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Parents are interesting in looking for a 1-2 bedroom in florida to escape the NY during the winter months. I am green when it comes to FL real estate and the plethora of places that exist (Clearwater, saratoga, west palm beach, south beach, naples)
Anyone have any direct experiences with which places are ideal for NY'ers looking for a reprieve during winter ? We're not millionaires but somewhere reasonable isn't out of the question. If anyone has any feedback or is a broker in FL, please reach out to me with responding to this thread.
There is SO much inventory there. North of Ft. Lauderdale is easiest for transportation I think from NYC, tons of flights, and you can even use West Palm (MIA is awful, FLL is very easy in and out, even with allt he flights).
Many of the 55 and older complexes are giving them away. $10k can get you a 2 bedroom apt. Nothing fancy, but somewhere to throw down some stuff. $50-$100k gets you a townhouse.
My preference would be Jupiter, Juno, North Palm Beach,Palm Beach Gardens.
These are in a vibrant area, great restaurants, great beaches, golf, theater, shopping and just a 15-20 minute ride to WPB international (fab airport).
You have a wide variety of real estate options from beach front condos, country club communities, private homes or town homes. If you would like a good broker referral email me off board. keith at theburkhardtgroup dot com
25 minutes to downtown West Palm Beach (Kravitz Center) or Palm Beach. About 1.5 hours to Miami.
agree with keithb on jupiter and west palm. much more variety and prices still depressed. MIami prices have gone up considerably in the past year. I suggest renting for a season to get a feel of the area and the lifestyle before you buy. Rents are more than reasonable and you can take your time touring various areas.
My mom is in the Miami area. When I go down I find it to be like the Hamptons -- Surfside/Bal Harbour/Sunny Isles all seem to have distinct identities the way West Hampton/East Hampton/Sag Harbor do.
I'm not making a correspondence here, just noting that a difference of a mile really shifts the experience.
And certainly Sarasota (which is what I think you meant) has a very different feel than the other coast.
I think they need to take a week off and get a hotel and bop around down there.
DG Neary Realty
Spending lots of time in Miami, I saw how the prices went up quickly in the last year. Everywhere else, not so much. I too always liked Sarasota. If you look in the Times Real Est section using zip code 34236, that will give you a good overview of what is still a pretty dead market, for now.
For the $10K options that swe mentioned, try Century Village in Boca Eaton or Kings Point in Delray Beach. These have AaAaservices that's will allow a fuller life with aging...shuttle buses of all kinds, and a lot more. A big downside is that many younger retirees are put off by the much older ones.
Ignore all that AaAa.
excellent feedback, thank you very much. Doing a cursory search and posting in trulia I'm getting a better sense as to what's out there. I keep hearing about a depressed market, but aligning what's been said here, South Miami doesn't appear to be all that depressed.
front_porch -- are you of the opinion that Sunny Isles is akin to Sag Harbor ?
We're planning on shooting down in August for a week and am trying to develop a feasible itinerary. Being able to step outside of the condo and walk around is key.
Bill -- what about Sarasota do you feel provides it with upward potential ?
also -- somewhere else if you have a zipcode or name of the city north of FL you know of, I'm curious where these 100k townhouses are and what they look like.
That's Kravis center, sorry.
The market in prime areas (East of Military) of Jupiter, North Palm is very active especially in the private home segment, $200,000 to $300,000. When a home does enter the market it will last about a week or two in most cases (especially east of Prosperity farms Road and North of Lighthouse).
If you go west even just to 95 prices drop 30-50%, many condos/town homes can be had for $60-$100K but you'll be much hotter in the summer and about 25 minutes to the beach. The market is wild here and you have to be very careful. But for the most part prime areas seem to have stabilized due to demand for superior location after price destruction of 50%+ post collapse.
"what about Sarasota do you feel provides it with upward potential ?"
IMO yes. As stated it is a different part of Florida and IMO the only place on the West Coast of Fl that I would consider. There are high end condos with water views that seem expensive, but all else within a short drive to the water are quite nice. I have some family there and usually find it a nice change from Manhattan and Miami. Wheras I love Miami, for a retired couple I think Sarasota is it. It's a bit more laid back with many good retaurants and shopping. As stated above, go to wherever you are interested and take a look around.
Also re Sarasota, Siesta Key is pretty nice, Key West vibe but a little too touristy for me in the way KW has become. I also like some waves in the ocean :)
OP, no, no, I was pointedly NOT making a correspondence between the Florida towns and the Hamptons towns, just pointing out that the Florida towns have that much degree of difference from each other.
Some of it has to do with where each town's particular snowbirds come from. Rich Canadians, for example, often can and do spend nearly half a year in Florida, but to my mind, Montreal natives and Toronto natives have different vibes.
In general, I think of Sarasota as artsy and laid-back, so if I had to pick a Hampton, I'd go with Amagansett.
Keith, do you agree?
I agree with ali.
I also agree with Keith about wave action while swimming in the ocean.
But I'm still middle aged. When I get old I'm just going to retire the boogie board and float.
The biggest difference I found between West Coast and East Coast, much more Jewish on the east (at least south of WPB)... and having a city like Miami, makes it a little more cosmopolitan... which you may or may not like.
Jupiter is nice, but you are SO far from Miami at that point. I like being south of WPB because you have more choices of airports and you can get into Miami for a night if you really want to.
The food can start getting pretty bad after a while.
and, yes, there is a Tampa, but it doesn't feel much like a city to me... most of the action happens outside the downtowns... so you might as well be in the burbs. And sarasota, just an hour away, feels nowhere near a major city.
I know a woman (much older now) who retired to Sarasota many years ago with her husband, now deceased. She could not have been happier, with a very rich cultural and social life and culinary options to satisfy her cosmopolitan taste. She is Jewish and I believe the friends she met there are as well. Is Sarasota an exception to the East Coast/West Coast rule?
I have relatives in Sarasota... there are definitely some jews (and scattered up and down the coast), but there are simply many, many more on the east coast.
The old saying has also been that the east coast is from the NE, the west coast comes more from midwest. Obviously, it is not as simple as that, but very different feels on either coast.
When I'm on the west coast, it definitely feels more "gentile".
hboogz - yeah, Sunny Isles is just like Sag Harbor - if Sag Harbor became run-down and also had a sudden influx of russians.
Factors to think about regarding South Florida:
1) East Coast or West Coast: To over-simplify, East Coast (Jupiter on down) is full of New Yorkers; West Coast (Naples etc) is full of mid-westerners and Canadians (probably b/c they want to AVOID New Yorkers). Depending on your parents background, they may want to gravitate to one or the other.
2) Diversity or no diversity: The west coast of Florida, as noted above, is largely mid-western, and hasn't had the influx of latinos that the east coast has. And on the east coast, Ft. Lauderdale and north remains much more white-bread than Miami, which is effectively the business capital of latin america at this point. If your parents are welcoming of diversity and enjoy the latin culture, closer to miami is better. If they are more white bread, the West Coast or the area from Ft. Lauderdale north might be more their speed.
3) What do they like to do? Are they lively or not? The West Coast of florida, as well as the area north of Ft. Lauderdale, is VERY sleepy. Naples, in particular, is God's waiting room. Miami, on the other hand, is vibrant, electric, full of night-life and world class restaurants. It also suffers from the sort of problems typically associated with such vibrancy - higher crime rates, terrible driving, poor service, lack of english speaking store clerks, etc. How young your parents are at heart may influence where they want to be.
4) What's their budget? You can achieve the best of all these worlds on places like Key Biscayne, Fisher Island, Palm Island or Hibiscus Island near Miami -- upscale neighborhoods with little crime and quality services, yet only minutes from the world-class restaurants of South Beach. But its not for the middle class.
The best advice I can give you is that neighborhoods in South Florida don't resemble other parts of the country, and the best thing to do, after taking a few "scouting" trips, is to rent a place for one full winter and see how it feels. From that base, they can visit the opposite coast and start to get a feel for where they fit in.
It's very central on the east coast. It's close to West Palm Beach, Ft.Lauderdale, and Miami. In between 2 large airports and has a small private airport. Lots on NY'ers. Great beach, mall, restaurants, golf courses etc.
South East Coast...
Al Assad summed it up very nicely, and it's all correct. If they have 500K, Key Biscayne is beautiful.
I would add that traffic is a huge issue on the East Coast, not nearly as much on the West coast. Do you want Mom and Dad driving 70 mph on the Miami highway?
If they want to live cheap and quiet, Ft Myers and Cape Coral are still cheap, pool homes at $100-$150K. Naples, add $50K.
No state income tax, but property tax and insurance makes up for that.
To avoid cold winters, stay far south of I-4.
Easiest commute to NYC is Jet Blue out of Ft Myers airport, easy airport parking, quiet, simple (but modern) airport. Cheap too, with fares as low as $85 each way. Miami airports are a nightmare, huge schlepp from one end to the other, bad parking.
I would have them go to Ft Lauderdale, rent a condo for a month, then drive two hours to Naples, rent for another month. From those locations they can scout out all the areas easily. Throw in Sarasota if you like, but it's a very small town, not much there.
But think ahead-do you want the nursing home staff to speak to you in English or Spanish?
> Miami airports are a nightmare
Again, FLL. You can walk from one end to the other. And tons of flights from NYC. And west palm also.
You get 3 choices if you go in between... Ft. Meyers, not so much.
Assad and needsadvice -- thank you very much for the informative tips. The renting option clearly will be the best route once we finalize location. Currently, they are not in the $500k market, but more along the $250-350k market. Ocean views are not a must and they will probably be snowbirds, the possibility of renting it out for a period of months throughout the year would be ideal.
Parents like to be able to be within walking distance of cafe's, restaurants, etc. Language, fortunately for my parents isn't a concern since my mom is spanish and my father has grown to understand and speak the language enough to get by. They both do speak english extremely well, but neither is their native language.
Then I suggest Coconut Grove, a neighborhood near Miami. They can get a small place at the Mutiny (a condo-hotel,meaning that rent it out) for that price range. The Grove is on the water - bay side, no beach - and right near marinas, shops, restaurants. It's charming. Heck, I might join them!
* - should say meaning that "they could" rent it out
I moved to South Florida and move back to NYC recently. I also bought and sold real estate. I STRONGLY dislike FLL and Boca, but understand why people like them. I don't think Miami Intl is bad. It's so close to the city, easy to get to, etc. Also, it's completely renovated. People think it's overwhelming because they haven't figured out the shortcuts around the terminal.
For parents, I like Surfside/BalHarbour/BayHarbour/KeyBiscayne/CoconutGrove. Surfside/Bal/Bay have their own police forces and are extremely pedestrian areas. This is not true of most of Miami/Miami Beach (crazy drivers). Your parents might consider mid-Beach developments like Aqua. Sunny Isles is full of Russians. Nothing wrong with that, but it may affect your parents enjoyment of day to day stuff if they aren't part of that community. NONE of the towns are anything like the towns in the Hamptons. It's a myth that South Florida real estate is totally in the shitter. That applies to inland, the west side, cookie-cutter condos, etc. Basically, anything crappy. South Beach beachfront/waterfront high-end, waterfront houses, etc., are on fire. There is literally nothing left to buy.
In your parents' budget, they should try renting in the north Miami Beach areas and around Coconut Grove. Fun, active communities. Coconut Grove has a charming downtown area and fun restaurants. Both are Latin friendly communities. In Miami, they won't need to ever speak English if they don't want to. They should skip FLL and Boca since those areas are less Latin friendly. There's also a STRONG summer rental market in Miami metro areas because the South Americans come up during the summer to escape their heat.
Thanks all. I assume Surfside/BalHarbour/BayHarbour/KeyBiscayne/CoconutGrove are within driving distance from one another? Asides from Assads recommendation, any other recommendations on where to stay during my August visit that puts me close to those particular areas ? Looking through google maps doesn't really give me a first hand perspective.
Also,what have you guys heard of or think of Galt Ocean Mile ?
Friends' parents live at L' Hermitage.
They walk everywhere, like the area.
I don't know, HFS, I am seeing *exactly* the same tension between long-timers and newcomers in Bal Harbour that I see in East Hampton. Steven Spielberg may not be in Florida, but it's not a crazy parallel either.
Hboogz, easy driving distance, and some of it's even walkable. From Surfside to Bal Harbour, for example, is a five-block walk. Crossing Collins Avenue (the mall is on one side of the Avenue, the condos on the other) is a tiny bit dicey, but there are stoplights so there are places where seniors can do it.
Front Porch - you're right in that the North Beach areas have more long-term residents than say South Beach. Coconut Grove is a young community (esp north Grove), so it's also less of an issue. If you go in August, you could stay in midBeach like Fontainebleau (Vegas-like, but probably really good deals then) and drive everywhere. Or stay 1 or 2 nights in each location. In South Miami, I really like the Biltmore. It's such a pretty revival style. They have aviaries in the lobby.
Every member of my family, myself included, has a house in Florida. Family member properties are located in Hobe Sound (southeast FL), Sanibel Island (soutwhest FL), Ana Maria Island (northwest FL), Flagler Beach (northeast FL) and St. Augustine (northeast FL),so I looked at those areas. In addition, I looked at Miami (South Beach). Because I believe there is no substitute for doing the legwork, and because I like looking at real estate, I took a month and drove all around Florida before I made a decision. I ultimately ended up buying an adorable cottage in Palm Coast (northeast FL hour south of JAX) because I ultimately decided that I wanted my FL house to be a quiet nature retreat rather than an urban experience, but I really do like the cosmopolitan feeling of Miami. Sounds like OP's parents are leaning towards southeast FL, but if they have time, I recommend checking out St. Augustine if they want smaller urban experience with charm.
Congrats mcr, that must have been a pretty neat adventure!
I've heard that anything East of Route 1 is a mandatory evacuation zone in case of hurricane, is that true? If so, doesn't even really matter all that much ?
It's VERY true, & it most certainly DOES matter-because if you don't heed the warnings & choose to stay, you'll be underwater faster than a subprime mortgage.
I speak from personal experience. In August of 1992, while staying in Fort Lauderdale on the intracoastal (one mile west of the beaches, but still East of 95 & 1) it was mandatory evacuation for everyone East of I95 because of a hot tempered guy you've all heard of...named Andrew.
I ended up going to my friends parents low-rise condo, in Coconut Creek-easily 10 miles West of the coast bit felt much farther away-mainly in terms of atmosphere (& not in the meteorological sense).
That classic Seinfeld episode was not so much of a stretch, because after spending maybe only an hour there, I actually prayed for the Eyewall make a direct hit...just on ME.
Hopefully, you'll never find yourself in such a quandary!
hboogz - I think you mean east of Route 1A; east of Route 1 but west of Route 1A has been fine during my tenure (12 years), but east of Route 1A is hurricane danger zone. My cottage is on the west side of the intracoastal waterway (well west of Route 1A but still east of Route 1); I am not on the intracoastal waterway, but rather am across the street from it with a nice view of it out the front; out the back is a conservation area with a small tributory of the intracoastal waterway. I was worried about flood risk when I was looking at the property and was shocked that there had been no flooding and that it was not even considered a flood plain such that I do not carry flood insurance on the property. I do carry hurricane insurance, but, knock on wood, have never had to make a claim. Family member in St. Augustine has never had to evacuate; Flagler Beach family member has; Hobe Sound family member has. FWIW, SW Florida family member did not receive any evacuation notice but her property was decimated by Charlie in the summer of 2004 when Charlie took turn that weather services had not predicted. Everyone was caught off guard and the destruction and clean up were crazy. Stories of trying to find a decent contractor in the following year were horrific. In short, hurricanes are part of Florida, and I think it is important for anyone thinking about spending time there to make sure they have good insurance and evac plan.
This is a very good site for specifics on neighborhoods/towns/cities with active forums. We used it quite a bit before buying our place in Florida.
"In Miami, they won't need to ever speak English if they don't want to."
And even if they want to, they may not find anyone who understands it!
Just kidding, it's not quite that extreme. At present.
Great info. HBS recommened staying at the Biltmore for my upcoming trip and Assad mentioned the Mutiny in Coconut Grove -- any other hotels that would make sense ins South Miami that would make traveling around the area easy? There are so many hotels in Miami, it's just sensory overload at times.
Thanks again all.
I'd avoid the Biltmore. It's a little remote; you can't walk to much. You could try the Sonesta in Coconut Grove (which has efficiency units, so you won't have to eat out every meal), the Mayfair (also in the Grove), the Hyatt in Coral Gables or the Westin in Coral Gables. If you want to splurge, the Ritz Carlton on Key Biscayne.
On a $300k budget, I found a newly constructed Mediterranean bungalow with 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, den, formal dining room, laundry, 2 car garage, small pool, and lanai with a preserve view, in a gated community near Sarasota, FL. It offers a relatively low cost, low maintenance entry into a private golf club community.
That's compelling PMG. Assad - the drive from Gables or the Grove is about 20 minutes no traffic to south beach? Is that about right? I google mapped from the mayfair to the cleavlender to get an idea.
If we were talking staying on south beach, in the north side of collins, ocean -- which hotels do you folks recommend? The savoy and raleigh seem really nice, in my limited experience with SB.