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Old 01-07-2019, 07:46 PM
 
80 posts, read 63,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thundarr457 View Post
Palencia has CDD fees so factor that into your decision. Its certainly a nice community. I would suggest driving from there to places you would frequent so you know the distances involved. Do your research on Lennar as well. Welcome.
That’s something we noticed in most of the neighborhoods we have looked at. Some houses are “paid off “ except for the unavoidable “maintainence fee” that never goes away.
It is quite an experience to rack up the fees for owning a home. Annual Estimates:
Selling price $420,000
Property taxes $4500
CDD $2500
HOA $1050
Insurance $1800 (if you do not also need flood insurance)
Down payment 20%
Payment : $2850 a month
That’s if you get below 4% interest rate and good insurance rates
AND that $2500 cdd may be minus the maintenance fee in some cases
These are just estimates on what we have seen and rounded numbers of course but it’s just crazy to me how fast it adds up

Gives us something to think about when figuring out what kind of lifestyle we want to live. We could afford a $600k house outside the neighborhood with no cdd and a $400k house in those neighborhoods. Also maybe a custom built home and not by a national builder . Maybe good or bad . Just thinking out loud.
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra
110 posts, read 102,985 times
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I live in and love PVB - BUT based on your post and criteria, and I realize you want to try Florida, I keep seeing Pawley's Island as fitting what you describe.

Of the three FL towns, if I have to pick one, I say Jax (of course, I live here, right?). Gainesville is a college town - nothing at all would make me move there. Orlando is a dump in my opinion - traffic 24/7 and so darn touristy it is nauseating! Both of these towns are also "inland" mid-state and for me, negate the exact reason to move to FL - the water.

Now, if I had to leave the coast and go somewhere else in FL, I like Tallahassee - the older sections near FSU with 1-acre lots and sprawling ranch homes, but they are closer to the $700-$1M range so I will stay here in Ponte Vedra Beach. (Not Ponte Vedra, which encompasses Nocatee, which is postage stamp lots and HOAs and CDDs and over crowding in the schools due to the fast growth - Ponte Vedra and Ponte Vedra Beach are NOT the same - beware of listings on zillow and realtor that say Beach but the zip is 32081 - that is NOT the beach. The only two places in 32081 that are zoned for the beach schools are Marsh Harbour and Clatter Bridge Road, BUT they are still on the other side of the bridge.)

Oh and BTW - if you liked Ocala, you will probably NOT like Nocatee, the 210 Corridor and the other master-planned communities - you get like 10 feet from window to window with your neighbor unless you are spending a lot more to get a 100-foot lot, which is still pretty small bc they make you build a big house on those lots, which closes in the lot lines.

We have a cousin in Ocala with an Arabain farm and the horse life in Ocala is a 180-shift from the "suburbia-cram" here in most of St Johns. And when you go way south in the county, it is harder to find decent homes that are not in need of major overhaul and good schools combined. They are out there though, like near Truman Pacetti Road, back off Greebriar, off Bartram Hwy, etc - the western side of the county may be good - the beach is further but the river is there for boating. Schools are great - Bartram HS, which now ranks higher than Nease! There are acreage homes that are under $600k - usually without big HOAs and typically zoned for good schools. Come visit, stay a while and really delve in because resales away from the beach can take longer to sell if you are not in a master planned neighborhood.
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Old 01-08-2019, 09:12 AM
 
325 posts, read 201,094 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jax2PVB View Post
Of the three FL towns, if I have to pick one, I say Jax (of course, I live here, right?). Gainesville is a college town - nothing at all would make me move there. Orlando is a dump in my opinion - traffic 24/7 and so darn touristy it is nauseating! Both of these towns are also "inland" mid-state and for me, negate the exact reason to move to FL - the water.
I agree 100% on the Orlando comment. When we moved to Florida last summer, we considered Orlando, the Space Coast, and Jacksonville. Thank god we did not pick Orlando. Every time I go there my blood pressure rises once I get within 30 minutes as the drivers change to suicidal maniacs. The crowds are everywhere and the traffic is unbelievable. If I wanted that level of traffic I would have stayed in the Northeast, or moved back to Houston where at least the mega city amenities are present. I also was not impressed with the better areas there.. it seemed like the same as St Johns county or Southside, but with more traffic, and sketchy areas mixed in more.

Jacksonville won out for us, the ocean is nearby, the amenities are great, the traffic is reasonable. We are renting currently and think the options right now here are the best we saw in price compared to space and quality.

When it is time for us to buy a house, I feel like there are more options here at different price points than in Orlando too.

I cannot understate the value of being able to walk the beach any given day after work with a 20 minute drive either. Nature's greatest stress reliever.
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Old 02-25-2019, 08:16 PM
 
80 posts, read 63,909 times
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Default Update

Just wanted to post an update not that we have been in St Augustine for over a month now. We are inside the gates of Palencia in a Rental home. The house looks really nice , and it is great for us right now. The houses are a little close, maybe 10 ft apart , and the yards are small. The mid to upper 300s price point is not the level of quality materials we are used to where we lived in Ohio. But it was also all custom local builders. We notice sound level carrying though the house , some of the finishes are less than we expected (cabinet grade, countertops , appliances, exterior doors, door hardware, fixtures, all pretty basic quality. Overall very pleasing to the eye, but come a little short on quality and durability. We are interested in looking at some David Weekly and Arthur R homes as we have seen the Pulte, Drees, Lennar, Emerald, And a few other smaller builders.
As far as location , we are getting used to the location as it applies to beach access and shopping. Day to day the beach is not really convenient from our location. If we go to Ponte Vedra, we have to go down to Micklers which was way too crowded on the weekend or on Down to the beach crossovers between PV and Villano. It costs three dollars and there’s not a lot of crowds, but the walk over to the beach requires walking up stairs, across the two lane highway, which is can be tricky with little ones, up more steps and down more steps to get to a beach with a steep drop off and is really full of shells and debri. It is still beautiful and I would rather be there than no beach at all. But with little ones, it’s not easy. We struggled to find easy public access in Ponte Vedra near the main beach , we found the rest to be beach clubs or private beach. We looked but couldn’t find parking until we ended up in Jax beach. By that point we had been in the car roughly 45 minutes. We found ourselves preferring to drive to St Augustine beach and going down A1A for a few miles and entering the beach vehicle access points . It took about 35 minutes to get out there. The beach is clean, maybe some of the most beautiful stretches besides Kiawah, and the gulf that I’ve ever seen. Was not crowded but then again, it’s kind of cold. We are excited to see the vehicle access areas during peak season , how crowded, how much traffic, how far you neee to drive to get some distance from the crowds. We find the congestion to get over to the beach the problem, St Augustine can be a wait at traffic lights, and depending on what’s going on, there can be some traffic.
From Palencia we find ourselves traveling 25 or more minutes to get to Walmart and 45 minutes to get to samsclub or Costco in Jax. We have a Publix which is nice, but sometimes we are spending three times on our grocery bill to shop there. There’s some restaraunts in the Palencia commons but we find ourselves traveling quite a way to get a variety. So for us, we would like to be closer to Walmart and Sams or Costco. Win Dixie is ten minutes away but there’s only a small difference in price .
So for now, we like the school quality, the low to non existent crime , the amenities of the neighborhood, and overall our evenings in St Augustine are amazing.
Things we are impartial to would consist of the distance to get to St Augustine beach, and the distance to get to the stores we tend to shop at. We would much rather live on the southern end of st Augustine or on st Augustine beach as far as shopping and beach access. But there are a few concerns, we do not want to sacrifice the highly rated schools of this part of the county and the house options are more plentiful.
We have looked at St. John’s and WGV and like what we see. But still pretty far from the beach and congestion seems to be a little more than we are used to. We tried to visit the Walmart pickup order st Duebin crossing and it was five days before there was a pickup spot open. Hence why we go to St Augustine.
I could be way off on all of these areas, just first impressions.
We did look at Yulee, Fernandina Beach and really liked it. Really nice there, we plan to do some more visits and look at some houses and get a better feel for the beach. We drove out on American beach and when down the river and islands route home, very cool area. Yulee looks up and coming. House prices seem to be on the rise big time. Down town FB is really cool.

We plan to visit Brevard County soon to get a feel for places like Viera, Merrit Island, Sattelite beach, Melbourne/beach, and have even thought about looking at Jupiter to the south. Schools look great in Brevard (certain areas) seems to be a bit warmer, hurricane frequency and intensity is lower than most and the proximity to Disney and the others is nice. Did hear about a red tide problem recently which is why we are avoiding southwest FL. We suffer from rhinitis and season allergies and this would likely cause more issues.
All in all, Florida has been amazing, weather is better than we expected, people are friendlier than everyone acted like they would be, diversity of life and thought is welcome and thriving and opportunity and prosperity seem to be much more prevalent than negative folks would lead you to believe. Small business owners are kind and happy and positive. Even the large amount of homeless or at least street folks, in st Augustine and the beach, tend to keep to themselves and do not cause any issues. I been to other parts of the south where the street folks fall over you trying to ask for money, but we have not had any issues. There’s quite a bit mote folks on the streets than we expected, but it is everywhere that permits it. Mental illness is everywhere and I think St Augustine feels safe even at night when you are walking to the parking garage or through the parks. It’s always so alive, it feels safe. I will stop jaberring now. Forgot to mention we visited Villano and it was nice but the beach sand is not our favorite, the bathrooms were really rough shape that day, hardly any parking for the much beach, and man did we get in traffic both times coming home. That bridge gets backed up in the evening. It’s a nice low key place though. By the way if you haven’t eaten at The fish camp on Ponte Vedra, you are missing out. Best meal of our Florida stay.
Anyone have thoughts on the space coast?
Long term we are leaning to staying low flood areas, maybe staying wear of 95. With quick access to the beach, good schools, lower cost of living , and we do not want to box ourselves into an expensive HOA and CDD fees on top of higher property taxes. We would rather buy a lot and build and avoid the HOA or have a lax HOA and lower taxes and no CDD. It’s great here but all the other costs take the house we can afford and cut it by a quarter. If I’m going to be 35 minutes from the beach, I’d just as soon find a school across the river and build a nice house on some property. But who knows, living here a year may change my whole opinion. I guess when I can drop my three year old off at school next year on my bike, I’ll get a real feel huh?
Sorry for the long winded update. When I was reading the forums and looking for what people like me were going through, I liked reading the long winded and specific narratives. I learn a lot from the conversation. Any feedback is appreciated.
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Old 02-26-2019, 10:25 AM
 
Location: NY
27 posts, read 12,211 times
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Thank you for sharring your experience Skeens84! Appreciate your honest perspective and hope you will continue posting on your current locations and others you plan to explore.
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Old 02-26-2019, 10:51 AM
 
325 posts, read 201,094 times
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I have a lot of the same confusion with deciding on where to buy or build as you are having. I honestly did not like Palencia every time I visited. Not sure what it was, but it felt a little to exclusive for a big family area. While I appreciate the idea of gated communities, there were a few too many gates for my taste there and I was not horribly impressed with the houses for your money either. While I am not huge on Nocatee either, at least it felt a lot more welcoming.

I have the same debate about the Space Coast from time to time too. We really liked Viera when we went for a visit. Thought most areas of Satellite Beach were nice too. A lot of the rest of the coastal area felt too cheap tourist coastal though. The big issue I had with that area is that so much of the decent priced real estate ends up being in 55+ communities when you dig enough.. and it seems like half of the listings never tell you that(you have to look up the community online). In your price point I think you could do well in Viera. We really liked the quality of the construction(all cement block homes) in the couple houses we looked at that were being built. It seems like you will pay more in insurance, and general house cost for your money there though, so I am not sure its worth the trade off to be in a smaller market.

I do not know what to think of Yulee. I feel like it looks great on paper, but my wife thinks it has too many run down areas whenever we drive through. I personally feel like those run down houses are next to be snatched up by the developers because it cannot help sell their communities to see a falling apart house right outside.

As a side note, we generally felt the beaches in Brevard county were a little nicer. The facilities were pretty nice too. So far we are thinking of just staying here in Jax when we are ready to buy, probably in St Johns county.. but we will continue to hunt around like you are. It helps that both my wife and I work remote.
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Old 02-26-2019, 11:39 AM
 
1,086 posts, read 1,388,916 times
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The nice things about the space coast is you can actually buy single family homes within walking distance to the beach under $500k. Also certain areas of the islands are high elevation >15 feet so that limits storm surge damage potential.
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Old 02-26-2019, 01:20 PM
 
80 posts, read 63,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottamemnon View Post
I have a lot of the same confusion with deciding on where to buy or build as you are having. I honestly did not like Palencia every time I visited. Not sure what it was, but it felt a little to exclusive for a big family area. While I appreciate the idea of gated communities, there were a few too many gates for my taste there and I was not horribly impressed with the houses for your money either. While I am not huge on Nocatee either, at least it felt a lot more welcoming.

I have the same debate about the Space Coast from time to time too. We really liked Viera when we went for a visit. Thought most areas of Satellite Beach were nice too. A lot of the rest of the coastal area felt too cheap tourist coastal though. The big issue I had with that area is that so much of the decent priced real estate ends up being in 55+ communities when you dig enough.. and it seems like half of the listings never tell you that(you have to look up the community online). In your price point I think you could do well in Viera. We really liked the quality of the construction(all cement block homes) in the couple houses we looked at that were being built. It seems like you will pay more in insurance, and general house cost for your money there though, so I am not sure its worth the trade off to be in a smaller market.

I do not know what to think of Yulee. I feel like it looks great on paper, but my wife thinks it has too many run down areas whenever we drive through. I personally feel like those run down houses are next to be snatched up by the developers because it cannot help sell their communities to see a falling apart house right outside.

As a side note, we generally felt the beaches in Brevard county were a little nicer. The facilities were pretty nice too. So far we are thinking of just staying here in Jax when we are ready to buy, probably in St Johns county.. but we will continue to hunt around like you are. It helps that both my wife and I work remote.
I like the wide range and variety of builders in nocatee . If I’ve learned anything over the last three years, national builders are not all the same. While they all make boatloads of cash, including the top three making 4 or 5 billion in 2018, not all of them offer the same experience. I find myself preferring the Nocatee town center more than the Palencia commons. Though the Asian bistro and Starbucks are very good here in Palencia, nocatee has more to offer. We also end up eating at St John’s oaks or the area by the gate station on valley ridge. Lots of great food there. Palencia seems to be kind of isolated from everything , even though it’s 15 minutes to WGV and Murabella and 15 to town center , 35 to the beach, 35 to Walmart , maybe less to Durbin, but we may have been spoiled from living in Mt Pleasant SC or staying in Southside/Baymeadows for over a month. Ultimately we feel it’s a hassle and our kids aren’t even in school yet.

We are planning a trip to to space coast soon, and I totally saw the 55+ places popping up, three of the houses I saved were there. Others have said that’s the problem I will run into not only there but also in Vero, Jupiter and those areas. I love the elevation of some of the beaches and inland areas of Brevard. Some areas have elevation of 30+ ft if I’m reading correctly. We prefer coastal style homes with cement siding and metal roofs but I see a lot of new construction stucco . Or out on the space coast beaches I see a lot of 70s and 80s homes needing updated , which we aren’t opposed to and have done ourselves in the past. A 80s cement block key west 2,200 square foot with a pool sounds nice.

I agree totally with the Yulee feel. My wife cringed as we drove through at first, but then again, any area going under a revitalization and experiencing growth is this way. It takes years for the developers to get it all bought up, we saw this in Charleston Sc. Lots of run down falling over houses and mobile homes next to 600k houses. The only areas that didn’t see this were historic districts.

I work remotely as well and my wife can get a job anywhere so commuting is something we want to leverage. We could not even leave the neighborhood for weeks if we didn’t want to. That’s something I keep wanting to leverage to our advantage. Given the direction of the state, the economy , and the opportunities for children, all in all I call Florida a major net positive for us. Granted we have yet to go through a hurricane evacuation or deal with 100+ temps, but we knew that headed in. We are going to evacuate early and every time to the center of the state like Orlando , and we are going to stay at the pool or beach when it’s 100 degrees. The rest is figuring out where’s that perfect place. Most people say it doesn’t exist, but never settling is what I do. It’s probably an illness. As long as my girls are happy , I’ll just fight the internal battle with striving for something better. Lots of places are nice if you can get in before the boom, we had neighbors in Mt pleasant that had two acres of waterfront and a 400k house before the boom and there property and house were worth six times that today. But there’s that risk that the boom never comes and then that lull in between. I would like to find a place that hasn’t hit the major boom yet but has good schools and then snag us some property and build before the boom comes. Ride that way for 20 years and then sell it all off and buy an oceanfront house to spend the rest of our time on . I’ll keep dreaming.
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Old 02-26-2019, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Orlando area, FL
221 posts, read 141,977 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottamemnon View Post
I have the same debate about the Space Coast from time to time too. We really liked Viera when we went for a visit. Thought most areas of Satellite Beach were nice too.

There is a thread on this forum about Satellite Beach and cancer that you might want to read before making a decision.
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Old 02-26-2019, 03:12 PM
 
325 posts, read 201,094 times
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Originally Posted by germanoricua View Post
There is a thread on this forum about Satellite Beach and cancer that you might want to read before making a decision.
Yeah read it, did my own research, and found it inconclusive at best. The "cancer cluster" was not just a single type, but was a variety of cancers. This is not usually the case with chemical exposure based cancer clusters, which will tend to cause only certain kinds. It appears to be a statistical anomaly.

As I said though, I feel as though we are staying in Jacksonville for the long haul. We find there are more nice areas of Clay, Duval, Nassau, and St Johns counties than there are in Brevard County. Also the prices are more reasonable.
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