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Old 10-02-2018, 06:17 AM
 
Location: Upstate NY
36 posts, read 32,098 times
Reputation: 17

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Hi to all. Now thinking about retiring (1-2 yrs) to St Augustine or Palm Coast area from upstate NY. Had our hearts set on Myrtle Beach and were about to go down for our yearly vacation this year and look at houses and narrow down our preferred areas but then Florence hit and our vacation and potential homesites went under water--lots and lots of water. I guess Florence was a blessing in disguise because if we had moved down there already we would have lost our home and all its contents. Financial ruin at our ages (63&65). So now my sights are set on the north Atlantic coast of FL. For my remaining years on this earth I want to be in warmth and near the beach, my happy place. Would appreciate hearing from other northern transplant retirees pros and cons of both St. Augustine vs Palm Coast. Ideally would like to be no more than 10-15 mins from the beach (closer if possible), 3BR/2BA single-story with several arms lengths between me and my neighbors on all sides. Would like to avoid HOA's if possible as we don't have them up here and hubby and I are not keen on rules telling us if I can have a garden flag on my front lawn, what color flowers I can plant, etc etc. Budget is $175-$235K. Being close to bike/walking paths would be nice. Have never been to SA/PC area of FL but hoping it is a bit cooler than southern FL where my hubby's sister lives. Any recommendations as to specific areas to look at in either SA or PC would be helpful and names of good, honest helpful realtors for retirees would be appreciated. We now hope to take a vacation in late winter (Feb-Mar) next year and come down and scout the area out. Missing my yearly fix of the beach but looking forward to seeing what's available down in your neck of the woods. Tks...Deb
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Old 10-02-2018, 10:58 AM
 
Location: St Augustine
1,002 posts, read 2,289,267 times
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The east coast can have cold winters When we retire moving over to the west coast Venice
for warmer winters
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Old 10-02-2018, 11:27 AM
 
672 posts, read 386,365 times
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One cannot get a decent home for $300k in Venice, CA., or many places is SoCAL actually.

Palm coast is probably the best bet for the OP. Although the area may be debatable depending upon expectations.
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Old 10-02-2018, 12:30 PM
 
4,498 posts, read 3,255,103 times
Reputation: 8051
Venice, FL.
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Old 10-02-2018, 12:55 PM
 
672 posts, read 386,365 times
Reputation: 944
Venice, FL is way too crowded in season. We checked homes there last year, in fact all down the west coast. Pretty much from Tampa South it is a driving nightmare and we got fed up of lining up for hours to get a meal. Not to mention the hurricane frequency compared to the East coast.

Also quite frankly the cooling down in the winter (not for long at all) make a nice change. It is probably the best for year round living.

The only issue we see is the availability of decent affordable housing in the general Pointe Vedra Beach & St. Augustine area (Basically mid Anastasia Island) if you want to be close to the beach and want a home that was built after 2003 or so. There are cheap areas like Aug South and the shores, but the price reflects the distance from a nice beach. Homes are typically older there too. There are some nicer homes inland but that is OK if you want to live in a Sauna in the summer. I guess this is no different from most of Florida, poor areas surrounded by small enclaves of upper middle class neighborhoods. The West coast is different in the way it has more upper middle class areas, closer to the beach, but home prices are somewhat prohibitive.

In St. Augustine, on Anastasia Island there are only really a very few communities that are well kept and highly desirable, most have some kind of HOA. Sea Colony, Marsh Creek CC to name a couple. south Anastasia is too narrow for our comfort zone and does get the occasional Tornados, much more than center Island. Of course there are the overpriced areas 1 - 4 blocks from the beach. We are in Marsh Creek and have been looking to downsize for 3 years and there is nothing really that appeals to us with newer smaller well built homes. Most new homes are now being built of wood and not concrete which is a No, No for us. But this is just our opinion of course.

Last edited by shokwaverider; 10-02-2018 at 01:08 PM..
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
368 posts, read 410,991 times
Reputation: 375
We have relatives living in Ponte Vedra Beach. Very nice smaller home with some space between neighbors, but in the $500K range. They use Jacksonville Beach about 20 minutes away. There is definitely an HOA.
A friend of our’s lives in Palm Coast in the C section. Their house is in the $400K range. There are probably some less expensive, but the houses are close with an HOA also. They go to Flagler Beach.
Both are very happy with their locations although Palm Coast is more out of the way if you like bigger city amenities.
Our friends in Palm Coast did have some hurricane damage with Matthew. Had to replace their lanai. Their house is concrete with a tile roof.
You can definitely find more affordable housing in the Myrtle Beach area. And it doesn’t all flood.
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Old 10-03-2018, 06:22 AM
 
Location: Upstate NY
36 posts, read 32,098 times
Reputation: 17
SkyNSea55 well a LOT of the outlying areas of Myrtle Beach area have all flooded now thanks to Florence. Myrtle Beach proper is fine and along the coast is fine but can't afford homes there. I am surprised though by a lack of responses to my query. I thought I had worded my questions cordially to try and solicit some assistance with pros and cons of St Augustine vs Palm Coast. Not Venice, FL or west coast FL or even Venice, CA for that matter LOL.


Still looking for helpful responses from those who have retired to St Augustine or Palm Coast. And so far I have been seeing several realtor listings for homes in both areas in our price range so I think we can afford either, though more Palm Coast than SA.
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Old 10-03-2018, 07:41 AM
 
9 posts, read 11,261 times
Reputation: 28
I could not speak to retirement, however we just moved to St. Augustine and looked at Palm Coast as well. For your budget you may be happier in Palm Coast. The prices are lower there and they still have many stores and restaurants, although they are more chain type than boutique. St Augustine is a beautiful city with more of a beach vibe. St Augustine Shores is a nice neighborhood with a wide range of home sizes and prices. It is about 15-20 minutes to the beach. Some of the Shores have an HOA but not all. There is an amenity center you can opt into. Anastasia Island is going to be quite pricey, and those in your budget will be very small and dated. Keep in mind too that the taxes are higher there and you will have to carry flood insurance. Both areas you mentioned have retirees and families. I know it doesn’t help a lot to say that you should visit and get a feel for things yourself, but they are so different that without more information on what type of lifestyle you are looking for it is difficult to know what to recommend. We wanted a more beachy cool place to live and we don’t mind the tourists so it was easy to pick St. Augustine over Palm Coast which felt like any other suburb in the south.
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Old 10-03-2018, 07:42 AM
 
9 posts, read 11,261 times
Reputation: 28
I can also recommend a really good realtor but I will do it in a private message.
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Old 10-03-2018, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Upstate NY
36 posts, read 32,098 times
Reputation: 17
Thanks CoffeejunkieMom, for your thoughts and PM of a realtor. We are planning on coming down in early March to check both areas out. I'd like to be no more than 10-20 mins from the beach. And I think a beachy vibe would be great. Good to know that we can afford some homes in the St Augustine area. Would your realtor be able to make me a short list of suggested areas in SA and Palm Coast that fits our budget and can tell us if they're HOA or not. I understand HOA's protect the value of your home from neighbors who might not otherwise take as much pride in their homeplace than others. Just don't want super-restrictive HOA's. Also, do you know if there are any public pools in either area, or beach clubs you can join, or do you have to find a home with a pool or put up/in one if you want to go for a swim. I love the ocean--to take a walk on, just not keen on swimming in saltwater and I know I will need a pool of some sort for the hot summer months. TIA
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