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Old 06-17-2015, 07:37 AM
 
Location: NY>FL>VA>NC>IN
3,451 posts, read 1,394,425 times
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Hi guys,
I've been on a months-long search for a retirement place, looked in several states and found what seems like a great and suprisingly CHEAP (28K) condo with NO HOA fees (wth?) in CARRABELLE. A very basic, minimalist unit, no amenities (but just a few blocks from the beach!)

I lived in SoFla from 1979-2001 and have never heard of Carrabelle.
I've been looking it up online, but I like to turn to citydata to ask folks who either live there or have firsthand experience, how it really is.

I have a flight booked for the 25-27 to viiew the unit/investigate the town. I'm really hopeful as this place sounds great, the lack of HOA fees has me shaking my head though. Could it be possible I could live near a beach for 28K and $200 per annum taxes? (I verifed this).

Anyone know anything I could benefit from knowing?

I'm going to post this in general FLA forum too.

Thanks so much!
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:14 PM
 
1,697 posts, read 3,882,073 times
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I know how hard it is to find Carrabelle, FL so congratulations on discovering it. Once you visit and experience it for yourself make sure to keep quiet about it. The Forgotten Coast needs to be kept as secret as possible. In my opinion the downsides of Carrabelle are:

- The hour+ drive to a good grocery store (there are crappy groceries closer but Whole Foods is all the way up in Tallahassee.) The airports (Tally and Panama City) are pretty far too.

- The biting flies are notorious but if you are talented enough of a researcher to find Carrabelle you are talented enough to find out how to handle the flies. ("Black ball", blue cup, cactus juice, vinegar, windex...)

- Stray cats and loose dogs in some areas of town.

There is also a population of black bear in the area which I think is great but you have to learn how to live around bears.

I love that some of the terrain in Carrabelle is almost hilly - right near the coast which is unusual to find on the gulf in Florida.

From Carrabelle you'll have a reasonable drive to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country - St George Island and St Joseph Peninsula State Park / Cape San Blas. The beaches in Carrabelle are not as nice but they are fine and they are dog friendly.

Yes it is cheaper to live there than most other parts of Florida. If you are in the market for a condo you'll be shocked at what you're able to get. And what a great investment as this area will inevitably be discovered and developed (although we are trying to delay that as long as possible.) If you're interested in renting before you buy, here is a resource for fabulous deals on long term rentals: Long Term Rentals |

While you are in town for your visit you absolutely must take a drive over to Apalachicola. Extraordinarily charming little town and the oysters are unbelievably delicious.

Keep researching, glad you are flying down to check it out, and best of luck to you. I'm kind of thrilled for you that you are one of the few who found this place. But remember if you do like Carrabelle and the Forgotten Coast, shhhhhhh.......... (I am actually being a bit of a traitor for even posting any Carrabelle info publicly. I think the rule is if you say anything good about Carrabelle you have to also mention the evil biting flies to scare people away.)
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Old 06-18-2015, 06:42 AM
 
Location: NY>FL>VA>NC>IN
3,451 posts, read 1,394,425 times
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What a great reply, thank you!

I know about it being an hour from any stores, flying into Tallahassee I see I'll then have to drive 50+ mi to get there.
If it has a grocery in town that'd suffice for stuff a person runs out of and I figure I can go to TH weekly or so and stock up. I'm in NC now in a small city where I can't get Boar's Head genoa salami so I've learned to do without stuff like that.

Dog friendly beach! I plan to do dog foster and saw that online, along with photos of folks with their dog loose on the beach! Can you really have dogs off-leash on the beach?

This little Spartan unit is a few blocks from the beach. That is still blowing my mind considering the price.

Tell me this: I'll be 52 when I come down, female, am widowed, will of course know no one.
Are the folks mostly retired, are they friendly in general and a sense of "community" kind of, or more everyone keeps to themselves and doesn't know their neighbors? This unit is on Carlton Ave in Lanark Village.
I see there are several churches, I hope to find one that suits me and I know I can make friends there, anyhow. Not seeking a huge network but would like to have a few ladies to have lunch with, go to the beach with etc.

I just realized your username has to do with dogs. Do you do rescue? I plan to volunteer at the shelter there as well as foster (but would have to be small or senior, less active dogs as condo is tiny and no yard to play in ).

Last edited by VexedAndSolitary; 06-18-2015 at 06:48 AM.. Reason: Added info
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:34 AM
 
1,697 posts, read 3,882,073 times
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You will love Lanark Village if what you're looking for is a welcoming community with plenty of friendly, active, interesting, retirement age folks. (But it's not all retired people, the neighborhood also has some young families with cute little children who ride their bikes around.) I think you'll have a blast in that neighborhood. All you have to do is stand outside or go for a walk and you will run into awesome people eager to meet you and have a conversation. They also have a neighborhood association and several clubs you can join. Many people came to Carrabelle for the same reasons you are - they wanted to retire by the beach in a quiet and inexpensive area so right off the bat you'll have that in common with many of the people you meet. But remember I had mentioned stray cats? Lanark village is the main area I was thinking of when I wrote that. (You'll even see a big sign saying cat crossing area or something like that.)

Carrabelle and the Forgotten Coast in general is a very dog friendly area. Thank you for getting involved in rescue work. The shelter will be happy for another volunteer. I have always done fostering but now that I am up to 4 dogs myself (2 of which were originally my foster dogs and I just couldn't part with them) I think I have a full house so no more fostering right now for me.

Dogs on the beaches: I think technically the way Franklin County states it is that dogs must be either leashed or under verbal control of the handler. Wait until you see how secluded the beaches can be there - when you look around and can't see another person on the beach at all, it certainly should be ok to let a well trained dog loose as long as he responds to the handler's cues. It's not like he's going bother anyone if there's no one around to bother! Make sure to pick up after the dog though - if people stop doing that there will be complaints and then all of our dogs will lose their beach privileges.

Lots of churches around, and don't necessarily limit yourself to just Carrabelle. There's Eastpoint and Apalach nearby too if you don't find what you're looking for in Carrabelle.
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:45 AM
 
Location: NY>FL>VA>NC>IN
3,451 posts, read 1,394,425 times
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Oh this is sounding awesome
Of course, always pick up poop!

I emailed the shelter to ask if I could volunteer a few hours when I come to see the unit as that won't take long and I'll be there all day the 26th.

This place sounds sweeeet. Deserted beaches? Heaven. I'd go at early/late times anyway, like 6am or 8pm when less people would be there.

I'm trying to figure out the cheapest way to move, now. I can't drive a UHaul myself (lousy driver), have just a small 1BR amt of stuff but moving companies are TOO high.
Though I'll buy now I won't be actually moving until January 2016 so I have time to figure that out. I posted a thread on Moving to get ideas.

Thanks again, from one dog lover to another
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Old 06-18-2015, 02:10 PM
JAS
 
Location: Metro Atlanta
582 posts, read 1,864,600 times
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I wouldn't call Carrabelle or Lanark Village the "beach", except for a small public picnic area near Carrabelle. If you're looking for a sandy beach with waves, you won't find it there - you will need to drive to St. George Island or other places for that. Carrabelle is a commercial/recreational fishing area with almost nothing else, which is fine if that's what you want.
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Old 06-18-2015, 03:57 PM
 
Location: NY>FL>VA>NC>IN
3,451 posts, read 1,394,425 times
Reputation: 5853
JAS, buzzkill!
I thought when the realtor told me walking distance to the beach, it meant a regular beach.
It isn't that kind of beach? How do you mean?
How far is the beach one can walk on/take dogs to?

When I look up "Carrabelle beach" in a search I get photos of a sandy beach...the chamber of commerce site states that too...whaaat?
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Old 06-18-2015, 04:06 PM
 
1,697 posts, read 3,882,073 times
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You'll see it for yourself OverItAll. Go to Carrabelle Beach. There is sand. The water is not as nice as St George Island or Cape San Blas, it is more like a bay beach. I'm sure you've already looked up google images of Carrabelle Beach so you know what to expect.
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Old 06-18-2015, 04:22 PM
 
Location: NY>FL>VA>NC>IN
3,451 posts, read 1,394,425 times
Reputation: 5853
OK so it IS a regular beach with sand whereon one may walk. Yes that's what the photos portray.
I'll find out next week anyhow.

I hope JAS clarifies what he/she means.
Definitely don't need waves, would prefer calm water for taking dogs there anyway.
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:58 PM
JAS
 
Location: Metro Atlanta
582 posts, read 1,864,600 times
Reputation: 545
If you don't want any waves, then you should be OK. Apart from the small area of Carrabelle Beach, most of the coastline around that area is marsh, or at least not very sandy.
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