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Old 12-01-2019, 06:34 AM   #21
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The no income taxation and homesteading tax are nice too.

One downside is the expense of hurricane insurance.
About $1,000 on top of the usual insurance costs.

The big hassle , at least for us, is summers are HOT ,HOT, Hot!!!

An RV or a tiny cottage elsewhere is one solution, although you will then lave to pay for lawn mowing.

Or an indoor hobby, my bride is a weaver.
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:49 PM   #22
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You need to know there are alligators there and you need to protect children and pets. I saw a video from a golf course recently and I didn’t realize they can climb chain link fences. Before we moved here someone told me if there is fresh water, there are alligators here. I’m not discounting the many advantages of living in FL, taxes, weather, services, etc. but you said lake and I just wanted you to be aware.
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:15 PM   #23
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Check out the Port Charlotte area on the Peace River or the Myaka which come together in Charlotte Harbour. One nice boating community with sailboat access lots around 40k and homes from 300k price range is called South Gulf Cove. This community is one of a very few behind a lock. Which means no tidal at the dock.
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:51 PM   #24
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I'll add insurance to my cost comparisons, good point.

The plan would be to head North for the summer. I don't do hot very well.

Our little dog would be a great alligator snack. At his age though, that won't be an issue much longer. I had relatives with a big farm in central Florida years ago. We had to post someone on shore to watch for alligators when we swam in the lake. They'd try to sneak up on us with just their eyes and nostrils out of the water. I certainly learned a healthy respect for them, but I'm not going to let them frighten me away.

I looked around Ft. Myers on line, but I'll move up a bit and check out Port Charlotte. too. I liked the Ft. Myers area last time I was passing through on a delivery.
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Old 12-06-2019, 03:02 PM   #25
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We're exploring the idea of selling the house up North for the obscene prices they're getting around here now, and buying something smaller and cheaper, with a dock, "Down South."

We already own a slip up here for summer, so the idea is to find a place we could winter at, which would also become a home base for our "stuff" and maybe a place to go when we finally have to swallow the anchor.

One area we're starting to look at is the Okeechobee area; The Caloosahatchee, Okeechobee itself, and the St. Lucie.

I'm looking for suggestions/ideas/input/warnings. Is this a good idea? Where should we focus on? Where should we avoid?

This would be either a very modest home, or even a piece of land where we could build a modest home, but it needs to have water, power and a dock for our 36'er with 3.5' draft. I'm ruling out anything with a HOA, but beyond that I'm open to suggestions.

===


In my opinion the best boating, waterfront, health care, services, amenities, etc., are in Cape Coral, Ft Myers and Punta Gorda, more or less in that order. Once you get up river to the Labelle and Ortona area it's a long way to shopping and health care. It's also a long way down river to open water. In the event of a hurricane you can have the boat upriver past the Franklin lock in a few hours time.
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Old 12-06-2019, 03:14 PM   #26
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Check out the Port Charlotte area on the Peace River or the Myaka which come together in Charlotte Harbour. One nice boating community with sailboat access lots around 40k and homes from 300k price range is called South Gulf Cove. This community is one of a very few behind a lock. Which means no tidal at the dock.

That’s an interesting area behind that lock. Wonder how much of a pain it is to get through that lock? Have you been through it?

How deep are those canals in there I wonder ?
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Old 12-06-2019, 03:28 PM   #27
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We looked for quite a while before settling in a gated canal community on Longboat Key. Rare example of a modern, over-groomed group of about 20 units having deeded slips in the rear on a deep canal with immediate access to Sarasota Bay and Gulf. Salt and no alligators, but plenty of Manatees & fish. Most economical one we could find but still 500k plus.
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Old 12-06-2019, 03:42 PM   #28
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I have a home with a dock at County Club Estates in Venice. Can't recommend it enough for all the reasons mentioned above plus. Great community, wonderful access to the gulf. 5 restaurants within a half hour with dockage. I've been up and down the coast from New England to Key West several times and haven't seen a better place. Joe
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:07 PM   #29
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One of the things I would miss, if I had a home dock would be the social aspect of being in a marina. The peeps you meet are half the fun of boating..
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:48 PM   #30
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That’s an interesting area behind that lock. Wonder how much of a pain it is to get through that lock? Have you been through it?

How deep are those canals in there I wonder ?

===


Boats drawing 3 to 4 feet sometimes wait for several days to get in or out through the lock. Water levels can get very low during the winter months.
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Old 12-06-2019, 07:30 PM   #31
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Capt Tom,
Check out the Peace River/Charlotte Harbor area. Not sure exactly what your looking for but the area is nice. It has plenty of open water that is protected. Worth the look.
Enjoy
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Old 12-06-2019, 09:18 PM   #32
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Thanks all! Too many to thank individually, but you've all given me some good places to poke around.

Realtor is coming by Monday to do a market value assessment of my current house. That should give me a working budget, or possibly bring plans to a full stop, or just introduce a delay if there's a lot of work needed before it'll sell.
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Old 12-06-2019, 11:23 PM   #33
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nice area with some obvious good deals, compared to up here in the puget sound area. But tell me this....how much extra do you have to pay if you want one with no snakes, alligators or other things that can kill ya? That could be a deal killer for me.
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Old 12-07-2019, 02:41 AM   #34
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nice area with some obvious good deals, compared to up here in the puget sound area. But tell me this....how much extra do you have to pay if you want one with no snakes, alligators or other things that can kill ya? That could be a deal killer for me.
Problem is you can't pay enough to get rid of the hurricanes.
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Old 12-07-2019, 05:58 AM   #35
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CaptTom, Where is your boat now?
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Old 12-07-2019, 08:12 AM   #36
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nice area with some obvious good deals, compared to up here in the puget sound area. But tell me this....how much extra do you have to pay if you want one with no snakes, alligators or other things that can kill ya? That could be a deal killer for me.
That stuff is regional relative to risk level. There are some areas where the risk factor is nonexistent as Healhustler mentioned. One could argue why anyone would live in a state where you could freeze to death, be killed by an earthquake, or taxed into poverty by your state government. All areas have risks of one kind or another; pick your poison.

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Old 12-07-2019, 11:13 AM   #37
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But tell me this....how much extra do you have to pay if you want one with no snakes, alligators or other things that can kill ya? That could be a deal killer for me.
We have coyotes here, and moose, and some have even seen bears. That may not sound too bad, but when you go out in the back yard on a dark night and hear a noise, these things come to mind.

I can deal with the snakes and alligators. I'm not a huge fan of spiders that can kill you, but I suppose people get used to that, too.

It's not really the cold that bothers me. I figure in Florida I wouldn't be able to go outdoors about half the year. Here I can go out, I just have to dress for it. You can always add layers, but there's a point where you can't take any more off. The plan would be to summer here, winter there.

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CaptTom, Where is your boat now?
On the hard and wrapped, surrounded by snow

The whole point of this exercise is to expand our season to year-round.
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Old 12-07-2019, 03:03 PM   #38
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The usual lot here in Ortona is 65ft wide on the water, although there are some double lots.

From fairly new fancy construction to rehabbed house trailers the community is mostly boaters .

Docks are easy to construct , the pioneers used water hoses and a home well pump, I have a 2 inch gas Honda folks borrow. There is also a community spud barge anyone can borrow.

Only one canal is shallow 4 ft the rest were dug to 16-18 ft to build up the lots. Usually 6ft +in Turkey Creek.

Live aboard is OK , but a small building for toilet , washing etc with a septic system is required .

By far a splendid hurricane hole , as the built up land protects the boats in the canals.

La Belle is 15 miles of open road, hardware store , Wallmart all the usual, with one great (for us) Mexican carry out.

Ft Myers is an hour away .

Places on the river are considered more scenic as boats go buy , but keeping a boat happy & safe with 4-5 ft wakes is difficult.

The prices are reasonable and best suited to cruisers as its 2 locks and a couple of bridges to get into the Gulf.

Anyone passing by is welcome to come visit and see the area. Do call first!!!

I have a shop for woodwork, so bring a project that needs a table saw , drill press or my favorite ,a 6x48 table sander.
And don't forget about the barbecue place, The Log Cabin. We travel from Punta Gorda(45 minutes to an hour)at least once a month to go to The Log Cabin.
Last week we ran our small boat from Saint James City to Labelle and spent the night at the free docks, we love that little town.
We ran into another 32 Nordic Tug owner at the docks and spent several hours talking boats.
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