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Old 05-19-2013, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Maine
89 posts, read 182,780 times
Reputation: 36

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We are 61 years old, and have always wanted to find a place (single-family home-?) to escape Maine winters and enjoy Florida's warmer winter when we retire in about 5 years. With prices so seemingly reasonable, we thought we should look into buying now. We are looking at the Gulf coast area, and we like the area around Venice and Englewood. We are considering North Port too. We have read lots of blogs about these places and it seems that people think Venice's population is elderly, although on our visit this April, we found it charming. North Port and Englewood have good and not-so-good comments re: safety, things to do, distance from the beaches, etc. We are very confused as to where is a good and safe place, quiet, but not BORING. We don't want to be too far from the beaches, or from shopping. Are there other areas we aren't looking at? What should we avoid? Our budget is about $140,000. Just the two of us, so we don't need a HUGE home. We have heard that in some areas the flood insurance is exhorbitant. We would like to avoid an $8000 annual insurance bill. Ideas, anyone? Advice? Thank you!
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Old 05-19-2013, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
5,302 posts, read 8,100,268 times
Reputation: 2136
Sarasota or Naples, I'd say. Sarasota is BEAUTIFUL! Everyone I've heard from who lives there loves it!
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:35 PM
 
2,932 posts, read 4,016,238 times
Reputation: 1781
I think you're right about buying now. To get the best insurance deal, you'll have to buy a newer home up to current codes. I see the prices slowly rising, especially on these homes. The other things you'll have to take into consideration are flood zones, and sinkhole areas. You should be able to find what you're looking for with enough research. If you can, hang on to a piece of Maine for the summers. I have fond memories of Acadia.
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Maine
89 posts, read 182,780 times
Reputation: 36
Oh, we are not planning to give up our Maine home! Summers here are too beautiful!
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Maine
89 posts, read 182,780 times
Reputation: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawaii4evr View Post
Sarasota or Naples, I'd say. Sarasota is BEAUTIFUL! Everyone I've heard from who lives there loves it!
Sarasota IS beautiful, but too busy for us, and too expensive for homes there...
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Florida
2,291 posts, read 4,948,319 times
Reputation: 5236
I like Anna Marie Island and West Bradenton.
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:51 PM
 
4,948 posts, read 16,528,216 times
Reputation: 2866
Quote:
Originally Posted by alkaleka View Post
We are 61 years old, and have always wanted to find a place (single-family home-?) to escape Maine winters and enjoy Florida's warmer winter when we retire in about 5 years. With prices so seemingly reasonable, we thought we should look into buying now. We are looking at the Gulf coast area, and we like the area around Venice and Englewood. We are considering North Port too. We have read lots of blogs about these places and it seems that people think Venice's population is elderly, although on our visit this April, we found it charming. North Port and Englewood have good and not-so-good comments re: safety, things to do, distance from the beaches, etc. We are very confused as to where is a good and safe place, quiet, but not BORING. We don't want to be too far from the beaches, or from shopping. Are there other areas we aren't looking at? What should we avoid? Our budget is about $140,000. Just the two of us, so we don't need a HUGE home. We have heard that in some areas the flood insurance is exhorbitant. We would like to avoid an $8000 annual insurance bill. Ideas, anyone? Advice? Thank you!
flood insurance is up so is insurance and real hard to get, also flood insurance soon may be
find an insurance that will write it. Also the Boom, Crash, and now homes are going real fast why
investor so be wise. Once I fell in love with North Port and they got hurt bad with the storm
just why Insurance may cost more. In regards with the insurance unless you buy new you
just may end up with Citizens. Your budget in near the water maybe try 200,000 plus
homes are being bought since the cheap is now money. I am in wesley chapel a nice place however
it is far from the water and an OK place to be. Even here the homes are going for way more than the 140,000 price for near the water. also when you go home who does the yard work etc all that is just a thought. the new Tampa area
has great shopping and food. so maybe if you wish to buy get a villa new then retire and do sell one home for the Beach? A friend who lived here sold her home and did move to 7 oaks new for over 300,000 no where near the water.

Last edited by maggiekate; 05-19-2013 at 06:32 PM..
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Old 05-19-2013, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
5,302 posts, read 8,100,268 times
Reputation: 2136
Have you considered Mexico Beach, in the Panhandle? Not the warmest winters in the state, but far better than the winters up north! Beautiful beaches as well!
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:17 PM
 
Location: US
17,930 posts, read 17,846,344 times
Reputation: 13933
I'd go with Sarasota or Naples, enjoy!
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:16 PM
 
515 posts, read 1,146,989 times
Reputation: 559
I'd also suggest looking in the Naples area, but I don't know what you'll be able to find in your price range. Venice definitely isn't a bad choice either.

Have you considered a condo? With the condo market down here you'll probably get more for your money, and it seems like a condo would fit you size wise. Also, the insurance on the building is going to be covered in your condo association fees, so the only insurance that you will have to purchase is for the contents of your unit. It's a lot easier to lock up and leave a condo and you don't have to put up with a lot of the maintenance issues that you will have with a single family house. If it's the fees that you're concerned about, understand that many neighborhoods in Florida have mandatory HOA fees and some also have CDD fees. When you consider that, plus the cost of maintaining the property and purchasing insurance, condo fees aren't any higher than what it would cost to own a single family home in most places and could actually be less.
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