Considering a move to Florida......need advice.

Christine

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 31, 1999
DW and I are looking very closely at The Villages, which is about an hour north of WDW. We visited there last spring and really liked it, and we're visiting again in May. It's not on the water but it's beautiful and there are a ton of things to do. Home prices there range from 130K to over 1 mil.

Like others have mentioned, my advice is to look around and see for yourself what works best for you.
My parents moved there last year and are really enjoying it.
 
  • NYCgrrl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2017
    MA its the worst for taxes!
    Nah...it just seems that way what with the neighbors (someone I met in CT) calling your home state, "Taxachussetts". He called NYS, " The Vampire State" so you are not alone:).

    When I'm considering a new locale, I check local media sources such as newspapers, blogs, citydata.com, et al.
    Like others, agreeing that checking the rules for specific HOAs you've an interest in to find out about live in visitors, etc. is a good idea.
     
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  • L&Lfan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 6, 2008
    10 Worse States for Taxes
    1. Illinois
    2. Connecticut
    3. New York
    4. Wisconsin
    5. New Jersey
    6. Nebraska
    7. Pennsylvania
    8. Ohio
    9. Iowa
    10. Kansas
     
  • L&Lfan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 6, 2008
    I’m surprised that taxes in NE, IA and KS are higher than some other states I expected.
     

    nkereina

    Last chance to lose your keys.
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2009
    Whether college aged kids can live in a 55+ community part time will vary by community. So you'd need to review the bylaws of any community you are considering to understand whether that's permitted. My parents live in a 55+ community and their bylaws state that only one resident of the household is required to be 55+. I think its worded in a way where the intention is that if a husband is 55 and a wife is 53 (for example), they can still live there. I don't think the intention is to have teenagers or 20-somethings around, but it would technically be permitted under their bylaws.

    If you don't have a specific area in mind, how do you know FL is where you want to be? When my aunt retired, she was dead set on moving to FL. Turns out she ended up liking North Carolina more, and ended up purchasing there. For her, especially now as she's aging, the weather is more tolerable, the driving is easier, and she's closer to her family that still lives here in the Northeast.
     

    Disneybuckeye

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 24, 2010
    Great, we are #8. We were looking at a $800k condo in Breckenridge and I said the Real Estate Agent that the property taxes were slightly worse then ours in Ohio at $24k per year. She looked at the sheet and said the $2k was annual, not monthly. I told DH we are buying one of these just for the cheap property taxes.
     

    VandVsmama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2011
    OP - are you looking for a community within walking distance of the beach or easy driving to the beach (like up to an hour's drive)?
     

    mjkacmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2006
    Great, we are #8. We were looking at a $800k condo in Breckenridge and I said the Real Estate Agent that the property taxes were slightly worse then ours in Ohio at $24k per year. She looked at the sheet and said the $2k was annual, not monthly. I told DH we are buying one of these just for the cheap property taxes.
    There is a large, very old fixer upper for sale in town for under $900,000, taxes $35,000 a year. Not for me!
     

    HopperFan

    "It's a bug-eat-bug world out there, princess."
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2003
    OP

    Sounds like you need to do LOTS of homework so that your move is successful for you. I have purchased a "retirement" home in Florida. I am walking distance to the ocean (what we wanted) and in a "condo" community. It is not 55 and over, I was not interested in that for various reasons. Our community is not age restrictive but the bulk of the full timers are well over that. We have LOTS of amenities and activities, especially for the retired community. We are surrounded by entertainment, dining options, lots of free live music, festivals etc. St. Augustine.

    I highly suggest you plan your vacations over the next five years to different places that your research would put in top 3-5. Like choosing a college but more important, you need to visit in person, get a feel for the area, the people etc. I would closely review the by-laws of any retirement community to be sure you can live within their rules. Many would prevent your kids from visiting more than a short visit or using any amenities. I would closely google and research any specific communities you are looking at; as a follower of Florida news it is quite common to see lawsuits, infighting, law intervention and hostile climates among residents for anything from gardens to vehicles to board members to assessments to politics etc. I would want my final community to have no issues that have become public headlines. I would look at the surrounding area and how close you are to outside amenities so down the road traveling to what you want isn't a production. If you are cruisers, closer to ports are good; if you are travelers, closer to airports; if you like seasons, farther north. Check closely INSURANCE and TAXES (they have to make up for no income tax somewhere). Check the financial health of the community, are there any assessments and what exactly they will take care of in regards to your home/property. And you have to merge your price point with what kind/size home you want.

    We studied for 10 years before we made our final choice and haven't been sorry for one second.



    It was obviously a tongue-in-cheek comment.

    I will dispute, however, your stipulation that a beach requires salt water. I've been to a number of very nice beaches on lakes.
    Yeah, while it sits next to any kind of water ................. a beach in its physical form is the "sand". ;)
     

    VandVsmama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2011
    A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, my grandparents moved to Fort Meyers. They had only visited Florida before that. They had good friends who had moved to Florida and raved about how great it was. My grandparents sold their house in a cold weather part of the country and bought a nice home in a 55+ community with a screened-in pool in the backyard + a canal in back with a small boat dock.

    18 months later, they put the house back on the market and moved back to their original cold weather state. They learned that my grandmother hated to sweat. Hated all the bugs. Hated the hot weather for most of the year. Hated being in a 55+ community where she felt everybody was complaining and, as she put it, "everybody is OLD here!"

    I think that @HopperFan's suggestions are good ones. Living somewhere and vacationing there can be very different. Also, just something to consider, but often a home/condo/townhouse in a 55+ community can be harder to sell later on because your potential market of buyers is ONLY people who are 55 and older. Thus, the total # of potential buyers is less than in a non-age-restricted community.
     

    HopperFan

    "It's a bug-eat-bug world out there, princess."
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2003
    A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, my grandparents moved to Fort Meyers. They had only visited Florida before that. They had good friends who had moved to Florida and raved about how great it was. My grandparents sold their house in a cold weather part of the country and bought a nice home in a 55+ community with a screened-in pool in the backyard + a canal in back with a small boat dock.

    18 months later, they put the house back on the market and moved back to their original cold weather state. They learned that my grandmother hated to sweat. Hated all the bugs. Hated the hot weather for most of the year. Hated being in a 55+ community where she felt everybody was complaining and, as she put it, "everybody is OLD here!"

    I think that @HopperFan's suggestions are good ones. Living somewhere and vacationing there can be very different. Also, just something to consider, but often a home/condo/townhouse in a 55+ community can be harder to sell later on because your potential market of buyers is ONLY people who are 55 and older. Thus, the total # of potential buyers is less than in a non-age-restricted community.
    Your comments reminded me ... in our community, in talking to some of the others ... they snowbirded in the community (Jan-March) by renting for a few years before they committed to the purchase. That might be something to consider if there really isn't a place you know well enough to buy straight out. That gave them the opportunity to see if they clicked with the neighbors, the community and the lifestyle.
     

    NotUrsula

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 19, 2002
    Absolutely, living in a sub-tropical climate isn't for everyone -- Thank goodness! Difference is what makes life interesting. Renting for awhile, and especially making a longer visit in the season you are likely to like least is essential, IMO. (For the folks thinking of moving to the Villages based on 2 spring visits: you may want to think about spending at least a month in August/Sept to be sure. That area of the state is very muggy in the worst of the hot months.)

    In the Upper South they have a nickname for folks who move from the Tri-State area to Florida and then to their areas: they call them "halfbacks" -- as in, they moved half-way back north. It's often a really good compromise for folks who have decided they are mostly done with ice and snow, but who still prefer to have definite seasons, or who prefer more of a mountain vibe.

    Personally, I'd prefer not to ever live in an age-restricted community; I prefer to be in an area that is widely diverse in every way. (I'm also pretty averse to typical suburbs, so that rules out a huge number of those types of communities in any case.)

    My DS lives in the oldest part of St. Pete, and I love spending time there; the days of "God's waiting room" are long-gone.. Being able to roll out of bed, grab a rod, walk down to the pier and land dinner before breakfast is lovely, but so is browsing a different museum each day of the week, and the huge variety of ethnic food that is locally available is wonderful. I grew up in a sub-tropical climate, and although I've lived in the midwest for over 30 years now, my body is always happiest where the air stays pretty wet.
     

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