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Old 08-21-2012, 01:13 PM
 
11 posts, read 15,521 times
Reputation: 15

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Hello,

I'm currently living in MD and because I'm self employed (work from home) I really want to move to an income tax free state. This is what brought me to this forum and the Florida forum specifically. I need your help choose which part of Florida based on the criteria below.

- I'm 32 and my GF of 10+ years is the same age.
- Looking to start a family soon so clean & safe environment with good schools.
- Love the beach town feel and want to be as close to the ocean as possible (gulf would be cool).
- If I could hop on my bike and ride down to the beach or coffee shop that would be awesome.
- Would like to have restaurants, shopping and outdoor activities (biking, parks, ect.) very close by.
- Budget is up to 500k max and I'm looking to score an great deal on a nicely upgraded 2000sq ft minimum home.
- I will be paying cash so I need this to be a solid investment looking to live there 2-10 years.
- If we end up not liking the area for whatever reason I want to make sure I will be able to rent the home.

I think that covers pretty much what I'm looking for. I know it's a tall order but I look forward to hearing your opinions!

Thank You,
Daniel
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Norwood, Massachusetts
1,778 posts, read 3,757,035 times
Reputation: 3113
The first thing that pops to my mind is Sarasota. It fits everything you describe I think - the only thing I'm not 100% sure about is what you can get for $500K there. I would think you could get a decent place within a bike ride from the Gulf, although probably not right on it.

Last edited by CrowGirl; 08-21-2012 at 08:08 PM.. Reason: fix typo
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:08 PM
 
Location: Alabama
981 posts, read 2,524,858 times
Reputation: 984
What that budget, you would do very well in the Panhandle. You might consider any of the beach towns from Pensacola to Panama City.
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:02 AM
 
15,207 posts, read 31,172,185 times
Reputation: 18380
Quote:
Originally Posted by slfmde View Post
Hello,

I'm currently living in MD and because I'm self employed (work from home) I really want to move to an income tax free state. This is what brought me to this forum and the Florida forum specifically. I need your help choose which part of Florida based on the criteria below.

- I'm 32 and my GF of 10+ years is the same age.
- Looking to start a family soon so clean & safe environment with good schools.
- Love the beach town feel and want to be as close to the ocean as possible (gulf would be cool).
- If I could hop on my bike and ride down to the beach or coffee shop that would be awesome.
- Would like to have restaurants, shopping and outdoor activities (biking, parks, ect.) very close by.
- Budget is up to 500k max and I'm looking to score an great deal on a nicely upgraded 2000sq ft minimum home.
- I will be paying cash so I need this to be a solid investment looking to live there 2-10 years.
- If we end up not liking the area for whatever reason I want to make sure I will be able to rent the home.

I think that covers pretty much what I'm looking for. I know it's a tall order but I look forward to hearing your opinions!

Thank You,
Daniel
Sarasota would fill the bill. We have a great smaller downtown that is very vibrant and filled with restaurants, cafes, theatres, Whole Foods, etc. which is right off the bay. From downtown you can easily bike over the Ringling Bridge (there are lanes and a jogging path) to St. Armand's Circle with more shops, cafes, etc. then Lido Beach is a block away. There are some nice areas around downtown and just south of downtown, but not sure of the prices. I think you can get something in your budget, though. You really should check it out, from your post sounds like just what you are looking for. Real estate market has been pretty strong here, Sarasota is considered one of the nicest cities in Florida. Nickname is the "Culture Coast."
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,685 posts, read 16,115,889 times
Reputation: 7711
The problem with the Panhandle is that the good school districts there (Santa Rosa, Okaloosa) don't have the kind of small town-walk to the beach vibe you're looking for.
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Treasure Island Fl
662 posts, read 942,503 times
Reputation: 848
For $500k you could live on a canal, a few blocks from the beach. I live on Treasure Island on a 400 ft canal, 4 blocks from the beach. I paid $380k. My home is only 1760sq/ft and needs updating, but it gives you an idea of what you can afford.
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Old 08-22-2012, 12:01 PM
 
99 posts, read 170,085 times
Reputation: 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
The problem with the Panhandle is that the good school districts there (Santa Rosa, Okaloosa) don't have the kind of small town-walk to the beach vibe you're looking for.
I disagree. There are areas of Destin/Sandestin that fit that criteria very well, when the tourists are gone.

This guy should be looking around 30A, east of Sandestin...specifically the Blue Mountain area. It's exactly what he's describing.
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Old 08-22-2012, 12:05 PM
 
99 posts, read 170,085 times
Reputation: 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by slfmde View Post
Hello,

I'm currently living in MD and because I'm self employed (work from home) I really want to move to an income tax free state. This is what brought me to this forum and the Florida forum specifically. I need your help choose which part of Florida based on the criteria below.

- I'm 32 and my GF of 10+ years is the same age.
- Looking to start a family soon so clean & safe environment with good schools.
- Love the beach town feel and want to be as close to the ocean as possible (gulf would be cool).
- If I could hop on my bike and ride down to the beach or coffee shop that would be awesome.
- Would like to have restaurants, shopping and outdoor activities (biking, parks, ect.) very close by.
- Budget is up to 500k max and I'm looking to score an great deal on a nicely upgraded 2000sq ft minimum home.
- I will be paying cash so I need this to be a solid investment looking to live there 2-10 years.
- If we end up not liking the area for whatever reason I want to make sure I will be able to rent the home.

I think that covers pretty much what I'm looking for. I know it's a tall order but I look forward to hearing your opinions!

Thank You,
Daniel
Check out the "Blue Mountain" area east of Destin, Florida. It's exactly what you are describing. Lots of little "dive" restaurants you can bike or walk to for coffee in the morning. One of the top beaches on the Gulf. A little busy in the summer, but it's fairly quiet between September and early May.

I know three realtors who specialize in listings in that area. And if anyone can find you a "near criminal" deal, those three would be the ones to do it. One of these realtors was having a glass of wine with my wife and a couple other ladies last night, and had just signed a deal for a client who bought a house listed at well over $1 Million at about 1/2 price. Let me know if you want a name of one of these realtors.

But I really suggest you visit the area. It's fantastic. I think you'll be shocked to see something like this so near (10 minute drive) to Destin. http://www.visitsouthwalton.com/blue-mountain



Good luck.

Last edited by The Raven; 08-22-2012 at 12:22 PM..
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Old 08-22-2012, 04:07 PM
 
21,201 posts, read 30,404,475 times
Reputation: 19635
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyff67 View Post
For $500k you could live on a canal, a few blocks from the beach. I live on Treasure Island on a 400 ft canal, 4 blocks from the beach. I paid $380k. My home is only 1760sq/ft and needs updating, but it gives you an idea of what you can afford.
I agree regarding Treasure Island and would also more recommend Indian Rocks Beach to the north which is much less developed (no highrises) yet offers plenty of shopping, restaurants and nightlife. Just to the east on the mainland you might also look at Belleair/Belleair Bluffs which is a short hop across the Belleair Causeway to Indian Rocks Beach.
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Old 08-22-2012, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,685 posts, read 16,115,889 times
Reputation: 7711
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Raven View Post
I disagree. There are areas of Destin/Sandestin that fit that criteria very well, when the tourists are gone.

This guy should be looking around 30A, east of Sandestin...specifically the Blue Mountain area. It's exactly what he's describing.
Walton County schools are seriously sub-par, especially on the secondary level. The state rankings don't tell the real score. (And I've got higher standards than the state does.) The only one I'd call excellent is Seaside Charter, and enrollment there is very limited.

At least Niceville HS can send kids to Ivies and Ivy-equivalents on a regular basis.
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