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Old 05-03-2009, 06:56 PM
 
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My family and I are interested in finding a nice small town in FL to purchase a winter home. We would most likely spend Jan - April down there. We are looking to spend from $200k-$300k for the house but obviously would be happy if there were even cheaper houses. We would like our home to have a pool and would like the weather to be conducive to spending time in a pool. If at all possible we would love to be no more than an hour from a beach and no more than 30-45 minutes from a decent sized city (100,000-200,000 people). We would like the town we live in to be around 10,000 people. We homeschool our children so we are not concerned about the local education however, having a nice conservative local church is a must for us.

Can you all please give me some wonderful insights as to towns that might fill our desires. Thank you very much.
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:59 PM
 
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Stuart fits the bill. Small town, on the ocean, 40 minutes to West Palm Beach.
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:13 PM
 
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Wow, I pulled that area up on zillow.com. I cannot believe how cheaply you can get some houses down there. $100k for a 2000+ sq ft home. Amazing! How would the Stuart area be for hurricanes? Stuart almost just seems like a part of Port St. Lucie...does it have a small town feel to it?
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:48 PM
 
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Check out Tequesta or Hobe Sound. Both are small towns. Maybe also Jensen Beach. Stuart is nice, but it is over 10k people. Only a short drive to pretty much any shopping and dining you could ever need or want in Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, and West Palm Beach.
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:52 PM
 
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Thanks for the info. I keep pulling all these places you all mention up on Google maps and it is so different then what I am used to. I am from KY, and when there is a small town then you have a good 10-20 mile buffer before you find another town. The maps of these places in FL just make these small towns look like suburbs of the big city. Am I missing something, or is that how it is? I would like to avoid horrendous traffic because we have 0 traffic in the town I am from.

Thanks again.
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:20 PM
 
17,290 posts, read 29,232,448 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wait2travel View Post
Thanks for the info. I keep pulling all these places you all mention up on Google maps and it is so different then what I am used to. I am from KY, and when there is a small town then you have a good 10-20 mile buffer before you find another town. The maps of these places in FL just make these small towns look like suburbs of the big city. Am I missing something, or is that how it is? I would like to avoid horrendous traffic because we have 0 traffic in the town I am from.

Thanks again.

Well, Southern Florida is not known for its "car free roadways"... especially not in the winter, when populations swell because of the snowbirders.

I would definitely check into a place like Hobe Sound for you, then, in Southern Martin County. It still has an old Florida village type feel to it, and is probably the most secluded city (but still within reach of amenities) in SE Florida. You may also like Vero Beach, which is 16k people, but I think Vero is kind of far away from city amenities.

YOu have to remember that developable land in SE Florida is actually fairly limited. That's why there isn't a lot of "space" between cities and towns.
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:27 PM
 
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If I have a Wal-Mart (super preferred) within 10 minutes of my house I really don't need the town I live in to have anything else other than a nice church. I do not mind driving 30-45 minutes to get to a town with movie theaters and other entertainment venues.

What is the main draw/difference between the west and east coast of FL. Where was the housing boom the worst and what offers the best chance for finding a distressed/foreclosure home?

My wife worries that she would be bored due to not having any friends down there. Is it generally easy to meet up with new people?

Thanks again for all the great input.
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:29 PM
 
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Stuart is not part of Pt. St. Lucie. In fact, Stuart has been around for well over 100 years, and is the county seat of Martin County. Port St. Lucie was built in the 60's.

There is a world of difference between St. Lucie County and Martin County.

That said, you need to come down and look around to see what you like.

As far as hurricanes, any place in Florida can get whacked. In 2004 we had two hurricanes in three weeks make landfall in Stuart, just a couple of miles apart. We made history that month.
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:33 PM
 
2,143 posts, read 7,987,312 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wait2travel View Post
If I have a Wal-Mart (super preferred) within 10 minutes of my house I really don't need the town I live in to have anything else other than a nice church. I do not mind driving 30-45 minutes to get to a town with movie theaters and other entertainment venues.
Well, unfortunately, since there is a China Bank and Trust....er Wal-Mart- every 6 or 7 miles in south Florida, you will be good to go wherever you buy.
Quote:
What is the main draw/difference between the west and east coast of FL. Where was the housing boom the worst and what offers the best chance for finding a distressed/foreclosure home?
The areas with the most foreclosures, like Cape Coral and Port St. Lucie, are the exact areas that don't fit your bill.
Quote:
My wife worries that she would be bored due to not having any friends down there. Is it generally easy to meet up with new people?

Thanks again for all the great input.
People here are the same as everywhere. do some volunteer work, meet at churches, do something with the kids, you'll meet people. There aren't many snowbirds with young children though, and that may be an issue.
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:33 PM
 
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Do hurricanes hit in Jan-April? In Stuart, are there property management companies that will take care of the home the other 8 months out of the year?
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