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Old 08-31-2009, 03:50 PM
 
Location: Osprey, FL
122 posts, read 294,621 times
Reputation: 75

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Hello everyone. Long time reader, first time poster.

I have been reading up on some of the posts here, and would like some advice. We are a family of four including two children and three dogs. We are planning to move to the area sometime in the next year or two. We are looking for a home in the $200-$250K range. We plan on paying cash for the house, and working minimal time to cover the rest of our expenses. We both have college degrees, but don't care for full time work. We don't care to get rich, only be as happy as we can be, and be able to enjoy our time with our children. We will likely buy a boat when we get there, to have something to ride around the many waterways in the area. It's not important to have a dock, as we can launch the boat if necessary, but I would take a dock if it worked out.

What is important to us are the schools, the neighborhoods, and having our own swimming pool. We would like to be a short distance from the beaches, but driving there is ok. We would also like to have a fair size lot, so the kids have a place to run outside.

We are discussing renting for a year to feel out the area, and will likely do so.

Where might some of you recommend we look. If you have any questions, please ask.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-31-2009, 04:15 PM
 
30 posts, read 72,699 times
Reputation: 31
Tamiami-
We just finished up an exploratory trip down there. I was born and raised in MI, but lived in FL for several years during the 80's. Like you, we have two school age kids and are willing to trade quantity of pay check for quality of life. Our needs (2 acres, 200K w/pool) brought us to North Port though we found a place we loved in near Bradenton. I think the best advice I can offer is to plan a trip (without the kids if possible) to specifically check out houses/schools/etc. It was tough for us to go without the kids, but it really helps you focus on what you are down there for as well as it helps you avoid the feelings of guilt while you skip the beaches and attractions to drive from house to house. Buy a TomTom and show up with a fist full of listings then check out one house after another. The neighborhoods vary dramatically as do the schools - all of the info is available on line, but nothing beats a personal visit. There are several great realtors that I'm sure will respond to your post - I've been following them for some time and find their info to be given with the best intentions. You may also find some negative responses as well - take that with a grain of salt - you'll find your spot, just move slowly, but keep making progress. Good Luck!
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Old 08-31-2009, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Nokomis Fl
1,007 posts, read 2,379,895 times
Reputation: 465
Best advice is rent first buy later
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Old 08-31-2009, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Venice Florida
1,380 posts, read 5,470,727 times
Reputation: 875
I think Glurknobia is giving you good advice, check the area out well in person. And be sure to visit areas that interest you after work hours or on weekends.
North Port is one of the more affordable areas, you'd be 30 minutes to the beach.
Rotonda is also very affordable with lots of open space, a bit closer to beaches.
South Venice will also provide affordable property and be minutes to the beach. The Shamrock county provides the kids with a good place to play and meet other kids. It's right along the intra-coastal. The community has a ferry that crosses the waterway to the beach and a boat ramp for residents.
Sarasota county has great boat launches that are fee free.
Good luck
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Osprey, FL
122 posts, read 294,621 times
Reputation: 75
Thanks to those of you who have replied so far. I know where North Port is. Never been there, but I was advised to not even consider it due to shoddy construction, poor city planning, foreclosure galore, amongst other things.

I notice a lot of bickering about North Port in this forum between residents and realtors. The way I see it, if I can get that much of a house, and not have to worry about a house payment, then it might be wise to buy in North Port. If I were planning on moving there depending on finding a job, it would likely be a mistake.

I will add it to my list to watch.

What is up with that Rotunda place? That is the strangest thing I have ever seen.
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Nokomis Fl
1,007 posts, read 2,379,895 times
Reputation: 465
You make little sense

You want to be near the beach and boat lainches and are considering North Port

Rotunda would not suit you
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Old 08-31-2009, 07:32 PM
 
Location: Osprey, FL
122 posts, read 294,621 times
Reputation: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter the Brit View Post
You make little sense

You want to be near the beach and boat lainches and are considering North Port

Rotunda would not suit you
I just said I would keep an eye on North Port.

Why is Rotunda shaped like that?
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Old 08-31-2009, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Osprey, FL
122 posts, read 294,621 times
Reputation: 75
Is Southwood in Venice pretty nice? I found a nice looking home there in our budget.
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Old 08-31-2009, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Venice Florida
1,380 posts, read 5,470,727 times
Reputation: 875
Rotonda is shaped like a wheel, each section has a golf course. Driving around Rotonda is very convenient, you drive into the center and out to another section.
There is a great county boat launch right by the Boca Grande causeway. This ramp places you at the north end of Gasparilla sound. There is great fishing and many tidal flats where people wade on low tide.
The beach choices are on Gasparilla Island or Englewood, both are within 20 minutes of Rotonda.

Southwood is a nice community by Plantation, it's has a home owners association and the properties are well kept. Convenient to the Venice area beaches. There are several boat ramps,as well as marinas near by.
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Old 08-31-2009, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Osprey, FL
122 posts, read 294,621 times
Reputation: 75
Thank you, Bob.
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