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BobbyinNY

"Winter-Protection"  (not for the average person)

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BobbyinNY

the average household payscale on Long Island is $85,000, and unless you're making a combined income of about $110,000 to $120,000 you're gonna be living paycheck to paycheck.

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spockvr6

(BobbyinNY @ Oct. 24 2006,07:42)

QUOTE
the average household payscale on Long Island is $85,000, and unless you're making a combined income of about $110,000 to $120,000 you're gonna be living paycheck to paycheck.

One word in your post, combined, is the most telling.  

It speaks volumes about how things have changed.

No longer does the typical household have one income.

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BobbyinNY
One word in your post, combined, is the most telling.  

It speaks volumes about how things have changed.

No longer does the typical household have one income.

You're so right, Larry.... I couldn't imagine just having one income.... I don't know how people do it who have families and only one person working... Either they stay home every night and eat pasta and watch tv or they live in the middle of Idaho.... Or one person is making a fortune....

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spockvr6

(BobbyinNY @ Oct. 24 2006,09:14)

QUOTE
You're so right, Larry.... I couldn't imagine just having one income.... I

I can do more than imagine it  :D

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spockvr6

(BobbyinNY @ Oct. 24 2006,09:14)

QUOTE
I don't know how people do it who have families and only one person working... Either they stay home every night and eat pasta

One just has to make certain lifestyle choices and it becomes doable.  But, it is certainly more difficult than having two incomes....no way around that (unless of course the one income coming in is massive).

However, when one has young children, the tradeoff is worth it IMO.

And.....We also get to eat beans every other night...not just pasta...gotta have some variety :D

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BobbyinNY

I have to say the ONE good thing about living in New York is the ability to make money... That's the saving grace of this place... It's very easy to find work here. We don't have the greatest weather and the pace is lightening fast, but you can always make a buck quick.

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Walt

But let's not start making an apples to oranges comparison, fellows.

While I agree that the days of a sole bread winner have passed, today's families have far more than families had when I was growing up in the 1950s.

For instance, we had just one car, one telephone, one bathroom,  no garage (only a parking pad),  one refrigerator (no stand alone freezer), one washing machine, but no dryer; a push-type reel mower (no power) no VCR/DVD, no personal computer and peripherals, etc., the list goes on and on.

Today, I have a larger, more luxurious home, 2-1/2 car garage, three vehicles, two refrigerators,  five land phones, cell phones, two lawn tractors and hand mower, etc., etc.

I dare say that if I had to survive on what I had growing up in the 1950s, I could get by on much less money.

But that being said, blame the Feds for inflating the Yankee dollar since the 1950s. We need to get back on the gold standard. The Feds print money with no backing, causing inflation (more than 300% since the early 1970s alone).

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spockvr6

(Walt @ Oct. 24 2006,09:34)

QUOTE
While I agree that the days of a sole bread winner have passed, today's families have far more than families had when I was growing up in the 1950s.

No doubt!

Take a look at whats "normal" with regard to house size.

The average home in the 1950's was about 1400-1500 sq ft.  

The average home built these days is over 2300 sq ft!

Yet, the average family size is no larger, or perhaps slightly less!  

So, we have become a bit unrealistic in our desires I think.

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Walt

Hey! I'm spoiled rotten like almost everyone else. I want the American Dream, etc.

But growing up a child of depression era parents, I was told almost everyday how much better I had it than they did (yet I felt I didn't have as much as I would have liked). I guess everything is relative, and many folks today, especially those that grew up in the most prosporous of times, expect more.

And BTW, that one car my parent's had, it was a used 1948 Pontiac, with a straight six motor, with only a radio and heater (not even power steering or brakes!). Compare that today with even an average car with all the amenities, creature comforts, etc.

I'm not implying any other point in my response, other than trying to be objective when comparing the cost of living of "then" as opposed to "now."

Most likely, even if I were to live under the same conditions as I did in the 1950s, in real dollars it would probably cost more today. Further, if it were possible to live in the 1950s like I do today, it would have cost me far, far more.

Oh, did I mention I now have three color TV sets, but only a 12" black and white screen TV as a kid. Yes, we must compare apples to apples.

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BobbyinNY
Oh, did I mention I now have three color TV sets, but only a 12" black and white screen TV as a kid. Yes, we must compare apples to apples.

and don't forget the BIGGEST 2 conveniences of all.... Could you imagine in the 50's, 60's, 70's OR even the 80's having internet access the way we do now, and cell phones to call anywhere in the world???

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Steve

I can say first hand that it is a struggle to make it on one income.  My kids are still very young though (3 and 1 1/2), and we think there's value in having a full time care taker for them while they are still at home.  My wife will no doubt work once they go off to school.  She's self employed hanging wallpaper, so she'll have a pretty flexible schedule even when the kids do go off to school.  She'll probably try to just take a few jobs a week while they are at school, and try to be home when they get home.

Those conveniences that have become necessities in our lives here in the US and other industrialized countries add hundreds of dollars to our monthly expenses.  If we didn't have satellite TV, two cell phones, a second car, insurance on a second car, internet access, etc, we'd be on easy street financially.

At least I don't have to pay Bobby's winter electric bill!!  That would probably break me!  LOL.

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BobbyinNY
At least I don't have to pay Bobby's winter electric bill!!  That would probably break me!  LOL.

HAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA.... I'll let you guys know when it really starts to get cold.. Haven't used the heaters yet.. Usually wait till November... but I'm sure I'm gonna be crying this year. I'm already putting away an EXTRA $100/week just for the heaters... The one I have for my HUGE greenhouse is a 220-volt, 22,000btu heater that I ran a separate circuit for.

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spockvr6

(BobbyinNY @ Oct. 24 2006,10:46)

QUOTE
I'm already putting away an EXTRA $100/week just for the heaters...

Good Lawd!

It might be cheaper to just buy new palms each Spring!

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BobbyinNY
Good Lawd!

It might be cheaper to just buy new palms each Spring!

Oh, Larry.. it DEFINITELY is.... but it's not just about the money for me...

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Walt

I also forgot to say we had no central A/C, only one window fan and a few small free standing fans. It wasn't until the late '50s that we got our first window A/C. Also, there was no cable TV, only antenna reception.

So I would guess, if folks today eliminated their cell phones, ISP fee, satellite/cable TV, did not have central A/C, that in itself would reduce their monthly living expenses substantially. Am I going to do it? Heck, no, it's a way of life now. I'm spoiled like most everyone else.

The bottom line is our life style is far higher today than it was 50 years or more ago. So even allowing for inflation, it costs more to live today's life style.

I could also save a bundle each year if I gave up my palm and tropicals hobby. No more expensive fertilizer to buy. No more monies output to buy new palms, etc. But, this hobby gives me pleasure that can't readily be translated into dollars. If the bucks get tight, my cable TV, Internet, etc., will go first, before my palm hobby goes!

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BobbyinNY
I could also save a bundle each year if I gave up my palm and tropicals hobby. No more expensive fertilizer to buy. No more monies output to buy new palms, etc. But, this hobby gives me pleasure that can't readily be translated into dollars. If the bucks get tight, my cable TV, Internet, etc., will go first, before my palm hobby goes!

ABSOLUTELY, WALT!!!!... I'm with you... If I gave up my plant and tropicals hobby, I'd be able to vacation in the Keys 4 or 5x/year...

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Walt

Bobby: After seeing what a fanatic you are about palms, growing solitaire palms on Long Island, erecting huge enclosures to protect them, getting friends to overwinter a 23 feet tall queen palm, etc., I don't think you will give up that hobby anytime soon. I know you must get too much summer time gratification of having those palms in your yard and patio area for you and your neighbors (looking at them in awe and envy). So forget about going to the Keys 4-5xs a year.

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galveston1602

What floors me about this conversation is the insurance/property tax being quoted for florida.

I thought we had it bad around here (we get hurricanes and pay alot in insurance for texas)

on a 1500sq ft 200K house I have to pay 3.5K for taxes and 2.5k for insurance.

What Im reading is that a similar $$ house in southish fl would be

5k in tax and 6K+ in insurance?

how can this be?  

Seems ridiculous to me even by my high rate standards in TX much less what I could save by moving merly 40 miles north...

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spockvr6

(galveston1602 @ Oct. 24 2006,13:23)

QUOTE
What floors me about this conversation is the insurance/property tax being quoted for florida.

I thought we had it bad around here (we get hurricanes and pay alot in insurance for texas)

on a 1500sq ft 200K house I have to pay 3.5K for taxes and 2.5k for insurance.

What Im reading is that a similar $$ house in southish fl would be

5k in tax and 6K+ in insurance?

how can this be?  

Seems ridiculous to me even by my high rate standards in TX much less what I could save by moving merly 40 miles north...

Galveston-

A house in the location of yours (i.e. basically at sea level and within a very short distance to the Gulf) would pay much more than $6k in insurance!

It would likely be closer to $10k.

My small 1500 sq ft house is 1.5 miles from the Gulf and at 23 ft elevation (non flood zone and non evac zone) and I was quoted over $5000 in insurance if we were to switch companies.  Fortunately, we are still hanging on (by a thread perhaps) to our existing policy which was enacted in 2000 and we are paying a little under $2000.  If we get dropped (insurers are dropping people left right and center), then we will be forced into the state run pool (also called the JUA, or Citizen's Insurnace) and will be up into the $5000-6000 range for what is likely worse coverage.

So, for now, I am not complaining and we are sitting tight in this house for sure.

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BobbyinNY
Bobby: After seeing what a fanatic you are about palms, growing solitaire palms on Long Island, erecting huge enclosures to protect them, getting friends to overwinter a 23 feet tall queen palm, etc., I don't think you will give up that hobby anytime soon. I know you must get too much summer time gratification of having those palms in your yard and patio area for you and your neighbors (looking at them in awe and envy). So forget about going to the Keys 4-5xs a year.

Yeah, I do.. it's true, Walt.... but, ultimately I plan on moving south. It's just a matter of logistics and figuring it out.... I want to come down to FL, but I don't wanna have to work 7 jobs just to be able to live comfortably. If I can cut my expenses in half and make even 3/4 of what I'm making here, I figure I'll be ahead of the game.

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Alan_Tampa

My house is 1300 or so sq ft.  My insurance was 800 a year, now it is 1500.  It is a giant rip off at 800 and a crime at 1500.  I have never had a claim.  The insurance bastards have stolen a premium from me every year.  And "made" me put on a new roof.  No leaks no troubles just looked old.  I did it more or less my self and a Cuban friend starting a new business for 4500.  A bargain - and a decent job.  So they cost me another 4500 plus 1500 this year, 1000 last year and about 3000 for the other years, so I have a new 10,000 dollar roof.  Talk about hedging their bets, jerks.  Allstate made a 1 BILLION dollar PROFIT last quarter.  A BILLION dollars PROFIT.  

One income if not a whopper is not enough.  In 2005 my work changed and I kept my job and base salary (a raise even) but my OT went from 600-800 hrs a year to 0.  The industry I work in is famous for overtime and the first 5 years it was steady.  Aslo a selling point of the job when hired.  Same DAY I get news of this change my girlfriend gets laid off from her job.  My income was enough to cover all plus the money of my GF made things pretty ok, then in one swoop - took the crap train to shitsville.  What savings I had went quicker than Janet Jacksons nipple at a SuperBowl Halftime Show.  

Then of course all these extra profits for insurance bastards hurts all that much more.  Oh, by the way the economy is doing great.  At least I was smart enough to fund my 401K pretty well during the good ol' days.

Anyway, a new big house usually comes with a nice tiny yard.  I have nearly a 1/4 acre lot.  Also, my house was 78,000 in 2000 when I bought it.  New houses are about 230-250 around here - with tiny lots.

Alan

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Walt

I told Allstate to cram their insurance, but it wasn't because of home owner's insurance.

My wife and I had three cars plus our home insured with Allstate for more than 15 years. Then, inexplicably, they raised the premium on one of my cars by 70 percent, even though I hadn't had a claim, accident or ticket (perfect driving record) the last 33 years (that was two years ago).

I called and asked for cogent reason and basis for such an outrageous premium increase, considering the facts I stated above. They could not give me  a straight answer. (The car was a 1967 Buick GS-400, and I just think they didn't want to insure a car that old, even though I had only driven the car once all year long, and it was historically registered and insured for just occasional driving.)

Needless to say, I told them they could stuff their 70 percent increase. In fact, I immediately got new car insurance at the same levels of coverage for just over a $100 less per year (all three cars). I also didn't renew my home owner's insurance, and saved money on that, too, with a different company.

Occasionally, I get a letter from Allstate saying they would like me back. I always file the letter in the round file.

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BobbyinNY
Occasionally, I get a letter from Allstate saying they would like me back. I always file the letter in the round file.

I wish I had a dollar for everything that goes in the round file.... :)

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amazondk

Now I remember one of the reasons I decided to hang out in Amazonia rather than be tied up by life in the States.  My little 2/1 post war block house in East Fort Lauderdale, that I enjoyed a lot got to be more of a liability than anything else since I was living here most of the time anyway.  So I sold it, they tore it down and put a million dollar tract house on the lot, which doesn't look much like the neighborhood. Now I don't think many of you would run and jump into living in the neighborhood in Manaus where I live.  It is actually one of the worst parts of one of the best neighborhoods.  But, in Brazil things can change quickly in a few blocks.  But, our little house is very comfortable, very much hand made with high quality hardwoods, and soon to have a little palm garden, with ipe deck, and hardwood enterainment BBQ cabana.  I will post some pictures when it comes together more.  But, here are the positives:

* No rent, no mortgage - the lot cost about 1 thousand dollars and we built the house with cash.

* No taxes because the property has not been put on the city tax rolls yet.  When that is done, they will be about 150 USD per year.

* No electricity bills, we have city power, but the power company has not come to put in electric meters on the street, that is now for several years.

* No water bills, we have a well.

* No insurance, we can't insure a home that has no documents.  Plus Brazil is not all that big in insurance anyway.  And, there are really no natural disasters in our area.

Since my business is tropical hardwood exports I entend on making a second story as a hardwood timber frame.  There is no need for permits in this neighborhood, in fact in most places around here.  

I have a lot in, 800 sq. meters in a closed conduminum area.  But, it will cost a lot to build there, and in reality our house is so nice right now, I don't know when I will.  I may get some river front beach land on the Negro River, about 50 acres would be nice.  That would cost probably no more than 20,000 USD, my 800 m2 lot is now worth about 50,000 USD, but the taxes are only about 100 USD per year.  So, for now I am just going to hang onto it.

A lot of people here think it is more important to own outright your home and have a nice place than what neighborhood it is in.  

Bobby,  as Bo said you should move somewhere warm where you can plant your trees and only worry about how well they grow, not having to move them around.  I agree Brazil as Corey recommended is probably a bit too far away and quite a bit different from warmer places in the States or nearby.  And, there is a real risk of coming here when one is married to an American woman.  A large percentage of the marraiges do not withstand the pressures of coexisting with the abundance of Brazilian woman, which are probably more dangerous than getting bit by a snake in the forest.

Life in the tropics is not for everyone, but I would not trade it.

dk

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SunnyFl

No ins hassles, low taxes.... and no building permits?!  That's it - I'm going!!

My little 2/1 post war block house in East Fort Lauderdale, that I enjoyed a lot got to be more of a liability than anything else since I was living here most of the time anyway.  So I sold it, they tore it down and put a million dollar tract house on the lot, which doesn't look much like the neighborhood.
 :*(  This is what is happening all over St. Pete.  Those darling little cottages - circa 1920's & 30's, like my little shotgun shack - the history of St. Pete are in those timbers... and they're bulldozing them!  Makes me miserable to see it.

A lot of people here think it is more important to own outright your home and have a nice place than what neighborhood it is in.
 Tell it!  Our neighborhood has its problems - lots of 'em, in fact.... but a number of us just want little homes so we can afford our palm-planting frenzy.  The microclimate is one of the best, and this immediate area is very palmy indeed.  There's nothing like always seeing these beauties when coming home from work or marketing.  And up until recently, the county kind of left us alone.  No longer.

Ins.  This is ruining life in FL.  And you know it's gotten horrendous when your ins. agents friends have moved to Costa Rica - cuz they couldn't hack the high cost of insurance here :angry:

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amazondk

Sunny,

When I bought the house in 1980 I figured it was in a great location, just north of Sunrise Blvd. and just East of Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale.  At the time the neighborhood had the last remnants of the post war residents, a few bikers, prostitutes working down on Sunrise along with some crack dealers and a growing haitian area on the other side of the rail road tracks.  That has all changed now as they continue to demolish older areas in Fort Lauderdale to make way for town houses, apartments, and the houses like that which was built on my lot.  But, that is progress, what can you say.  I still enjoy spending time in Fort Lauderdale with my kids.  It is a great city.  But, pretty soon not much of what used to be there will remain.  I really have a hard time figuring out where people are getting the money to buy a place to live.  The wages in South Florida are still not what would be considered that high by national standards.  I guess a lot of it is just real estate money moving around.  But, when you figure that you sell a house to buy a new one your property taxes go through the roof.  There has to be a time for diminishing returns with this system.  I really don't know what my kids will do to buy a house, unless they relocate to somewhere cheaper, or find a way to make a lot of money.

Oh, there is another benefit of living outside of the States, as a US citizen you only pay income taxes on income above 80,000 of your adjusted yearly earnings.  Aside form working for a multinational company, which I used to do, or having your own business it is hard to make enough income here in Brazil.  I have invested the proceeds on my house sale in getting a lumber trade and production export business going.  It has taken a lot longer to get off the ground than I had planned for, but it is now moving forward.  Although taxes in Brazil are high, there are ways they can be managed when you have your own business.  We run our trading operation through an offshore company in the caribbean we own, so it all works out well.  

I figure the important thing is to enjoy where you live and what you do where ever that is.  For me it just worked out to be here.  Life in Brazil is not easy many times, but it is always enjoyable.

dk

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Neofolis

Although two incomes may have helped with the extra conveniences we have today, you also have to bare in mind the reduced cost of many of these convenieces, which plays a big part. e.g.  I saw an advert yesterday, that was selling DVD players for £14.99.  When you think that a standard VHS video recorder would have been £500.00 in the early 80's, it's a very big difference.

In contrast house plot sizes here are getting smaller and have been for over 100 years.  This is partly due to increased population density, we don't have as much unused space here.  There are often 4-5 older buildings knocked down to have 15-20 smaller properties built on the same ground.

Another consideration of two income families is diet.  There is a lot of talk here about people eating crappy, packaged or processed foods nowadays, but without one person staying at home and having the time to cook proper meals from fresh ingredients, it is to be expected.  Most people don't want to come home from work and then spend two hours cooking and most people, here at least, don't have the time or space to grow their own produce.

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amazondk

Nor do most people live in a place like Brazil where you can hire a full time maid to do the cooking and other domestic chores for under 200 USD per month.

dk

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amazondk

Just for a historical perspective here is a before and after picture of my lot and it's houses.  The blue house, I got this idea to paint it blue in 1999 for some reason, was less than 1000 sq ft, build in 1950, a 2/1 on a 65 ft x 135 ft lot.  I bought it for 67,500 USD in 1980 and sold it for 329,000 USD in January of 2005.  The new house, I think is around 3,000 sq. ft, and I believe it sold for over 900,000 USD before construction was finished.  The area Poinsettia Heights of Fort Lauderdale has become pretty desireable due to the location and the good sized lots.  My taxes and insurance were already starting to get pretty steep, I could only imagine what they are on the new house.  There was a movement to limit the sizes of houses being built in the neighborhood due to the change in atmosphere created by these monsters, but I don't think that has gone too far.  The pictures are taken from pretty much the same angle.

Old house, the yard was sort of a mess as I had been away a lot.  I planted all the trees in the picture.  Picture taken in 2003 I believe.

1704NE16thAvebefore.jpg

The day after.  Nothing wrong with the house, but I would never pay 900,000 dollars for it.  Even if I had it to spend. Picture taken June 2005.

1704NE15thAve.jpg

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BobbyinNY
Bobby,  as Bo said you should move somewhere warm where you can plant your trees and only worry about how well they grow, not having to move them around.  I agree Brazil as Corey recommended is probably a bit too far away and quite a bit different from warmer places in the States or nearby.  And, there is a real risk of coming here when one is married to an American woman.  A large percentage of the marraiges do not withstand the pressures of coexisting with the abundance of Brazilian woman, which are probably more dangerous than getting bit by a snake in the forest.

So Don....

what you're saying is... If I sell everything, come down there (ALONE) with a few hudred g's in cash, I'd literally have paradise :)

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BobbyinNY
Need a job when you get here?  

Jeff,

I'd love an opportunity to work in the field. If I can get my wife to move that far south, I'd be in Heaven..  Having lived in Tamarac, I know the area very well. But this time I'd never live "out west" again... I'd wanna live as close to A1A as possible...

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redant

(BobbyinNY @ Oct. 25 2006,09:47)

QUOTE
Need a job when you get here?  

Jeff,

I'd love an opportunity to work in the field. If I can get my wife to move that far south, I'd be in Heaven..  Having lived in Tamarac, I know the area very well. But this time I'd never live "out west" again... I'd wanna live as close to A1A as possible...

Have you seen "out west" lately. The new out west I guess is somewhere in the everglades.

When I went to Jeff's sale I could see "progress"  :(  everywhere. Farms & nurseries like his are now huge houses.  No shortage of starbucks and quizno's just around the corner. This is not the "west" that Jeff grew up in I'm sure.

"I'd wanna live as close to A1A as possible" This will insure that you can only get insurance from citizens or Lloyd's  of London.

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syersj

(Alan_Tampa @ Oct. 24 2006,14:42)

QUOTE
My house is 1300 or so sq ft.  My insurance was 800 a year, now it is 1500.  It is a giant rip off at 800 and a crime at 1500.  I have never had a claim.

Alan

My house is 1300+ sq feet (built in 2004) and my insurance is 600 and some odd dollars per year.  Taxes with homestead exemption are 1,600 per year.  Can anyone beat that.

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spockvr6

(redant @ Oct. 25 2006,10:47)

QUOTE
Have you seen "out west" lately. The new out west I guess is somewhere in the everglades.

Goodness gracious yes!

When I lived "out west" in the 90's, much past Flamingo (120th Ave) was "out there".  A friend of mine, who lived near Flamingo, told me that we he first moved there in the early 90's that no one would come visit him as he was "too far out"!

Now, I believe its pretty much packed all the way to 208-210th Ave.

When I moved up here in 1999, the changes were in progress, but hadnt yet hit full stride.

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spockvr6

(redant @ Oct. 25 2006,10:47)

QUOTE
"I'd wanna live as close to A1A as possible" This will insure that you can only get insurance from citizens or Lloyd's  of London.

Ahhh...you said it.  I thought this but didnt want to burst Bobby's bubble :;):

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spockvr6

(syersj @ Oct. 25 2006,11:19)

QUOTE

(Alan_Tampa @ Oct. 24 2006,14:42)

QUOTE
My house is 1300 or so sq ft.  My insurance was 800 a year, now it is 1500.  It is a giant rip off at 800 and a crime at 1500.  I have never had a claim.

Alan

My house is 1300+ sq feet (built in 2004) and my insurance is 600 and some odd dollars per year.  Taxes with homestead exemption are 1,600 per year.  Can anyone beat that.

When I moved into this house in 2000, the insurance was $365 a year!

Things have changed :angry:

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BobbyinNY
When I lived "out west" in the 90's, much past Flamingo (120th Ave) was "out there".  A friend of mine, who lived near Flamingo, told me that we he first moved there in the early 90's that no one would come visit him as he was "too far out"!

Now, I believe its pretty much packed all the way to 208-210th Ave.

When I moved up here in 1999, the changes were in progress, but hadnt yet hit full stride.

WOW.... when I lived there in the 90's,  University Drive was "out west"... hell, anything west of SR-7 (441) was out west.

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amazondk

Bobby,

I think you got the idea.  I was working in Miami by the airport when I 75 was opened from 595 to the turnpike.  I would take this road home even though it was longer as there was no traffic.  It was mostly cut through empty lands.   How that has changed it is totally built up.  And, like said above out west is in the Everglades.

When I moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1980 there were two tall buildings downtown, and the place was abandoned.  That is certainly not the case today.

dk

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SunnyFl

(amazondk @ Oct. 25 2006,07:19)

QUOTE
Just for a historical perspective here is a before and after picture of my lot and it's houses.  The blue house, I got this idea to paint it blue in 1999 for some reason, was less than 1000 sq ft, build in 1950, a 2/1 on a 65 ft x 135 ft lot.....  

Old house, the yard was sort of a mess as I had been away a lot.  I planted all the trees in the picture.  Picture taken in 2003 I believe.

Your house was charming, Don.  And about the same size as ours is.  I like the blue color - it's so nice when houses are individual.  As for the yard, it's very nice - lush, with plants that invite a closer look.

Makes me very sad to think it's gone.  As are so many others  :*(

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BobbyinNY
Bobby,

I think you got the idea.  I was working in Miami by the airport when I 75 was opened from 594 to the turnpike.  I would take this road home even though it was longer as there was no traffic.  It was mostly cut through empty lands.   How that has changed it is totally built up.  And, like said above out west is in the Everglades.

When I moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1980 there were two tall buildings downtown, and the place was abandoned.  That is certainly not the case today.

dk

Don,

when I lived there I-595 wasn't even built yet, it was still under construction... You still had to use SR-84....

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