Ft. Pierce, a bad neighborhood? (Jacksonville, Miami: real estate, apartments, insurance)
Port St. Lucie - Sebastian - Vero BeachSt. Lucie, Martin, and Indian River counties (Treasure Coast)
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It seems like everybody dislikes Ft. Pierce. I was just looking on some real estate pages and found an adorable SF home completely redone for 85K. But everyone's like "Ft. Pierce, ewww, gee ... I'm sorry." And I don't know why they're saying that. I wanted Port St. Lucie but unless you're over 55 there's not much there under 100K in the single family home market. So, what's the deal with Fort Pierce? Is it Compton on the East Coast?
Yes. Ft Pierce and Port St. Lucie make up St. Lucie County. In a nutshell, I will tell you that Port St. Lucie is the newer city of the two, its saturated with transplanted northerners (myself being one of them) and while we do have a 55+ community, there are many families and 30 somethings that live here. Speaking as a late 20's single person, I intermingle with the Jensen Beach/Stuart crowd but thats another story....
Ft. Pierce is an urban city, has lots of crime and drugs. There are some of the older areas (out of the way, farming areas but thats not even an accurate description). The best thing is to visit with a chaperone and you will see the difference between the two areas.
I moved to PSL with my family in the early 90's. Dad sold real estate up north and made a 'killing' in Florida (psl to be exact) so we've been here eversince. You are right about how expensive it is here. People who have lived here for years enjoyed house values that skyrocketed but the downside (of course) is that taxes and insurance coupled with lack of jobs is driving many people out of here- if only they could actually SELL their houses....
Anyway, enough for now- I'm sure this thread is going to be bombarded with responses to your question!
Well, certainly not bombarded, but perhaps tempered a little. Fort Pierce is, of course, by far the older city, as Prettygyrl777 says. As such, like almost any other city in America, it has "sections" that are bad. Today, we call these "ecnomically disadvantaged", but in the old days, they were simply ghettos. In the case of Fort Pierce, and almost any other city yhou can think of, these sections were the result of segregation. Stuart has them, Vero Beach has them, West Palm and Melbourne has them; Jacksonville and Miami has them; everyone has them -- except Port St. Lucie and other new cities like it. Why? PSL was "born" into the era of laws against discrimination, and folks here took it seriously, plus PSL was marketed to people all over the world -- people of different ethnic backgrounds already own all the vacant property, and it's 40 years too late to do anything about it. The result is a wonderful mix, the way the world ought to be.
Back to Fort Pierce -- there remains a strong situation of "haves" and "have-nots", and the poorer areas do have higher crime and drug statistics -- and occasional drive-by shootings, and prostitutes, and any number of other truly terrible things -- that are also in every other city you can think of. Stay away from those areas, however, and you'll find teachers and firemen and shop keepers and chefs and clerks and mechanics and lawyers and doctors and maybe even an Indian chief -- the same as you will anywhere else.
Fort Pierce has worked wonders with their downtown renovation and waterfront area, with pretty restored areas, sidewalk cafes, taverns and restaurants, and a just-renovated theater that was once the largest movie theater between Jacksonville and Miami, and is now a gorgeous 1200 seat performing arts theater with everything from rock to jazz to opera. Out on South Beach there are neat areas of apartments and such for younger folk, and older beach lovers find great places to live on South Beach or North Beach. If you like graceful, older homes on large city lots, there are areas of Fort Pierce that will set your heart a-twitter.
But, there isn't much new growth in the city, and folks who want cookie-cutter houses in a more suburban area tend to go 7 or 8 miles south to Port St. Lucie.
There are great deals in Fort Pierce simply because of the "conventional wisdom" that it is bad; I do, however, strongly recommend that you take the time to learn the nuances of the city before you invest any money, simply because there are some less desirable areas.
Nicely put, and much better then I would have.
I have friends living in Ft. Pierce, went to the Inlet Jetty, Tiki Bar etc., but since I have witnessed a murder there, I am making a big circle around the inner section of the city, and staying to the "outside", by the beach.
I live in PSL, but I would live in Ft. Pierce. It's gotten better over the years (I've been here a while...) Some areas you may want to check out...Indian River Estates and the Lakewood Park areas.
Diamondeye - What area was this house that was 85K? Maybe that will help us help you. There are areas of Ft. Pierce that I wouldn't want to live, but there are also some areas in Stuart (Martin County) that I wouldn't want to live either.
Thanks to all for all the responses. I guess I have been sheltered by my rich Highland Beach grandparents. The house is on 14th street in Ft. Pierce. I did a search on crime and saw listed "Ft. Pierce Boyz" under "gang activity" not a good sign I guess. The house is cute, totally redone and has 4 bedrooms (only 1 br tho ) Anyhoo, I guess 4 br for 85k means it's in a bad area.
It's funny, when Internet searching I can search on "search on only 55+ communities" but they don't have the inverse. Makes filtering out the endless Savanna club listings a pain. And I have too much pride to live in a double wide or manufactured home.
Tough call on Ft. Pierce. I grew up in PSL but spent the majority of my time in FP (school, job, friends, beach). It has it's rough areas and my school and work weren't far from there yet I made it out ok. You learn the areas to avoid. When I was there I thought it was going to run itself into the ground but I have been pleasantly suprised when I visit. They have really cleaned things up and worked on the drug/crime aspect as well. I really miss the intercoastal and the beaches and I really haven't found an area that I like better in that respect. At least when I was there it was underdeveloped and more of a natural florida (10yrs ago). I wouldn't say that I would move back but I think it deserves a look and then you can decide. Honestly, I am looking to move and every time I ask about the place all people can talk about is the crime and how terrible it is and noone bothers to point out the charming things about an area. Many people from my highschool actually moved back after graduating college. Good luck!
14th Street -- hmm. Numbered streets run N-S in Ft. Pierce, Lettered streets run E-W. Above Orange Ave (the center of town), the lettered streets are just that -- Ave A, Ave B, etc. Below Orange Ave, they have alphabetical names -- Atlantic, Boston, Citrus, Delaware, etc.
14th Street is not continuous -- it starts and stops in different neighborhoods. There are instances of it in the North section (around Ave P, for example) and others in the South -- there's a short section of it below Virginia ave, down to Sunrise, which are outside the alphabetical streets. The Northern sections are probably up on a ridge above US 1, near the old, original hospital, almost up to Taylor Creek. This would be a mixed neighborhood, and I would want to look hard at the exact surroundings before making a decision. I might invest up there, but probably not live there.
Regardless of where it is, the house will be very old, perhaps to the '40s, and need significant work. The single bathroom throws it into the category of "functionally obsolescent" in today's market place. My best guess is you would get exactly what you are paying for.
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