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Sarasota - Bradenton - Venice area Manatee and Sarasota Counties
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Old 01-17-2015, 12:37 PM
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We are moving to the area and are looking at grabbing a cheap condo instead of paying rent for a year while we get to know the area. Does anyone know either of these condo communities?

Heatherwood or Fountain Lakes?

Young couple with a one year old so safety is the primary concern...also safety and such of the surrounding shopping areas.

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Old 01-18-2015, 02:37 PM
Location: sarasota
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what's cheap
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Old 01-18-2015, 04:35 PM
Location: Sarasota/ Bradenton - University Pkwy area
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The only Fountain Lakes I am familiar with is an apartment complex (?).

Heatherwood I have seen before, some investors like the cheap REOs for rentals. I would have to go back and check the MLS, but I think all of the sales in the past 6 months or more have been REOs by banks. Do you realize you have to pay cash for Heatherwood condos as they don't meet the criteria for financing? I haven't seen their budget lately, but it wasn't in the best shape last time I looked, plus roofs are in need of replacing and I do not remember if the association pays for them or the unit owners, but I would ask if it were me.

You might have better luck with some of the more affordable condo options in west Bradenton. While many are 55+, there are some communities that are not age restricted with solid financials that may work for you.

As to schools, the Manatee school board site has the ratings of the schools and the distract maps for each school for parents use.

The Manatee county school website is: http://www.manateeschools.net/pages/SDMC

The state of Florida's Department of Education (FDOE) also ranks both FL school districts and individual schools each year based on a FCAT scores and a number of other factors. This information can be found at:
School Accountability Report

Another site that offers both school ratings and remarks from parents is GreatSchools.org at
Florida Schools - Florida State School Ratings - Public and Private
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Old 01-18-2015, 06:54 PM
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I don't get your thinking. Are you thinking that you are throwing away money by renting? It will cost a significant amount in purchase costs. And Florida property taxes and insurance are expensive.

Then what are you going to do with the condo after you find where you really want to live? Sell it and pay a lot on closing transaction costs? It is very unlikely you will make money holding a place short term.

Rent it? And by keeping it and renting it, being responsible for association assessments? And unless you are know how to be landlords, you can get bad tenants who don't pay and who trash the place.

I am probably missing the point, but the only two options I can imagine for you both me the saying "penny wise--pound foolish". Really don't mean to be mean. Just calling it like I see it. I think you need to reconsider your plan.
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