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Old 17-06-2015, 11:42   #16
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Re: Home base: Florida or Puerto Rico?

For the money the west coast of Florida will go a lot farther, the southern east coast is very costly and most are very old (50's) in style, which will take even more $$ to update. We have friends who retired to PR, they love it there, good value and good medical facilities, but as another one said forget the house on the water with a dock.
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Old 17-06-2015, 11:59   #17
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Smile Re: Home base: Florida or Puerto Rico?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stargazerroatan View Post
I know that you have mentioned staying in the USA, but consider being an expat.
Like you I searched the USA (by internet and vacations) for a good location to retire with a sailboat.
When I was totally frustrated with the housing costs, building processes, and living costs; I decided to look outside the US.
I looked for English speaking as a primary requirement. Belize is wonderful. Corazol town area was perfect, but my Funds were going to available in lumps but not all together at that point (also not as much as your indicated funds).
Placencia (that is not spelled right sorry) area was too much for our budget.
We eventually purchased on the Island of Roatan. English speaking island, Part of Honduras. Lots of expats, very popular with English speaking; British, Canadian, and a growing US contingent.
I wish you the best in finding the place that best fits your needs and budget.

Jim
I live in Placencia and you did spell it right. One of the few who has. Corozal area is not really conducive to deep draft sailing and the bay is a little scuzzy IMO. All of Belize north of Belize City and inside the reef is quite shallow. Placencia in the south has nice, inside the reef sailing and we are 1 day sail from the Rio Dulce (hurricane hole). Placencia is a peninsula, ocean on the east side, a lagoon on the west side. You can get a 6' draft up the lagoon (with some minor coaching) about 5 miles to the village of Seine Bight. A canal lot along this stretch will cost between $60,000.USD to $200,000. USD depending on location and amenities. Property taxes for that lot with or without a house on it runs less than $20.USD per year. Important info for anyone trying to budget.

Roatan I believe is more reasonably priced and the diving there is the best in the western Caribbean IMO. A working knowledge of Spanish is essential I think which is why I chose Belize where English is the language of the land.
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Old 17-06-2015, 12:41   #18
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Re: Home base: Florida or Puerto Rico?

Southeast Florida, Keys, Miami...as the most recent Archibishop of Miami remarked, he was so pleased to be promoted, and to a location so close to the United States. (The largely Cubano audience guffawed, they got the joke.)


You might want to rent an apartment for a month, or an RV, once in summer and a second time in winter, to get some feel for the place. It ain't the Midwest. It ain't even the continental US, as most of us know it. You might love it, but you really want to try the waters (so to speak) before you plunge in.
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Old 17-06-2015, 12:58   #19
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Re: Home base: Florida or Puerto Rico?

i second the west coast of Florida. we have better and more steady winds and can attest to the clear blue waters and inlets being easier to manage (than the east coast) IMHO. and the language is mostly english
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Old 17-06-2015, 15:48   #20
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Re: Home base: Florida or Puerto Rico?

There are some waterfront neighborhoods in St. Petersburg (where I live) where you can pick up a canal waterfront home for around $350k right now. Look at the neighborhoods around Weedon Island. The canal house next door to me sold for $265k six months ago, but it needed updating (1960 house with orig kitchen). But prices are on the move up, and I think they will continue rising for at least the next 5 years. If you are considering purchasing in St. Petersburg, I would do it now. Look for a realtor who actually lives on the water and has a sailboat, one who understands your needs.

The west coast of FL is less expensive than the east coast of FL. Plus, we don't have the pollution problems like they do in the Indian River Lagoon and St. Johns River areas.
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Old 17-06-2015, 16:10   #21
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Re: Home base: Florida or Puerto Rico?

Really good stuff guys. I appreciate all the ideas and opinions. My budget is for the house only, not to include the boat. I have spent time in both places and like them both (well Miami, not so much.) I am pretty set on staying in the US, but the usvi might be an option since I think my health insurance might work there too. Good to know that the canals might not be as deep as advertised.
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Old 17-06-2015, 18:33   #22
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Re: Home base: Florida or Puerto Rico?

Forget Miami and Puerto Rico. I've lived in both places and can assure you you don't want to live in either. The Keys are way beyond your budget, as is most waterfront property in South Florida.
But further north or on much of the west coast of Florida you may find what you are looking for. Palm Coast, as Vasco suggests, is not a bad start.
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Old 17-06-2015, 19:56   #23
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Re: Home base: Florida or Puerto Rico?

I agree that I wouldn't enjoy living in Miami, but I'm curious why you didn't like Puerto Rico? Also, a quick search on zillow shows several canal front homes in the keys in my price range. None of them are palaces, and I'm not sure they would handle a big boat though.
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Old 17-06-2015, 20:30   #24
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Re: Home base: Florida or Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico is crowded, expensive, and crime ridden. The sales tax is 11.5%. I dont remember seeing "canal front" homes anywhere. Marinas are expensive. I dont know of any marinas that offer sufficient storm protection. If you can find an affordable place in the Keys that would be a better choice.
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Old 17-06-2015, 20:37   #25
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Re: Home base: Florida or Puerto Rico?

Yeah, I was surprised that I didn't see any canals or docks or moorings in Puerto Rico. Also not many sailboats at all really. Thanks for the input.
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Old 17-06-2015, 20:40   #26
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Re: Home base: Florida or Puerto Rico?

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Originally Posted by Kelsea View Post
Roatan I believe is more reasonably priced and the diving there is the best in the western Caribbean IMO. A working knowledge of Spanish is essential I think which is why I chose Belize where English is the language of the land.
I was in Roatan two years ago and loved it. Second your opinion that the diving there is top notch.
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Old 17-06-2015, 21:09   #27
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Re: Home base: Florida or Puerto Rico?

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...Also, a quick search on zillow shows several canal front homes in the keys in my price range. None of them are palaces, and I'm not sure they would handle a big boat though.
Canal front with "sailboat access" makes a big difference in price in FL. Draft is not the only issue. There are loads of bridges, especially in SE Florida and many have 10' or less vertical clearance.

Also many of the canals are not very wide. I lived on sailboat accessible canal front in W FL, but if I had pulled my cat in there I could have walked across it to my neighbor's house. Sure would have pissed off the upstream neighbors!
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Old 17-06-2015, 21:22   #28
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Re: Home base: Florida or Puerto Rico?

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Originally Posted by Stargazerroatan View Post
...
Placencia (that is not spelled right sorry) area was too much for our budget.
...
Hey you got it right! Sure beats the usual misspelling...using a "t".

For the OP's budget, Placencia is feasible. I still have a canal front, sailboat accessible, lot there with a market value of about 50% of his housing budget...still leaving plenty to build with.
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Old 18-06-2015, 00:58   #29
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Re: Home base: Florida or Puerto Rico?

To All, I love Puerto Rico and my wife is from there, but they are in serious financial trouble and looking for revenue wherever they can find it. Recently implemented a second "temporary" property tax as well as a 7-8% sales tax with more fees and taxes on the horizon. My wife and I inherited 3 pieces of real estate which we would like to sell, but the economy is so bad, it's almost impossible. The educated Puerto Ricans (read producers) are leaving to the tune of several thousand monthly due to taxes, fees and crime. Great place to sail and live aboard, but rent ashore! Sad to see!


I lived there for 12 years from 1972 through 1983 and still spend several months a year on the island. My wife loves her homeland, but would never move back permanently. That said; Different strokes **. George
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Old 18-06-2015, 08:34   #30
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Re: Home base: Florida or Puerto Rico?

I live in Coral Cove on 1 of 3 canals adjacent to the Indian River Lagoon in Ft. Pierce, Florida. Recent sales of houses on my canal ranged from $280,000 for a fix me upper to $406,000 for a 2 story big house. We're right next to the Ft. Pierce inlet and directly west of the Little Bahama Bank. So, ..... there are still affordable houses in Florida with deep water access. You might also look at Cape Coral on the Florida west coast.

Visit my website at PineapplePrincessLLC.com

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