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Old 06-06-2013, 02:58 PM
 
10 posts, read 11,482 times
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My girlfriend and I have lived in California our whole lives and were looking for a change, plus the mrs will be going to nursing school in Florida.

I run an online business and make over 120k a year and it'll finally be two years this January. I plan to move around January or February of 2014 and I'm about 80% sure i'm going to rent vs buy. Since i have 2 years of self-employment i can now apply for a loan, but since i have friends who work higher up in the banking industry (in CA) they told me that with my huge school debt i'll either get a small loan, or not get qualified at all. So last year i went out and bought a 40k bmw vert instead lol. Its half way paid off already and i figured that having a 40k loan might be a good bonus to the banks when i do buy a home. I havnt decided yet on buying, but if anything i'll buy the following year when the car is paid off and my school debt is paid off, or at least half way.

I'm trying to decide which side of florida i want to move to. Either Sarasota, or Miami. Or somewhere near by.

I'm open to paying 3-4k in rent for a place that is right on the beach, or canal (with ocean access), Possible pool and with modern upgrades in the house.

I have a few questions that i'm hoping to get answers to

1) I'm already used to California's high living costs so i'm not sure if 2-4k is enough for what i'm looking for, or maybe its more than enough? If its not enough, what about a near by city? I figured my only issue might be finding a place like that since most are probably vacation rentals?

2) How is about the ocean water; Is the water relatively warm across central florida or just closer to miami?

3) Is the water relatively clear across both sides of florida?

4) I'm planing to take a week or two trip down there this summer to checkout the areas. Any recommendations on the areas i should checkout? Beaches ect...

5) Hows the weather? My current weather in Sacramento is between 30 degrees in the winter and 100+ in the summer. Does central florida get this cold or hot? Or is its relatively the same year around? What about the humidity, is it humid? If so is similar to hawaii's humidity? Are there hurricanes often? or at all in most areas?

6) How is the Crime? Are there good and bad neighborhoods or are they all relatively the same? I lived in oakland for a few years so im already used to a lot of crime, but prefer to not live in that type again.

7) Are there any must eat restaurants that i should visit on my trip?

Thanks to in advance for your reply.

Last edited by buster84; 06-06-2013 at 03:11 PM..
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:09 PM
 
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) I'm already used to California's high living costs so i'm not sure if 2-4k is enough for what i'm looking for, or maybe its more than enough? If its not enough, what about a near by city? I figured my only issue might be finding a place like that since most are probably vacation rentals?

$2-4K should do. Many investors offer furnished/unfurnished condos based on one year lease. BUT, most likely you will have to go thru a real estate agent once you find the area you like. Vacation rentals are short term (1-3 months).

2) How is about the ocean water; Is the water relatively warm across central florida or just closer to miami?


I would say south Florida would be probably where you want to be if you plan to swim during the winter months. That is from West Palm down to Miami/Key Biscayne. The Atlantic can be a little rough in the winter though. The Golf is great for a winter swim.

3) Is the water relatively clear across both sides of florida?

Yes, in South Florida.

4) I'm planing to take a week or two trip down there this summer to checkout the areas. Any recommendations on the areas i should checkout? Beaches ect...

One week may not be long enough if you want to check out the South Florida's west and east coasts. There are many towns that could meet your requirements. Miami is fine, but it helps to speak Spanish in a big way.

5) Hows the weather? My current weather in Sacramento is between 30 degrees in the winter and 100+ in the summer. Does central florida get this cold or hot? Or is its relatively the same year around? What about the humidity, is it humid? If so is similar to hawaii's humidity?

You keep referring to 'central Florida' but speak of Miami and Sarasota which is considered South Florida as far as I know. Usually, central Florida refers to the center part of the state including Orlando. You want to check 'central Florida' also? In any event, the summers in South Florida last 4-5 months and the temps usually stay in 90s +. And, it rains almost every day so it feels like a laundry room.

6) How is the Crime? Are there good and bad neighborhoods or are they all relatively the same? I lived in oakland for a few years so im already used to a lot of crime, but prefer to not live in that type again.

Yes, good and not so good neighborhoods. You just need to zoom on an area and go from there on.
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Blind-casting for Snook.
128 posts, read 249,152 times
Reputation: 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by buster84 View Post
I run an online business and make over 120k a year and it'll finally be two years this January. I plan to move around January or February of 2014 and I'm about 80% sure i'm going to rent vs buy. Since i have 2 years of self-employment i can now apply for a loan, but since i have friends who work higher up in the banking industry (in CA) they told me that with my huge school debt i'll either get a small loan, or not get qualified at all. So last year i went out and bought a 40k bmw vert instead lol. Its half way paid off already and i figured that having a 40k loan might be a good bonus to the banks when i do buy a home. I havnt decided yet on buying, but if anything i'll buy the following year when the car is paid off and my school debt is paid off, or at least half way.
As a banker, I agree with your thoughts on having an auto loan that was paid as agreed for a couple of years. The size of the loan isn't as important as a completely clean payment history. Same with credit cards and utilities - as long as everybody is reporting that you've paid on time, you'll have the credit history to justify the risk of lending money to you.

"Huge school debt" may not absolutely kill a mortgage deal as long as the payment history is steady and on-time. Student Loans are viewed differently than credit card balances or "toy loans" like jet skis, atvs, boats, hot air balloons, etc.

Self-Employed people do have an extra hurdle or two when borrowing money for a few reasons, but the biggest hurdle is proof of income. Most self-employed people utilize every tax advantage available to lessen their tax liability, which is perfectly acceptable, often showing almost no income or a loss for 'tax purposes' (wink, wink.)

This helps you avoid paying a huge chunk of money in taxes in April, but it kills your chances when you come in to a bank borrow money. Self-Employed people always tell me "Well, I tell the government that I only make $8,000.00, but really I make like $70,000.00, I just write it all off as a business expenses."

A business owner can't have it both ways, unfortunately. Income for the purpose of loan approval is based on the amount on which you report to have paid yourself on your personal income taxes.

If you are reporting to have earned - and paying taxes - on $120,000.00 and your payment history is clean with your auto, credit cards, and student loans, I don't see any reason why you wouldn't get approved for a mortgage as soon as you're ready to buy.

But rent first to make sure you like it. That's not banker advice, that's relocate-advice.

Best of luck!
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:49 PM
 
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Petunka, Thanks for the insite just looked at google maps and assumed Sarasota was more central than south, but since its south then I'd prefer to stay south. Swimming in the winter isn't my top priority if i have a pool. I love the water, but just like Sacramento, i only really swim 3 months of the year anyways so having an extra month or two will be nice.

zmgriffith, thanks for the extra incite. I do report my full income on the report. I actually decided agaist many write offs and only did a little bit. I made 109k after write offs last year and this year im already at 90k and only halfway through the year. I don't plan to do alot of write offs on my second tax return either. I figured paying more now, will help me in my house search in the future. Then once its paid off, i can write off alot more.

I'm pretty sure im renting for the first year, since paying the car off and paying my loans down seem like a better idea to me right now which is why im 80% sure thats my plan. Your idea about renting before buying is making me think 100% about renting since what you say is true. I would hate to buy a house in an area i wouldn't consider staying long term without trying it out first.

Could either of you two tell me how bad the humidity is? I was told its high, is it similar to hawaii or more? I figured ill find out when i arrive as well.

I was thinking about staying a few days in each city and renting a car to check it out. Do you guys have any recommendations on a good month to visit? July, August, or Sep?
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:45 PM
 
110 posts, read 163,301 times
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Dear Buster,

July, August and September will surely give you the humidity dose. I think it is worse than in Hawaii, but again I have never been in Hawaii in the summer. Here it can be 100% and it lasts a looong time. So, do the brutally hot temps which may be higher on the West coast. Personally, I do not mind the humidity but the heat I do not like. We have only a few low humidity months. I'd say November thru early May or, just before the rainy season starts. Otherwise, do not worry, all nice condos will have a pool.

Although, I am not comfortable to give you any concrete suggestions, I have decided to give you a rough guideline which may give you some direction to tour this area:

1. Fly to Miami and stay in South Beach. Havesome fun there, if possible. Check out the Miami area. Mind you the South Beach is quite sleepy during the day but at night it is another story. But, again, it is off season, so it may not be as active but still it is well worth the visit. Besides, the beach is nice. You could spend days exploring the the area.

2. Drive up to West Palm Beach. If you want to see the towns in between take US1 (slow). You may want to stop in Boca Raton, Delray before you hit WPB. Drive to Palm Beach. You may think it is as upscale as Carmel. Hard to compare.

3. Drive to Jupiter/Juno Beach. Different feel. This is the area I know a little about cause I live here. Also, some really nice condos on the beach and Intercostal. If time permits, visit the Jupiter Inlet and Jupiter Island (again very upscale). Mind you there are many developments in Palm Beach County where where millionaires fight with billionaires.

4. Drive across the state to Sarasota. Am sure others will guide you thru that area. It is quite nice but different. Fly out from Tampa, or go south to Naples and back to Miami.

Since your time is quite valuable it may not be a bad idea to visit with real estate agents in every area you decide to visit to learn about the lease options. Planning this trip may not be trivial but I bet you will learn a lot about Florida. In all, Florida is, well, monotonous when it comes to scenery while many parts of California are so beautiful. Too bad it cannot offer what you are looking for.

PS: IF high humidity bothers you please do save your hard earned money and forget about Florida. I mean well.
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:38 AM
 
Location: Blind-casting for Snook.
128 posts, read 249,152 times
Reputation: 168
[quote=buster84;29905403]Could either of you two tell me how bad the humidity is? I was told its high, is it similar to hawaii or more?quote]

The humidity and heat will only bother you until you get acclimated. Coupla weeks, no probs.
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Old 06-07-2013, 01:31 PM
 
10 posts, read 11,482 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petunka View Post
Dear Buster,

July, August and September will surely give you the humidity dose. I think it is worse than in Hawaii, but again I have never been in Hawaii in the summer. Here it can be 100% and it lasts a looong time. So, do the brutally hot temps which may be higher on the West coast. Personally, I do not mind the humidity but the heat I do not like. We have only a few low humidity months. I'd say November thru early May or, just before the rainy season starts. Otherwise, do not worry, all nice condos will have a pool.

Although, I am not comfortable to give you any concrete suggestions, I have decided to give you a rough guideline which may give you some direction to tour this area:

1. Fly to Miami and stay in South Beach. Havesome fun there, if possible. Check out the Miami area. Mind you the South Beach is quite sleepy during the day but at night it is another story. But, again, it is off season, so it may not be as active but still it is well worth the visit. Besides, the beach is nice. You could spend days exploring the the area.

2. Drive up to West Palm Beach. If you want to see the towns in between take US1 (slow). You may want to stop in Boca Raton, Delray before you hit WPB. Drive to Palm Beach. You may think it is as upscale as Carmel. Hard to compare.

3. Drive to Jupiter/Juno Beach. Different feel. This is the area I know a little about cause I live here. Also, some really nice condos on the beach and Intercostal. If time permits, visit the Jupiter Inlet and Jupiter Island (again very upscale). Mind you there are many developments in Palm Beach County where where millionaires fight with billionaires.

4. Drive across the state to Sarasota. Am sure others will guide you thru that area. It is quite nice but different. Fly out from Tampa, or go south to Naples and back to Miami.

Since your time is quite valuable it may not be a bad idea to visit with real estate agents in every area you decide to visit to learn about the lease options. Planning this trip may not be trivial but I bet you will learn a lot about Florida. In all, Florida is, well, monotonous when it comes to scenery while many parts of California are so beautiful. Too bad it cannot offer what you are looking for.

PS: IF high humidity bothers you please do save your hard earned money and forget about Florida. I mean well.
Thanks for all the good advice. I plan to rent a car and visit the towns while im down. You mentioned off seasons, when is the normal season? I would have thought summer was the normal season.

The humidity in hawaii actually didn't bother me at all during the two weeks i was there in may. It might be that I'm already accustom to high temps and sweating while walking is the norm for me 4 months of the year.

Thanks to you both for information. I'll plan my trip accordingly with the available time i make for the trip.
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Old 06-07-2013, 04:35 PM
 
110 posts, read 163,301 times
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Am sorry, I have overlooked your friend will be going to nursing school in Florida and that is one of the reasons you'd like to move down here. Is she going to study in Miami? If true, you probably want to be closer to Miami, right? I love the Coral Gables area but uff, it is rather pricey.

The season in South Florida is December - April. During this time millions of people from the North ('snowbirds') come down to escape the harsh winters. So, we refer to this time of the year as 'the season'. The winters are very pleasant here. It is during the summer months when the temps/humidity rise and the hurricane season starts. However, the North Florida is in a different weather zone and the season is late Spring-Summer-Fall. I know it can be confusing.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:08 AM
 
10 posts, read 11,482 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petunka View Post
Am sorry, I have overlooked your friend will be going to nursing school in Florida and that is one of the reasons you'd like to move down here. Is she going to study in Miami? If true, you probably want to be closer to Miami, right? I love the Coral Gables area but uff, it is rather pricey.

The season in South Florida is December - April. During this time millions of people from the North ('snowbirds') come down to escape the harsh winters. So, we refer to this time of the year as 'the season'. The winters are very pleasant here. It is during the summer months when the temps/humidity rise and the hurricane season starts. However, the North Florida is in a different weather zone and the season is late Spring-Summer-Fall. I know it can be confusing.
Oh, no worries it happens. Were not sure where we will go yet, it mostly depends on which schools she gets into and decides to go to. As for the seasons, thanks for that info.

I forgot to ask, How are the hurricanes? I've never experienced one before, just earth quakes. I figured renters insurance would be the best idea as well. Are their normally power outages? I need to be able to have access to internet 24/7. I figured if its bad and the hurricanes not affecting the whole island ill go get a hotel on the other side, or head up to Georgia if its pretty bad. Cant afford to loose the internet in those times...

I've been searching online for home rentals and i seem to find way more vacation rentals than long term (non furnished) rentals. Are there any good sites to search? Craigslist seems to be the best over google since google search finds me vrbo, and tons of vacation rentals.
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:50 PM
 
110 posts, read 163,301 times
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Yes, I understand, plus not having A/C in the 90F is not very pleasant. We lost power every time for 2-5 days but the homes a block away did not loose power at all. I would not worry too much about hurricanes. You will have plenty of warning - at least 3-4 days - to make alternative arrangements. Once you know where your friend will study this forum will help you with details.

As to the real estate. Try Zillow.com and 'filter' rentals just to get an idea. Otherwise, you will have to work with real estate agents because many long-term rentals don't make it on Zillow or are not even advertised. To rent a condo will require some paperwork/credit check/ healthy deposit and an 'approval' by the Board of Directors. They will tell you all about parking and pet restriction, no wet towels hanging on the balcony, no parties after 8:00 pm (just kidding) and all that good stuff. This process could take up to 30-45 days. But am sure you know all that. And, most likely, your lease will require to get renters insurance.

Just one more point, if I may. Please do not rent from an owner who happens to be in a pre-foreclose or is faced with any lien against his property. Ask the agent to search public records before signing a lease agreement. Anywhere in Florida. If you rent directly than you'd have to search the records yourself. In PBC it can be done easily on line. Not sure about other counties.
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