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Old 04-04-2017, 03:12 PM
 
844 posts, read 745,894 times
Reputation: 1383

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Hubbie and I will be retiring to Florida when ever our house here in NY sells. We can't decide between 3 cities: St Augustine, Port orange, Dunedin. We are in our early 60's and like the idea of Dunedin but worry about all the sinkholes in the area. I know sinkholes can be anywhere, but they are concentrated between the st pete/ Clearwater/tampa area thru the middle Orlando area. I also know that hurricanes hit the east coast more than the west coast.


We want:
*a large variety of shopping in real stores (not just boutiques and gift shops)
*a health food store, also Trader Joes, whole foods, if possible- we are on special diets like gluten free/ paleo
*a good place to get fresh fruits and veggies since we don't eat processed or fast food
*good doctors/ medical care
*housing under $200K (I checked they are out there but go fast)
*a walkable city if possible (I know that's not Port Orange)
*a cheaper/ lower COL
*dog friendly (I think Dunedin wins here)
*things to see and places to go/ things to do
*a variety of great restaurants, including the "cheap local diner" kind


Any and all ideas are welcome. Thanks.
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Old 04-04-2017, 06:12 PM
 
17,524 posts, read 10,609,914 times
Reputation: 8431
Quote:
Originally Posted by countrykaren View Post
Hubbie and I will be retiring to Florida when ever our house here in NY sells. We can't decide between 3 cities: St Augustine, Port orange, Dunedin. We are in our early 60's and like the idea of Dunedin but worry about all the sinkholes in the area. I know sinkholes can be anywhere, but they are concentrated between the st pete/ Clearwater/tampa area thru the middle Orlando area. I also know that hurricanes hit the east coast more than the west coast.


We want:
*a large variety of shopping in real stores (not just boutiques and gift shops)
*a health food store, also Trader Joes, whole foods, if possible- we are on special diets like gluten free/ paleo
*a good place to get fresh fruits and veggies since we don't eat processed or fast food
*good doctors/ medical care
*housing under $200K (I checked they are out there but go fast)
*a walkable city if possible (I know that's not Port Orange)
*a cheaper/ lower COL
*dog friendly (I think Dunedin wins here)
*things to see and places to go/ things to do
*a variety of great restaurants, including the "cheap local diner" kind


Any and all ideas are welcome. Thanks.
Port Orange. Not walkable but you can visit a lot of areas that are and it has all the amenities without much of the Daytona crowd.
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Old 04-04-2017, 06:53 PM
TD*
 
1,516 posts, read 3,127,910 times
Reputation: 574
Tallahassee fits the bill
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:51 PM
 
Location: US
17,921 posts, read 17,824,107 times
Reputation: 13930
Quote:
Originally Posted by countrykaren View Post
Hubbie and I will be retiring to Florida when ever our house here in NY sells. We can't decide between 3 cities: St Augustine, Port orange, Dunedin. We are in our early 60's and like the idea of Dunedin but worry about all the sinkholes in the area. I know sinkholes can be anywhere, but they are concentrated between the st pete/ Clearwater/tampa area thru the middle Orlando area. I also know that hurricanes hit the east coast more than the west coast.


We want:
*a large variety of shopping in real stores (not just boutiques and gift shops)
*a health food store, also Trader Joes, whole foods, if possible- we are on special diets like gluten free/ paleo
*a good place to get fresh fruits and veggies since we don't eat processed or fast food
*good doctors/ medical care
*housing under $200K (I checked they are out there but go fast)
*a walkable city if possible (I know that's not Port Orange)
*a cheaper/ lower COL
*dog friendly (I think Dunedin wins here)
*things to see and places to go/ things to do
*a variety of great restaurants, including the "cheap local diner" kind


Any and all ideas are welcome. Thanks.
None of the above cities fit your wants... the three mentioned are crap holes besides St. Augustine, but you're not going to find a lot of normal retails stores, nor trader joes or whole foods.

Check out...

Jupiter, FL (the off-leash dog beach here is amazing)
Delray Beach, FL (the downtown is lovely)

Price could be a problem, but I'm sure you could find a townhouse if anything.
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:10 PM
 
21,187 posts, read 30,351,954 times
Reputation: 19614
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw335xi View Post
None of the above cities fit your wants... the three mentioned are crap holes besides St. Augustine, but you're not going to find a lot of normal retails stores, nor trader joes or whole foods.

Check out...

Jupiter, FL (the off-leash dog beach here is amazing)
Delray Beach, FL (the downtown is lovely)

Price could be a problem, but I'm sure you could find a townhouse if anything.
Clearly you're out of your realm with this one as Dunedin is neither a "crap hole" and is close to a Whole Foods (Countryside Mall Clearwater), has plenty of "normal retail" and a Trader Joe's within striking distance in NE St Pete. Have you even set foot in Downtown Dunedin? It's not even remotely close to "crap hole"...
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, Florida
807 posts, read 2,826,157 times
Reputation: 701
Quote:
Originally Posted by countrykaren View Post
Hubbie and I will be retiring to Florida when ever our house here in NY sells. We can't decide between 3 cities: St Augustine, Port orange, Dunedin. We are in our early 60's and like the idea of Dunedin but worry about all the sinkholes in the area. I know sinkholes can be anywhere, but they are concentrated between the st pete/ Clearwater/tampa area thru the middle Orlando area. I also know that hurricanes hit the east coast more than the west coast.


We want:
*a large variety of shopping in real stores (not just boutiques and gift shops)
*a health food store, also Trader Joes, whole foods, if possible- we are on special diets like gluten free/ paleo
*a good place to get fresh fruits and veggies since we don't eat processed or fast food
*good doctors/ medical care
*housing under $200K (I checked they are out there but go fast)
*a walkable city if possible (I know that's not Port Orange)
*a cheaper/ lower COL
*dog friendly (I think Dunedin wins here)
*things to see and places to go/ things to do
*a variety of great restaurants, including the "cheap local diner" kind


Any and all ideas are welcome. Thanks.
How did you possibly narrow your search to those 3 cities? I've been all over Florida and there are so many places that fill your requirements. Sounds like you're beach minded? You might consider locations giving you the ability to take short trips to explore other areas. The Keys make a great getaway as does the emerald coast in the panhandle. Of course the tourist stuff in Orlando is always available. East coast and west offer towns with positive as well as negative points. I won't suggest places as our tastes might be totally different, however, it will be beneficial for you to invest the time to travel the state for yourselves. Best of luck!
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:08 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,679 posts, read 16,095,286 times
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The Keys are a no-go because of cost of living and cost of housing reasons if you look at the OP's criteria. The parts of the panhandle that fit one part of the list will fail other areas.
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Old 04-05-2017, 06:07 AM
 
844 posts, read 745,894 times
Reputation: 1383
Quote:
Originally Posted by On-da-Beach View Post
How did you possibly narrow your search to those 3 cities? I've been all over Florida and there are so many places that fill your requirements. Sounds like you're beach minded? You might consider locations giving you the ability to take short trips to explore other areas. The Keys make a great getaway as does the emerald coast in the panhandle. Of course the tourist stuff in Orlando is always available. East coast and west offer towns with positive as well as negative points. I won't suggest places as our tastes might be totally different, however, it will be beneficial for you to invest the time to travel the state for yourselves. Best of luck!
Here's why I picked those 3 cities. These, and other towns, are seen only thru "street views" and research. We will be doing a 16 day road trip this summer. We also want a safe area with low crime. We are so very liberal, and altho we get along with everybody we would like more like minded ppl. The panhandle seems to rural and too conservative and feel that we would not fit in well.


Port Orange- I'm very familiar with P.O. I have family there, but are estranged from them. This makes Hubbie think that it will only cause me grief and we shouldn't go there.


St Augustine- This is the city where our friends (here in NY) are going to retire, when they sell their house here in NY. I think it is too touristy and lack the shopping, medical care, and almost everything we want. The crime rate is also a lot higher, but we will know our friends there. We are afraid of getting too rural again (see below) and don't want that. Our friends are big city ppl and for some reason think everything in S.A. will be in walking distance.


I try to tell them that, but they get mad at us, because they just don't want to hear it. They also think they are going to get a cheap house and pay less than $800 in property taxes. (We do our research and don't think that- but compared to the $7,500 we currently pay, anything is a drop in the bucket)


Dunedin- this is the one that appeals to us the most. I even contacted animal control because we have 6 dogs and there will be no problem with having them.


We live rural now and it's getting old traveling (round trip) 25 miles for walmart, 60 miles for shopping, 110 miles for work, 140 miles for out doctors, dentist and hospital, 160 miles for our vet, etc.


MY BIGGEST CONCERN IS THE SINKHOLES OVER THERE. ANYONE HAVE AN EXPERIENCE LIVING IN SINKHOLE COUNTRY? I'm going to post another thread re: sinkholes.


There are some other towns that seem very nice, or we may like, but are waaaay out of our price range. We must stay in under $200K, and that may be pushing it. Or they have a very high crime rate.


(We are use to leaving keys in the car, house unlocked all day. Some ppl here never lock the house and will even go on vacation with the house unlocked, so someone can get in in case of an emergency like a broken water pipe, fire, etc.) We don't do that and know we wouldn't be able living in Florida. But still I don't want to be afraid either. We are moving for health issues (chronic pain, otherwise healthy and take no medications) and need the warm weather.
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Old 04-05-2017, 06:36 AM
 
21,187 posts, read 30,351,954 times
Reputation: 19614
Quote:
Originally Posted by countrykaren View Post
Here's why I picked those 3 cities. These, and other towns, are seen only thru "street views" and research. We will be doing a 16 day road trip this summer. We also want a safe area with low crime. We are so very liberal, and altho we get along with everybody we would like more like minded ppl. The panhandle seems to rural and too conservative and feel that we would not fit in well.


Port Orange- I'm very familiar with P.O. I have family there, but are estranged from them. This makes Hubbie think that it will only cause me grief and we shouldn't go there.


St Augustine- This is the city where our friends (here in NY) are going to retire, when they sell their house here in NY. I think it is too touristy and lack the shopping, medical care, and almost everything we want. The crime rate is also a lot higher, but we will know our friends there. We are afraid of getting too rural again (see below) and don't want that. Our friends are big city ppl and for some reason think everything in S.A. will be in walking distance.


I try to tell them that, but they get mad at us, because they just don't want to hear it. They also think they are going to get a cheap house and pay less than $800 in property taxes. (We do our research and don't think that- but compared to the $7,500 we currently pay, anything is a drop in the bucket)


Dunedin- this is the one that appeals to us the most. I even contacted animal control because we have 6 dogs and there will be no problem with having them.

As an FYI both Port Orange and St Augustine are on the opposite end of liberal being solidly "red" voting districts. Also neither has any real source of organic/natural in terms of grocery stores. Dunedin is your closest match but still lacks completely in the solid "blue" voting record as it's barely above a 50-50 split and probably still not at comfort level. I would highly suggest checking out NE St Petersburg. It nails all of your criteria and is a fairly safe area with non-HOA neighborhoods which is going to be a problem in many areas when it comes to having 6 dogs.

https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sal...t/13_zm/0_mmm/
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:12 AM
 
388 posts, read 241,257 times
Reputation: 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by countrykaren View Post
Hubbie and I will be retiring to Florida when ever our house here in NY sells. We can't decide between 3 cities: St Augustine, Port orange, Dunedin. We are in our early 60's and like the idea of Dunedin but worry about all the sinkholes in the area. I know sinkholes can be anywhere, but they are concentrated between the st pete/ Clearwater/tampa area thru the middle Orlando area. I also know that hurricanes hit the east coast more than the west coast.


We want:
*a large variety of shopping in real stores (not just boutiques and gift shops)
*a health food store, also Trader Joes, whole foods, if possible- we are on special diets like gluten free/ paleo
*a good place to get fresh fruits and veggies since we don't eat processed or fast food
*good doctors/ medical care
*housing under $200K (I checked they are out there but go fast)
*a walkable city if possible (I know that's not Port Orange)
*a cheaper/ lower COL
*dog friendly (I think Dunedin wins here)
*things to see and places to go/ things to do
*a variety of great restaurants, including the "cheap local diner" kind


Any and all ideas are welcome. Thanks.
I think Tampa is very chain-centeic. In terms of a corner diner type place, they are basically nonexistent and it's something we miss from the northeast, and even from our year on the east coast of FL. The east coast of FL seems to do a much better job at this, probably because of the large population of northeastern transplants. Out on the west coast, you will not encounter a fair share of your Greek or Italian or Jewish deli-diners to pick from on Sunday morning... It's mostly chains like Waffle House and Ihop.

Dunedin is fabulously dog friendly. It is walkable, albeit small, and has a very casual vibe. Also heavily boutique and "mom & pop". Not sure where in NY you're coming from, but if you're familiar at all with Broadway in Saratoga Springs it is basically a much smaller version of that.

COL depends. It just does. I suggest using a COL calculator to compare. You can Google, there are many.

It's FL, so there's lots to see and do... Festivals all the time, and outdoor living 365. Day trips west to east aren't horrible... You just don't want to go from, say, St. Augustine to Ft. Lauderdale in a day. I think of FL travel as being like Upstate NY in that you wouldn't drive NYC to Rochester for a day-- here, you don't go north to south or vice versa for just a day.

Lots of farm stands around for fruits and veggies and the berries are *amazing*... But get used to tiny apples.

Medical care... This is by far the biggest Con for us. Having been here two years, I have been in contact with one professional that I trusted their advice 100%. I haven't yet found a PCP after almost a year in Tampa for this reason. Coming from NY, you are spoiled with quality doctors... I don't know if it's because insurance laws or liabilities are less doctor-friendly here so they choose not to practice in FL, but I would not say the best are here. Then again, I'm a good 25 years younger than yourself, so maybe someone with a few more years than me can chime in to help you with that- which may also depend on what you have for insurance.

Have you given any thought to a place like Stuart or Ft. Pierce?

In short, I would choose, out of your list, St. Augustine.
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