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Condo or house?

I'm posting this question here because this is the general area we plan to relocate to, from Ohio.
I like the idea of a condo simply because the outside is one less thing I have to concern myself with as far as upkeep. I want a place on the water and at some point will buy a boat. So I either need a dock or a space to park the boat, driveway, carport or whatever.

Any advice or other things that I should take into consideration? I've been looking at zillow to get some idea on prices and school districts. I think $225k is the max we would want to spend.
We will be putting our house on the market soon and if all goes close to plan we will be moved by this time next year.

Thanks guys!

Replies

  • PsehunterPsehunter Posts: 128 Deckhand
    I've lived here for almost a yr now and did the condo thing at first and hated it. I'm from Arkansas and used to having my own land and places to put all my crap. Condo dident have it. Barely had room for my fishing rods much less my tree stands and other hunting stuff. Depending in the area you can find some decent houses for that money. On the water doubtful. We paid 180 and are about half a mile from a ramp on the intercostal If you have a smart phone try the realtor.com app. Like it more than zillow
  • jsrodguy1jsrodguy1 Posts: 548 Officer
    Not sure what specific city your looking for but I just purchased a waterfront home in St Pete, and your going to be hard pressed to find decent waterfront in that price range. Condo maybe but single family home might be a stretch. The supply of waterfront homes is really small and if they are priced correctly they rarely stay on the market for more than a few days to weeks. Good luck.
  • electricblueelectricblue Posts: 71 Deckhand
    I work for the condo associations from time to time. Alot of bickering about stupid stuff. Nosey people up in your business. Stay away
  • BottombouncerBottombouncer Posts: 678 Officer
    Hmmm....not many pros for condo life. That's the sort of input I'm looking for though. This will be completely new to us, so any views, suggestions or experiences are much appreciated!

    Thanks fellas!
  • AquaRoosterAquaRooster Posts: 603 Officer
    I'll also say that while the housing market here has bounced back nicely, it still seems like there are A LOT of empty condos and associations in financial trouble. To me, house is the way to go if you can swing it.
  • johnDjohnD WC FLPosts: 6,412 Admiral
    I'll also say that while the housing market here has bounced back nicely, it still seems like there are A LOT of empty condos and associations in financial trouble. To me, house is the way to go if you can swing it.

    I agree..a condo may work out for a winter visitor ,but a house will be more comfortable. Like any other city there are some crummy neighborhoods in Pinellas county and there are some nice neighborhoods.
  • RMDRMD Posts: 1,796 Officer
    If you are looking for waterfront with a dock then a condo is probably your only option in that price range. Even the most run down houses are selling high simply due to land value. Developers will take those properties and just knock the house down.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • idlerickidlerick Littleton, Colorado & Sarasota, FlaPosts: 236 Deckhand
    There's another option - a villa, patio home, duplex, whatever name is used in Ohio. Basically a shared roof for 2-4 homes. Usually maintenance free, in a dedicated neighborhood, always with HOA restrictions regarding parking boats outside the garage. Rarely on the water, but I suspect that'll be the first thing you have to give up anyway. You're not going to find much within a 1/4 mile of water for $200K.
    As Aquarooster says, a lot of assns. are carrying uncollectable bad debt due to foreclosures, repos, etc, so look into things thoroughly.
    :)
  • BottombouncerBottombouncer Posts: 678 Officer
    Thanks guys. You've given me a lot to think about. Our price range has some flexibility. I really don't know what is realistic, that is why I'm doing my homework now.
  • SteveW_VASteveW_VA Posts: 69 Deckhand
    my fiancee and I are also thinking about moving from Virginia to somewhere west central or south west gulf coast and have been looking at both condos and houses. just the condo fees alone are a deal breaker to me. i have been focusing more on single family homes lately. Then again that is assuming I can sell my house here for the right price. Seems to me the better deals are on older homes built before the strict hurricane building codes in the mid to late 90's. I personally would rather have a home built with hurricanes in mind. Sinkholes are also another factor, I keep finding cheap homes for sale that either have sinkholes or had repaired sinkholes. I'd like to be as far away as possible from sinkholes :dog
  • BottombouncerBottombouncer Posts: 678 Officer
    Geeze, there sure is a lot to consider.
  • RMDRMD Posts: 1,796 Officer
    One of my buddies lived down there for a year for work and he rented a really nice house. I have not looked the market recently, but if the inventory is still high I would bet you could find a great house to rent for a year while you get the feel of the area. That way you can watch the housing market closely, get a realtor that can give you weekly updates and you are in a better position to look at more properties more frequently, just taking your time to make sure you do it right.

    You can get a really nice house off the water at a good price, and then either trailer your boat or keep it at a marina. that might end up being cheaper, as well as more convenient.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • BottombouncerBottombouncer Posts: 678 Officer
    What are the average costs to keep a boat at a marina? I would likely end up with a boat between 22-26'.
  • johnDjohnD WC FLPosts: 6,412 Admiral
    What are the average costs to keep a boat at a marina? I would likely end up with a boat between 22-26'.

    dry dock, they charge per ft.

    a 24' boat is $3450.00 + tax @ loggerhead.

    http://www.loggerheadstpete.com/south-florida-marina-rates.htm

    http://www.oneillsmarina.com/storage.html
  • GASeminoleGASeminole Posts: 136 Officer
    What are the average costs to keep a boat at a marina? I would likely end up with a boat between 22-26'.

    Kept my boat (23 ft CC with T-top) at Largo Intercoastal Marina for the last couple of months while waiting to close on our house

    High and outside for $250/month

    They run a tight ship and are 5 miles WOT to Clearwater pass
  • FishaHallicFishaHallic Posts: 660 Officer
    I owned several homes built in the 60's and they were rock solid well built homes I just don't think the newer homes are as solidly built IMO. You might also want to look at block homes compared to frames with the termite issues we have here. I took a chance one time on a frame home and wouldn't you know it ended up getting termites. The problem can be resolved but it was always in the back of my mind after that.

    I live in the Clearwater area and I think it is a great place to raise a family (as a matter of fact I am :)) but you just have to watch where you buy like any place else.

    Good luck
  • BottombouncerBottombouncer Posts: 678 Officer
    When you guys talk about condo fees, is that pretty much the same thing as HOA fees?
    As far as marinas, I would assume for the boat that dry storage is best. I noticed the hours of one the marinas mentioned. Does that mean if you store your boat there that you're limited to 8am to 5pm?

    This has been really helpful so far. I thank you guys again!
  • RMDRMD Posts: 1,796 Officer
    When you guys talk about condo fees, is that pretty much the same thing as HOA fees?
    As far as marinas, I would assume for the boat that dry storage is best. I noticed the hours of one the marinas mentioned. Does that mean if you store your boat there that you're limited to 8am to 5pm?

    This has been really helpful so far. I thank you guys again!

    1. Condo fees for us cover salaries of management, general maintenance, water, gas, cable, etc. All utilities except electric. There is also a reserve fund for when they need to do various projects such as redoing landscaping, leaky roofs, etc. It can be fairly expensive depending on where you are but then again, you don't have to do any lawncare, landscaping, exterior building maintenance, etc.

    2. Dry storage is pretty much your only option at many marinas. The water slips are reserved for giant boats that are too big or heavy to lift into the rack. The rack storage is advantageous because (1) your boat is not sitting in the water all day, and (2) it can be high enough that derelicts can't raid the marina and steal things off your boat, (3) presumably it may be less expensive vs a marina where they own much more linear waterfront footage and your boat is in the water full time. The major downside is that the racks, if outdoors, can be a lighting rod and if the rack is struck it can damage many boats. Several boats were struck at our marina and had damage to the electronics

    3. Many marinas have hours limited to 8-5. This is really not a big deal. You just call the day before, tell them you are leaving at 6AM and leave the boat out overnight.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • FloydFloyd ; in N. Tampa or DownEast MainePosts: 1,107 Officer
    SteveW_VA wrote: »
    .Sinkholes are also another factor, I keep finding cheap homes for sale that either have sinkholes or had repaired sinkholes. I'd like to be as far away as possible from sinkholes

    Might as well stay away from Florida then, or move into the everglades or the Atlantic coast. Most of Florida has sinkholes. Here's a map: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/geology/geologictopics/sinkhole/florida_sinkhole_poster.pdf

    FWIW, it doesn't bother most of us anymore than earthquakes in California or Tornados in Kansas bother the people living there. Hurricanes are a greater threat and we live with that as well.
    Recording from Moderators annual meeting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuABc9ZNtrA
  • BottombouncerBottombouncer Posts: 678 Officer
    Can you guys give me a rough idea on drive time from the port Charlotte area to pinellas park? I know you can google it, but that doesn't necessarily take into account traffic.

    Thanks.
  • Mango ManMango Man Posts: 11,171 AG
    You're looking at ~1.5 hours...probably longer in heavy traffic.


    America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
    Abraham Lincoln
  • jsrodguy1jsrodguy1 Posts: 548 Officer
    Drive time really has to be looked at based on the time of year. From Oct. thru the Easter holiday your drive time may reach over 2 hrs. I drive the whole state and traffic isn't getting any lighter anywhere.
  • BakermanBakerman Posts: 1,222 Officer
    Another way to look at it is to rent a year or so to see if you like it here. I've know folks that moved down and can't wait to move back. Also if you live on the water you'll likely have to leave during significant storms, TS or hurricane. Some places a thunderstorm can cause problems. Living inland minimizes those effects. Look for elevation of the land. Insurance is another higher cost. Some areas have trouble getting insurance coverage. Don't forget to get federal Flood along with your "wind" damage insurance from you regular carrier.

    Have you though much about why you are coming? Many northerners think it would be good but aren't ready to deal with the sinkholes, tides, storms, bugs............and we have buggs. We have heat too. Summer can be six months long. Often it don't cool down at night like it does in Ohio. This year is somewhat milder than normal.
    Bakerman formerly known as Bakerman.
  • idlerickidlerick Littleton, Colorado & Sarasota, FlaPosts: 236 Deckhand
    You'd better fold homeowners' insurance costs into your budgets too. Two types - normal liability and hurricane. And you'd better add flood insurance or any water damage caused during a storm won't be covered, just the wind damage.
    Within 10 miles of the water, rates go up. On older homes, rates go up, and sometimes you can't even get coverage. Carriers like newer homes that incorporate better designs for wind mitigation.
    Then there's the property taxes, which are 2X what you're paying up there.

    Sure you want to buy here?
    :)
  • BottombouncerBottombouncer Posts: 678 Officer
    I wondered about all that...
    So, how does all that insurance work if you're in a condo? I thought that was part of your fees?
    Also, are the tax estimates on zillow not accurate?
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