Jay in the Bay

Best places to live and fish in Florida??

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Ok, I am looking to make some plans to move to FLA in the coming 1-2 years, and looking for the best place to live along the coast with good opportunities for fishing.

 

First.... West Coast or East?

 

Prefer to be longitudinally equal to or south of Tampa and Melbourne.

 

I have family in the Cape Coral/Ft Myers area, so that’s already an option.

Also have my eye on Stuart, Florida.

 

Any other recommendations?  Need to take into consideration I make a middle class salary in NJ (which means Palm Beach is out!).

 

Also, my intention would be to eventually have a boat, so I would end up doing more boat fishing than from the surf.

 

Thanks!!!

Edited by Jay in the Bay

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Jay, first bit of advice is don’t buy right away. Rent, rent terms in Florida are only one year in length. Come here, live a year or two in an area and see how you like it. Each town, neighborhood and development is different then the next. Could be traffic patterns, or a location you go to multiple times in a month that will drive your final thoughts. Some of our parameters of places to live involved proximity to the water. 

 

Something as simple as Irma and it’s affects had us move. The area which is just a 1/2 mile away is lower in elevation and we had the home surrounded by water after the storm. Today we are in a home of gated community, larger size, pool and 3 car garage for the same dollar rent we were paying for less size. 

 

Areas like where we are is temp different than Tampa, winter becomes the time of year it’s the most evident.  Bonita Springs is south of the calusahatchee river and that’s the line to topical conditions. Moving to a location like this brings the need for the body to condition itself to hot, muggy weather for months. Can you adjust to that easy. It took me a year to get acclimated where it took my wife two years. 

 

 

Take a look at the sheriffs crime map for the county in specific. Each area has its own problems. 

 

 

Take your time.  

 

If theres ever any questions I could help you with in regards to where we are just ask. 

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Jay, before making any commitments to purchase, I'd recommend keeping updated on the continuing red tide/blue/green algae all along the West Coast, which we've enjoyed, mid winter fishing/sun loving vacation, for 18 years. Due to what we experienced last March, 2019 will be the first year we're not returning due to the red tide still making its presence, particularly along Sanibel Island, Ft. Myers and Bonita Beach. Also, you need to consider the MASSIVE fish/baitfish kill washing up onshore for more than an entire year on the W. Coast and now it seems the offshore feeding fish/dolphins have been affected and, also, have been washing up dead on the shores of W. Coast beaches, specifically Lee and Collier Counties. 47 dead dolphins washed up in Lee/Collier during 3 wks. in November:(  Keep in touch with this via the Naples News online.)

  On the other hand, if you want to take a chance, due to the continuing red tide environmental "disaster" along 126 miles of the W. Coast, many many condos have been listed for sale at reduced prices, especially those right on the beach, which is where we vacationed & fished daily. Two fish each for us, fishing twice daily on Bonita Beach for the entire month of March! Eventually, and complacently, it seems, it is assumed by Floridians, the red tide will disappear, like it has after its worst years on the W. Coast - this past year was the absolute worst because it included massive fish/sea mammal/turtle/sea bird kills and, it's said, a whole generation of fish/sea mammals, turtles are gone. 

  You mentioned you have family in the Ft. Myers/Cape Coral area. For sure they have mentioned red tide effects to you?

Of course, if you don't plan to purchase/rent directly on the waterfront, you might be able to avoid the effects of red tide since the FWC recommends those with asthma, respiratory/heart problems stay 1 mile away from the water. We don't have any of these but coughed continually while on the beach all of March 2018. If you eventually plan to fish mainly from boat/kayak, the W.Coast would be a very good choice, providing those fish not killed return to the Gulf waters. If you can get away from shoreline fishing and fish the mangroves in the back bays and further offshore, you should be good. 

 

  Personally, from what I know about red tide/algae plus terrible fishing conditions experienced by us 2018 on the W. Coast, I would not even consider vacationing or moving there anytime soon. "saltwaterfisherman" here on  the Florida SOL forum posts almost daily about fishing conditions on the West Coast, particularly Bonita/Ft.Myers/Collier/Lee counties. Be sure to check his posts as they are accurate and informational and, confirmed by friends there right now. 

 

 FL West Coast is beautiful, more laid back than the East Coast, beautiful calm water, vs. surf on the E. Coast,  and certainly, very fishable, providing the red tide disappears and the fish return.  Again, my advice, if choosing to locate there, rent, for a while, at least, don't buy! And do a lot of research beforehand. Good luck with your relocation decisions! 

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Plus, jay, just read saltfisherman's post above. He, as usual, is right on. He knows the fishing/residential scene. Since you seem serious about moving to Florida, I'd suggest you and he just pm back and forth. He does know what's going on, that's for sure! And, those of us here on SOL, surely appreciate all his postings!

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Tampa , Sarasota , Crystal River , my choice on the West Central Florida , below that its very hot & huge bug difference not my liking .   There is a NY / Florida saying : watch who travels I-95 & I-75 there is a difference . I owned property on the Ft Lauderdale area during the  70's ,west coast too,  Traveled to just about all of Florida except the pan handle ( which I hear is beautiful ) with many options fishing & real estate . Florida is a great state to make the life move . It's not for everybody , so make sure your , wife , life partner or mother -inlaw are all on board . Good Luck 

Edited by Hook I

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I toyed with buying a small place to stage trips. Green Cove Springs fit my bill. It's Old Florida, on the Johns River, hit either coast with a short drive. Close to the upper west coast river outlets. 

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Just read that a new thru-way is being built and GCS expects 25,000 more residents in the near future. Build a good road and they will follow it...too bad, another great piece of Old Florida bites the dust. 

 

Wish I'd never signed the right of way to pave my country road. 

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Different FL N of New Port Ritchie, First much cheaper, Taxes lower, Flood insurance lower than Most, I lived in Crystal River for25 years, finally down sized moved to a 55+ community. Most places  above Tampa are not on Gulf but up River some  (Crystal River // Homosassa approx. 4 mile up river  Which are in Big Bend area  and home of the Flats (Shallow water)  

Crystal River  (Citrus County population 150K Three high school Two Hospital and numerous medical specialties, fishing good (No Red Tide) Gulf stream far off shore.

 Housing as I said much cheaper we just sold in 3 Days paid 89K for a 2/2/2 on over an acre, listed 149 on Monday took  offer for less but 30 days close, Pre approved, no inspection as is ,and we had a place already  on consignment.

Ins 1800 / taxes 585/ flood ins  (Not required) Agree find a place rent for a year use weekends to search/look around, I hear reports that areas such as Ft Meyers Sarasota, and that area are Grid  (Traffic) during snow bird season

I will say this above Tampa on West Coast you will not find many decent paying jobs, Teachers /Sherriff dept pay is Deplorable  (No Union) Fl State Troopers grossly undermanned as Pay scale sucks

Oh yes the menu of fish varies from area to area

In reality you will no Doubt see a Pay raise as the Tax structure caters to retired people and no sales tax on Food helps a family with children   LOOK  then LOOK some more

 

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I’ll add to what Al stated. Come here to SWFL for the month of Jan to March, you will want to run people off the road. Snowbird season keeps getting worse and longer in time. Traffic is bad, it take you twice at a minimum to get someplace you were at yesterday with the summer heat and no vacationers. What used to be a few months is now 6. We love the area a lot, but can do without the traffic that happens. Never knew why the NJ shore full time homeowners dreaded summer, now we know. 

 

Dinner, well there’s something we don’t go out for much during winter season, it can take you 2 hours to get into a place. 

 

Housing prices here are through the roof. Get on Zillow and look up Bonita springs, to pick one town of them all. A 1400 sq home can be $300k+, 2000sq is $400k+. Tiny lanei, the size of a hallway. Building style is much different than north. If you are used to divided rooms, not here is all an open floor plan. Your living room, dining and kitchen are all as one big open space. Tiny size plots of land, they are now building zero clearance, means if you reach out your arms between two homes you will touch both of them at once. Little to no storage, you have to remember no basement and no usable attic. So downsize and expect to get rid of more once you’re here. We sold 50% of our stuff and swear we still had 100% too much.  Because the price of used homes are so high, people are buying new. Keep your option open, new doesn’t mean more expensive here. There are a lot of homes for sale. Do your do diligence, before you buy talk to the neighbors. Does it flood during a hurricane or heavy rainy season rains. Is the road flooded during storms. Todays development is, the homes are build up and the roads are the lowest part. Because of that the roads flood and take a few days to become passable. If you come into a place and a couple homes are on stilts, it’s a dead giveaway something happens here. HOAs, Florida is full of them, understand the rules before you purchase. Something as simple as garbage cans are governed, time and length of time on the street.  As you Move further from the water line obviously the prices do come down, but not much until you get to East Naples and Immokalee. 

 

Take your time, there is no rush to get it right. 

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HOA's down here are full of old retired farts that have nothing better to do than try and make your life miserable. When we bought our house in 1995, we specified no HOA, and no pool.

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7 mins ago, acesover said:

HOA's down here are full of old retired farts that have nothing better to do than try and make your life miserable. When we bought our house in 1995, we specified no HOA, and no pool.

Yeah, but you live next to a chartreuse house lol!

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Posted (edited) · Report post

At least she didn't paint the house the trim color!!!!   LOL

Mrs Luisa can paint her house any color she wants to .

Edited by acesover

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