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Old 04-05-2011, 09:58 PM
 
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Well, it looks like we will be moving to FL here in the next 6-9 months. We have 2 school aged kids and yes, I have done lots of research on the public vs private option there in south Florida!

One thing we have decided is we do NOT want to live in a gated HOA community...lots of reasons, but the bottom line is I just won't do it! SO, that limits me even further. All public schools (we'd need both good elementary and JH immediately) point us to the Parlkand and Weston areas, but so much seems like gated communities.

I'd be happy just buying in Rio Vista and sending them to private (there are some beautiful and affordable deals going on there too), BUT who knows perhaps we can find a nice communnity in a subdivision where the kids could bike to school. It might be better for them. I'd really like to check out both kinds of areas. I won't really know until I get there but I'd really appreciate if anyone could point me to any areas in those 2 cities that are not full of HOA fees!

Thanks
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:42 AM
 
Location: Weston, FL
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San Mateo in Weston is not gated.

I think there are a few other ones, can't remember.
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:55 AM
 
Location: South Florida
803 posts, read 1,294,260 times
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Westglades Middle in Parkland is very good, as are all the elementary schools there. There are areas of Parkland that are not gated or really even subdivisions. http://www.broward.k12.fl.us/schoolb...adesMiddle.pdf


If you look on the boundary map, the curvy roads that have lakes in the middle tend to be gated (Heron Bay, Parkland Golf and Country Club etc) but the vertical roads on the right side have houses that sit on at least a 1/2 acre, it could be an acre, I know it's zoned that there is a minimum lot size. The problem is that I think the main road you would travel on to school (Holmberg) is one lane in each direction with no sidewalks (no sidewalks is very common in South Florida). Florida drivers are not very respectful of pedestrians and bicyclists so I would not let my child (even high school) ride down that road alone. But, you would be nice and close, people tend to carpoool and your child's friends would live nearby. In a private school, they can become friends with kids that live literally 40 minutes away.

Parkland is very, well, "park like." Houses that are not in gated communities tend to be very large, sit on large property and be surrounded by tall trees. There is a lot of wildlife. It has a more country-like feel. It is common to see horseback riders near the roads. Weston has excellent schools but is an entirely planned community. Houses tend to sit on smaller properties unless you are in the higher-end sections of the gated communities. It has a more suburban feel. Lots of people bike with their kids to school along wide sidewalks with beautiful landscaping, but they live in gated communities. A drive down Holmberg Road in Parkland and down Glades Road in Weston would instantly sum up the differences.
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:30 AM
 
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Thats a great summation of the differences. Parkland's more rural feel is fine with me. I'd much prefer that I think to perfectly planned albeit beautiful Weston. If you have ever been to Franklin TN it has these rural properties with huge lots which make you feel like you are in the country, but the schools and the local Target etc are 5-10 minutes away. It was a great mix!

Sounds like Weston may be out regardless of schools, just given that its mostly HOA type communities. While we are not looking for a 4000 sq ft home or a horse farm , I think there will be homes that will fit the bill given what you said.. I realize places like Rio Vista and Parkland are completely different kinds of communities. RV is really what I love and more like the area we will be leaving, so that makes me feel comfortable. However, at 'home' we live 2 blocks from school, our kids friends are all within biking distance etc, so its more of that family feel you ascribe to Weston.

When we do move it will be pretty fast and furious and it may run into next school year so I REALLY want to get them into the school they will be attending permanently regardless whre we temporarily rent.

Anyone have any ideas of average home prices in these Parkland areas you describe? Ideally I'd like to pay no more than 600 for a 3-4 bedroom, pool a must but that seems pretty standard in FL! Something in the 500s would be ideal as I'd still be able to go private if we chose that way. Older is almost better and yes, I know about Chinese drywall and to be on the lookout for that!!

Thanks again for anyones input. We are just trying to crunch numbers and get an idea of cost of living in some areas before my shusband gives a definative 'yes' to the relocation.

thx
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Weston, FL
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Take a look at Southwest Ranches which is next to Weston. Some of SW Ranches is zoned for Weston schools. And it is totally rural, yet nicely kept.
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:48 AM
 
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Ahhhh, yes I looked in SW Ranches and found some great stuff. OK, so what I am learning is to get a good real estate agent who can locate home that are zoned for some specific schools. Its good to hear some of the areas I have seen already are in decent school districts. I am making lists of all these suggestions.

Having NO idea about FL its sometimes crazy trying to piece all the details together via the internet.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Coral Springs
143 posts, read 377,397 times
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Landscpr
There are at least 3 large areas of non HOA homes: one is behind the equestrian center/Liberty park, second (newer) is Parkland Reserve on Nob Hill Rd and the other is along Holmberg Rd sometimes referred to "Pines" or "Tall Pines" and BTW Holmberg Rd does have sidewalks all the way on the south side, and they are adding more to the north end. Many kids do walk & bike to school in town depending on which elementary school & development you live in because there are paths everywhere.
For Westglades though, I do not think any of these would be a option to bike to- it is closer to the HOAs, and a few apartment complexes.
I think you can find a 4BR home under 600K. And don't believe the hype with the square footage numbers you see. Many of these homes are really open with high ceilings but not that big otherwise (& very little storage).
Good luck with your search.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:21 PM
 
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Do not know much about Parkland. In Weston you can look at the Bonaventure section. It is older less expensice section, and none are gated that I knew of. HOA is a different story. You likely will not find anything in Weston that does not have some sort of HOA. There is a section at Royal Poinciana and Bonaventure Blvd that has all single family older homes. It does not have HOA that I am aware of,but either way make sure you look at the CITY of WESTON regulations as well. You might find city restrictions to be something you are looking to avoid when it comes to HOA.

One thing I do know that did bother many are the fact that you can not leave garages open unless going in or out. If you are the type that likes to leave garage open while kids play so can have easy access to things like bikes and stuff that might cause a problem. Back north we all love to do that..inFlorida we were inconvienced by that law. Some might find that annoying..some not at all.

Either way Weston is a beautiful community and great place for kids.

Good Luck!!
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:16 PM
 
30 posts, read 72,998 times
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DedeMoving: THANKS so much for the specifics, makes it so much easier to drill down some research, GoogleEarth and I are good friends at this point. Many of our streets are w/out sidewalks too, but are in the more residential quiet areas so the kids don't really need to worry. However, I like the idea of pathways and such. Sounds like it can be a fun area just to live.

Loribell38, thanks as well for the Weston info. Looks like much of that city will be out as I just refuse to pay HOA (been there, done that in my 20s).

I have heard good things about both places all over these forums, but it is looking like Parkland may have more of waht we are looking for in the end.

Question: anyone have an idea on commute times to Sunrise? Thats where my husband will be working and i do not know what direction commute traffic runs out there.

thx again
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Coral Springs
143 posts, read 377,397 times
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From Parkland you would take the sawgrass to Sunrise- it takes 20 min to get to the sawgrass mills mall - not sure if he is near the exit there. My husband commutes on that road to farther south- it is expensive with tolls but he rarely has a traffic problem. Now if you live along Holmberg Rd maybe 5 more minutes (entrance is on Rt. 441 or University while I live close to Coral Ridge Rd. entrance ramp). Overall, I do not think it would be more than 30 min. to any part of Sunrise.
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