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Old 04-17-2018, 11:02 AM
 
7 posts, read 3,899 times
Reputation: 21

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Hi All,

Currently in KY, and just tired of the weather. We don't have much a spring or fall anymore, seems to go from freezing to oppressive heat(we just had a blizzard yesterday, April 16!)
I'm thinking of moving south to the gulf area, where at least parts of the year are enjoyable - plus close to the ocean which is a plus to me.

What I'm looking for, specifically:
A bit of land(1-3 acres, maybe)
Generally safe of flooding from hurricanes/ not in an evac zone
Cost of homeowners insurance/property taxes
Safety
No freezing winters
High speed internet availability


About me:
Budgeting up to about 250k, less is better of course. Single, 30's, I have my own job, so not too worried about that aspect. I don't require much as far as amenities...not into the club/party scene and generally keep to myself. I, however, don't like driving far distances to get to basic places, so don't want to be in the middle of nowhere.

Can anyone from the south chime in? I've done a lot of research and came up with generally 3 areas that seem nice, in my current order of preference from research -
Baldwin Co, Al - Foley/Daphne(mobile area)
Santa Rosa Co, Fl - Pace/Milton (pensacola area)
Ocean Springs, Ms

I've read FL doesn't have income tax which is huge to me, but then again read they generally have higher HOI and property taxes? Is it a wash?

Anyone familiar with the area can chime in whether or not you like these areas, which you prefer over another? Pros/cons? Is what I'm looking for obtainable? Open to suggestions also for other cities I may have missed that would fit the above.
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:07 PM
 
21,187 posts, read 30,351,954 times
Reputation: 19614
Quote:
Originally Posted by drydswyd View Post

What I'm looking for, specifically:
A bit of land(1-3 acres, maybe)
Generally safe of flooding from hurricanes/ not in an evac zone
Cost of homeowners insurance/property taxes
Safety
No freezing winters
High speed internet availability

About me:
Budgeting up to about 250k, less is better of course. Single, 30's, I have my own job, so not too worried about that aspect. I don't require much as far as amenities...not into the club/party scene and generally keep to myself. I, however, don't like driving far distances to get to basic places, so don't want to be in the middle of nowhere.
Not to throw a monkey wrench in your search but given the question mark added would recommend also considering the Jacksonville area where you'll get more house in terms of quality versus your budget, more to do and less worry about hurricanes/flooding generally speaking.

https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sal...ct/9_zm/0_mmm/
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:05 PM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,052 posts, read 35,003,509 times
Reputation: 15172
Given the three choices that you put forth, I think Baldwin County would give you the best QOL. The Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay sits on a bluff, so it weathers hurricanes pretty well. There are some very attractive neighborhoods in Daphne and Fairhope that meet your requirements, and the towns themselves are charming. You're about 1/2 hour from the beach there.

https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sal...omePageTab=buy
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Mobile,Al(the city by the bay)
3,785 posts, read 6,517,375 times
Reputation: 1542
Quote:
Originally Posted by drydswyd View Post
Hi All,

Currently in KY, and just tired of the weather. We don't have much a spring or fall anymore, seems to go from freezing to oppressive heat(we just had a blizzard yesterday, April 16!)
I'm thinking of moving south to the gulf area, where at least parts of the year are enjoyable - plus close to the ocean which is a plus to me.

What I'm looking for, specifically:
A bit of land(1-3 acres, maybe)
Generally safe of flooding from hurricanes/ not in an evac zone
Cost of homeowners insurance/property taxes
Safety
No freezing winters
High speed internet availability


About me:
Budgeting up to about 250k, less is better of course. Single, 30's, I have my own job, so not too worried about that aspect. I don't require much as far as amenities...not into the club/party scene and generally keep to myself. I, however, don't like driving far distances to get to basic places, so don't want to be in the middle of nowhere.

Can anyone from the south chime in? I've done a lot of research and came up with generally 3 areas that seem nice, in my current order of preference from research -
Baldwin Co, Al - Foley/Daphne(mobile area)
Santa Rosa Co, Fl - Pace/Milton (pensacola area)
Ocean Springs, Ms

I've read FL doesn't have income tax which is huge to me, but then again read they generally have higher HOI and property taxes? Is it a wash?

Anyone familiar with the area can chime in whether or not you like these areas, which you prefer over another? Pros/cons? Is what I'm looking for obtainable? Open to suggestions also for other cities I may have missed that would fit the above.
1) Daphne/Fairhope/ Spanish Fort

2) Ocean Springs

3) Pace/Milton .
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Old 04-17-2018, 09:00 PM
 
7 posts, read 3,899 times
Reputation: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
Not to throw a monkey wrench in your search but given the question mark added would recommend also considering the Jacksonville area where you'll get more house in terms of quality versus your budget, more to do and less worry about hurricanes/flooding generally speaking.

https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sal...ct/9_zm/0_mmm/
Thanks for the suggestion - im open to new ideas. I'd read that Jacksonville crime had gotten really bad. In the area, it seemed Yulee kind of fit the bill. What makes you suggest Jacksonville, over say, Pensacola? Just what you mentioned, or are their other things.
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Old 04-18-2018, 05:35 AM
 
21,187 posts, read 30,351,954 times
Reputation: 19614
Quote:
Originally Posted by drydswyd View Post
Thanks for the suggestion - im open to new ideas. I'd read that Jacksonville crime had gotten really bad. In the area, it seemed Yulee kind of fit the bill. What makes you suggest Jacksonville, over say, Pensacola? Just what you mentioned, or are their other things.
I wouldn't call the crime rate really bad for those not involved in criminal activity or closely affiliated. The crime rate is way overstated unless you plan on living/working in an area where it's a problem (economically depressed and usually minority majority populated). Yulee or neighboring Fernandina Beach would be great options as they're close enough to all that a larger city has to offer, but have a semi-rural to rural feel with much less density and are close to the really beautiful beaches of Amelia Island...or the Golden Isles in GA. Economically Jacksonville has so much going for it and has been kind of quietly booming in terms of job growth yet minus the ridiculous sprawl seen in Orlando for example. Pensacola is kind of stagnant growth wise and just doesn't have a whole lot happening which could prove boring after a few years.
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Old 04-18-2018, 05:40 AM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,052 posts, read 35,003,509 times
Reputation: 15172
Quote:
Originally Posted by drydswyd View Post
Thanks for the suggestion - im open to new ideas. I'd read that Jacksonville crime had gotten really bad. In the area, it seemed Yulee kind of fit the bill. What makes you suggest Jacksonville, over say, Pensacola? Just what you mentioned, or are their other things.
I live just over an hour from Jacksonville and am in and out of there frequently. It impresses me as pretty underrated in the scheme of things and would seem to have a lot more to offer than Pensacola. Yulee would give you easy access to the beaches on Amelia Island and to the highly desirable community of Fernandina Beach.
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Old 04-18-2018, 06:45 AM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,312 posts, read 6,962,789 times
Reputation: 3502
Crime in Jacksonville isnt rampant. Most people I know have zero concerns about it.

Yulee is becoming more and more suburban fyi. It's expected to be the fastest growing part of the metro in the coming decade.
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Old 04-18-2018, 06:53 AM
 
Location: indianapolis.
300 posts, read 107,794 times
Reputation: 630
I just moved from the area, I lived in Gulf Breeze (Pensacola Beach-ish, ), Destin, and Santa Rosa Beach. You probably won't get 1-3 acres for that price in town but as others have said, Pace/Milton would be good for that nearer to Pensacola. Also, check out Niceville/Valparaiso/Crestview area. There is less chance for hurricane related flood damage the further you get from the Gulf and the bays, but this is FL, so really ... you'll always have to carry good flood insurance and be prepared for bad storms, even that far north. I'm more familiar with the area closer to Crestview than to Milton, so I'll talk about that.

There's not a whole lot going on in Crestview, but it's near I-10 for easy access to get into Pensacola if you need to and close to 85 S to go down into Niceville-Ft Walton Beach-Destin, etc. You'd be looking at a 30+ drive to get to anything FUN, but Crestview does have it's own basic amenities in town and there are several decent places to eat and hang out and grocery shop and all that. Crestview is technically the largest "city" in Okaloosa county, but things are more spread out so it feels less congested than in-town Niceville and into Destin. The area is generally safe, there's a large military presence across the entire region. You won't be totally safe from freezing winters in this area though, the panhandle is touched by winter and does drop below freezing pretty much every year. It doesn't always last for a long time, but to avoid even the occasional freezing temp, you'd have to go further south.

With all that said, and having lived on both sides of the tourist trap that is Destin, if I moved back, I'd want to live near the coast and no further east than Navarre if closer to Pensacola and then on the flip side of that, no further west than Miramar Beach/Sandestin area. Gulf Breeze and parts of Navarre are really the jewel of the area for purchasing a home and settling in for the long haul, in my own opinion. The whole area is beautiful of course, but some parts are better than others depending on what your needs and wants are. For me, I wouldn't want to live so near the beach but so far, if that makes sense. Being north of the bay or north of I-10 means an hour to get to the water and that would be too far for me. For your price range to be near the coast, you'll have to sacrifice the land you want just because there really isn't any. Basically, you'll have to decide which you want more, close and relatively quick access to the beach OR 1-3 acres. For maybe more land and less congestion, check out the area near Point Washington / Eden Gardens state park in Santa Rosa Beach.

Just as an example, this is a house for sale in the neighborhood I just left:
https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sal...t/13_zm/0_mmm/

This is typical of the houses in the area in and around your budget of 250K. This location puts you within 10 minutes of grocery stores, nice restaurants, shopping and a movie theatre. It also puts you about 20 minutes from the beach in either direction along the coast - I always preferred going east and beaching along Cnty Hwy 30A.

TL;DR

Consider these areas also:
Crestview, FL
Niceville, FL
Navarre, FL
Gulf Breeze, FL
Santa Rosa Beach, FL (East of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort)

Hope this helps!
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:28 AM
Status: "Summertime, and the living's easy" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: The Eastern Shore
2,065 posts, read 582,648 times
Reputation: 1108
Daphne and Fairhope (or a few other Baldwin County areas possibly) could work for you. I currently live right outside those two, in Spanish Fort. In any of those 3 cities, you could be on the bay in minutes, and to the beach in less than an hour (Gulf Shores/Orange Beach or Pensacola Beach even). They are all very safe, and have access to just about any amenities you could want (At least the basic ones). You can get what you are looking for in a house as well. Probably more likely in Daphne than the other two, but doable in all three.... Here is one example in Spanish Fort, just minutes away from the bay, grocery stores, and the Spanish Fort Towne Center (Which has things like Bass Pro Shops and Kohl's. There is also the Eastern Shore Center mall a few miles down the road). (I have nothing to do with this listing FYI, just found it perusing today and it fits your criteria. Could use some updating though...)


https://www.realtor.com/realestatean...ex=AL630488939


Foley could potentially work, but IMO, the 3 cities listed above are much better for everyday living. Foley would put you closer to the beach though, and there are plenty of amenities nearby as well. Just know that Foley is a congested mess from about Memorial Day until school starts back.


I can't really speak to the QOL in the FL cities, as I have never lived there. I can tell you that I enjoy the Pensacola area, and the downtown is a pretty cool place. If you like baseball, the Blue Wahoos are always a fun time, with a stadium that overlooks the water.
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