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Port St. Lucie - Sebastian - Vero Beach St. Lucie, Martin, and Indian River counties (Treasure Coast)
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:03 PM
 
95 posts, read 155,443 times
Reputation: 163

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Sorry in advance for the long post, but I figured we'd try to be as detailed as possible in the hope we'd get suggestions compatible with our needs.

We are looking to buy a nice, small house in a quiet neighborhood as an investment rental and to possibly retire to eventually. It would also be a nice excuse to visit sunny Florida from the frozen Northeast in the winter to check on the place.

I would like it to be in a neighborhood with a mix of middle-class families and retirees, both as potential tenants and future neighbors. We would ideally be far from any major city.

I spent a few days in Vero Beach about 10 years ago and liked it a lot. I was visiting friends on the barrier island, though, and am realizing that is way out of our price range. I don't remember that much about the mainland side, except it seemed nice. One thing I liked about Vero Beach was that some of the neighborhoods had older trees and shady yards, which seemed like a really cool effect in Florida. So that would be a bonus. Some of the newer neighborhoods look nice, but lack those trees, and the houses can look a little “cookie cutter”.

Reading these forums, it also sounds like Sebastian and Port St. Lucie get good reviews. We are also interested in learning about other places that may meet our needs. In Florida I only know Miami (nice place to visit), Naples (seems nice, but seems a bit “sterile” or something), Sanibel Island (great, but can't afford) and Vero Beach. So we're open to suggestions.

Here's what we like:

Small-town feel.

A quiet street with little traffic, and houses that aren't jammed in tight together.

Parks are great, as are hiking and biking paths. We'd like to be within 10 minutes or so of a good beach.

We'd like an area as crime-free as possible. Like, if we forgot and left a bike outside overnight, it would probably still be there in the morning. Or that we'd feel totally safe walking the neighborhood streets at night

We're trying to avoid certain tacky or disruptive elements, such as junky cars parked all over the place, barking dogs, revving motorcycles, blasting music, temporary “car ports”, etc. I hate to sound snobbish, but am looking for polite neighbors with a sense of class and pride, who take pretty good care of their houses and yards.

We'd like to be away from the hubub of strip malls and traffic.

We don't need “nightlife” other than a couple nice restaurants. We avoid chain restaurants, movie theatres, malls, etc.

Shopping. If we're fairly close to a decent supermarket, and if there's a Wal-Mart or Target and Home Depot within 20 minutes or so, that's cool. We don't really “shop”.

So a lot of places that people say things like “it's so boring- there's no nightlife or shopping” are right up our alley. We like a vibrant and friendly community, and to socialize with friends and neighbors. We just don't need all the “stuff”.

Price range in the $100-200k range for a three-bedroom or maybe even two-bedroom house.

So let us know what neighborhoods you'd recommend, or any other thoughts. Any information on the rental market would be helpful, too.

Thanks!

David
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Old 01-03-2014, 01:48 AM
 
Location: Port St Lucie Florida
1,285 posts, read 3,612,425 times
Reputation: 408
I live in the Northeast part of the city between US1 and the Turnpike in an area near the river and got lucky. The neighborhood is a mixture of incomes, people of all ages and older houses mixed with a few new homes. I have great neighbors and discovered you need to speak first and say " Hello". It has been suggested to tour the neighborhood on a Saturday afternoon and early evening to see what there is to see. Keep in mind that you don't make Gumbo with just Shrimp, it takes a mixture of ingredients. It is important to buy a CBS home with a hip roof to have the lowest possible insurance and also you need to consider the flood zone for flood insurance.
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Old 01-03-2014, 05:24 AM
 
Location: Vero Beach
910 posts, read 2,223,512 times
Reputation: 478
Try the neighborhoods along 5th Street SW in Vero Beach, about 3 miles south of downtown. Especially between 27th and 43rd Avenues, there are nice houses along tall tree-lined streets (not gated communities, although there are several of those in the area too). It's about a 12 minute drive to the beach, and the same timeframe to WalMart and the mall. We have lived in Vero since June of last year and LOVE it here. We are retirees and don't care about the night life either.
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Pompano Beach, FL
389 posts, read 664,199 times
Reputation: 493
Have you considered Martin County? I've spent a lot of time in the Stuart-Palm City-Jensen Beach area and would recommend it. Obviously, it's much closer to the hustle and bustle to the south, but it turns into a different world once you cross the Palm Beach-Martin County line.

Having said that, I also like Vero Beach and believe it would be an excellent choice.
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Old 01-04-2014, 06:51 AM
 
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida
4,507 posts, read 9,218,068 times
Reputation: 1999
In consideration of all that have been mentioned -- you really need to "visit" and check out the areas. The "Treasure Coast" sounds like what you are looking for but without seeing it in person it's difficult to pick out any one certain area that you will actually feel comfortable in. Vero, Port St Lucie, Stuart....all will fit your criteria one way or another.
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Old 01-04-2014, 07:45 AM
 
Location: Miami, FL
403 posts, read 1,081,678 times
Reputation: 152
All I keep thinking is Palm City.
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Port St Lucie Florida
1,285 posts, read 3,612,425 times
Reputation: 408
North Port St Lucie is a beautiful bedroom community.
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:07 AM
 
2,964 posts, read 5,008,143 times
Reputation: 1887
If you're going to be an absentee owner for any lenght of time, I'd look at a condo on the island. Perfect place to get away to, and easy to rent if you so choose. For an example, there are several condo communities near Disney Vero which are nice but very affordable. Here's one:

Sea Oaks Homes for Sale - Vero Beach //Page 7

and another:

http://www.bocaexecutiverealty.com/r...Coralstone.php
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida
4,507 posts, read 9,218,068 times
Reputation: 1999
Palm City from 0-$200 has only 32 homes (not condos) for sale. The majority of them are in Harbour Ridge. Thats fine and a nice community, but the HOA fee is off the chart because of the golf course /marina etc. Quote from one listing "Fees are a combination of POA ($496/mo.) and HOA ($423/mo.)"
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:36 PM
 
95 posts, read 155,443 times
Reputation: 163
Thanks for the suggestions so far.

Thanks for the neighborhood you suggested, SeaLark7. I checked it out but haven't yet found anything that called to me.

I have found a couple nice places in the Country Club part of Vero that look really nice. Any other Vero neighborhood like this?

I am starting to get a little less attracted to Vero after looking at the crime map overlay that Trulia has. Vero certainly looks mostly safe, but there are a few pockets that look pretty bad.

I'll start Zillow-ing around Palm City and see what I come up with. Sebastian is also looking nice, and maybe a bit cheaper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryWho? View Post
If you're going to be an absentee owner for any length of time, I'd look at a condo on the island. Perfect place to get away to, and easy to rent if you so choose.
Thanks for the suggestion, and it makes sense, but not for us, I think. I think you're right it might rent more easily. I do like the idea of a single house, though, mainly to avoid HOA fees, but also for the extra privacy and yard.

Thanks, and keep the ideas coming!

David
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