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  #1  
Old 02-24-2008
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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 06:29 PM.
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Old 02-24-2008
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I would think Pomano Beach would be the better choice, than Lauderdale itself. That puts you at the Hillsboro Inlet instead of going out Port Everglades with all the shipping traffic. When I went through last spring, I found the area from Port Everglades to Pomano Beach to be quite congested, and the Waterway rather convoluted.
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Old 02-25-2008
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Check out the Palm Beach area. Lots of nice boating there, places to anchor, and plenty of real estate.
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dan
whenever contemplating waterfront purchases do a complete investigation of the situation. check all ordinances regarding your dock and restrictions or requirements. check the subdivision, they might have additional restrictions. check the deed for more restrictions. ask around as to what takes place around the neighborhood. people do not respect privacy on or around the water like they normally would in a typical neighborhood. check zoning to see what might be changed in the future nearby. check out the neighborhood across the way. all the laws that apply to you might not apply to them.
is dredging needed? is it allowed? who pays for it? are there rules to force group payment of dredging or other maintenance?
waterfront ownership is a thousand times more complex than typical home ownership. be very careful.
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Old 02-25-2008
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Dan...one of the problems with sailing Floridas east coast is that about all you can do is go out in the ocean and sail back and forth on normal holidays/weekends etc. ...gets boring VERY quickly and this applies to the whole east coast of FL. The only interesting area is the keys and the Bahamas IMHO so I would caution you to think about what type of cruising/sailing you want to do. If you can take good chunks of time off to cruise some distance then E. FL makes sense but Ft. Lauderdale is quite a bit pricier than other places with good access like N. Palm Beach, Jupiter, Ft. Pierce, St. Lucie or Vero. On the other hand...Ft. Lauderdale is vibrant and a nice place to live if you like plenty to do. My guess is that prices everywhere on the water in FL can't go too much lower than now...and 15 years from now...you'll reap the benefits wherever you end up investing on the water. Good luck on the decision!
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I was talking with a nice fellow yesterday at loggerhead (in west palm) and he pays a pawltry 900.00 per month for a 40 ft slip. (and has to motor for about an hour to get to "big water")
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Old 02-26-2008
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I was in Ormand by the Sea two weeks ago. Old people for as far as the eye could see. Nothing against old people, but they sure are cheap, mean, angry, vicious and evil. Just something to keep in mind.
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sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice
Lauderdale advise? Stay out of the Pink Pussycat.
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Old 02-26-2008
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LMAO!!! "angry, vicious and evil." Just hysterical.

Thanks all. We actually have lived on the water here in NY, and now live just across the street from the water, so we get the complexities of it. I also can see that from eastern Florida, day sails are out to the ocean and back, and not much else. We really are looking for a winter base for when we want to get off the boat for a little while, not so much a place to day or weekend sail out of. Plus, we're hoping the Ft. Lauderdale area might prove to be a magnet for our kids when they get a little older and we need them to have a good reason to spend time with us (and we figure the Ft. Lauderdale strip on the beach might just do it).
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Old 02-27-2008
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"but they sure are cheap, mean, angry, vicious and evil. Just something to keep in mind."

and now that I'm in west palm, just what the &*^%$ are you sayin, eh?
why, I autta just take you down a few pegs sonny.... wait, I'm tired, I can't find my white sock and one slipper, screw it,
I'm takin' a nap.
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