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mybeach

What is it really like living in gulf coastal Florida?

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Been looking at places along the gulf coast, maybe panhandle coast, and was wondering what the real logistics are in that state. 

 

Are you able to insure waterfront property reasonably? Is it cheaper to do so further up an access river? 

 

Hows building codes down there, looking at some empty waterfront lots, or very close proximity to waterfront. Would really like to consider a dock.

 

General areas - and its a huge area, but anywhere from Tampa Bay all the way out the panhandle. Preferably, either waterfront or very close by. 

 

Do new construction houses have to be elevated on stilts? Can a dock be built without having to jump through ridiculous hoops? 

 

Taxes are climbing, I'm going to guess. Hows property tax in general for waterfront type properties?

 

Are builders busy as hell and unable to take on new projects? Hows materials costs, generally? 

 

Any information you guys put here would be greatly appreciated.

 

We are not set on an area, but we have narrowed it down a bit lol.

 

Not really looking south of Tampa Bay, but anywhere above and coastal is possible. Maybe out to Pensacola or Destin areas. 

 

Thanks guys. Appreciate any real info.

 

 

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Very basic info, being I’m not directly aware of a lot of what you’re asking.

 

you can check Zillow for property tax info and approx cost in areas you are considering. 

 

Contact the local building dept and ask to set up an appointment to talk to the officials for building questions. Building codes are up to date hurricane wise. They are not building homes at cat2 standards, I believe it’s now cat5 requirement. 

 

Property taxes are reassessed each year. As a florida resident, not a rental property, you’d qualify for property tax break. 

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The one thing I can add is rent first. Take your time and see if you like the area. There can be factors that you like or dislike about an area. It gives you time to explore, wait for a deal, and live the area. It’s traffic, commute times, availablity to areas of interest to you. Work wise, pay scale in an area. Jobs and opportunities related to it. 

 

Summer heat can be a deal breaker to some. Based on the area it can be impressive. 

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The farther you go inland the cheaper it gets  Traffic can be a problem some areas when the Snow birds are down?  if you have a big boat, check the bridges and their height. 

Some canals go no where?  Easy to buy, hard to sell? 

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Easy to buy, hard to sell. 

 

Those words right there explain florida real estate. Be damn sure this is where you want to live before you buy anything. We still rent and will so for quite some time. We are looking at moving from here in the next amount of given years. 

 

Right now here in bonita beach area and north there are a large amount of homes for sale. Look at trulia and go to the area from Bonita beach to ft Myers beach. This area alone on estero Blvd has 500 homes for sale on the water, gulf and bay side. This 55 home community I’m in has at any given time 3 homes for sale. Pick your size of home and make an offer.  Search 34135 zip and you will see a sea of homes for sale. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

The bridges are all backed up this month .

Sometimes to go to Fort Myers Beach it takes an hour this time of year.  Should take ten minutes.  And god forbid the bridge opens ?   The other day went to Siesta key , traffic backed all the way to US 41.  

 

Edited by ccb

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Only you can answer these questions . 

How much $$ do you have to live on ?

Is this retirement ?

How old are you ?

Do you have alimony payments ? 

Can you never go back to where you came from ? 

Lastly Do you have whitey white skin & you will burn easily from the sun ?      good luck  

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Siesta key very nice  one of the best beaches in USA and world.  Sand is like fine Sugar .  Go to Vacation Channel , you will see 

But Big Bucks   Hotel And Condo 300 a night on the beach 

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51 mins ago, Hook I said:

Only you can answer these questions . 

How much $$ do you have to live on ?

Is this retirement ?

How old are you ?

Do you have alimony payments ? 

Can you never go back to where you came from ? 

Lastly Do you have whitey white skin & you will burn easily from the sun ?      good luck  

:eek:

 

Enough.

No.

Middle aged.

No.

Yes.

No.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Wife is a Zillow maniac. She has probably looked at every property there is lol.

 

Honest assessment? 

 

Not a single house she has looked at will suffice. They build all kinds of funky weird shapes with lots of stupid niches and useless giant foyers.

 

Looking for a decent parcel, at least 1 acre, more if it's the right one in the right place.

 

Most likely will be contracting with a builder to put a structure up.

 

Definitely want a big garage/workshop with some office/studio space above.

 

Only looking to build a small house, couple beds, baths and some living space, decent kitchen. Absolutely not interested in any McMansion.

 

That being said, is it true that new construction is masonry? No stick built structures? 

 

Is it beneficial or a detriment to live a long way from a urban setting with easy access to the things one needs? 

 

 

Edited by mybeach

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2 mins ago, mybeach said:

:eek:

 

Enough.

No.

Middle aged.

No.

Yes.

No.

Then you can go anywhere you like . Do you like off shore fishing or flats fishing  or inland LM bass fishing ?  If its going to be full time resident then Fla has a good tax base . If it seasonal then you have to think about air travel airport in & out from there .   

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Just some general statements.

 

Closer to the gulf, the higher the cost.  If you want to live near a river that flows into the gulf, go up river.  Cheaper. 

 

As mentioned, rent first.  See if the winter traffic where you are is what you can handle.  For example we headed to Clearwater Beach before 9 AM this morning.  Beach was great.   We left by 2 PM, the beach was packed and the traffic was really backed up for more people trying to get to beach, plus I have no idea where they will park.  Its like that all winter, all over Florida.

 

There are still some foreclosure deals to be had if you take the time and effort to research them.  Neighborhoods (and neighbors) are important here.  Stay away from HOA's unless you want others to be in control of what you can and cannot do.  For some that's ok, not for most though. 

 

The areas near the gulf, north of Tampa are nice and some are laid back.  Very laid back. Lots of redneck areas.  Not that that is a bad thing, more of a swamp people thing.

 

Insurance and taxes suck.  Higher elevations help.  You may require flood insurance if you mortgage.  Deductibles are very high.

 

Contractors in Florida suck.  Never, ever pay for work before its finished, or pay as you go.  I still see new wooden construction, especially apartment buildings but we have lots of carpenter ants and hurricanes.  Ants in Florida are vicious, especially carpenter and fire ants.  Build with block.  You'll have no basement so remember that when you move from the north.  Most people park their cars outside and use their garages to store their crap.

 

Summers are hot, really hot.  Really really hot!  Good to have a place in the north to visit in the summer.

 

Except around Orlando, the middle of Florida is very rural.  More rural than people think.  Lots of lakes if you are into freshwater.

 

Again, rent, explore, then buy.  Good luck.

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Yes, I live on an island now. Don't really spend much time on a beach.

 

Be nice to be in walking distance to one. 

 

Love to have a little dock and a little center console. 

 

This will be a mainland base of operations. Wife and I plan on being much more mobile on the mainland with the homebase in FLA.

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