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Pensacola Escambia County, Santa Rosa County
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Old 12-05-2017, 06:40 AM
 
807 posts, read 828,822 times
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Good morning folks:


I've read many threads but can't find the information I'm looking for. DH and I are looking at possible locations to explore in preparation for our retirement in about 2 years. If we find what we are looking for, we may go ahead and purchase ahead of time and use it as a vacation home until we pull the retirement trigger. A little about us: We currently live in San Antonio but we both want to retire close to nice beaches and we LOVE Florida. We've pretty much decided on the Panhandle area because it will still be an easy drive back to Texas to see the kiddos and grand babies. Below is what we are looking for:


-Nice active middle class community with low crime. (open to HOA's if cost/benefit makes sense) please share towns/communities/subdivision names for me to research.
-Close to a nice beach, shopping, dining, etc.
-QUALITY built home either existing or new (who are your best builders?)
-Budget is no more than 225-250 tops for a one-story (minimum of 2 bed, 2 bath, 1-2 car garage)
-Area where conservative values are appreciated (not alt-right types)
-We currently live in "Military USA" and love it (DH is former Air Force) so an area where enlisted or retired military tend to gather/live would be a plus.
-An area where real estate holds it's value
-Smaller lots i.e. less maintenance or where HOA maintains lawns (not a must have but it's on the wish list)


Thanks for any help you guys can provide. I can't wait to see your responses so I can start exploring. We'll be making a couple of trips to look around before deciding location and hopefully select a builder if we go with a new build.
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Old 12-05-2017, 12:03 PM
 
807 posts, read 828,822 times
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Is anybody out there???
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Old 12-05-2017, 03:12 PM
 
Location: Florida -
7,856 posts, read 9,305,729 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CLR210 View Post
Is anybody out there???
Either Pensacola or Fort Walton Beach (or the Navarre area) seem to meet your requirements and have numerous housing areas in your price range. You do realize that the Panhandle of Florida has about the same (cooler) weather as South Alabama (and much colder than San Antonio) don't you?

Both have strong military communities. RE costs are rising quickly in many areas of Florida (ie; Destin, other). If you are able to purchase sooner, rather than later, you will more than likely make-up your cost in rental AND appreciation.

Check-out some of the existing threads on the Florida forum. Thousands are seeking the same things you are -- and the same answers get repeated.
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jghorton View Post
Either Pensacola or Fort Walton Beach (or the Navarre area) seem to meet your requirements and have numerous housing areas in your price range. You do realize that the Panhandle of Florida has about the same (cooler) weather as South Alabama (and much colder than San Antonio) don't you?

Both have strong military communities. RE costs are rising quickly in many areas of Florida (ie; Destin, other). If you are able to purchase sooner, rather than later, you will more than likely make-up your cost in rental AND appreciation.

Check-out some of the existing threads on the Florida forum. Thousands are seeking the same things you are -- and the same answers get repeated.
Iíve looked at previous threads but there arenít a lot of recent ones that give current information. Can you tell me specifically how Pensacola and FWB would fit what Iím looking for? Thank you for your help
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:01 AM
 
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I would look at Navarre Beach area. Have family who live in Milton and it took us about 30 minutes to drive down there. It has nice beaches and way less people than Destin. Not sure of house prices. We liked Navarre beach a lot.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:56 AM
 
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Definitely check out Navarre. We lived there for a year, just moved to Gulf Breeze (right between Navarre and Pensacola) but we only moved because it was closer to work and to church, but we loved Navarre. Nice area, beautiful beaches, friendly people.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
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The closer you get to Ft. Walton Beach-Destin the more expensive it gets- the Eglin/Hurlburt AFB footprint really limits the amount of developable land in south Okaloosa County, and that area is largely built out at this point with new or newer construction commanding a pretty dear price.

Since you don't have a work commute, the Midway to Navarre is probably the best bang for your buck with easy access to beach and other things you want. Do note than many insurance companies will charge a lot more for a homeowner's policy south of US 98 compared to north of that road, and have a look at recent flood zone maps before getting too serious about a given property.
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Old 12-07-2017, 02:13 PM
 
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This is all great info guys, thank you so much. I’m going to start researching all of this
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Old 12-08-2017, 05:31 PM
 
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So I’ve been looking at Navarre and there are a couple of really cute properties in our price range. Any input on what day to day living is like pros/cons? What neighborhoods should we avoid?
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Old 12-09-2017, 05:16 AM
 
201 posts, read 188,655 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CLR210 View Post
So Iíve been looking at Navarre and there are a couple of really cute properties in our price range. Any input on what day to day living is like pros/cons? What neighborhoods should we avoid?



I lived there from 1989-1997 and then again in 2013. I love Navarre. I like to go over to Juanas Pagoda near sunset and have a few drinks and watch the volleyball games. I had 3 houses built during my stay there. 1 has doubled in value, and another has tripled. The last one I had built in 2013 has gone up about 33% in 4 years.


I did find myself going to Pensacola or Fort Walton Beach for restaurants and movies etc.... Navarre really doesn't have anything to entertain you, but it's nice quiet living. I believe the people who "run" Navarre are pretty picky on its growth and who comes in as a business. I plan on moving back in about 3 years when all retired from everything. Huge military presence. Destin isn't to far away, but I really only go that direction from mid October-April. Highway 98 is a bear. Even if there is no wreck, traveling on it on "rush hours" will drive you bonkers. We spend a lot of time at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola (Stock Car racing) which is cheap entertainment. Best of luck... You can DM if you have more specific questions and I will do my best to answer.
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