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Old 05-22-2011, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Bourne, MA
30 posts, read 91,003 times
Reputation: 37

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My husband and I and our two boys, ages 9 & 15, are moving to Florida, Mid July. We will rent for a while to make sure we are in the right area for our families needs. We have narrowed it down to Englewood and the surrounding towns. We are looking for a family friendly Nbhd., so our children can ride their bikes or walk to their friends house, though we don't want to be right on top of our neighbors. We know we will have to give a little to get a little. My question is, can anyone give some advise on good as well as bad neighborhoods? Also, Is Rotunda West a good place for a family, or is it an older crowd? I'd appreciate any advice, Thank you, in advance!
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Old 05-22-2011, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Port Charlotte, FL
3,979 posts, read 9,548,819 times
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Englewood is an older town with older homes. It is close the beach, shops and restaurants. You would have to go to Sarasota or Port Charlotte to go to a mall. There are some family friendly deed restricted communities with amenities such as pool, tennis, fitness, etc.

Rotonda West has a lot of nice homes and it is a mixed community of retirees and families. The entire area of Rotonda is a wagon wheel shape with canals in between and it is a deed restricted community. Visit their web site for more information: Rotonda West Association, Inc.: Home Page

North Port is a community with the median age of 38. There are a lot of families living there and it is affordable. It is about 20-25 minutes to the beach. They have newer homes on 10,000 sq ft lots or you can purchase a home on a double lot if you are looking for more space. It also had deed restricted communities with community pool, tennis, fitness, club house and other amenities. There are sidewalks on the main roads for walking and bike riding. It is located in Sarasota County and is in between Venice and Port Charlotte. Vist the city web site for more information: www.cityofnorthport.com
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Punta Gorda and Maryland
6,103 posts, read 14,032,585 times
Reputation: 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by cal from the cape View Post
My husband and I and our two boys, ages 9 & 15, are moving to Florida, Mid July. We will rent for a while to make sure we are in the right area for our families needs. We have narrowed it down to Englewood and the surrounding towns. We are looking for a family friendly Nbhd., so our children can ride their bikes or walk to their friends house, though we don't want to be right on top of our neighbors. We know we will have to give a little to get a little. My question is, can anyone give some advise on good as well as bad neighborhoods? Also, Is Rotunda West a good place for a family, or is it an older crowd? I'd appreciate any advice, Thank you, in advance!

I would say that renting is a good idea. In mid-july the kids will be off from school, but it will be hot - so it is nintendo weather. LOL

Check out the neighborhoods at night, drive around when it is cooler out and see if there are kids around. One way or the other, when they start school, they will make friends, and then you will meet the parents.
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Old 05-23-2011, 04:57 AM
 
165 posts, read 312,157 times
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We bought a home in Rotonda West last October. A couple of the reasons that we chose Rotonda was because of how friendly everyone was there and how quiet the area is but close to beaches, shopping, restaurants, etc. Englewood is just a few minutes from Rotonda and has basic stores like Publix, Winn-Dixie, Walmart, Sweet Bay, Home Depot, Bealls, CVS, Walgreens but if you want more stores than those just head to Port Charlotte which is about 20 minutes.

Our street is a combination of full time residents and seasonal from various parts of the US and Britain. There's a wide range of ages from the tiny tots across the street from us to retirees. Walkers, joggers, and bikers feel safe. Many of the children in the community ride their bikes to where the school buses pick them up and just leave their bikes next to the stop signs on various corners.

All the canals and golf courses make it an attractive area and the HOA fee is a measley $156 a year.

We love Rotonda!
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Old 05-23-2011, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Englewood, FL
1,268 posts, read 2,760,983 times
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In general, the Englewood area is older. But there are many families here, too...you just have to "find them" a little more. You will make fast friends with the activities in school, though. Areas where families tend to buy homes are Rotonda, New Point Comfort area, East Englewood, Stillwater.

For what it's worth, those of us who have lived here for a very long time, consider anything West of the El Jobean bridge to be Englewood. Except Boca Grande.

I'm in my late 30's and have lived in the area for most of life (minus my college years, lol) so if you have any specific questions, I'd be happy to answer them.
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Old 05-24-2011, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Bourne, MA
30 posts, read 91,003 times
Reputation: 37
Thank you all for your replies, we came down for a week a Feb. and drove the nbhds. Did not do the Rotunda West, though, I know about it, and homes keep coming up in my rental searches. I also have a father in law that I will be finding a place for. The Rotunda seems to fit our needs, I just don't want to live in a nbhd. with no kids, my boys happiness comes first. (House with a pool & friends) and of course their X-box for the hot days, (thanks "Big House").
North Port is also on my radar, I just keep hearing about different nbhds. to stay out of, though I know every town has them, it makes me nervous, I would hate to pick the wrong one. Does anyone have any info. or advice in that regard?
I will be coming down in a couple of weeks to make that final decision, I've got to nail down a few different choices, this is nerve wracking!!!! Thanks again, I can't wait to call myself a Floridian!
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,511 posts, read 21,339,025 times
Reputation: 2846
Quote:
Originally Posted by cal from the cape View Post
Thank you all for your replies, we came down for a week a Feb. and drove the nbhds. Did not do the Rotunda West, though, I know about it, and homes keep coming up in my rental searches. I also have a father in law that I will be finding a place for. The Rotunda seems to fit our needs, I just don't want to live in a nbhd. with no kids, my boys happiness comes first. (House with a pool & friends) and of course their X-box for the hot days, (thanks "Big House").
Quote:
Originally Posted by cal from the cape View Post
North Port is also on my radar, I just keep hearing about different nbhds. to stay out of, though I know every town has them, it makes me nervous, I would hate to pick the wrong one. Does anyone have any info. or advice in that regard?
I will be coming down in a couple of weeks to make that final decision, I've got to nail down a few different choices, this is nerve wracking!!!! Thanks again, I can't wait to call myself a Floridian!


I'll try to answer some of your questions. My assistant lives out in Rotonda and she has three boys. She says there are enough kids for them to play with. I think it's a pretty good mix of ages in there. I do know many British families who live in the Rotonda area, the Sunshines from City-Data are one of my British friends who live in the Rotonda area.

The older area of Rotonda is called Oakland Hills. I would say that the properties are less expensive in Oakland Hills and they're much more relaxed on their deed restrictions. There are also several duplexes in Oakland Hills.

Here's something I wrote about the Rotonda area:

With its canals and roads perfectly laid out in a big circle, Rotonda, Florida looks like a giant pizza with each piece being a different neighborhood. It is actually a desirable group of communities on the Cape Haze Peninsula, in Charlotte County on the south coast of Florida. Only 100 miles south of Tampa between Sarasota and Punta Gorda, the quiet Rotonda, Florida communities are off the beaten path, yet close to shopping, medical facilities, schools, and entertainment.

If you love the water, Rotonda is the place for you with over 30 miles of landlocked canals. There is ample boating, fishing, swimming and other water sports. The nearby beaches are uncrowded with miles of sparkling, white sands. Situated close to the center of the Cape Haze Peninsula, the Rotonda Florida communities are well protected from the most severe hurricane winds. Rotonda, Florida is an upscale, deed restricted community with freshwater canals and numerous separate communities. The inner circle of Rotonda, Florida includes 1,600 square foot homes and larger, while the outer circle has homes that are more modest and smaller, ranging from 1,200 square feet and up. Rotonda Golf and Country Club features many courses scattered throughout the community. It offers complete practice facilities, a full length driving ranges, putting and chipping greens, and bunkers. The Country Club was awarded a ‘Beginner Friendly Certification’ from the National Golf Course Owners Association and the Charlotte Sun Herald Reader’s choice award as the best course in Charlotte County. The three Rotonda Golf and Country Club courses - The Hills, The Palms and The Links – stretch like a necklace of sparkling gems through the Rotonda, Florida communities, cooled by the gentle gulf breezes.
Rotonda West, Florida is a master-planned community with over 20,000 acres of lakes, ponds, greenbelts, and fairways and 23 miles of waterways. Rotonda West is comprised of several neighborhoods including Long Meadow, White Marsh, Broadmoor and Pine Valley. These outer communities are linked to land by three bridges that cross the canal system to the mainland. Home sites are as large as one-third acre. Homeowners pay a modest association for canal and lot maintenance, and other expenses. The Rotonda West, Florida communities are comprised of 8,000 home sites with about 5,000 currently completed. Most residents are full-time, and a few seasonal residents live here. There are six golf courses here, four of them operated by the Rotonda Golf and Country Club and two run by Pinemoor Golf Club. These communities are well-known for their natural surroundings, and include a bird sanctuary and plenty of canals for boating enthusiasts. The older communities like Oakland Hills and Pebble Beach are more fully developed, while the newer areas are still evolving. These include Pinehurst, Broadmoor, Long Meadow, and Long Marsh and the more recent development, Pine Valley. All communities are deed restricted with homeowners associations, underground utilities and public water and sewer.

Rotonda Broadmoor is a private golf course community, close to Boca Grande beaches, shopping and dining.
Rotonda Oakland Hills features golf courses, a clubhouse, and street lights.
Rotonda Pine Valley is a popular, neighborly community, within ten minutes of shopping, dining and other services. This golf course community also has tennis courts.
Rotonda Pinehurst is a golf course community with a clubhouse.
Rotonda Pebble Beach is a golf course community in a great location, only seven miles from Englewood Beach.
Rotonda White Marsh is a golf course community with a clubhouse and tennis courts.
The inner circle communities offer intimacy and a neighborly environment, with plenty of great amenities, and lush landscaping.
Rotonda Heights is a lovely little community with great access to local beaches and golf courses.
Rotonda Lakes is a golf course community located just minutes from Boca Grande with its world-class fishing, beaches and a marina.
Rotonda Sands is a picturesque community that is just across from South Gulf Cove, with beautiful lakes and quiet, private streets. It is only two miles from Gasparilla Island.
Rotonda Meadows is a golf course community with tennis courts, and close proximity to beaches, shopping, fishing and boating.
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,511 posts, read 21,339,025 times
Reputation: 2846
Here's the deal with North Port. Almost all of the neighborhoods are referred to by the main street they run off of. I'll give you a basic run down of the neighborhoods.

The area located off off south Biscayne Blvd was the original area of North Port. Most of the homes were built in the 1960's. Many are under 1000 square feet. The majority of these homes are selling for under $40k.

Then you have the area off of south Sumter Blvd. called Country Club Ridge. Many of these homes were built in the 1970's and early 80's. These homes are selling in the 50k-60k range or less.

Almost all other areas are newer. Most of the other areas there are homes selling for $60k+ and 2000 or newer.

Much of the area that runs on north off Sumter Blvd on the west side is in a flood zone. This area runs along the Myakkahatchee Creek and is one of the only flood zones in the North Port area.

Many people like to live between Sumter Blvd and Toledo Blade Blvd. Both of these roads run out to I-75 for easy commutes and they are generally more populated. Cranberry Blvd and Chamberlain Blvd are very popular streets to live off of. Cranberry Elementary School is the highest ranked school in town.

If you're looking for more of an open/not so many neighbors then you need to be looking east of Toledo Blade Blvd. This area is more sparse, in terms of houses close to each other.

If you prefer more land then you need to be looking east of I-75 out in North Port Estates where most properties are 3-5 acres.

There are a few gated/deed restricted areas in North Port. Lakeside Plantation is very popular with families. It's affordable, has a Olympic-size community pool, tennis courts, fitness center, clubhouse, basketball courts, playground, library and billiards room.

I know you will be looking at middle schools. I've heard from many friends that Woodland Middle is pretty good. We only have one high school in town. That is North Port High, unless of course, you want to have your kids attend Pine View. That is the highest ranked school in the county but it requires an IQ test and other specialized testing. It's a great school but not for every kid.
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:51 AM
 
8 posts, read 15,093 times
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Those are nice pictures of Rotonda. I'am actively looking into the Englewood/ Rotonda areas but have found nothing as of yet. Im hoping for Englewood at this point. Any thoughts and suggestions about the area or annual rentals would be truly appreaciated.
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Bourne, MA
30 posts, read 91,003 times
Reputation: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leslie1125 View Post
Those are nice pictures of Rotonda. I'am actively looking into the Englewood/ Rotonda areas but have found nothing as of yet. Im hoping for Englewood at this point. Any thoughts and suggestions about the area or annual rentals would be truly appreaciated.
The annual rentals go very quickly, I'm having a hard time also, you have to call the agents to find out what they have and jump on one, if you know it's in the neighborhood you want. With the satellite imagery on mapquest now you can view the whole neighborhood and the house. I have been working with Coconut Bay Realty, Jill, she has properties that are not on MLS, because they go so fast. Pineapple Gulf Property Mgmt. also seem to have properties in the area often, as well as Investors Choice International, and West Coast Property Mgmt., go on there sites to see what they have, and call them. SoFloGal is also very knowledgable about the area.
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