Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: New York
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Ft. Lauderdale Waterfront Advice Needed
Our life plan essentially is that when we drop our kids off at college, we get on the boat and start cruising. Nothing extreme. Pretty much the U.S. East coast and Bahamas thing. Maybe northern Carribbean. That's about 14.5 years away, which will make me 55 or 56, depending on when we actually cut the cord. We live in NY. The plan is to keep a place up here in the northeast, and a second small one in Florida, and spend our time sailing between the two, among other places. We figured we would buy the Florida house at some point, with no particular date in mind. Now the dilemna. The real estate market in Florida has tanked, so now's a good time to buy. We can afford it, but if I had my druthers we would wait until college fund and NY home are fully paid (a few years from now). We started to look in the Fort Laudedale area, as we think that's where we want to be, and based on today's prices we can afford a house with a dock on one of the canals. I'm giving this just for background, as I'm not seeking advice on whether to buy; I'll figure that one out. Here's my question, and why it relates to sailing as opposed to life advice:
How much of an advantage do you get by being closer to Fort Lauderdale as opposed to a bit farther north? The prices are less expensive as you go north from F.L., but one of the costs is additional bridges to deal with in order to get out to the ocean. We are looking at a couple of places that we like which would require getting through 5 bridges to get out Port Everglades Inlet or 3 bridges to get out Hillsboro Inlet. If you go far enough north (such as Lighthouse Point itself), then you actually are very close to Hillsboro Inlet, which would require fewer bridges, possibly just the single bridge at Hillsboro inlet itself depending on the house. We actually don't see ourselves daysailing all that much from the Florida house, as we more likely would take multi-day/week/month cruises from there, and use the house as a winter base to spend some time ashore when we want to get off the boat. I'm thinking that the need to go through multiple bridges may not be that big of a deal because it's not like it will be a daily annoyance or something, but query whether I'm underestimating the hassle of going through 5 bridges. Also, how much of an advantage is it to be closer to F.L., whether by boat or land, aside from the bridge aspect? Do you get the feeling like you're totally "out there" if you are in Lighthouse Point? Are boat services readily available if you need them even if you're 10 miles away from Fr. Lauderdale, etc.?
Until the Big Day, if we buy now, we would use the house as a winter vacation spot, maybe leave the boat down there in the winter and go sailing while the water is hard back home (yea!). I guess this factors into the bridge thing a little, as for the next 14+ years if we manage to get our boat down there for the winter we are unilkely to take multi-week trips from that base. Also, if we buy now, we will be down there with young kids for a number of years, so proximity to the beach and fun stuff to do will be a factor as well.
If anyone has experience with waterfront houses in the Fort La Di Da area, I would be most grateful for some insight on the places to be and not to be from a sailing perspective (or any other perspective I guess).
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Last edited by danielgoldberg; 02-24-2008 at 05:29 PM.