florida gulf coast

Old Jun 27th, 2017, 06:00 AM
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florida gulf coast

I have read some awesome things about the gulf coast and visiting there. We are considering buying a condo there for vacation/retirement. Any suggestion of beach cities? I can tell you everything about California, but I know absolutely nothing about Florida. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Jun 27th, 2017, 06:47 AM
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It's all about the $$$... the budget and your interests also play a big part... quiet or active... touristy or nature...
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Old Jun 27th, 2017, 07:23 AM
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I can't believe you are thinking about buying a condo in a place you have yet to visit. Start visiting different areas and then make your decision. Suggestions: Sarasota, Destin, Pensacola Beach, Naples.
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Old Jun 27th, 2017, 07:38 AM
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The Gulf Coast is a lot of territory! You're going to have to narrow it down just a tad based on what you want.

I suggest starting with an airport, maybe? Or weather--obviously, farther north gets colder in the winter. South of Naples is reliably warm all year round.

There's no state income tax in Florida, so property taxes are high to compensate.

There's not really a lot more to tell you until you tell us more.
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Old Jun 27th, 2017, 07:41 AM
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Btw, have you ever visited Florida, and if so, where did you go and what did you like or dislike about it?
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Old Jun 27th, 2017, 07:51 AM
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I live in Florida; I have lived in California. This whole notion of buying property somewhere without knowing anything about it, especially the overall environment, seems foolish somehow.
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Old Jun 27th, 2017, 07:58 AM
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Thanks so far, and believe me Austin, I won't be spending a penny until I research the hell out of this state. But the research has to begin somewhere. I also have a few friends and acquaintances I will be contacting. Not worried to much about the sales tax, Cali has the highest in the nation. To use as a rental and vacation home, I'm not really looking at the night life. More about affordability and crime. weather will play a part in this as well. What's the best summer beaches where the humidity is tolerable? Thanks again everybody.
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Old Jun 27th, 2017, 08:20 AM
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As to weather, there are thunderstorms often in the late afternoon as well as the occasional hurricane. If you go where it isn't cold in the winter it will be humid and not just in the summer.

The water in the gulf is much warmer than the California coast which is either nice or not depending on what you like.
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Old Jun 27th, 2017, 08:22 AM
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Summer is hot as hell in Florida and very humid. Nothing, and I mean nothing, like California (I live in CA and grew up in FL). Tourist season in the Panhandle is summer; the season in S. Florida is winter. There is no getting away from humidity in Florida and no getting away from hurricanes either no matter where in the state.
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Old Jun 27th, 2017, 08:29 AM
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<Not worried to much about the sales tax, Cali has the highest in the nation.>
But I was talking about property tax, not sales tax.

<What's the best summer beaches where the humidity is tolerable?>
Nowhere. This does not exist.
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Old Jun 27th, 2017, 08:37 AM
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You need to be aware of a couple of things:

it isn't so much the sales tax that can be an issue but rather the property taxes. As a general rule you can figure your annual property tax is going to be approximately 2% of the price you paid for your property. That can be reduced somewhat if you have a homestead exemption which you probably aren't eligible for.

And, when you look at real estate listings which say how much the "estimated" property taxes will be, remain cautious. In Florida whenever a property goes through a sale it is automatically re-assessed so the taxes a previous owner paid are NOT necessarily going to be what you will end up paying.

Hazard, wind, and flood insurance. Hazard/wind insurance rates will depend upon how the roof of the property is attached to the walls and whether or not you have storm protection such as shutters or impact glass; glass is further broken down into large and small missile-rated.

Flood insurance will depend upon whether or not you are in a flood plain and/or a mandatory evacuation zone.

Since you aren't planning to live here full-time I won't bore you with auto insurance issues.

If you are buying a property to rent make certain you understand what, if any, local taxes you may have to pay because you ARE renting the property out.

Then there's the whole "which coast is the best coast?" issue down here and the "redneck riviera vs. elsewhere" issue and the weather (warmer here in south Florida than up north where it actually can freeze in the winter and remember we are a LOT further south than you are).

Heat and humidity somewhat depends on where you are. I live on the beach and things aren't nearly as muggy here as they are in some inland locations, believe it or not; we have yet to use the heat in our home, ever, but we use the A/C all year long.

Yeah, there are a LOT of things to know about this state, for sure.
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Old Jun 27th, 2017, 08:47 AM
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Dukey, I was just googling real property tax rates in Florida to compare them to what I pay in California (where we also have a high sales tax rate and a very high income tax rate). The page I found said that Broward County has the second highest rate in the state of Florida, at 1.33%. Are there any city or state property taxes in addition to the county property tax?

https://smartasset.com/taxes/florida...tor#1ezDW0PEEr
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Old Jun 27th, 2017, 09:21 AM
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Every year in August or so I get a letter from the Broward County taxing authority which outlines all the proposed Ad Valorem taxes. The tax rates vary depending upon which Ad Valorem item one is talking about such as debt levies, school taxes, water management, hospital districts, etc., etc.

The notice tells you what your prospective taxes will be based on whether or not the proposed county budget is approved (it always is).

I'm not sure where that 1.33% number is coming from and I think you'd be better off sticking with my 2% figure just to be safe.

In October the actual tax bill arrives. You have until the 1st of March in the following year to pay. If you pay in advance you receive a 4, 3, 2, or 1% discount beginning in November-4, December-3, etc.

To answer your question: all the taxes are lumped together both Ad Valorem and non-Ad Valorem(non Ad Valorem for us consists of a fire and rescue levy) and you pay them all together. There aren't any others.
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Old Jun 27th, 2017, 11:30 AM
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As an interior designer for years in Naples, Florida I did a number of places for people who moved to Florida from California. Most were looking for financial and tax benefits but a nice climate. In almost every case that I was aware of within several years they moved out of Florida. First of all the climates are nothing alike. I too can't imagine buying and moving to any place where you haven't spent some time.
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Old Jun 27th, 2017, 12:31 PM
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The humidity really slays people. I grew up in and around Washington, DC, and I think the summers there are worse than in Tampa, where I live now. Here at least we get a fresh breeze every day. But right now, according to my phone, it is 90F; feels like 101F; and 60% humidity. The other day, after a bit of rain, the humidity was 88%.

That is not everyone's cup of tea!
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Old Jun 27th, 2017, 02:54 PM
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It's interesting how locations several hundred miles to the north of us here in Fort Lauderdale can actually be so much warmer.
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Old Jun 27th, 2017, 06:56 PM
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According to this, Dukey, your high temperature today was exactly the same as Tampa's, and humidity was higher:
https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/...rdale/historic
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Old Jun 28th, 2017, 12:14 AM
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I guess it's because my "fresh breeze" was blowing, the ocean directly outside my house was looking wonderful, and I was INSIDE where the humidity was fine...somehow it changes your whole perspective doesn't it??????

I' agree with you..when we lived in Arlington, Virginia, guess what? 90 degrees and humid THERE felt like 90 degrees and humid HERE.

Aren't you glad we have humidity and not snow and ice? I am
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Old Jun 28th, 2017, 06:26 AM
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Oh heavens, yes! I will never complain about Florida weather.

We very, very rarely stay in because the weather in Tampa is too bad to go out--a handful of times, maybe, on the rare occasion when lashing tropical rain is forecast to go on longer than 15-30 minutes, for example. There's an outdoor beer fest that we declined to do this year because it's in July and there is no shade at the park where it's held and last year it was just too darn hot.

But when we lived in Minnesota, we stayed in a lot in the winter, because of ice, snow, temperatures below 20F...driving could be a pain, walking around outside was a pain, etc. etc.

And of course summers there are hot and humid, too!

I did love living in Arizona...but that's another conversation!
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Old Jun 28th, 2017, 06:30 AM
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Mold and mildew also grow readily in Florida, and with no cold weather to speak of it isn't easily kept in check. Allergy issues related to these organisms can be a real issue here (or in similar humid tropical environments) for those susceptible.
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