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West coast Florida living

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TheRealDeal posted 7/6/2014 07:14 AM

We are planning to make the move to the west coast of Florida in the next few years as his retirement draws closer. Due to nature of job he needs to be physically present in current location. And though there are many other lovely areas in the U.S. to retire we've agreed it will be only this vicinity of FL.

Our plan is a townhouse/villa/condo relatively close to the beaches; the beach needs to be walking distance or short scooter ride. And it needs to be close to, or on, a golf course. Before buying a place we will rent and we will find a realtor who is familiar with the area

That's where it gets tricky. We are trying to narrow down to a smaller area ...right now we both agree it could be "anywhere" between (no further south) than Bonita Springs and (no further north) than Venice. That covers many miles of territory and we know we need to make it smaller.

Obviously many factors come into play such as budget, lifestyle, hobbies, and visiting is much different than living there so we are keeping all of that in mind.

As we continue our research I'm curious to know if there are SIers already living in Florida's southwest coastal (Bonita Springs through Venice) areas who are willing to share their experience?

Pinkyxo posted 7/6/2014 21:54 PM

I'm not there yet but moving in Sept to Nokomis. My cousin lives 3 blocks away in Venice, they're retired and ride their bikes everywhere! I'll be within 3 miles to the beach. The beaches there are stunning!! I'm in love with the area already. They also love it there :)

TrulyReconciled posted 7/7/2014 09:46 AM

You didn't mention "The Rainy Season"

jrc1963 posted 7/7/2014 12:54 PM

"The Rainy Season"??

Well... that's not as bad as Blizzard Season!

The "rainy season" is from about June thru November... coincides with Hurricane Season. It can rain everyday... but not all day everyday... Usually a storm will pop up over the top of you... pour down some rain... and then go away. And you're left in a steam bath.

Very very rarely does it rain all day.... and by the time the showers hit, it's too damn hot to be outside anyway!

But then, I'm in Central Florida, so it may be different on the Southwest Coast.

tushnurse posted 7/7/2014 13:14 PM

Ok so I don't live there, but my folks do. They have a place that they spend 6 months out of the year at.

They come home from April to June, and then from Sept-Dec, and stay in sunny Fl the rest of the time.

They started by going and renting a place for a few weeks, then a month, then 2 months, and finally they leased to purchase a year, and then bought their current place.

We have also stayed in condo's in Estero. While the Condo was awesome, on a golf course community, and huge, with lots to do, I found it too far from any beaches. Took at least 20 minutes by car to get to any beach, and longer to get to the "good ones".

I think you need to consider what your habits are, what your past times are, and how much time you want to spend on/in the water.

I like my folks place it's in a retirement community the "houses" are basically trailers with add ons. They have a lenai and a deck that are as big as the actual house. They are also on the canals so they can go to the beach via boat or car, or bike. They are on Fort Myers island proper. They hang out at Love Key a lot. They are water people though, love to be in it, fish, swim, play etc. My dad fishes year round. The community is very active with a social events several evenings a week, and dances, and several of their close friends have places there as well. They also have bike/golf cart paths, so they can exercise, and be out and about as much or as little as they want.

There was an issue with insuring the place though due to hurricanes and FEMA rules it's only insurable only up to a point, which from what I understand makes it impossible to replace the structure should a hurricane hit it.

I would think you need a long vacation to the area, and many trips leading up to it, perhaps staying in each type of community to get a feel for it.

TrulyReconciled posted 7/7/2014 13:16 PM

Property insurance is a huge deal in Florida, especially near the coast.

jrc1963 posted 7/7/2014 13:28 PM

Property insurance is a huge deal in Florida, especially near the coast.

True Story! And there aren't may companies who will insure here so your choices are limited and competition no-exsistant - meaning $$$$$

SweetheartVixen posted 7/8/2014 00:09 AM

Traffic is a BIG deal during season (oct thru April). The Ft Myers area is VERY congested. I have friends and relatives there.

I like the Venice area as well. Lots of beaches and a great community!

Jeaniegirl posted 7/8/2014 14:26 PM

Clearwater Beach! My 'dream' retirement area!

sad12008 posted 7/8/2014 21:12 PM

MIL lives in the Venice area and loves it. Lots of shark teeth in that area, pretty sunsets. Sun City is farther north than you mentioned, but I know some happy retired folk there, too. I'd avoid Pinellas was too congested when I lived in the TB area 20 years ago!

A lot changes when you move south...not just the temperature; I say that as a caution (I say that as someone originally from New England). Renting for a year or two would be a good idea.

Good luck!

[This message edited by sad12008 at 9:13 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)]

TheRealDeal posted 7/9/2014 10:54 AM

Thank you everyone, really appreciate your insight. Its exactly the type of info we are needing...traffic/congestion, home insurance, possible other cities/towns.
Taking extended vacations to certain areas is definitely something we'll do and looks like we'll add a few of the suggestions to the list.

I envy everyone who is already in that area of the country but we'll be joining you in a few years!

Thanks again,

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