Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
mybeach

What is it really like living in gulf coastal Florida?

Rate this topic

69 posts in this topic

4 mins ago, kayak99 said:

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.

quality response and thanks.

 

I had a feeling about contractors down there.

 

I'm envisioning a lot without neighbors in hearing distance. Kind of like to be by ourselves. Room to make some noise in a nice big workshop. 

 

I don't mind doing a remodel myself, but it looks like I can get new construction in certain areas for the same ballpark as what some old clunkers are listed for. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, mybeach said:

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? 

 

 

If you want anything that resembles property size, you have to go inland some. Shoreline, close to shore by 10 miles, property building is zero clearance. Which means you can stand between both homes and touch them at once with outstretched arms. 

 

Building in SWFL is an open floor plan. This is not the NE style of rooms. Your kitchen, dining and living room are as one. You’ll see the words split floor plan, that’s the master on one end and secondary rooms on other side. Noise carries from the kitchen to the living area and visa versa. 

 

You want masonry building, wood framing is a lunch bucket for termites. 

 

Distance travel can be tough. Like mentioned about Ft Myers beach to pick that location as stated above. From Bonita Springs to the north end of Ft Myers beach, middle of the day weekend can take two hours. Coming west towards the beach in the morning is no problem, pick that route at rest of the day including up to sun set and the time it takes modified many times over. You have to spend some time to get the full effect of travel. We don’t travel to certain areas at all during our snowbird season. We don’t out to dinners during the same time frame. You will learn where and when to get someplace. If we are going kayaking, it’s an early day event and home by 1-2. You don’t go back out towards the beach. 

 

 

Come down to where you’d like to live and visit for some time, rent short or long term. Take vacations and spend them looking, take lots of notes. We zigzagged in and out of all areas on the shoreline. We’d start south and make our way back north towards home. We drove our own vehicle. Have a priority list, what are looking for and want in the location. We looked for 3 years before we settled to an area. Then we sold out home. 

 

Florida sheriffs dept website has a crime map. Look at it, it can be eyeopening what happens around you. Florida is a higher crime rate state.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m renting , the guy next door just had 9 replacement windows put in.  They wanted 21k.  He got it for 18?    What a deal?    He said good for a 180mph?    

Maybe the house will blow away first?  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

saltfisherman and ccb had some great points.  I forgot about the termites.  They are bad in Fl.  You also do want hurricane windows.  We have them and they also help with noise. I live not far from St Pete airport and we hardly hear the planes. If you do come down, Florida is a great state to explore, especially after the snowbirds leave.  There are some cool small towns around the state, again best when the snowbirds return north.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

 I lived in Crystal River for 26 years. Going N from Spring Hill along hwy 19 there is not much,, small towns/villages (No City Charter so No Mayor, Nor Local Police dept, Sheriff handles almost every issue

Cost of living much Cheaper, state of FL has Homestead act after you live in house 1 year, you will get 25K off of appraised value and lower taxes, some counties taxes are inclusive,school ,f ire library, pool and such, ,for example I had a 2/2/2 over an acre in County ,which taxes are cheaper and my Real estate taxes was  $585.oo, some areas  (East of Hwy 19 Flood Insurance not required on most) Homeowners was 1800.oo

Most towns along Hwy 19 are  not on the Gulf they are up Rivers 4-5 miles, ramps are Free as well as parking, no Ramp sticker parking on Right of way Ok in most counties above  Spring Hill

 

Wages are low, Teachers ,LEO grossly under paid how ever there is many devoted people in both fields, as any where today major problem is Drugs

Red Necks, swamp people  NO 4th Generation of Watermen  Blue Crab, Stone Crab claws, shrimp Boat, Mullet ,Tight nit group, Well mannered kids, will not allow Cussing in front of Women nor children, hike your ass back N if you don't like the way I fix things, many a NON HSG but know the water and can tell you where and what is out there ,

   MOst counties have one or Two  Hospitals and as FL an aging state many clinics of various Medical problems , Medical Field is always hiring

THe Big Bend area or Home f the Flats is from Just N of Spring Hill up Hwy 19 to Horse shoe Beach , look at Map ,the  flats means shallow water at low tide may be 1 ft in some canals holding snook/red fish., a skiff of 18- -20 Foot is boat most used, Deep V of course for Off shore going out to Middle grounds 50 mile out to find 35-50foot depth.. Grouper  / Red Snapper, the gulf stream is to far out to really effect area above spring hill (Red Tide)

Housing price wise you can Find  Very Good place for 145K inland approx. Three mile, I can say that with positive Note as I just sold mine for 145K in Two days with 12x16 shed throw in, enclosed FL room house needed Nothing move in

Water Front depending on area, a canal water Front can be right expensive, mid 200/300K and of course Taxes, Insurance vary ,strict Building codes

Gulf coast around to Tallahassee  Medical Very Good Schools a fair B- and that is pushing it sure a few real Scholars

Panhandle  Destin Big Money, Ft Walton same, P City seasonal in Winter many Café close for winter  Freeing Temp and spitting Snow  Deep water Lot of Pier Fishing, P Cola  Big Navy base deep Water Great Sheepshead in spring, Niceville Good as well as Crestview/Milton

Lot of rental units come on market in April and rent to October when snow Birds  return, Laid back can mean having a Magnolia tree  and sweet tea,to living on Water or Golf course But Gulf Coats above  Spring Hill is slow, construction on Hwy in Homosassa PIA

Dig around find P Cola Fishing Forum, Florida Sportsman, read Tampa Tribune, Ocala, Citrus Chronicle, Chiefland may have a paper?? Tally, P City, P Cola take time ,look the go look some more ,as your going to fish where is OB Repair shop for Merc.Yammie, Note some shops are specific Merc only  Yammie only,  To be Happy, You and family is not going to be a Six Pack weekend

Oh yes at Closing  NO Lawyer is required to read to you at 300 -500 Fee  How ever your call.

 

    Cost well a Good Prime Rib dinner for two ,no cocktails with tip 50.oo

 One .Lb of Cajun shrimp at the Freezer arounds 22.00 Ribs on Friday Night at  Old Mill 10.oo  few Chain places ,Olive  Garden, Ruby Tuesday Applebees  Chillis  Keep money home

 

  Remember the water does not belong to you or me it is open to all so if guy on your spot keep moving, it takes work  to find a Good spot have several ,do some swapping of spots

Leg work involved ,we got lucky and took us three months,for sale by owner

 ,listen to Guys around Tampa, St Pete and further south in Winter it gets slow and crowded, traffic can be Grid Locked so plan ahead   Good Hunting in you search for your slice of Pie  (Key Lime Pie Sucks)   Alr

Edited by Al Sears

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

If you are looking for lots I'm pretty sure there are a boatload for sale in the Apalachicola and Mexico beach area. Maybe up the Apalachicola River/inner coastal area of the panhandle.

Of the 2700 homes in Mexico beach 500 were left standing after hurricane Michael and a good portion of those are going to be leveled.

It might be a few years before you can find someone to build though.

Edited by mwhitt80

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a home in Safety Harbor right on the bay. Could sell it in a heartbeat, no problem; could rent it before I even left town (which I've done), huge lot with plenty of space--massive space with big oaks, reasonable property taxes, story book town made of dreams......lotta this stuff said on here is just not in sync with reality. You CAN find that special place. Just gotta hunt them down. Same thing with fishing, gotta hunt them there fish down. Takes time, dedication, and a lotta effort but, in the end, usually pays off.....IMHO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 mins ago, zcoker said:

I have a home in Safety Harbor right on the bay. Could sell it in a heartbeat, no problem; could rent it before I even left town (which I've done), huge lot with plenty of space--massive space with big oaks, reasonable property taxes, story book town made of dreams......lotta this stuff said on here is just not in sync with reality. You CAN find that special place. Just gotta hunt them down. Same thing with fishing, gotta hunt them there fish down. Takes time, dedication, and a lotta effort but, in the end, usually pays off.....IMHO.

House on the block I just bought rents for 4K and another 3300 a month year round. Guess you just have to buy in the right area. I am on the River.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m in Port Charlotte right now. The prices are reasonable here but not on the water.  Lots of canals.   Some good some bad.   I like it because I don’t have to deal with the Red Tide.  Plenty of beaches close but. Plenty to do ?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 mins ago, Flybyme said:

House on the block I just bought rents for 4K and another 3300 a month year round. Guess you just have to buy in the right area. I am on the River.

Those are absurd rents! Nasty rents LoL. Part of the reason no one can find a place to live in this country lol. I'd never charge a tenant that craziness...even though I could on the water. I base my rent off what a tenant can afford and in return I get longevity and dedication, loyalty and commitment. I'm not held accountable for every single little issue. It's a trade off that works very well: I get a fair rent and the tenant has money to live off of. Has worked well for years, for me, at least. Besides, if rents are kept below margins in the US, landlord's aren't taxed on the income. No brainer there.

 

Only saying this because I'm not the ONLY landlord who thinks this way. So, like I said up there somewhere, gotta get out and hunt around and don't ever assume that the waterfront homes are off limits. Might be surpized. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.