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Pensacola Escambia County, Santa Rosa County
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Old 03-05-2017, 10:51 PM
25 posts, read 27,373 times
Reputation: 14


Hi folks,

We are a family of 4 (2 kids aged 8-10) that are looking to relocate to paradise - but are still searching for the best neighborhood for us..

Work from home so commute is not an issue.

Budget is not to exceed $500K.

Priorities are houses 2400+ with some lot size. Kids Kids Kids. We are really looking for the quintessential suburbia kids next door type of thing.

15-20 minutes from the beach (at most)

OK with Walton or Okaloosa schools.

Any thoughts, suggestions, pros or cons would be appreciated!
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Old 03-06-2017, 01:38 PM
Location: Niceville, FL
7,282 posts, read 15,288,684 times
Reputation: 7029
While there are some places like the Point Washington area that are more year-round residents, you sometimes have to dig fairly hard to find the more permanent resident parts of South Walton amid the second homes and vacation rentals. North of the bay, you'll typically get 95%+ primary residences in most neighborhoods.

Niceville is the more established area with significant commercial areas on Hwy 20; Freeport is still a work in progress and is kind of relying on high prices south of the bay to drive people northward to buy an affordable house within a reasonable drive to the beach. Your money will go further in Freeport, but it can seem kind of isolated at times once you get beyond your neighborhood and the usual Publix runs.

Niceville is a lot closer to build out and has a very hard growth boundary (Eglin AFB, and the Department of Defense isn't interested in selling or leasing to developers in the area) So to find the 1/4-1/2 acre lots, it's either 1980s or earlier construction or paying a very dear price for a scarce resource. On the bright side, a lot of that 1980s construction is of an age and value that it's starting to get renovated to modern styles.

The population of Niceville is largely here because of the Air Force, both for a few year's posting and permanent civil service or long term defense contracting work. It's a high tech cluster in the state. Not sure of the demographics Freeport is drawing.
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Old 03-06-2017, 03:54 PM
25 posts, read 27,373 times
Reputation: 14
Thanks for the info Beachmouse.

Are there any neighborhoods within BWB that are more kid orientated than others?

Also what are your thought on the area behind Publix (Rocky Bayou to Huntington Estates). Looks beautiful.
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Old 03-06-2017, 06:01 PM
Location: Niceville, FL
7,282 posts, read 15,288,684 times
Reputation: 7029
That area is the Rocky Bayou Country Club area, and is indeed pretty nice. I'd just go a couple blocks north of Hwy 20 because there's a sewage treatment substation on 20 by there and it can sometimes get a little whiffy.

Pretty much any of the single family developments in the Niceville area (Swift Creek, Rocky Bayou CC, Bluewater Bay) are going to be pretty kid-friendly. The nicer (waterfront and such) townhouse areas tend to skew a bit older. Swift Creek proper (I don't think it includes the subdivisions west of 285 that are also called Swift Creek) has a community pool as part of HOA stuff and Rocky Bayou and Bluewater Bay have pools that are open for anyone who wants to buy a membership fee.

Depending on your timeline for moving, the big Ruckel development north of Rocky Bayou CC that's set to consume most of the vacant land left in Niceville might be starting to put some homes in. Based on who is involved in the development, it's going to be very well done, but I don't remember what lot size is going to be in the early phases.
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