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Old 09-06-2014, 03:12 AM
 
2 posts, read 2,369 times
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We're a family with two children aged 5 & 6 looking to move from London to Florida.

We've been looking at South Florida, Aventura, Boca but also thinking about the West coast.

We want to move somewhere safe in a good neighbourhood close to good schools.

We would like a 4 bed house and have a budget in the region of £600k and the children would be going to public schools
We have heard that Boca residents are mainly elderly retirees who keep to themselves (or that’s what we imagine) and we would like to move to an area with a younger (30s/40s) child friendly crowd.

Any thoughts on neighbourhood and schools?

Any other advice would be much appreciated.
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Old 09-06-2014, 04:18 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
6,568 posts, read 10,639,562 times
Reputation: 5683
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicklondon View Post
We're a family with two children aged 5 & 6 looking to move from London to Florida.

We've been looking at South Florida, Aventura, Boca but also thinking about the West coast.

We want to move somewhere safe in a good neighbourhood close to good schools.

We would like a 4 bed house and have a budget in the region of £600k and the children would be going to public schools.
We have heard that Boca residents are mainly elderly retirees who keep to themselves (or that’s what we imagine) and we would like to move to an area with a younger (30s/40s) child friendly crowd.

Any thoughts on neighbourhood and schools?

Any other advice would be much appreciated.
It is not entirely true that Boca residents are mainly elderly retirees who keep to themselves. There are plenty of families with children and good public schools, good at least by Florida standards. Pretty much the entire municipality and unincorporated areas are a good neighborhood, with few exceptions, though the best, in terms of families and schools, is the central middle swathe of Boca Raton (parts in the municipality, parts in the unincorporated area). I could recommend a highly professional realtor who knows that specific area.

In dollar terms, it appears your budget is around $900,000-$975,000. I believe that should be quite enough, and then some, for a typical single family home. Most are three bedroom, but there are plenty of four bedroom, while five bedroom is a bit rarer. Of course, there are some subdivisions that reach the $1M mark and others that go beyond it. But you should have plenty of choices in the $600,000-$900,000 range.


Generally speaking, Miami-Dade County is more expensive than Palm Beach County (and more any other in the state of Florida).

I believe that Aventura is a relatively more dense urban environment with townhouses and condos as compared to single family homes. Not sure if that is what you want. I suppose the public schools are okay to good. Perhaps you should start a thread in the Miami sub-forum with your specific question on Aventura so that someone with more specific knowledge can answer.

However, by general consensus, the best neighborhood/municipality in Miami-Dade County for families and public schools is Pinecrest. But entry level for a single family home is around $800,000-$900,000 (there may be old fixer-uppers in the $600,000s-$700,000s) and inventory right now is very tight.

In all cases, do research on property taxes and homeowner's insurance: as a rule of thumb, calculate 4% of the property value for annual property tax and insurance expenses; that may prove to be high, but be comfortable with that number because there will also be maintenance expenses both ordinary (e.g. lawn/landscaping, pool) and extraordinary (e.g. roof).

As for the west coast, perhaps someone with more knowledge will chime in, or start new threads for such areas as Naples, Sarasota, and Tampa (including municipalities like Clearwater).

All I can tell you is that waterfront condos in Naples are about as expensive as in Miami.

Hope this helps.

Good Luck!
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Old 09-06-2014, 05:28 AM
 
21,137 posts, read 30,240,912 times
Reputation: 19496
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicklondon View Post
We're a family with two children aged 5 & 6 looking to move from London to Florida.

We've been looking at South Florida, Aventura, Boca but also thinking about the West coast.

We want to move somewhere safe in a good neighbourhood close to good schools.

We would like a 4 bed house and have a budget in the region of £600k and the children would be going to public schools
We have heard that Boca residents are mainly elderly retirees who keep to themselves (or thatís what we imagine) and we would like to move to an area with a younger (30s/40s) child friendly crowd.

Any thoughts on neighbourhood and schools?

Any other advice would be much appreciated.
I would highly recommend the Tampa Bay community of Palm Harbor and neighboring East Lake which is NW of Tampa and surrounds most of Lake Tarpon, about 15 minutes inland of the Gulf of Mexico. It's a quite safe, very family-friendly community of mostly younger professionals with children (about 2/3 of the population are reported as families by the US census). The Tampa Bay area tends much friendlier than most of Florida as the transplants are primarily from the Midwest region of the country versus the Northeast US like much of SE Florida. The cost of living is well below that of SE Florida, with home prices in the best neighborhoods generally below 650K(US), and primarily below 600K. Unlike other more upscale neighborhoods in the area which are mostly newer and further away from the city, Palm Harbor/East Lake has traditional neighborhoods with sidewalks and neighbors nearby so the kids (as well as yourselves) can form steady friendships. The public schools are excellent, from pre-K/elementary years through high school.
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:36 AM
 
1,750 posts, read 1,624,294 times
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With $600K they can buy very close to the intracoastal( I prefer these areas vs East Lake/Palm Harbor). An idea would be buying in Belleair Bluffs/Belleair or all the way down to Seminole (Park Blvd), as long as they stay close to the Intracoastal waterway. Some pretty good schools nearby the area too.
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:00 AM
 
21,137 posts, read 30,240,912 times
Reputation: 19496
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trigger-f View Post
With $600K they can buy very close to the intracoastal( I prefer these areas vs East Lake/Palm Harbor). An idea would be buying in Belleair Bluffs/Belleair or all the way down to Seminole (Park Blvd), as long as they stay close to the Intracoastal waterway. Some pretty good schools nearby the area too.
I agree, nice areas as well. They might actually prefer the feel of Belleair as it has more of an established feel with the nice early-to-mid 20th century homes versus the new build communities to the north.
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Old 09-08-2014, 10:07 AM
 
4,978 posts, read 7,280,853 times
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Boca has plenty of families and good public schools. It is by no means all retirees. There is plenty of diversity in ages as there are tons of families with children, a lot of colleges kids too (2 universities in Boca) and a healthy number of retirees, but by no means will you feel like you're living in a retirement village. Boca is busy and upscale. A lot of great shopping, a lot of great neighborhoods and the public schools are good enough.


Aventura is a bit more retiree-oriented to be honest.... or rather more "snow-bird" oriented... A lot of tourists during the season from up north and Canada. More upscale apartment complexes and high-rise condos than single-family homes. More "Miami feeling" which depending on what you're looking for can be a good thing or bad thing.

Both cities are nice and safe....Boca being more family oriented IMO. Aventura being more "rich snow-birds" and retirees, etc...
Both have amazing shopping tho.
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,879,152 times
Reputation: 6715
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicklondon View Post
We're a family with two children aged 5 & 6 looking to move from London to Florida.

We've been looking at South Florida, Aventura, Boca but also thinking about the West coast.

We want to move somewhere safe in a good neighbourhood close to good schools.

We would like a 4 bed house and have a budget in the region of £600k and the children would be going to public schools
We have heard that Boca residents are mainly elderly retirees who keep to themselves (or thatís what we imagine) and we would like to move to an area with a younger (30s/40s) child friendly crowd.

Any thoughts on neighbourhood and schools?

Any other advice would be much appreciated.
Why are you moving to Florida? What are you looking for? My county - St. Johns County in NE Florida - has the best school district in the state. Robyn
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Old 09-11-2014, 04:42 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,496,336 times
Reputation: 13016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trigger-f View Post
With $600K they can buy very close to the intracoastal( I prefer these areas vs East Lake/Palm Harbor). An idea would be buying in Belleair Bluffs/Belleair or all the way down to Seminole (Park Blvd), as long as they stay close to the Intracoastal waterway. Some pretty good schools nearby the area too.
It's not 600K DOLLARS, it's 600K POUNDS. That's about a million US.
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Old 09-12-2014, 08:25 AM
 
15,130 posts, read 31,043,701 times
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Many good suggestions here. With the OP's budget, he can be choosy about where to go. In addition to places already suggested I will add Sarasota - Sarasota also has some of the better/best schools in Florida and is a highly educated community overall. Many amenities here, arts and cultural, and beautiful neighborhoods, beaches and waterfront properties. Sarasota is a cosmopolitan small city with people here from all over Europe and different parts of the country and world.

I would suggest making a long trip to Florida to investigate some of these areas in person.
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Old 09-13-2014, 06:08 AM
 
2 posts, read 2,369 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks for all your replies. We're hoping to get start looking at the end if the year.
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