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Let's talk Florida in the winter
Old 08-06-2016, 07:06 AM   #1
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Let's talk Florida in the winter

We are planning to spend December to March in Florida, sailing and fishing, generally being lazy.

I want to spend time in the Keys but RV spots are kind of ridiculous. For the same money ($2500 to $3500 a month) you can get a 2 or 3 bedroom house with dock on a canal.

We are considering finding another couple to share the house but not real sure how to approach that. None of our friends in Seattle can take months off...should have introduced them to er.org years ago

Are there other southern Florida places we should consider, and which Keys do you like the most?
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Old 08-06-2016, 07:58 AM   #2
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Rent a nice place and tell your friends and family the dates you will be there, mention they are free to come visit you for some sun when their schedules permit. Say the house cost X dollars a day and what their cost would be per night.We have done this and it's the best of both worlds, you have some time without room mates, you get to have different people around for company. One caveat, we mention up front that it's always better for the visitors to have their own car. We are not interested in being someones chauffeur. Generally we get a place with at least 2 bathrooms. When I rent on VRBO or such they ask for the number of guests. I always say it will 2 and tell the owner I will have friends and family dropping by for short stays.On visit dates, I always say first come, first serve.
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Old 08-06-2016, 08:15 AM   #3
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That might work, although I doubt my brothers in Georgia would pay me anything

It would be fun to share with another child free techy couple who liked sailing, German board games, and were generally laid back. A lot of scammers on Craigslist but we might look there.
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Old 08-06-2016, 08:24 AM   #4
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My in-laws loved Marathon key. Not as much to do as Key West but nice and likely a lot more affordable. Good luck
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Old 08-06-2016, 08:27 AM   #5
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check out Punta Gorda Fl area
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Old 08-06-2016, 08:34 AM   #6
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That might work, although I doubt my brothers in Georgia would pay me anything

It would be fun to share with another child free techy couple who liked sailing, German board games, and were generally laid back. A lot of scammers on Craigslist but we might look there.
Yes I don't charge my sibs, or kids either but I don't think of it as charging, I think of it as giving someone a nice place to vacation that's much cheaper then a motel. It isn't really about the money either, but doing it this way removes what I call the "hosting" burden, you are not really hosting, you are sharing.

As far as Craigslist, is it about the money,because that opens up an entire new can of worms. I wouldn't consider doing this even with similar interest people I didn't know well.
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Old 08-06-2016, 08:35 AM   #7
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Unless you're really familiar with South Florida, finding a rental from so far away could be difficult.

But the winter in Florida is best if you go south of Orlando.

My favorite place is the Ft. Myers/Naples area. A great real estate agent there is Phil Babcock who can be found on Google.
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Old 08-06-2016, 08:43 AM   #8
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I guess we could wait until we were down near Miami to try and locate a winter rental in the Keys. It might be risky waiting that long.

Naples is an option, or that big island south of there. Looks about as expensive as the Keys though?

Any key would be OK with me but my wife wants to see the drag scene in Key West.
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Old 08-06-2016, 08:52 AM   #9
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Or drive/cruise from wherever to Key West for a while. How many drag shows can you watch?

The real show is in October.
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Old 08-06-2016, 08:58 AM   #10
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Will you be driving your RV to Florida, this is going to cut down on the rentals you can use. Many HOA's have very strict parking rules,so be sure to get that information directly from each owner before you rent.
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Old 08-06-2016, 09:34 AM   #11
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you might see drag shows at new years and fantasy fest, but the rest of the year you will have to do some searching. Appearances of KW have changed in the last several years. i normally camp at Key West (sigsbees point) for $12 a night. For fantasy fest, i stay at the Fly Navy for $65 a night.
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Old 08-06-2016, 09:45 AM   #12
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I guess we could wait until we were down near Miami to try and locate a winter rental in the Keys. It might be risky waiting that long.

.

Good rentals are booked a year in advance .
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Old 08-06-2016, 11:00 AM   #13
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Good rentals are booked a year in advance .
+1
A buddy stays around Destin and that is what he does.
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Old 08-07-2016, 06:04 AM   #14
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Key West is my favorite by far but the prices reflect the popularity.
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Old 08-07-2016, 06:28 AM   #15
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I'd be surprised if you could find a 2-3 bedroom with a dock on a canal in the Keys for $2,500 to $3,500/month... also, as someone mentioned most rentals for the 2017 busy season are booked by now, but it is always possible to get lucky or catch a cancellation... we caught a cancellation a couple years ago.

In the Sarasota area, there is often a 10% state and county tax in addition to the rent rate if your lease is less than 6 months... and I suspect the same throughout Florida. If you rent through a broker you will be charged... if you rent through an owner you may be charged (and then wonder if the owner is really remitting it to the government or just pocketing it). Our last two seasonal rentals did not charge it and we didn't complain but others we explored did.
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Old 08-07-2016, 07:16 AM   #16
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Yes, $2500 is more a direct price from an owner on Craigslist for a 2bdrm on a lesser key. I have found a few in the $3500 range on VRBO but also not on Key West.

And then you add the 13% tax on lease less than six months.

Maybe the Keys are a bit too expensive for three months. Hawaii is cheaper lol.
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Old 08-07-2016, 07:48 AM   #17
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So how do you verify ownership on a Craigslist rental, and how much to you need to pay upfront, this seems like a real opportunity to get scammed. Local rentals on CL are one thing as you can physically see the property and the owner.

I've been very wary about VRBO ever since I got caught up in a bogus rental.I don't know what kind of documentation of ownership the guy used with VRBO but he had nothing to do with the property he listed for rent. I came out whole because I had the VRBO carefree insurance but it was a giant PITA. VRBO is not consumer friendly, I had paid some money by check, but even with the insurance the first thing they told me was if you used your CC card you need to work with the CC company first.Uh, excuse me you take my insurance premium and then tell me the CC company might need to pay!
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Old 08-07-2016, 09:01 AM   #18
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What I have done is logged on to the local property tax appraisal websites and looked up the property and seen that the registered owner is the same as the lessor. I also once called the condominium association to verify the ownership. But I agree that you are prudent to be cautious as there are lots of scammers out there... when we were in Florida last winter there was a piece on the news of a couple from out-of-town who showed up for a rental and were scammed.
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Old 08-07-2016, 06:09 PM   #19
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I agree one needs to be cautious. I have rented a condo in Florida for the last 8 winters through either VRBO or Craigslist, and have not had any problems. But I too have checked the county property tax records to be sure the owners name are the same.
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Old 08-07-2016, 06:24 PM   #20
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Good rentals are booked a year in advance .
+1 At least a year in advance for good places.
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