We're probably retiring within the next 5 years and are thinking about investing in a place in which we could spend a month or two each winter. Our problem, as ever, is limited funds. And mrs. bman wants to be beside or VERY near the beach, while I want the same, but substituting "wine store" for "beach". If one was ever to jump into Florida real estate, some time over the next year would seem to be the time.

Given our limited budget, we're thinking some kind of time-share would be best but the mere thought of a time-share gives us the willies, with all the negative things we're heard.

Thoughts?
Original Post
I would say that your best opportunity in a long time will occur over the next three years. If you are watching your funds, you may want to check over the specially owned assets held by financial institutions. However, be very wary of developments in which only a few units are occupied. The homeowners association fees could offset a good deal on the purchase price. As with any real estate purchase, do it carefully and in person.
quote:
Originally posted by KSC02:
quote:
Originally posted by Florida Keys Girl:
we have a really great Key West condo for sale! Smile Just a few blocks from the beach.

Selling already!? Didn't you get just pick that up last year? Eek


We are moving to a bigger and better place so looking to sell the original.
bman, I'd suggest some very serious thought and a rental or two before buying. You need to find out what you like best and least. We're ten minutes from the beach and rarely go. The beaches on the east coast are beautiful with clear water, smooth sand, and nice waves.

We have a an olympic sized pool and Jacuzzi out back and we love it. The traffic's not bad and there loads of good (and even more not good) restaurants in the area. If you're going to spend a month or two in Florida, a 2 or 3 bedroom condominium apartment is priced right now, but I wouldn't suggest buying blindly.

If you're living very close to the beach, you're going to have to travel for golf and a lot of shopping and activities, unless you're willing to pay more for them.

It's a buyer's market now, but I still think you ought to rent once or twice before buying.
B-man, Board-0 is spot on. South FL is a VERY big place. You should try a couple of different spots. You might enjoy miami for a week long visit but living there is something else entirely. Try different times of year too.

What do you consider close to the beach? Pretty much anything east of I-95 is within 10 minutes of the beach.

Condos, due to a huge over supply are as cheap as they will ever be for the next 2-3 years.
i don't suggest moving to miami.

not that i don't want you here, but it can be a bit much, even for locals.

Jupiter is a great place to live, and you can get on / near the sand at a much better QPR than Miami.

Condo prices are on the floor right now, but as mentioned earlier, be very careful. Low occupancy = poor maintenance. there are great deals to be had, and this market should almost certainly rebound over the long term (not suggesting we're at a bottom, that would be impossible to pick), but be patient and definitely try out different areas, as they all have their pros and cons.

regardless, i look forward to having you down here!
Points well taken guys, thanks. Cool

Since we'll be in town for a few days anyways, does anyone have a real estate person who might be interested in spending a day driving around a couple of under-financed Canadians, House Hunters International-style?! Big Grin We are ready to begin our on-the-ground education.

And FKG and Guy, if we were there a little longer, and with transport, we would gladly check out your place!
I think you need to decide on where in Florida you want to be, and then rent for a while.

East Coast people (Boston, NY, etc.) tend to buy on the east coast of Florida: Miami, Ft Lauderdale, West Palm, Stuart, Vero Beach.

Mid west people (Chicago, St. Louis, etc.) tend to buy on the west coast: Naples, Ft. Myers, Sarasota.

I really don't know much about the northern area (Jacksonville, St. Augustine, etc...) or the Panhandle.

The Keys are their own little world.

Each place has advantages and disadvantages. The Keys are totally laid back, but the beaches are few and small, and there isn't the kind of cultural and social life like you would have in Miami. I think the west coast beaches are nicer (whiter sand) than the east coast, but life is quiet over there. The farther north you go on the east coast, the more affordable it becomes (with some exceptions, such as Palm Beach and Jupiter Island).

If you only want a place to visit for a few months a year, a condo is probably a good idea. There are the huge condos right on the ocean's edge, of course, but lots of options just a bit farther from the water.

Waterfront property is expensive, but will always keep its value and is always in demand. Gated communities are very popular, but most are more inland.

The closer you are to the ocean, the more expensive insurance is going to be. You'll have to buy regular homeowners, and then windstorm, and then flood. And then you might need excess flood, as well. It can add up.

Many people move to Florida to establish residency for tax purposes (no state income taxes). It's something to keep in the back of your mind. You have to be very careful though and make sure you follow all the necessary steps to establish residency. A lot of northern states pay close attention when their residents claim to be Floridians and stop paying state income taxes.
quote:
Originally posted by bman:
We're probably retiring within the next 5 years and are thinking about investing in a place in which we could spend a month or two each winter. Our problem, as ever, is limited funds. And mrs. bman wants to be beside or VERY near the beach, while I want the same, but substituting "wine store" for "beach". If one was ever to jump into Florida real estate, some time over the next year would seem to be the time.

Given our limited budget, we're thinking some kind of time-share would be best but the mere thought of a time-share gives us the willies, with all the negative things we're heard.

Thoughts?


You definitively need to meet my two sisters in law. They both do real state in Palm Beach and I know there are good deals these days.
If you are interested let me know.
I have one word for ya : Sarasota

Fewer people, about the best beach in Florida. In general I like the gulf beaches better than the Atlantic coast beaches. It also has plenty of culture, restaurants, etc

Though jc/fkg's key west place would be tempting as Key West has many advantages too. Broward and Dade are just of sea of people lol
quote:
Each place has advantages and disadvantages. The Keys are totally laid back, but the beaches are few and small, and there isn't the kind of cultural and social life like you would have in Miami.


I would wholeheartedly disagree, except for the laid back part... Key west has three main beaches, and while not as pristine as Fort Lauderdale or Hollywood (they have to import the sand from the Bahamas), they are fine, especially nice is ft. Zachary Taylor with the towering pine trees.

Key West has three theaters. Granted,not the caliber or performances at the Broward Center, but 3 theaters for an island with 25,000 residents is a lot.

There is a local (non-branded) movie theater that is actually a joy to go to. There are a load of restaurants, a lot of which are actually good... many allow corkage and there is never an issue of drinking and driving (at least for us) because everything is so close.

Everyone is extremely social and it is easier to meet people than in a big city... we've been there half time for a year and a half and have many new friends already.
quote:
Originally posted by KSC02:
quote:
Originally posted by Vino Me:
The suburbs of Hallandale and Hollywood have a large Quebec population if that interests you.

VM

Le Journal de Montreal & Poutine available in abundance.
You'll feel like you're at home, Tabernac Razz


Ummmm, no....thanks.... Roll Eyes Big Grin We actually spent a few days on Hollywood Beach a few years back - if we wanted to see Quebec TV and eat poutine, we'd just stay in Ottawa
quote:
Originally posted by bman:
quote:
Originally posted by KSC02:
quote:
Originally posted by Vino Me:
The suburbs of Hallandale and Hollywood have a large Quebec population if that interests you.

VM

Le Journal de Montreal & Poutine available in abundance.
You'll feel like you're at home, Tabernac Razz


Ummmm, no....thanks.... Roll Eyes Big Grin We actually spent a few days on Hollywood Beach a few years back - if we wanted to see Quebec TV and eat poutine, we'd just stay in Ottawa


Ahh, but do they do it while wearing a Speedo in Ottawa? That is the question Big Grin
quote:
Originally posted by Jcocktosten:
quote:
Originally posted by bman:
quote:
Originally posted by KSC02:
quote:
Originally posted by Vino Me:
The suburbs of Hallandale and Hollywood have a large Quebec population if that interests you.

VM

Le Journal de Montreal & Poutine available in abundance.
You'll feel like you're at home, Tabernac Razz


Ummmm, no....thanks.... Roll Eyes Big Grin We actually spent a few days on Hollywood Beach a few years back - if we wanted to see Quebec TV and eat poutine, we'd just stay in Ottawa


Ahh, but do they do it while wearing a Speedo in Ottawa? That is the question Big Grin


Oh my, you just triggered a very disturbing memory of Hollywood Beach.

If I were you, I would choose a warm place near the sea. Also it should be calm there as you are going to rest there. In case someone can't choose a proper house/apartment, I can suggest visitng fodyo.com. This marketplace has a great database with information about real estate all over the world. It is possible to look for a property using a map or exact address. Maybe this info will be useful for someone.  

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