Citrus County, FL: Property buyers beware! (Clearwater, Crystal River: real estate, homes, neighborhood)
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Looking to purchase a home or property in Citrus County, on the Nature Coast of Florida? Buyers beware! It is in your best interest, if your realtor hasn’t already done so or you haven't taken the initiative, to email or call the Citrus County Government Center to inquire of any PROPOSED IMPROVEMENT or DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS, specifically ask if there are INTERLOCAL AGREEMENTS with a neighboring city or town near your property of interest BEFORE you decide to purchase. Even if you are not looking within a city or town proper, you could still find that your future purchase is subject to an INERLOCAL AGREEMENT between a neighboring city or town and the County of Citrus for a development project which will impact you financially. Inquire of the Citrus County Government Center or Commissioner's office for any pending development projects by going to www.bocc.citrus.fl.us then follow the link to the “Contact Us” tab. It is in your best financial interest as well as peace of mind to make a simple inquiry FIRST before your property investment turns into buyers remorse.
What specifically are you talking about? I heard some residents out in the Kings Bay area are being forced to hook up to city/county sewer to the tune of about $10,000, but I don't see that as a bad thing. I wish they would do it in my neighborhood (a lot of people snub their noses at septic tanks and the costs and problems that can happen with them raising a red flag if one was going to resell).
Good afternoon Sgt Buzzcut, while the sewer project is financially distressing and it's need is definitely debatable, what the project brought to light was the fact that people were not informed of the impending project nor had any say in the 'interlocal agreement'. I went through a similar experience in another state but the county of that state, because we also were not located within a city, at least were forthright in notifying the homeowners via certified mail that the project was being proposed. Citrus county did their ‘due diligence’ in posting a notice in the local newspaper, back section, but not everyone gets the newspaper. The majority of the residents in the affected area are retired and/or on fixed incomes, some don’t own a computer. A letter was received in May 2011 stating that back in December 2010 the County decided to support the sewer system. That was the first time some of these residents heard of this project. Public input was invited after the fact but it was a 'done deal'. Newer residents to the area were just as blindsided as apparently nothing was mentioned when they bought their homes that they would or could be subject to this ‘interlocal agreement’. Maybe the realtors didn’t know either? A family member relocated to this county in February and after reading what, and more importantly how, this was happening to the people concerning the sewer, they felt threatened enough to contact the county. They had just spent a portion of their life savings on a small home and were in fear of also being financially caught up in some pending project or interlocal agreement lurking out there for their area, outside of any city limit, which was not mentioned at closing. Fortunate for them, this was not the case.
If you don’t know, you can’t ask. And, it’s not a question the average property buyer would think to ask but the answer could have financial consequences beyond what the prospective buyer wants to afford and is what prompted me to make this posting. So, it would be wise to investigate further, ask questions directly of the county and of the surrounding towns or cities, specifically for any 'interlocal agreements', find out what’s going on developmentally before making a decision on purchasing.
Good afternoon to you Cindyls. I see what your saying, the County could have done a better job in publicising their plans and real estate agents not disclosing it to potential buyers. Although I want it my neighborhood, I don't have 10 or 15 grand laying around to hook up if they decided to break ground tommorow. Don't know where I saw it, but the County has offered payment plans so a homeowner wouldn't have to pay all at once.
I have a different perspective as say, a retired person because hopefully I'm going to be here to stay and I've seen it in other FL communities that after water and sewer line was installed the neighborhood became more attractive to potential buyers and the old 1200 Sf were soon replaced by the vaulted ceiling 3000 sf'ers. As stated before septic and well turns a lot of potential buyers off. Keep in mind it costs money to maintain septic and water conditioning systems too, although I prefer not to have a water or sewer bill.
Sometimes when they install sewer or water you'd be likely to get a new paved road and a sidewalk as well....nice bonus. I would imagine if a fixed income homeowner couldn't afford the hookup, if they researched enough they may find some government financial assistance to help pay for it.
In any event, if you were thinking about moving here, I wouldn't let this deter you, nor do I think your family member will have buyers remorse.....Citrus County is a wonderful place to call home and has great potential IMO.
Thank you for your perspective, Sgt Buzzcut. I believe the county commissioners and city board members of Crystal River would share your sentiment. However, we hold different views as to what is attractive. Gated communities, 3000sq ft homes and sidewalks are a matter of personal preference. This is the Nature Coast, in my opinion, outside of a town there is nothing natural about sidewalks or manicured lawns on sand pumped with fertilizer. But that's just my opinion. My 1200 sq ft home is plenty big enough for living and visitors. Nature to me means being outside whenever possible to enjoy it. While the bugs are horrendous, watching the Pilate woodpeckers, osprey and owls, listening to the coyotes when they come around, the occasional alligator or boar and as destructive as they are even the armadillos, are a trade off. Though I don’t live on one, I find sand roads quite enchanting and a welcoming lane. Still, it would be a very boring world if we all liked the same things. So I wouldn’t say Citrus county isn’t a nice place, the people are great too. But if the things that attracted me to this area were taken away or replaced to suit someone else’s idea of the ‘common good’ causing the joy of observing the nature available here to diminish, then this would not be such a nice place to live after all.
However, getting back to why I posted this, after speaking to newer residents to the sewer project area, I feel it is important to point out that any prospective property buyer should take the initiative to research their area of interest. Interlocal agreements are not something that would easily pop into the minds of the average buyer but they can have a devastating impact, as I have learned in conversations. That’s why I consider them a ‘buyer beware’ item. It doesn’t have to be the sewer project; what if you didn’t know about the Mudhole project or the new well project, the Port Citrus project or the new shopping development, etc, until after you moved into that area? A simple email or phone call is all it takes, people are very friendly here. Gather what is needed to make an informed financial decision when one is considering a major property purchase. There is no harm intended in pointing this out, especially if it spares someone from an unnecessary financial burden down the road. That is of course unless the county doesn’t want prospective buyers to know what’s going on. But we know that’s not the case.
I agree with everything you said Cindyls. I fell in love with this place when I was a little kid although I didn't move here till my mid 40's. Citrus reminds me of what my hometown of Clearwater looked like back in the 70's and I would hate to see it turn into the concrete jungle that place has become. If they widened US 41 and put city/county water and sewer in and left it at that , I'd be happy. In the meantime I'm saving my money to go even further North in FL if it gets out of control here.
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