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?
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.
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.
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 $$$$$
I like the Venice area as well. Lots of beaches and a great community!
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.
[This message edited by sad12008 at 9:13 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)]
I envy everyone who is already in that area of the country but we'll be joining you in a few years!