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Old 08-26-2013, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Florida
66 posts, read 124,844 times
Reputation: 25

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Considering Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood area. We currently live in Richmond, VA and I miss the 'deep' south (I grew up in AL and spent MUCH of my summers on FL Gulf Coast beaches). We looked at Tampa, which feels great to me, but my husband after having recent business in Ft. Lauderdale found it to be more 'tropical' and in his opinion, prettier.

I have never been but these are some things we are looking for, can you all help me decide if it is worth investing in flights to scope out real estate?

TIA!!

**Close Proximity (with 20-30 mins of large airport)
My husband flies A LOT and needs to be near a big airport that travels directly to major cities. We are not sure about the number and availability of flights he could get out of Ft. L/Hollywood Airport, so we were thinking Miami would be a back up airport, but we both agree we don't want to live in Miami.


**Good Schools
We have a daughter who is currently in the academically gifted program, so we need good schools to keep her momentum up!

**Acceptance
We will be adopting 2 children soon from Ethiopia, as soon-to-be blended family we want an area that will be both accepting and encouraging of our diverse family.

**Amenities
Close to Super Target, grocery, good restaurants, shopping

**Churches
We are hoping to find a large, modern, thriving church along the lines of Baptist/Protestant (we are not hung up on denominations) We want contemporary worship (guitars/drums/etc...), active kid programs, and VERY active on community aid (fixing homes, charity donations, etc..)

**BEACHES!!!!
If we didn't have kids, this would be my number 1. I miss the white sandy beaches and warm, nearly see through waters of the Gulf, and I have been told Ft. Lauderdale is very similar. I want to live within 30-40 mins of a great family beach

**home/lot size
we have 2 pound rescues (50lbs each) and they are currently roaming around 6 acres. We don't want that anymore though, we want a very suburban feel for our kids to play with other kids, etc... but we don't want to be able to pass the sugar through the window to our neighbor. We prefer less cookie cutter, but we like Spanish style/Mediterranean look, prefer 2 levels(floors), open floor plans, 5+ bed/3+bath, upgraded kitchen, POOL!!!!, and we are ok with fixer upper if bones are good and price is ok. We are thinking max around 650K


I really appreciate any help!!!
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Pompano Beach, FL
389 posts, read 551,158 times
Reputation: 488
Quote:
Originally Posted by christinlilly View Post
Considering Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood area. We currently live in Richmond, VA and I miss the 'deep' south (I grew up in AL and spent MUCH of my summers on FL Gulf Coast beaches). We looked at Tampa, which feels great to me, but my husband after having recent business in Ft. Lauderdale found it to be more 'tropical' and in his opinion, prettier.

I have never been but these are some things we are looking for, can you all help me decide if it is worth investing in flights to scope out real estate?

TIA!!

**Close Proximity (with 20-30 mins of large airport)
My husband flies A LOT and needs to be near a big airport that travels directly to major cities. We are not sure about the number and availability of flights he could get out of Ft. L/Hollywood Airport, so we were thinking Miami would be a back up airport, but we both agree we don't want to live in Miami.


**Good Schools
We have a daughter who is currently in the academically gifted program, so we need good schools to keep her momentum up!

**Acceptance
We will be adopting 2 children soon from Ethiopia, as soon-to-be blended family we want an area that will be both accepting and encouraging of our diverse family.

**Amenities
Close to Super Target, grocery, good restaurants, shopping

**Churches
We are hoping to find a large, modern, thriving church along the lines of Baptist/Protestant (we are not hung up on denominations) We want contemporary worship (guitars/drums/etc...), active kid programs, and VERY active on community aid (fixing homes, charity donations, etc..)

**BEACHES!!!!
If we didn't have kids, this would be my number 1. I miss the white sandy beaches and warm, nearly see through waters of the Gulf, and I have been told Ft. Lauderdale is very similar. I want to live within 30-40 mins of a great family beach

**home/lot size
we have 2 pound rescues (50lbs each) and they are currently roaming around 6 acres. We don't want that anymore though, we want a very suburban feel for our kids to play with other kids, etc... but we don't want to be able to pass the sugar through the window to our neighbor. We prefer less cookie cutter, but we like Spanish style/Mediterranean look, prefer 2 levels(floors), open floor plans, 5+ bed/3+bath, upgraded kitchen, POOL!!!!, and we are ok with fixer upper if bones are good and price is ok. We are thinking max around 650K


I really appreciate any help!!!
I'll take a shot at addressing all these subjects aside from schools (we don't have kids):

Air travel: FLL is no Hartsfield or O'Hare (and that might be a good thing, depending on your perspective), but finding a direct flight to the largest cities on the East Coast is certainly doable (especially New York and Washington). It's a bit dicier for flights to the Midwest or West -- chances are there'll be a layover in Atlanta or Dallas-Fort Worth. MIA is, indeed, a backup, but it usually ranks near the bottom whenever someone does a "worst U.S. airports" ranking. Both FLL and Palm Beach International offer a lot of options on non-legacy airlines such as Southwest/AirTran and JetBlue.

Acceptance: Probably not a problem here. Broward County is a melting pot.

Amenities: Shopping and restaurants are plentiful, though I'm not sure of SuperTarget locations.

Churches: Check out Calvary Chapel/Fort Lauderdale (nondenominational Protestant). It is a contemporary megachurch that, while it does not have membership per se, has a weekly attendance of about 15,000 and offers everything on your list. The pastor there is up-and-coming as far as national prominence.

Beaches: You'll always be within 30-40 minutes of a beach, even on the outer edges of the Fort Lauderdale area (although the beaches in Broward are mostly heavily urbanized and couldn't be described as pristine).

Home/lot size: Given your wish list and budget, Parkland (northwest Broward) might be a good fit for you. Also a number of areas in west/southwest Broward (far west Plantation, Davie, Southwest Ranches).

Good luck and hope you find what you are looking for!

Last edited by Papillons2; 08-26-2013 at 04:12 PM..
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Weston, FL
4,310 posts, read 6,529,377 times
Reputation: 1527
Hi christinlilly,

I think you need to look at Weston.

Weston is only 20 minutes away from the Fort Lauderdale International Airport - a straigh shot on I-595.

We have the best public schools in South Florida.

We have people from all over the world living in Weston - no problem with acceptance.

You can find a home in Weston with a large yard.

While there are no big box stores in Weston (I like this - no shopping traffic IN town), you can easily drive to all kinds of stores and restaurants in the neighboring towns. And we have some really nice restaurants of our own.

Churches - we got them.

Beaches - no problem. 30 min to Fort Lauderdale Beach. 30 min to Hollywood beach. 40 min to Sunny Isles. Under 1 hour to South Beach. 40 min to Boca beaches. 1+ hour to Naples (Gulf Coast with white sand)
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:13 PM
 
3,912 posts, read 8,455,557 times
Reputation: 1922
It sounds like South FL has everything you want and need. The only thing that is lacking here is a Deep South feel. South FL is a very large, urbanized melting pot of different cultures and ethnicities.

Beaches- you're never more than 25-30 minutes away. The beaches here are very nice, even though the sand isn't hour glass white like the west coast. The waters are very blue here and it is more tropical than Tampa/St. Pete.

Airports- You have 3 major international airports within 1 hour or less. FLL is the easiest airport by far to navigate and is usually the cheapest for flights up and down the eastern seaboard. Miami is more of a pain because its so large and crowded, but has more flights out to the west coast and international flights. It is an AA hub.

Shopping- Nowhere in America has more shopping than here. There is a Publix, Winn Dixie, CVS, and Walgreens on almost every major street corner throughout Broward County. I think its physically impossible to be more than 1 mile away from a grocery store here. We have 2 Costco's in Davie and Pompano Beach. We have 2 Super Targets, one in Sunrise at Sawgrass Mills, and the other in Deerfield Beach.

Churches- tons of them.

I would recommend a Western suburb such as Weston, Sunrise, Southwest Ranches, Pembroke Pines, Cooper City, or Parkland. These areas have larger lot sizes. Most of the rest of South FL is very compact and dense. Many neighborhoods have zero lot lines.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Weston, FL
4,310 posts, read 6,529,377 times
Reputation: 1527
Hi christinlilly, check your Direct Messages
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Florida
66 posts, read 124,844 times
Reputation: 25
Thanks everyone!!! I am sending this on to my husband. As I typed this yesterday, he booked flights and will be looking down there today!! It really helps to narrow down areas and we are in a HUGE hurry since our home buyers decided they do not want to wait till December to close they literally want to close in less than 2 weeks, great notice huh?
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Weston, FL
4,310 posts, read 6,529,377 times
Reputation: 1527
Did you arm your husband with the "Map with all the Neighborhoods of Broward County rated by quality of life - Neighborhood-O-Meter" ?

(it is a sticky post at the top of this forum)
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Florida
66 posts, read 124,844 times
Reputation: 25
no, but will do!
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Old 08-31-2013, 10:24 PM
 
49 posts, read 62,714 times
Reputation: 40
I lived in Pensacola for over a decade and have spent about the same amount of time here. I can tell you, if you are expecting white sandy pristine beaches, you will be disappointed. There are some awesome qualities about south Florida beaches but to me, they don't hold a candle to the gulf coast.
Our beaches are mostly all maintained well, but the color & texture of the sand just isn't the same.
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Old 09-01-2013, 03:46 PM
 
3,912 posts, read 8,455,557 times
Reputation: 1922
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShellMitch View Post
I lived in Pensacola for over a decade and have spent about the same amount of time here. I can tell you, if you are expecting white sandy pristine beaches, you will be disappointed. There are some awesome qualities about south Florida beaches but to me, they don't hold a candle to the gulf coast.
Our beaches are mostly all maintained well, but the color & texture of the sand just isn't the same.
While the beaches on the East Coast aren't the same, they aren't far behind. The sand isn't pure white here. It is more of a brown/tan mix depending on the area. The beaches here are still great.

If you're looking for a more populated metro area right on the ocean with great beaches, there is no place in America as good as South FL. The weather, beaches, and amount of attractions here is unmatched. The rest of the country gets too cold in the winter months. South FL you can go to the beach all year around.
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