My wife spent several weeks in the summer of 2001 looking for a place on the Florida east coast
between St. Augustine and Stuart. Before she began the search we determined exactly what we were looking for and how much we were willing to spend. We considered taxes
, crime rates, climate, quiet, older established neighborhoods, nearness to beach, availability of marina slips, access to the Atlantic from the Inland Waterway, marina services (haul out & slips), traffic congestion, availability of shopping
, culture, parks, etc. That helped narrow the communities we ultimately considered, and we used the Internet
to review real estate.
We sorted out financing
beforehand, but that was in an economic period that was based on whether you were alive, not if you could pay. Financing
now is extraordinarily regimented by new federal guidelines and requirements.
My wife visited communities firsthand and began to further narrow our choices, and finally identified some specific communities in the same general area, where she enlisted a realtor in the role of a "buyer's agent."
My wife and the realtor located eight places in a short time. I flew down from Washington
, DC, and spent several days looking at the eight places. We picked the one that most fit our original specs; the original specs, selected in the clarity of reality and practicality, proved an important baseline in avoiding a decision clouded by emotion. We found some great places … but we stuck to our original specs. We moved here permanently this past September. We have never regretted our decision.
Florida real estate is picking up, but with a careful plan you can find whatever you want: trailer communities, condos, duplexes, single-family homes, and they can all be located very near the beach. Pricing can be whatever you want to pay. You seem to be budget
oriented and you can find places under $50k-100k, easily. Trailer homes can be bought for under $30K or less. Keep in mind some of these might require work, i.e., money/hard work to make improvements. Again, make a plan.
We are across the street from the beach, in a gated community. The key is determining what you want and how much you can spend. Then you need to look for it. Today the Internet
makes that much easier.
I hope sharing our experience might be useful to you. Good Luck!