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Old 03-08-2011, 12:35 PM
 
13 posts, read 94,381 times
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Littleladybug026, If you read this thread from the first page you'll have most of your questions answered. I think you hit the nail on the head though. Both area's have much to offer. For me, I wanted to be close to Eglin but I fell in love with the So. Walton beaches and 30A so I wanted to be close to that too.

IMO, you're going to drive more where ever you end up down here. It's just a fact of life. But you will add some milage in HB. Shopping / Mall, Movies? Drive to Destin Commons is over the Mid Bay Bridge ($3.00 toll each way) 1/2 hour from HB but easy from BWB. Or drive to Pier Park (larger and better IMO) I make it in 40 min and there's little traffic.

I would reccommend renting for a year or two. BWB has many rentals and if your lucky to find one in HB jump on it as they don't come up often.

Good luck!
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,647 posts, read 16,029,989 times
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The toll for the Mid-Bay Bridge is actually $2 each way if you use a Sunpass transponder or sticker.

https://www.sunpass.com/discountsAndRebates

The Sunpass mini is a good deal- you get 100% of the purchase price back in toll credits, and if you have reason to drive down through the peninsula, there are some toll roads down there (metro Tampa, Miami) now that are entirely Sunpass/pay by plate- you can't pay cash for using those toll roads.
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Old 03-12-2011, 03:24 PM
 
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Do you have kids in the Freeport schools? If so what are you feelings on them? We had been waiting to see if my oldest was picked in the lottery for the Collegiate high school in Niceville and sadly she was not. So we are now much more open to HB, Navarre and Niceville, or even base housing if it comes to that. The Niceville school looks so big by numbers. We will have a child in high school, middle and elementary school. The rentals are very old looking in BWB and most don't seem to take pets. We are not willing to look in Crestview due to schools and our active lifestyle of riding bicycles and running. I have read all the threads on this and you do seem to love HB.
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Old 03-12-2011, 05:01 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,647 posts, read 16,029,989 times
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Call Walton County schools and see if waivering into South Walton HS is an option for next year. I see them as a better option than Freeport HS. And even though they didn't get into Collegiate, they can probably still take a few community college classes on campus as a junior/senior if they have their own transportation and meet any academic requirements. South Walton HS is also good for this because NWFSC has a smallish branch campus within walking distance to there, so you should be able to knock off some freshman level classes that way.

I get what you're saying about the Bluewater rentals- the landlords will generally keep them fairly well-maintained, but the rents aren't high enough to justify putting in a shiny new kitchen that meets modern tastes. (Though it wouldn't cost that much to get rid of the bleepin' clamshell vanities or replace some lighting fixtures that I will politely describe as 'vintage'.) I think they get away with it because the commute to the west gate is reasonable, and when compared to base housing, those homes can seem somewhat less vintage.
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Old 03-13-2011, 06:50 AM
 
3 posts, read 12,610 times
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Thank you Beachmouse. I always enjoy reading anything you put on any of these. Very straight to the point and right on. We are coming down in April to look around. What is your thought on Choctawhatchee high school? The 4 bedroom base housing we would get they said is in that district. I called Niceville HS to see about wavers, but if we had to send her to Choctawhatchee what is that school like? I thought I had read it's not that good of a school, but last night I could not find any real current info on it. I am not wild about the Longwood Elementary in Shalimar either and want to see if I can do a waver for Shalimar. If none of these schools are good we will just rent a 3bedroom and have 2 of the girls share. Schools are more important then rooms I guess. I just want my girls to enjoy life in FL and not be smoshed. We are going from a 2000 sq ft. nice home to not being able to buy anything or rent anything close to that size in Niceville area for what our BAQ will be. We will make less in FL then we do here at Ft. Bragg thanks to the 7% decrease. It's what we make of it though.
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:12 PM
 
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Default Freeport Schools

I agree with Beachmouse on the schools. Freeport Schools are getting better but have a way to go. I pulled mine out of Freeport for several reasons.

I have kids in high school, middle and primary and they all go to So. Walton. One nice thing about Walton County is you can go to any school in Walton without a waiver. Just have to get them there.

Many HB kids go to So. Walton schools so finding a car pool should be easy. A few go to Niceville but they did need a waiver.

The So. Walton high school got an A+ rating. My daughter is doing dual enrollment meaning she's taking college classes at the new NW FL State campus that's located next to the HS. The nice thing is she's still taking HS classes at the HS so she's still around kids her age but 3 dual enrollment classes at the college. She'll graduate HS with her AA degree. I wish I had that chance.

There's a new middle school opening Fall of 2011 on Hwy 98. Has all the bells and whistles.

Primary you have a choice of Van Butler or Bay. Both are rated very high. Bay is very close to the new middle.

If I could find a place that was 1/2 as nice as HB I'd move to the Santa Rosa Beach area but it's expensive and hard to find a decent sized house that's not $$$$$$$$ or built as a vacation home.
I do really like HB but like I said before it's really because there's just nothing else out there that's equal to it on the Panhandle. To live here we've made some sacrifices and adjustments but you do that anywhere.

My kids did go to the Navarre schools when we rented our first year. They're big, but good.
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:25 PM
 
13 posts, read 94,381 times
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Default HB Rentals

I do know there were a few homes for rent in HB but they tend to go quickly. I saw one recently pop up on Craigslist but I'm not sure if it's still available. Just type in Hammock Bay into the search window when you're searching FL Okaloosa / Walton area.

I'm pretty sure the rent included all the amenities.
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Old 05-26-2011, 11:58 PM
 
2 posts, read 6,943 times
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we are moving to the area in the next few months we really like how HB looks but we havent seen it in person yet. What are the best neighborhoods where you can get a nice house for 200-220k?
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:14 PM
 
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Anyone know what kind of drive it would be from freeport to Eglin AFB?
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Old 09-06-2011, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,647 posts, read 16,029,989 times
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Figure about 40-45 minutes one way in normal commuter traffic to the East Gate. Hwy 20 is generally not a bad commuter road in Niceville-Bluewater proper (though you may hit the school zone by the high school on the way in) and traffic's generally pretty light on the Walton County stretch of things.
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