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Old 01-02-2007, 14:21   #16
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Originally Posted by Temporarily Landlocked
alohaboat, you raise a good point that I overlooked. The property tax in Utah is pretty low. What is it like in S. FL?
I don't know how much the property tax rate is in Florida. Some of the Florida residents would be able to give you a good answer or just search on Google. But you can bet that a comparable house in Florida is going to be more expensive than Utah and you will be paying a higher tax rate on a more expensive home.

In my case, I decided to stay put where I was until I was ready to quit my job (retire). You will then have a lot more flexibility on location when you are ready to move. Florida may turn out to be your paradise, but then again it might be Panama, Belize, Costa Rica, or Mexico. I have a home on the beach in Mexico that I could never afford in the US. Panama, Belize, and Costa Rica offer similar opportunities. I have friends from Washington who own their own small 10 acre island in the Bay Islands of Honduras. They couldn't be happier.
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Old 01-02-2007, 15:45   #17
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I have been to Mexico, Honduras, and Costa Rica. Mexico is my personal favorite and I can see myself with a small beach bungalow somewhere, but not yet. That is my post-live aboard life, when I need cheap meds and a full-time nurse to speak Spanish to me . Costa Rica was expensive and for no reason other than by design from their government. After being shot at in Honduras (great story), I am not too hip to live there, although if I had my own 10 acre island that would be a different story!

This thread has already made me second guess the move, which is a good thing. Maybe it would be an easier decision if it weren't snowing right now with a high of 26 degrees (as it has been for the last 3 weeks!).
Sell the house.
Keep the dog.
Live on the boat.
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Old 01-02-2007, 16:40   #18

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"I found that in SE Florida (no offense to the locals), there was relatively little to do that involved nature if you didn't own a boat. " What, you didn't find camping in the swamp, canoeing in the swamp, hunting turkey in the swamp, and hiking in the swamp to be good sport?<G>

SE Florida is a great place if you are young and like to party all night nd have lots of money to burn. Or older with more money to burn. But one of the big moving companies (Atlas, I think) made big news by announcing that for the first time ever in 2005, they moved more people OUT of Florida than INTO it. The local papers routinely talk about the way housing has become unaffordable and gridlock the norm, so even the natives have been fleeing and moving to Oregon and the Carolinas and a few other places where small houses can be bought for under a quarter million. In SE Florida, you'll get a 50's or 60's vintage bungalow on 1/16th acre with a carport, no garage, for about a quarter mil. If you act fast.
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Old 01-02-2007, 18:48   #19
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Originally Posted by hellosailor
Oregon and the Carolinas and a few other places where small houses can be bought for under a quarter million. In SE Florida, you'll get a 50's or 60's vintage bungalow on 1/16th acre with a carport, no garage, for about a quarter mil. If you act fast.
Sounds like a deal. I was looking at a Condo in San Fran for my brother -- 261 sq ft, no parking, an ample supply of druggies to act as doormen all for $268,000 makes SE FL look like a steal.
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Old 01-02-2007, 21:23   #20

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Charlie, $68,000 would buy him a Winnebago bigger than that apartment, with $200,000 back in spare change or gas money.

What can you say, the world's gone mad. Of course if he's an investment broker and that's around the corner from the office, it's a steal and he can afford to buy two and make a duplex, right?<G>
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Old 25-02-2007, 22:37   #21
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Originally Posted by Temporarily Landlocked
Ram, my wife and I are at least 5 years away from living aboard. We were thinking of moving to Florida (maybe Tampa) to get closer to the ocean (we are now in Utah). How much more expensive is it in FL? According to CNN's Money website, the cost of living is very similar to here in Salt Lake City, but housing is slightly higher. Is that the only difference? We have an income and sales tax here in Utah, FL only a sales tax- that sounds great to me. I guess what I am asking is, why move form a place, to us, looks like an amazing place to have access to great sailing weather and cheap travel elsewhere?
Hi, having grown up in Tampa. I would suggest St Petersburg instead.
Tampa has no liveaboard marinas, no sailboat freindly marina at last check. Almost all my freinds kept thier sailboats over in Pinellas County.

Having lived both places, St Pete is definitely cheaper.
Some of the older neighborhood west and nw of downtown still have nice, smaller houses that are within reason, and well built.
Historically St Pete rarely ever has hurricanes hit.. generally we get edges if that. Anywhere there you are within an hour or less from the beaches or any marina.
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Old 25-02-2007, 23:45   #22
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Gosh, don't know what you guys in Fla are complaining about. A bungalo with a carport for 250K? I live in Oxnard, about half way between LA and Santa Barbara, and around here, you can't buy anything for a quarter mil. An 800 sq. ft condo at Port Hueneme, near the naval base, might be had for 325K, if it's old and run down. When I moved here a year and a half ago, I called a realtor and said I wanted to look at homes in the 300 to 350 range. She fell off her chair laughing. In Camarillo, the next burg over, 7 mi. east, where I actually worked, the least expensive home on multiple listing at the time was 525K, it was about 1600 sq. ft., built in the 70s, and still had the original shag green carpeting. It has gotten a little better now with the housing slow down, but not much. But hey, it's SoCal, we got Hollywood, the governator, and miles of clogged freeways, and now Madam Pelosi, what else could one want? just kidding. Lord, just get me out of here, to anywhere...

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Old 05-03-2007, 19:11   #23
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TL, if your still here.
the part of fl that We live in (north west )Is real nice.We have some simulance of seasons here and contrary to what you think after you live here a while it gets down right cold in the winter. as far as state stuff goes its pretty resonable where you will choke and die is when you get your insurance bills. The boats cost twice as much to insure here then places that dont get storms. home owners is off the charts also.
As was mentioned before there are some good deals to be had here since the housing market crashed there are a lot of motivated sellers around.
probably some real steals over in Alabama and mississippi right now too they are still recovering from Katrina, Dennis and Ivan.
Just a thought
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Old 05-03-2007, 20:27   #24
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rethink fla

Landlock - i live in se fla - there are a lot of issues here - first the insurance rates are out of control on housing as a lot of insurance companies won't write or went under due to hurricanes - i have heard of one person whose house insurance went from 4k to 11k and they had to take a loan to pay it -
second property tax is out of control and there is a move afoot in the fla legislature to max it out or replace it with a much higher sales tax - problem is out of control spending
third is boat dockage - in se fla finding a slip is very difficult to find and if you find one they are very expensive -
fourth is boat insurance - finding some one to write insurance that will cover named winds is hard - most major companies will not write and some that do will not cover named winds or are very expensive - but if you search far enough you can find some
fifth - if you do not speak spanish in se fla you are an outsider - as the congressman from colo put it this is becoming a third world country and the primary language is spanish -
and lastly lets not forget the city laws that outlaw anchoring all over fla - the state passed a law that would invalidate local laws but the locals ignore state law and one crusier decided to take on one city and actually got a ticket and is taking it to court (see boatus news) -
so in general i personally can not wait to leave - selling my house is an issue now - but i hope i can wait out the downturn - and leave -
in summary - florida is getting very unfriendly to boaters and english is becoming the second language
just my thoughts (i know i am bias)
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Old 06-03-2007, 13:53   #25

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"english is becoming the second language "
Wow! Has it advanced that far UP the ratings? (sigh)
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Old 06-03-2007, 15:44   #26
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I have never been to Panama, but my boss just purchased 40 acres there for like 70K. He has 350 feet of beach front and can build however big he wants, better get in while the getting is good. Seeing how you are selling in Palm Beach near where I grew up I dont think you will have a problem getting a decent sized place in Panama.
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Old 07-03-2007, 13:43   #27

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After the "police action" to recover Noriega, how does the Panamanian government feel about the US and US expats in general?

Considering they threw out the US and took up the Red Chinese offer to rehab the canal...hows the future for US expats there?

(Me, I'm just terribly disappointed that we pulled out without doing the politicially and ecologically correct thing: Filling the ditch back in.)
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Old 07-03-2007, 14:55   #28
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Actually, hellosailor, it isn't true that the Panamanians "threw out the US." The treaty to return the canal and the land abutting it to the sovereign nation of Panama was negotiated and signed back in the 70s, with the handover occuring on December 31, 1999. Many people said the so-called third-worlders wouldn't know what they were doing, and the canal would be unusable in a year. Guess not . . .

As to taking up the Chinese on their offer to finance a widening of the canal, what's wrong with that? It's something the US has talked about doing for a long time, but could never find the political will and the necessary funding to make happen.

When the Americans got involved in the concept of a Canal, the Panamanian isthmus was actually still a part of Colombia. When the Americans and Colombians could not get an agreement ratified by the Colombian Senate, the Americans resorted to force.

They let local "Panamanians" know that if they declared their independence from Colombia, the Americans would support their rebellion. The presence of the USS Nashville inhibited the Colombians from striking back at the rebels, and the term "Gunboat Diplomacy" was proven literally true. In return, the Americans were granted a concession to the Canal Zone, a strip of land on either side of the actual canal, and have dominated Panamanian life ever since.

As to your contention that "filling the ditch back in" is politically and ecologically correct, the saying "cutting off your nose to spite your face" pops to mind. The economic consequences for the entire global economy if the Panama Canal were to be lost is almost incalculable.

The unit of currency in Panama is the Balboa and/or the US dollar, as they have a 1:1 equivalency. That is the reason that Panama alone among the nations south of the Rio Grande has a stable economy with inflation matching that of the US. The truly impressive Panama City is a first-world international city, and an important crossroads in the global economy.

Colon, at the northern, Caribbean, end of the canal, is much less impressive - even dangerous for the unwary.

For me, the lovely people of Panama, though for the most part poor by North American standards, are warm and welcoming. As is often the case, it isn't the poorest, nor the richest, people that you have to fear. It's the ones in between.

"Your vision becomes clear only when you look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks within, awakens."
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Old 07-03-2007, 15:15   #29
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Bravo!!!!!!! tajones
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Old 07-03-2007, 15:33   #30
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H.S. Thats funny!
I worked in Panama for a couple of years back in the dark ages (the last two years El General was in power) back then most panamanians liked Americans and a lot of them were scared of what would happen when we left. I haven't kept up with it. but unless attitudes have changed drasticly I would think expats would be welcomed. That is untill they drive up property values to U.S. levals. Like they did in Costa Rica.
I can't see why anyone would want to live in a underdevolped country when it costs the Same as living in the states kinda defeats the Whole purpose. I did have a good time in Panama though The only time we were ever nervous was in Colon, And you really don't want to be drunk on central ave. in Panama city at night. Those guys dont care what country your from.
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Panama Canal, Panama

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