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Old 16-12-2009, 12:38   #16
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They don't refer to Vero Beach as "Velcro Beach" for nothing.
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Old 16-12-2009, 12:41   #17
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They don't refer to Vero Beach as "Velcro Beach" for nothing.
im must be slower than most here, that went over my head??
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Old 16-12-2009, 13:29   #18
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When you say that you're looking for someplace to "park the boat" are you thinking a waterfront property with its own dock? If so, that obviously limits you.

If you're thinking of docking the boat in a marina, though, then you might also consider someplace like Lakeland, St. Cloud, Wauchula, or the like. Go just a few miles inland and the real estate prices are way less than on the water, and you are still just a (relatively) short drive from the boat. Also, you could move the boat to different marinas (east coast or west) without necessarily needing to sell the house and move.

Something to consider.

By the way, if either of you freak out at the sight of bugs, snakes, or lizards, Florida is very definitely NOT for you! My sister refuses to visit us here in Florida, specifically because she has a "thing" about lizards and they are EVERYWHERE around here.
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Old 16-12-2009, 13:54   #19
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Ram -
"Velcro Beach" Like "Tarpit Harbor", people sail in and don't leave.
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Old 16-12-2009, 14:21   #20
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The problem with owning real estate in Fl is not the cost of the property but the insurance and property tax. Find a house you can buy without a mortgage and avoid the windstorm and flood insurance costs. Of course, stay away from the coast to reduce your risk and find a nice marina, anchorage or dockominium nearby. Martin County/ Stuart is nice but that St. Lucie inlet is nasty. Dave
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Old 16-12-2009, 15:07   #21
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Coconut Grove...great sailing, close to the Keys and Bahamas and a great community.

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Old 16-12-2009, 17:35   #22
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Thanks to all that got back on this, there are some very good suggestions and insights.
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Old 16-12-2009, 18:34   #23
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South FL locations

We moved our boat and life 6 years ago to Stuart/Palm City from the southern Chesapeake. There are multiple locations to live without paying an arm and leg for waterfront; many fairly deep water canal and riverfront locations without fixed bridges out to open ocean deepwater within 1 hour . These mostly are pretty sheltered hurricaine holes as well. West end Grand Bahama is about 85 miles south of the St Lucie Inlet and a easy route to navigate. Currently lots of long term rentals in our neighborhood because of the real estate market. Having spent nearly 20 years on the Great Lakes and Cleveland, I will assure you, there will be no going back.
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Old 16-12-2009, 18:42   #24
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I would second Coconut Grove as a place with charm and good sea access. However, I would rent for a few years more rather than buy if I was going there. In fact I might not ever buy in Florida at an elevation of less than 50'. The glaciers are melting, from the inside and outside, and the glacier tunneling is well documented and can be seen on various documentaries on PBS or the travel channel. That risk can be seen clearly in the fact that insuring a house in Florida has become all but impossible with the abandonment of Fla. by most insurance cos in the last half dozen years. And given the morals and track record of insurance companies, if you got insurance you could only hope they would honor a claim.

That said, there is another reason not to buy until sometime in 2012. Foreclosures are going to keep adding to housing inventory as the silly mortgages contunue to reset, doubling/tripling mortgage payments for the unlucky holders until the beginning of '12, meaning prices will continue to fall until inventory is worked down to 4-5 months worth. It does appear from my study that even then, prices may not rise for some years, but at least, you wouldn't be buying to find yourself underwater metaphorically (tho' perhaps literally), after a few years of ownership. IMHO. Jon

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Old 16-12-2009, 18:44   #25
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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post

By the way, if either of you freak out at the sight of bugs, snakes, or lizards, Florida is very definitely NOT for you! My sister refuses to visit us here in Florida, specifically because she has a "thing" about lizards and they are EVERYWHERE around here.
And the IGUANAS! They are everywhere, along the canals in Ft. Lauderdale. I think the only really bad thing about them is their droppings, but those animals average 3-4 ft. long and they will get your attention with the splash when they dive in the water.
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Old 16-12-2009, 19:30   #26
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By the way, if either of you freak out at the sight of bugs, snakes, or lizards, Florida is very definitely NOT for you! My sister refuses to visit us here in Florida, specifically because she has a "thing" about lizards and they are EVERYWHERE around here.
My grandparents lived in Ft. Myers for over 30 years. We loved visiting them there from the time we were kids up through adulthood, and I never minded the lizards at all -- they were kinda cute and fun to watch skittering around the pool cage. Summers were warm & humid, to be sure, but not much worse than here in NC, and in their pool, I hardly noticed.

So there was this one time time a rat -- yes, a rat -- turned up in one of the guest bathrooms. Must have come in when the door to the garage was open. Without letting on to my grandparents, my step-dad had to get him out of the house. That did not occur without said rat making one trip UP my step-dad's leg.

Florida...gotta love it!
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Old 17-12-2009, 06:47   #27
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So there was this one time time a rat -- yes, a rat -- turned up in one of the guest bathrooms. Must have come in when the door to the garage was open. Without letting on to my grandparents, my step-dad had to get him out of the house. That did not occur without said rat making one trip UP my step-dad's leg.

Florida...gotta love it!

ROFLOL
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Old 17-12-2009, 09:40   #28
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Interesting discussion. Mike, you seem headed for SE Florida, in which case offering you info on other parts of the state may be a waste of (y)our time. OTOH one of the unique things about FL - and one of the things it has in common with California - is its size & length, and therefore its regional diversity, culturally and physically. As someone who did what you are considering, I think you'd be best served if you stepped back for a moment and considered all of your key criteria and then looked at how the various regions of FL met those criteria. You may well find, as we did, that you'll end up being attracted to several regions to which you initially gave little attention.

In a nutshell (and so of course it's going to be grossly incomplete), here's how I view Florida when looking thru my lens:
-- Panhandle: more 'southern' than any other part of FL; limited population densities but also (relatively) limited resources & attractions; easier location from which to travel back to the midwest; the most 'seasonal' climate of any FL region; historically one of the areas with the biggest hurricane 'bullseye'
-- NE area & Jacksonville: one of the largest metropolitan areas (2.4M in its MSA) with the mix of events, colleges, etc. that come with that; also seasonal climate but less severe in summer and winter than the Panhandle; a unique/appealing boating area (St. John's River) that's relatively uncrowded; relatively stable economy because of the large Navy presence; the least likely area in coastal FL to experience hurricane force winds (indented coastline and a distancing Gulf Stream)
-- Tampa Bay area: I'd maintain St. Pete has the 'best' (in features, resources and eye-appeal) waterfront venue in the state; another major metropolitan area (tho' without the cheek-to-jowl appearance and reality of the Ft. L/Miami area) with universities, sports events etc.; daysailing easily done over a relatively wide area when you consider the large Bay and its barrier islands; another bulls-eye region but the one that will see the most damage from a 'hit' because it hasn't seen a Cat 1 or higher storm within 100km of the Bay's centerpoint in over 60 years...and its during that time that most of the land fill and construction was completed
-- SW FL: perhaps its most appealing feature is Charlotte Bay (Harbor), the only large estuary that the state has protected from development in perpetuity; like the Panhandle, less population density and also less in events, community resources and the like
-- the Space Coast: a long & protected Indian River is another major boating resource for daysailing; one strip mall city after the next and without the metropolitan features and benefits as well as less aesthetic appeal; adjacent to the Abacos
-- I'll skip summarizing SE FL as you seem to already know much about that area

Two final thoughts: Assuming you want seasonal access to the Bahamas, I think the only area that might be a bit of a liability in that regard is the Panhandle. I think you'd be letting minor differences make major decisions if you chose a region based on its proximity to the islands for the simple reason they are relatively accessible from most of FL. We recently sailed from St. Pete to the middle Keys in a single overnight, from which it was a daysail (with the Gulf Stream) to reach Gun Cay and entrance onto the Banks and points east. Similarly, Jacksonville is a single overnight to Port Canaveral, from which many sailors depart for the Abacos (tho' points further S certainly make for a quicker run). If you had a 30' 400 hp powerboat and wanted weekend access, it would be a different story.

Also, give a second look at just what you plan to do during those hot/humid Florida summers. Hopping over to the islands will put you in an area with few hurricane holes during the cyclonic storm season and when its hottest and with the least wind. Some find this the ideal time because of fewer boats...but it is a trade-off to say the least. OTOH if you think you'll head N on your boat to escape the heat & humidity, you'll find it consistently present all the way up thru the Chesapeake. My point is to consider that a move to the SE USA is a move to hot/humid summers, no matter how you shave it.

Good luck on the research. We think there are multiple very appealing choices here, despite Florida's many problems, but the devil's in the (i.e. your) details.

Jack
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Old 17-12-2009, 10:22   #29
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The problem with owning real estate in Fl is not the cost of the property but the insurance and property tax.
you are so right with that: my flood insurance was going up every year and is not cheap!! i sold 2 years ago and have not regretted it. boat is now at marina.
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Old 17-12-2009, 10:57   #30
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-- Panhandle: more 'southern' than any other part of FL
Yep. One of the interesting things that I noticed when I first moved to Florida, back in 1982--the further south you go, the less "southern" the culture is.
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