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Old 06-27-2009, 09:05 AM
Location: Fort Walton Beach, FL
123 posts, read 507,280 times
Reputation: 63


We just moved to Fort Walton Beach at the end of May and we are now looking for a home to buy in the area. We do have a bit of a modest budget as to be careful for the future (the recent recession and job loss a couple of years ago scared me!).. we aren't finding much in FWB itself that we can afford and remain comfortable and secure. Some houses are nice, but then a few surrounding are horrible, or your drive to the house entails driving through a trailer park or something.. it's WEIRD! I've never seen anything like this where I come from!

Is Niceville/Valparaiso a nice area? We are going to do a little drive through this afternoon to check it out a little. Valparaiso seems like a decent drive with Niceville slightly further away from our jobs.

Someone told us that Valparaiso is "louder" and with the f-35s coming it will be worse. Do you hear these things at night when you sleep?!?!

Are grocery stores/walmart, etc close by in these two towns? We aren't looking for night life or anything, we can drive into FWB to meet up with people for a night out.. so that's not a worry.

We were heading into Mary Esther yesterday after work to check out a really nice looking house but the traffic was ridiculous. Almost everyone was telling me that traffic that way was a problem but I didn't believe it until I saw it! I guess there are a lot of accidents (unfortunately!), so it gets backed up often.. and can get backed up regardless of accidents. Even my realtor was worried about us looking in that direction as she lives in Navarre and doesn't even like it herself!
Any info is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 06-27-2009, 11:55 AM
Location: Sarasota, Florida
807 posts, read 2,822,308 times
Reputation: 701
Please realize that this is peak tourist season right now and traffic is heavy! Normal traffic on 98 during rush hour is bad enough. Why do tourists need to be on the road at 7:00 AM anyway??

I like Niceville...(Bluewater Bay, too) it has a friendly feel to it. A new WalMart is supposed to be built in town soon. Most everything you'd need is close by or a short drive to Destin/FWB.

Eglin AFB has had F-4 Phantoms and B-52s in the past. I can't believe the F-35 will be louder than a B-52. F-15s and F-16s are the usual air traffic there now. When there's some practice event requiring excessive sorties, the noise can be distracting.
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Old 06-27-2009, 02:59 PM
Location: Niceville, FL
7,660 posts, read 16,047,687 times
Reputation: 7659
The reason you get the land weirdness is that FWB was effectively built out a while back, and developments of different types tend to get shoehorned into relatively small existing chunks of remaining land or someone will decide to clear out one old trailer park out of a group of six of them and redevelop it into townhomes.

And yes, 98 is a commuting nightmare, especially when you add in morning base traffic. Expect an accident leading to a bad traffic back-up along that road somewhere between two and five times a month.

I'm also in Bluewater Bay, and we end up doing most of our shopping in Destin You can actually hit Publix/Petsmart/Best Buy/Barnes & Noble/ Destin Commons by going across the Mid Bay bridge without having to actually drive onto 98. And you also get more restuarant options out that way.

The F-35 noise is an issue right now; no one knows exactly how it's all going to sort out. And generally homes in Niceville/Val-p tend to go for a little higher price because the schools are seen as better and because it's easier to find a 1600-2000 square foot house with a good-sized yard than it is in FWB (where you tend to have to pick between 1950s 1200sf ranch with big yard and 1990s 2000sf house on a 50x90 foot lot.) There are some older and uglier parts of Valpariaso and in the west side of Niceville that also do the coexist right next to nicer areas like you get in FWB, but it gets somewhat more consistent once you get east of the high school. One area you might save some money is on homeowner's insurance- lots of the area is 30' of more above sea level.
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Old 06-27-2009, 04:10 PM
Location: Fort Walton Beach, FL
123 posts, read 507,280 times
Reputation: 63
Thank you.. the break on possible insurance is helpful to know! We just can't find anything in FWB that is affordable for us that isn't completely hideous or in a nasty neighborhood. A few in Val-P that we saw look cute, we did a quick drive-by today and scratched a couple off the list... Bigger lots there (so though we can't find a home with a pool, we may be able to put one some day!), too. And 15 min for him to work and 20 or so for me. I've heard traffic is better as well going that way rather than Mary Esther. It may be worth a looksie!
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