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Old 03-09-2019, 08:26 AM
 
32 posts, read 81,643 times
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As mentioned in a previous post we are planning for retirement and struggling with amount of property taxes when compared to where we currently live in MD (separate post). With that being said, I have visited Lakewood Ranch and it seems nice. As a retiree I'm wondering if the costs of the CDD fees, property tax and HOA are worth it? I do know there are two communities without CDD fees and wondering why they can build without CDD fees and others can't? What are the positives and negatives about living there?
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Old 03-09-2019, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Sarasota, FL
2,620 posts, read 1,480,775 times
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Lakewood Ranch is very nice and great for young families and golfers; but as a retiree and an only occasional golfer I'd rather be closer to activities downtown, and closer to the beaches -- that's a large part of why we moved to FL and Sarasota in particular. Whether the LR fees are worth it depends on how much you value what LR is offering. I do suggest you look at other communities before you decide, there are many options for retirees.
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Old 03-09-2019, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
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Only you can decide whether it is worth it to you. There are something like 30,000 residents now with many more coming. Obviously, they think there's a value to it. Keep this in mind...the amount of the CDD (or stewardship district in some places) varies quite a bit, as do the HOA fees. Even condo fees vary with the choice of neighborhood. No one is making money from these fees..they go to pay for the cost of running and maintaining the area. You said you visited LWR so you know there is a difference that attracts people but whether it is worth it or not, is in the eye of the beholder.

You are also right to note that there are areas in and outside of LWR that do not have CDD fees so it's not like you must have one to have the other. It all comes down to your budget and your wants/needs.
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Old 03-09-2019, 09:40 AM
 
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Search this forum - lots of opinions, impressions, facts, drawbacks and advantages already discussed !


I'll say this: CDD fees are nothing more than an added tax in effect - they are more money out of your pocket, which is a stone cold fact - an amenity/property/upkeep/infrasture "tax"


To each his own - I never liked the concept of CDD fee, I think they can be onerous
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:07 AM
 
153 posts, read 38,821 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truzella View Post
As mentioned in a previous post we are planning for retirement and struggling with amount of property taxes when compared to where we currently live in MD (separate post). With that being said, I have visited Lakewood Ranch and it seems nice. As a retiree I'm wondering if the costs of the CDD fees, property tax and HOA are worth it? I do know there are two communities without CDD fees and wondering why they can build without CDD fees and others can't? What are the positives and negatives about living there?
I think people forget that there's no state income tax in FL so the money has to come from somewhere. Plus, think about why you want to move to Florida - it's pretty nice here. So you have to weigh the pros and cons. Is the higher property tax worth it to you or not? Me, I'd gladly pay a little more in property taxes for sunshine and 80 degrees today over the alternative weather in MD. Also, the CDD fee is lumped in with the property tax and you have the option to pay part of it in full rather than over time. As someone else commented on your post about property taxes, Florida residents are eligible for homestead exemptions which decrease the amount of property tax one pays so what someone is currently paying for on one property is probably not the same you might be paying on the same property - you could be paying more or less depending on whether they have a homestead exemption. Homestead info: https://www.manateepao.com/dnn/FAQs/...Save-Our-Homes

With relation to why certain communities have CDDs and why others don't, it's a matter of what the builder was willing to shoulder of the upfront costs generally. When these new communities are built, the existing taxpayers of a city shouldn't have to foot the bill to put in a bunch of new roads and build swimming pools, tennis courts, etc. for a private community whose amenities they will not have access to. In some cases, the builder has paid the equivalent price of the CDD and most likely passes those costs along to the end-buyer in the form of a slightly more expensive home or just eats the cost as a way to lure in those trying to avoid CDD costs. Or they just don't have as many amenities to begin with. In other cases, some communities claiming to have no CDD have higher HOA fees which pay for their amenities.

When we first started looking in the area, I did the math on properties and leveraged out the cost of places like Copperlefe/Copperleaf which has no CDD but also a higher HOA (though maintenance is included) but all you get is a community pool for the most part. If you're interested in seeing the Lakewood Ranch fees, I suggest you look at https://www.lakewoodranchdavid.com/l...y-neighborhood. And here's the matrix of what amenities you get by neighborhood: https://lakewoodranch.com/wp-content...ix_Handout.pdf.

We ended up purchasing a home in GreyHawk Landing because it had the same schools as LWR since it's just north of the LWR master-planned community but you get a lot more bang for your buck. I averaged out the annual cost of their HOA + CDD and it was actually cheaper than some HOA-only communities. So people really needn't "fear" or avoid the CDD but should really take into consideration what they're actually paying vs what they're actually getting no matter what fees are being charged in a community. Take for example Polo Run. With the exception of that being a solar community and GHL is not, they seem to have similar amenities according to the matrix but you end up paying almost twice as much as GHL. $2250/yr + $822/qtr = $5538/yr. In GreyHawk Landing, we pay $50/yr for an HOA fee and $1811/yr for CDD. That doesn't include lawn maintenance so let's throw out a figure of $100/mo for weeding/mowing and all in that's still only $3061/yr and we actually have 2 community pools and clubhouses instead of their 1 at almost half the cost in fees.

So always take into consideration what is best for you and your family, but also be mindful of what you're actually getting for your money.

Last edited by FLKitties; 03-09-2019 at 10:21 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:31 AM
 
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Walton County Florida in the Panhandle has low property taxes and great beaches. Most Panhandle Counties along the Gulf have low property taxes, but I think Walton's are the lowest. Look at Bay County and Escambia too.

Of course, it's not as warm year around, but if low property taxes is your #1 priority...

Collier County (Naples) has low property taxes too, and year around warmth, but homes cost more there.
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Old 03-09-2019, 07:55 PM
 
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Lots of good information here and things to consider. I'm coming back to Sarasota on Monday and will take a look at Grey Hawk Landing. The CDD concept is one to get used to but that's coming from one who lives in a state to have ground rent in some cases.
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Old 03-10-2019, 07:30 AM
Status: "Favorite TV show is MONK" (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
88 posts, read 20,317 times
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Look at it this way. Anyone can very easily see the difference in how beautifully maintained Lakewood Ranch is compared to some other communities. The way they keep it that way is by fees. It is up to you to decide if paying the fees to have a place like Lakewood Ranch is worth it to you or not. I gladly pay the cost, as it is obvious where my money goes. It's not like it goes into some government wasteland. But if someone is on a restricted budget, then it may be best to look at cheaper places outside of Lakewood Ranch.
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Old 03-10-2019, 07:57 AM
 
68 posts, read 14,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UTCLWR View Post
Look at it this way. Anyone can very easily see the difference in how beautifully maintained Lakewood Ranch is compared to some other communities. The way they keep it that way is by fees. It is up to you to decide if paying the fees to have a place like Lakewood Ranch is worth it to you or not. I gladly pay the cost, as it is obvious where my money goes. It's not like it goes into some government wasteland. But if someone is on a restricted budget, then it may be best to look at cheaper places outside of Lakewood Ranch.





Hmm : "how beautifully maintained" hmm, er...the house owners are paying, or over-paying a tax for intangible aesthetics of something generally not on your own property...


What is obvious to most is there is not much transparency provided to all house owners at all


You are correct, there are much cheaper (and sometimes nicer, or as "nice") way outside Lakewood Ranch proper, and that's a fact. To each his own.


The fact remains that many (not all) CDD fee'd properties can be a total screwjob in the longterm, particuarly if your holding period is forever and ever ,amen.


CDD fee'd communities are not the only game in town - far from it. They have a place in the housing landscape but some place an undue burden on house hunters.


If you have an unlimited budget, no worries - knock yourself silly. I would still recommend buyers to put that expense of your after tax income into a SPDR or even a lousy mutual fund - or simply buy another small property.


Smart buyers would evaluate what TANGIBLE benefit are you really and truly receiving. When the market flattens out (as it's doing now in many many locations), or starts declining within the business cycle (which it has done), you'll still be on the hook paying on a depreciating asset.


Don't be a total chump. Investigate, then invest. All that glitters ain't gold, and that's damn true in buying a house to live in in order to have a roof over your head.
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Old 03-10-2019, 09:07 AM
 
2,245 posts, read 725,579 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UTCLWR View Post
Look at it this way. Anyone can very easily see the difference in how beautifully maintained Lakewood Ranch is compared to some other communities. The way they keep it that way is by fees. It is up to you to decide if paying the fees to have a place like Lakewood Ranch is worth it to you or not. I gladly pay the cost, as it is obvious where my money goes. It's not like it goes into some government wasteland. But if someone is on a restricted budget, then it may be best to look at cheaper places outside of Lakewood Ranch.
I agree. I prefer the overall look of Palmer Ranch, Lakewood Ranch, and the West Villages, due to how nice the area outside my own property, but still nearby, looks. I'm wiling to pay for that, so long as I see it as a reasonable amount, and so long as its for a fixed period of time. I pay $100/month for it for a ~12 year time cap. I scrimp in other areas so I dont feel this CDD cash burn so much. Like no cable TV, or smart phone, so there's the $100/month right there.

I hate how the areas along Cattleman, Swift, Tuttle, Beneva, and other non master planned areas look around here. The City/County do a horrendous job at planning/maintaining the roadsides. Don't you just love that huge electrical transformer jungle at Clark & Beneva? You'd never see that blight in a master planned community. Go to McIntosh & Central Sarasota Pkwy to compare.

I think residents can participate on CDD Boards..no? I'm pretty sure there are a lot of laws making their finances transparant..no?

I also agree w/ Boiss though, if you are on a limited budget, you really need to avoid CDD's like the plague. Dave Ramsay would suggest not buying in a CDD community until you are debt free. I'm inclined to agree.
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