompetent to use the bam-bam-bam approach.
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Old 07-26-2008, 09:40 PM   #36
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I have lived in Florida for about 30 years in the Fort Lauderdale area. It has been a decent place to live and raise a family. Insurance rates are kind of high now after the past several year of having Hurricanes. I am finding as I get older that the summers are a bit too hot for me. I am semi retired now, but I was alway in a air conditioned office during the summers. I usually took vacations in the winter.

I might consider looking for a second home up north in a few years to live in the summers.

It is a good time to buy now. I just listed my mother's home yesterday for much less that we expected. She is 90 and could not live alone any longer.

Florida is a very diverse state. First do your research on what part of Florida that interests you.
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Old 07-30-2008, 04:25 PM   #37
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Hi, we do three months, Jan, Feb, March in Florida and love it.
A couple questions first.
1. Do you want "community" life...lots of "older folks" getting together, drinks on the patio, golf with the boys, all retired neighbors, structured fun, ect. or do you prefer most activities alone or with any age.
2. Is "being by the ocean" a big deal...remember in the winter most ocean walks are with a jacket or even a coat and the water is way to cold to swim in. If you want community and ocean, our plan is not your thing.

I might catch some gentle ribbing about our winters, but we rent fully furnished 3 bedroom/2 bath home 2 miles from Disneyworld in a 50/50 owner occupied/rental community at a real bargain price. These homes are designed for weekly rentals but Jan, Feb, March the kids are in school and Disney World is slower. Community is totally isolated by a gate with huge lake and owner pays all utilities including pool heat for our winter. They love having guaranteed rental during "low"season and adults who care for the home and don't beat it up. Very nicely furnished, by the way, Cable TV in all bedrooms, leather furniture, nice silverware, dishes, linens.

My spouse (retired from U of Iowa Medical College Admnistration) works 2 days at week at Disney World and LOVES it. They pay her to be nice, do whatever the guest wants and she works indoors/ AC with other retirees and some local folks. He perks include free admission to the parks for her and our guests.
I work 2 days at "top 5 in Orlando" golf course as a starter and love it also. My Perks, free golf for foursome anytime (normally $135/pp in winter)plus minimum wage.
Leaves us 5 days to go the ocean, flea markets, and just explore central Florida. I just can't sit and be "retired" and the "Over 55" communities just do not appeal to us.

We have made enough new friends at Disney the golf course to do dinner once in while, especially at Disney specialty restaurants, but also like spending time alone.
We love having guests from up north for 2-3 nights a couple of times a month...we can keep them very busy in Central Florida and they always pick up the tab for lots of what we do and see....

Just a thought for you...rent for a year or two...turn key, never a worry about storms, insurance, bugs, thefts, mold, lawn care, ect.

Good Luck...Ted
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:40 AM   #38
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I love Florida
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Off Kilter!
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:15 AM   #39
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I love Off Kilter, too but from about two countries away...Gosh they are loud....am I old or what!!!
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Old 07-31-2008, 01:44 PM   #40
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ted - it sounds like you have a really good plan for your winters. What is the rent?
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