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Dartolution

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Dartolution

Im not sure this is exactly the right forum for this however, what the heck. 

For the last 10 years I've been heavily considering the move to south Florida. It's just where I'd like to be. I've lived in central/northeast Alabama my entire life, and I'd rather not wait until I'm 70 to retire and move down there when I can't do what I could when I am younger. 

That having been said, I am trying to make this dream a reality within the next 5 years hopefully. 

For the last 2 years, I've been looking at areas around the 9b-10b zones. Palm Beach, Jupiter, Naples, etc... 

 

For those of you fortunate enough to live there, I would really appreciate some tips on where good land is in this growing zones. ( I don't need 15 acres, but I don't want a country club house with 271 sq/ft either... an undeveloped area with somewhere between 1-5 acres would be perfect. Particularly on the boarder of 9B/10A, doesn't matter which coast side. 

I've grown accustom to growing cold hardy palms in zones 7b, and 8a, and there is an obvious world of difference in climate, growing styles, soil structure, irrigation, etc... 

Any advice from those living in that area would be appreciated too. For instance, it would be my instinct to amend native sandy soil with tons of organics, mulch, compost, and organic fertilizers, but Im not sure that would be the right thing to do in such a climate due to fungal issues. 

 

Thanks to those who participate haha. 

:) 

 

 

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NickJames
22 minutes ago, Dartolution said:

Im not sure this is exactly the right forum for this however, what the heck. 

For the last 10 years I've been heavily considering the move to south Florida. It's just where I'd like to be. I've lived in central/northeast Alabama my entire life, and I'd rather not wait until I'm 70 to retire and move down there when I can't do what I could when I am younger. 

That having been said, I am trying to make this dream a reality within the next 5 years hopefully. 

For the last 2 years, I've been looking at areas around the 9b-10b zones. Palm Beach, Jupiter, Naples, etc... 

 

For those of you fortunate enough to live there, I would really appreciate some tips on where good land is in this growing zones. ( I don't need 15 acres, but I don't want a country club house with 271 sq/ft either... an undeveloped area with somewhere between 1-5 acres would be perfect. Particularly on the boarder of 9B/10A, doesn't matter which coast side. 

I've grown accustom to growing cold hardy palms in zones 7b, and 8a, and there is an obvious world of difference in climate, growing styles, soil structure, irrigation, etc... 

Any advice from those living in that area would be appreciated too. For instance, it would be my instinct to amend native sandy soil with tons of organics, mulch, compost, and organic fertilizers, but Im not sure that would be the right thing to do in such a climate due to fungal issues. 

 

Thanks to those who participate haha. 

:) 

 

 

I’m a REALTOR, PM me if you’d like to discuss further. I have access to listings so you can get a better idea of the cost etc per acre. 

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NickJames

The best thing to do is identify an area and then we can run the soil type check. 

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John hovancsek

I lived in Naples for a few years and after irma's I made the jump to the big island (Hawaii). I was tired of losing all the palms during the winter and I even went as far as to putting a green house on my property.  If you are looking for a place where you could grow almost anything come here

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Dartolution

@NickJames Thanks, perhaps one day. This is a long term goal, not something Im doing tomorrow. 

@John hovancsek losing palms?!?!?! what on earth were you growing?!?!? I thought Naples was 10a? 

Am I missing some critical piece of information here!??!?!? 

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NOT A TA

I'm in Delray Beach which is in lower Palm Beach County. Like you, I wanted to move before I got too old so I bought a home here 15 years ago when I was 47 and did the two home thing for a couple years. Prior to that I spent several years staying in different areas for extended visits & researching before I chose this area. I moved here from Fairfield County in CT and property/home expenses were similar. I live two miles from the Atlantic and the weather in this micro climate  is greatly affected by the Gulf Stream as it passes through the Florida Straights very close to shore in this area. We're cooler in the summer & warmer in the winter than areas North, South, and West of here. The area where my home is was farm land long ago and there's still patchy areas of land where sugar cane is grown a mile or two West of me. As soon as a farmer sells it becomes an HOA McMansion neighborhood.

Unless you've looked at real estate prices you'll be shocked at the difference in prices of various sections of FL. I doubt there are 5 acre parcels available in this area as they'd be snatched up for gated HOA housing projects. Houses with an acre or two away from the ocean would likely be in the million + price range.  A typical 3 bedroom ranch with two car garage on 1/4 acre runs around 250,000.00 to 350,000.00 depending on neighborhood if it's not in a gated HOA. Closer to the ocean the prices go up substantially and could be 500,000.00 within a few blocks of the water. Beachfront homes are millions. Same house in other sections of FL might only be 1/2 or less the price.

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waykoolplantz

Lots of ag land tween Naples & Ft Laud...despite the 10b you will lose palms as John said. 

I was overrloaded with 740 species at high count..lost @30 during 2010 freeze..now just focused on well being & growth

A local grower just purchased 22 acres ouside LaBelle..a little over a hour nw of me

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RedRabbit
3 hours ago, Dartolution said:

Im not sure this is exactly the right forum for this however, what the heck. 

For the last 10 years I've been heavily considering the move to south Florida. It's just where I'd like to be. I've lived in central/northeast Alabama my entire life, and I'd rather not wait until I'm 70 to retire and move down there when I can't do what I could when I am younger. 

That having been said, I am trying to make this dream a reality within the next 5 years hopefully. 

For the last 2 years, I've been looking at areas around the 9b-10b zones. Palm Beach, Jupiter, Naples, etc... 

 

For those of you fortunate enough to live there, I would really appreciate some tips on where good land is in this growing zones. ( I don't need 15 acres, but I don't want a country club house with 271 sq/ft either... an undeveloped area with somewhere between 1-5 acres would be perfect. Particularly on the boarder of 9B/10A, doesn't matter which coast side. 

I've grown accustom to growing cold hardy palms in zones 7b, and 8a, and there is an obvious world of difference in climate, growing styles, soil structure, irrigation, etc... 

Any advice from those living in that area would be appreciated too. For instance, it would be my instinct to amend native sandy soil with tons of organics, mulch, compost, and organic fertilizers, but Im not sure that would be the right thing to do in such a climate due to fungal issues. 

 

Thanks to those who participate haha. 

:) 

 

 

In terms of affordability, Pine Island is almost definitely your best bet. It’s 10a/10b and cheap! 

2 hours ago, John hovancsek said:

I lived in Naples for a few years and after irma's I made the jump to the big island (Hawaii). I was tired of losing all the palms during the winter and I even went as far as to putting a green house on my property.  If you are looking for a place where you could grow almost anything come here

It’s surprising to hear this. What palms were dying and how far inland were you? Downtown Naples seems to be 10b so I wouldn’t imagine there being much trouble in the winter.

1 hour ago, NOT A TA said:

I'm in Delray Beach which is in lower Palm Beach County. Like you, I wanted to move before I got too old so I bought a home here 15 years ago when I was 47 and did the two home thing for a couple years. Prior to that I spent several years staying in different areas for extended visits & researching before I chose this area. I moved here from Fairfield County in CT and property/home expenses were similar. I live two miles from the Atlantic and the weather in this micro climate  is greatly affected by the Gulf Stream as it passes through the Florida Straights very close to shore in this area. We're cooler in the summer & warmer in the winter than areas North, South, and West of here. The area where my home is was farm land long ago and there's still patchy areas of land where sugar cane is grown a mile or two West of me. As soon as a farmer sells it becomes an HOA McMansion neighborhood.

Unless you've looked at real estate prices you'll be shocked at the difference in prices of various sections of FL. I doubt there are 5 acre parcels available in this area as they'd be snatched up for gated HOA housing projects. Houses with an acre or two away from the ocean would likely be in the million + price range.  A typical 3 bedroom ranch with two car garage on 1/4 acre runs around 250,000.00 to 350,000.00 depending on neighborhood if it's not in a gated HOA. Closer to the ocean the prices go up substantially and could be 500,000.00 within a few blocks of the water. Beachfront homes are millions. Same house in other sections of FL might only be 1/2 or less the price.


Even I’ve been surprised by some of the prices in S Florida. I’ve looked some and it’s tough to find listings on the beachside for under $1m. It’s kind of amazing just how much money is in S Fl real estate now. 

 

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NickJames
2 hours ago, Dartolution said:

@NickJames Thanks, perhaps one day. This is a long term goal, not something Im doing tomorrow. 

@John hovancsek losing palms?!?!?! what on earth were you growing?!?!? I thought Naples was 10a? 

Am I missing some critical piece of information here!??!?!? 

That’s ok, just let me know and I would be happy to send you a list of properties whenever. I actually find Florida to be cheap compared to other places. Our property taxes are comparatively low. No income tax. 

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kinzyjr

@Dartolution I have first-hand experience doing what you are describing.  I moved here in my early 20s almost 2 decades ago.

To say that property prices in Central and South Florida have gone through the roof is putting it mildly.  My neighbors have all paid roughly 2.5 times what I paid for effectively the same type of property.  @NOT A TA hit it on the head with the commentary about every available inch of land being bulldozed to put in HOA-managed McMansions.  If I were moving nowadays, I'd probably end up a lot further north in the state where land is a little more affordable.

Just some questions/info from hindsight:

  • Do you have solid career or business options here?
  • Do you have savings put aside to make the move?
  • What are you trying to grow and what are the absolute lows in the area(s) under consideration? 
    • Would it survive 1985? 1989? 2010? in those places?
    • Even some areas inland from Miami recorded temperatures in the 20s in some of those freezes.
    • Key West hasn't seen a freeze (record low 41F), but when a storm is coming, better head out.
  • How worried are you about flooding?
    • Most of the warmer areas are fairly low in elevation.
    • The areas along the Central Florida Ridge offer some security from flooding, but you're going to see freezes.
  • Have you looked into the crime rates of various areas?
    • The areas on the south/east sides of Lake Okeechobee have a very bad reputation for crime in addition to a very protected climate with record lows similar to the coast.

If you don't want any freezes, I'd agree with @John hovancsek - Hawaii it is.  If not, I'd take @NickJames up on his offer.

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sonoranfans

Its true, palm choices are greater down in the southernmost parts of florida.  Acreage is going to be more expensive than you think, being from alabama.  You will need to water palms in the spring when it doesnt rain much.  Covering 4-5 acres with supplemental water during that time wont be cheap or easy.  Then there is the cost of hauling all that debris away.  If you are older, it may not be an option, healthwise, at some point.  If I could have moved further south, I would have but homeowners insurance costs were a lot higher down there, almost mortgage like.  The east coast has a 3-4x higher probability of being hit by a hurricane.  My area had not seen hurricane winds for 82 years before IRMA and IRMA was barely a cat one when it got here 70-75mph sustained and I lost no palms.  That hurrincane fear did drive my decision along with being close to a area with jobs outside tourism businesses.  Since I need no extra insurance on my home, flood or hurricane it is notably cheaper here.  Down south you may find rocky soil like Ken Johnsons place where you need a jackhammer to plant a palm but you should see that yard!  Satakentia, Copernicia, and kentiopsis look the best on his soil.  High sandy content soil will need mulching for best results, I dont want to know how much it costs for the mulch and how much labor in involved in mulching even 2 acres.  I have sandy soil and I use about 7 cubic yards of mulch for gardens that are about 6000 square feet.  Sandy soil also is more expensive to fertilize as deficiencies are harder to control.

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redant

Jupiter here,  was an awesome place when I moved here 30+ years ago, now it's really over crowded and one of the more expensive areas to live. I was lucky that about 24 years ago I bought a nice 2.5 acres not to far from the ocean.  Other then some small things here and there the only place to find acreage in Jupiter is in Jupiter farms, out west and a little less desirable climate wise. Also as I'm discovering,  planting to much leads to way to much work. I'm in the process of killing off some royals as they are killing me lol.

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hbernstein

The threat of hurricane winds and flooding is a serious reason to reconsider moving to Florida. The accelerating effects of changing climate are exacerbating the situation. Coastal areas and the entire southern part of the peninsula are particularly vulnerable.

As a native Floridian who has moved back, the dismal worry of not if, but when and when again are real fears that occur annually. I don't plan on retiring here. I love Florida's natural environment and warmth and amazing light, but the future here is not good.

Beyond all that, warming temperatures are definitely creating better survival chances for planting cold-sensitive palms!

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NickJames
2 minutes ago, hbernstein said:

The threat of hurricane winds and flooding is a serious reason to reconsider moving to Florida. The accelerating effects of changing climate are exacerbating the situation. Coastal areas and the entire southern part of the peninsula are particularly vulnerable.

As a native Floridian who has moved back, the dismal worry of not if, but when and when again are real fears that occur annually. I don't plan on retiring here. I love Florida's natural environment and warmth and amazing light, but the future here is not good.

Beyond all that, warming temperatures are definitely creating better survival chances for planting cold-sensitive palms!

Respectfully, I disagree with the risk assessment and so do most insurance companies. I live in a large, new home and I pay $590 annually for hazard insurance with only a $1000 hurricane deductible. We have some of the strictest building codes in the whole country for new construction. My home frame and roof trusses are literally bolted down into the concrete slab with large iron rods that are 25+ feet long. My house is not going anywhere. Officially, it can withstand sustained winds of 145mph. The chances of that occurring are so rare my Home insurance is Less than my car insurance. 
 

Again, respectfully, our risk profile is actually fairly low compared to other places. We rarely have tornadic or supercell activity that happens in other parts of the country. 
 

There are locations that have been and will always be at higher risk in Florida, of course. 

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Johnny Palmseed
24 minutes ago, NickJames said:

Respectfully, I disagree with the risk assessment and so do most insurance companies. I live in a large, new home and I pay $590 annually for hazard insurance with only a $1000 hurricane deductible. We have some of the strictest building codes in the whole country for new construction. My home frame and roof trusses are literally bolted down into the concrete slab with large iron rods that are 25+ feet long. My house is not going anywhere. Officially, it can withstand sustained winds of 145mph. The chances of that occurring are so rare my Home insurance is Less than my car insurance. 
 

Again, respectfully, our risk profile is actually fairly low compared to other places. We rarely have tornadic or supercell activity that happens in other parts of the country. 
 

There are locations that have been and will always be at higher risk in Florida, of course. 

What you are saying is true but most of the homes are not new construction. My 1978 4 bedroom 2 bath 1900 sq. ft. unspectacular block home was just increased from about $2200 to $2800 with a 2% hurricane deductible (about $5000). I was able to shop it and got back to $2100. As far as I know, the home only had a claim in 1986 for wind damage to the screen room. Many people get quite the surprise when they move here with insurance rates. And not just home rates, the auto rates are high due to the lax requirements.

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sonoranfans

Im going to agree with nick, my home, built in 2009, is rated for andrew(160mph) including hurricane shutters) IRMA wasnt even a test for the house and my insurance is similar to his with no hurricane deductible.  As far as the future, predicting the future is hard, I dont run my life on people trying to predict something so complex, the risk of being wrong is very high.  ANd a new economy with more people working from home seems to be a solution none of our brilliant politician/futurists has thought of.   I will say that 140mph does scare me for my palms, could devastate the yard.  But like I said the west coast north of sarasota has a much lower frequency of hurricane force winds reeaching landfall.

 

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Johnny Palmseed
13 hours ago, Dartolution said:

@NickJames Thanks, perhaps one day. This is a long term goal, not something Im doing tomorrow. 

@John hovancsek losing palms?!?!?! what on earth were you growing?!?!? I thought Naples was 10a? 

Am I missing some critical piece of information here!??!?!? 

The thing is, when you live in zone 8 you inevitably want zone 9 palms. When you move to zone 9, you then want zone 10, etc... So yes, you will surely push the zone and lose palms periodically. It’s all part of the fun. Or sickness. Whatever you want to call it.

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NickJames
21 minutes ago, Johnny Palmseed said:

What you are saying is true but most of the homes are not new construction. My 1978 4 bedroom 2 bath 1900 sq. ft. unspectacular block home was just increased from about $2200 to $2800 with a 2% hurricane deductible (about $5000). I was able to shop it and got back to $2100. As far as I know, the home only had a claim in 1986 for wind damage to the screen room. Many people get quite the surprise when they move here with insurance rates. And not just home rates, the auto rates are high due to the lax requirements.

Yes, I was more-so replying to the wholesale write off of the whole state. The same scenario you gave applies to other states where non-hurricane wind threat is far greater - the difference being that even their new homes are not required to be equipped the way Florida’s are. 
 

Fortunately, our inventory of post-2002 homes is very high compared to other states in the Midwest and north. 

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NickJames
22 minutes ago, sonoranfans said:

Im going to agree with nick, my home, built in 2009, is rated for andrew(160mph) including hurricane shutters) IRMA wasnt even a test for the house and my insurance is similar to his with no hurricane deductible.  As far as the future, predicting the future is hard, I dont run my life on people trying to predict something so complex, the risk of being wrong is very high.  ANd a new economy with more people working from home seems to be a solution none of our brilliant politician/futurists has thought of.   I will say that 140mph does scare me for my palms, could devastate the yard.  But like I said the west coast north of sarasota has a much lower frequency of hurricane force winds reeaching landfall.

 

I am far more scared for my landscaping than my home. My insurance policy covers up to $12,000 for landscaping, isn’t that nice? 
 

When I lived in Michigan, as a TV reporter, I can’t tell you how many tornadoes I covered. The wind profile there is far greater in general. I’ve never lived in a windier place, actually. 

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Johnny Palmseed
18 minutes ago, sonoranfans said:

Im going to agree with nick, my home, built in 2009, is rated for andrew(160mph) including hurricane shutters) IRMA wasnt even a test for the house and my insurance is similar to his with no hurricane deductible.  As far as the future, predicting the future is hard, I dont run my life on people trying to predict something so complex, the risk of being wrong is very high.  ANd a new economy with more people working from home seems to be a solution none of our brilliant politician/futurists has thought of.   I will say that 140mph does scare me for my palms, could devastate the yard.  But like I said the west coast north of sarasota has a much lower frequency of hurricane force winds reeaching landfall.

 

Most homes built now will be able to withstand 90% of probable storms but a new house may not be in his budget. Also, the location plays a big part. When we moved to Merritt Island from Jacksonville in 2002, we could not get homeowners insurance from State Farm even though we had been with them for almost 10 years. They were simply not writing policies in Brevard County.  We ended up with some company I had never heard of for about $900/year. The whole thing is a scam anyway. They raise the rates whenever they have a big payout and change the rules for what qualifies as a discount on the wind mitigation. Some of my neighbors got new roofs after Matthew but they were literally falling apart before the storm. They just waited for the storm damage. I replaced my roof years earlier and had minor damage but no claim due to the $5000 deductible. Then they raised my rates. And lowered theirs because the roof was new.

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sonoranfans

yeah if you move into a flood plain, insurance may not even be offered in a few cases.  AN island is a serious flood plain issue.  New houses inland 5-10 miles are MUCH cheaper than those older houses nearer the water.  Merrit island is way more expensive than my area(half way between parrish and palmetto).  10 years ago new houses in my neighborhood started at 125k.

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redant
1 hour ago, NickJames said:

Respectfully, I disagree with the risk assessment and so do most insurance companies. I live in a large, new home and I pay $590 annually for hazard insurance with only a $1000 hurricane deductible. We have some of the strictest building codes in the whole country for new construction. My home frame and roof trusses are literally bolted down into the concrete slab with large iron rods that are 25+ feet long. My house is not going anywhere. Officially, it can withstand sustained winds of 145mph. The chances of that occurring are so rare my Home insurance is Less than my car insurance. 
 

Again, respectfully, our risk profile is actually fairly low compared to other places. We rarely have tornadic or supercell activity that happens in other parts of the country. 
 

There are locations that have been and will always be at higher risk in Florida, of course. 

You're in a totally different insurance zone then S. FL, here you can't usually get insurance from the big names, you need to get coverage from the bozo insurance companies and the premiums are high. I was at home last summer watching Dorian destroy the Bahamas 100 miles away from me, in the direct line of fire. Nature blessed this area with a turn to the north but had that come ashore it would have been another Andrew.  

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hbernstein

I stand by my statements regarding future quality of life and risk in much of the state. I base my opinions upon data collected and assessed by governmental agencies and qualified scientists. the evidence is around us: higher high tides and "clear sky" flooding events, saltwater intrusion in wellfields and canals, inland colonization of Red Mangrove into what was formerly freshwater Everglades, number of Atlantic and Caribbean basin higher-intensity hurricanes per decade, higher average monthly temperatures, alteration or disruption of bloom and growth cycles in plants.; the list can go on.

If he wants to move to a potential palm paradise, that's great. I moved back from Chicago because my last job involved tropical horticulture in conservatories, and I became desperate to work, once again, in a proper outdoor public garden. I'm just saying that if someone wants to commit to relocation, there's a potentially serious downside to the investment. I know from personal experiences that gardens are the most vulnerable things to "rearrangement" or damage in storms.

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Johnny Palmseed
1 hour ago, sonoranfans said:yeah if you move into a flood plain, insurance may not even be offered in a few cases.  AN island is a serious flood plain issue.  New houses inland 5-10 miles are MUCH cheaper than those older houses nearer the water.  Merrit island is way more expensive than my area(half way between parrish and palmetto).  10 years ago new houses in my neighborhood started at 125k.

What’s weird is that initially we were in a flood zone which required flood insurance at only about $200/year. A few years ago they changed the map and now we are not even required to have it even though we are on a canal to the Banana River. And now it’s $516. I have never seen flooding to be an issue in my area since the property is elevated from when they dug out the canals. During TS Fay, we had over 30” of rain over several days and the water got up to top of the sea wall which is a rise of approximately 18-24” from average. We still have about 4-5’ of rise before the house would flood. Other local mainland areas were flooding big time. Obviously a storm surge would be of greater concern but Cocoa Beach would be more threatened. I honestly wish I could have afforded a new house but there was pretty much nothing on a canal newer than 1990’s build and even then they were well over our budget. I have truly grown weary of the constant work required of an older house that needs updating. The only advantage is that I was able to pay it off so I am not super worried about the current crisis financially.

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EricSatBch

Come to the Space Coast....Satellite Beach, Cocoa Beach area!  Northern part of zone 10a....much cheaper here than down south and certainly less crowded.  

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ruskinPalms
18 hours ago, RedRabbit said:

In terms of affordability, Pine Island is almost definitely your best bet. It’s 10a/10b and cheap! 

It’s surprising to hear this. What palms were dying and how far inland were you? Downtown Naples seems to be 10b so I wouldn’t imagine there being much trouble in the winter.


Even I’ve been surprised by some of the prices in S Florida. I’ve looked some and it’s tough to find listings on the beachside for under $1m. It’s kind of amazing just how much money is in S Fl real estate now. 

 

This would be my suggestion too. Very nice 10A/10B climate where you can still find cheap land. Just look for or build a key west style home so your living areas start on the second storey so you don’t have to worry so much about flooding. You can definitely grow coconuts there if that is a goal you have. I’m not sure if you mentioned what type of work you plan to do but if you are working remotely from home or in healthcare you have options there otherwise it would be pretty slim pickings. 

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NickJames
2 hours ago, EricSatBch said:

Come to the Space Coast....Satellite Beach, Cocoa Beach area!  Northern part of zone 10a....much cheaper here than down south and certainly less crowded.  

I just did a deal for a friend of mine in Cocoa...closing July 31. Totally updated home for 184k. I want to buy it myself for the backyard space since I’m out of room. LOL. 
 

Her closing gift is an A. Cunninghamiana and a cocos from Lowe’s (just as a little experiment) :)

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OC2Texaspalmlvr
41 minutes ago, NickJames said:

Her closing gift is an A. Cunninghamiana and a cocos from Lowe’s (just as a little experiment)

Nice job spreading the sickness haha. I think most would agree Hawaii is the place to be if growing palms is what you desired. Everytime I watch hgtv buying Hawaii i am amazed of the crazy housing cost. Its more expensive there then California,  where I left in the nick of time haha. @Dartolution I think you have yourself a great goal and when the time is right you'll find your paradise. You definitely have alot of people on here that will hopefully point you in the right direction. 

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Dartolution

WOW! Thank you everyone for your replies so far. I didn't expect this. Please by all means keep the conversation going. 

Let me see if I can address a few comments:

21 hours ago, NOT A TA said:

I'm in Delray Beach which is in lower Palm Beach County. Like you, I wanted to move before I got too old so I bought a home here 15 years ago when I was 47 and did the two home thing for a couple years. Prior to that I spent several years staying in different areas for extended visits & researching before I chose this area. I moved here from Fairfield County in CT and property/home expenses were similar. I live two miles from the Atlantic and the weather in this micro climate  is greatly affected by the Gulf Stream as it passes through the Florida Straights very close to shore in this area. We're cooler in the summer & warmer in the winter than areas North, South, and West of here. The area where my home is was farm land long ago and there's still patchy areas of land where sugar cane is grown a mile or two West of me. As soon as a farmer sells it becomes an HOA McMansion neighborhood.

Unless you've looked at real estate prices you'll be shocked at the difference in prices of various sections of FL. I doubt there are 5 acre parcels available in this area as they'd be snatched up for gated HOA housing projects. Houses with an acre or two away from the ocean would likely be in the million + price range.  A typical 3 bedroom ranch with two car garage on 1/4 acre runs around 250,000.00 to 350,000.00 depending on neighborhood if it's not in a gated HOA. Closer to the ocean the prices go up substantially and could be 500,000.00 within a few blocks of the water. Beachfront homes are millions. Same house in other sections of FL might only be 1/2 or less the price.

@NOT A TA This is typically the price range I have seen listed and would probably be looking at. 

For now specific house costs and whatnot are a bit further ahead. For now I am more interested in ares (largely less developed), where there is 1-5 acres and MOST concerned about climate data. Really, When I do decide, Ill be more interested in the amount of yard I have than the house itself. I spend the majority of my free time outdoors anyway. That being said, I do NOT want to live beachfront. That is too concerning to me when hurricanes come through, and the number of palms and tropical plants that are not highly salt tolerant. Somewhere back, mainland even would be more of an option. 

 

@RedRabbit I am not familiar with Pine Island. would you say this is a safe/good area? 

I too am baffled at the loss of palms in the growing zones. 

By losing palms, which species are we talking about, and where?

 

 

20 hours ago, NickJames said:

That’s ok, just let me know and I would be happy to send you a list of properties whenever. I actually find Florida to be cheap compared to other places. Our property taxes are comparatively low. No income tax. 

@NickJames Have you looked at property values/costs in Alabama sir? hahaha.... There is a very big difference from what I have seen. 

 

13 hours ago, kinzyjr said:

@Dartolution I have first-hand experience doing what you are describing.  I moved here in my early 20s almost 2 decades ago.

To say that property prices in Central and South Florida have gone through the roof is putting it mildly.  My neighbors have all paid roughly 2.5 times what I paid for effectively the same type of property.  @NOT A TA hit it on the head with the commentary about every available inch of land being bulldozed to put in HOA-managed McMansions.  If I were moving nowadays, I'd probably end up a lot further north in the state where land is a little more affordable.

Just some questions/info from hindsight:

  • Do you have solid career or business options here?
  • Do you have savings put aside to make the move?
  • What are you trying to grow and what are the absolute lows in the area(s) under consideration? 
    • Would it survive 1985? 1989? 2010? in those places?
    • Even some areas inland from Miami recorded temperatures in the 20s in some of those freezes.
    • Key West hasn't seen a freeze (record low 41F), but when a storm is coming, better head out.
  • How worried are you about flooding?
    • Most of the warmer areas are fairly low in elevation.
    • The areas along the Central Florida Ridge offer some security from flooding, but you're going to see freezes.
  • Have you looked into the crime rates of various areas?
    • The areas on the south/east sides of Lake Okeechobee have a very bad reputation for crime in addition to a very protected climate with record lows similar to the coast.

If you don't want any freezes, I'd agree with @John hovancsek - Hawaii it is.  If not, I'd take @NickJames up on his offer.

 

@kinzyjr

This mentioning of freezes repeatedly is concerning. I would not expect zones 10a/10b to experience freezes that often. Do they? 

Why would I be concerned about flooding? This would depend entirely on the property chosen, and the house built, and I am far from that point as of right now. 

Climate data, and good areas is what I am interested in learning about experiences with currently. 

This is a decision process that will take some time. 

 

13 hours ago, sonoranfans said:

Its true, palm choices are greater down in the southernmost parts of florida.  Acreage is going to be more expensive than you think, being from alabama.  You will need to water palms in the spring when it doesnt rain much.  Covering 4-5 acres with supplemental water during that time wont be cheap or easy.  Then there is the cost of hauling all that debris away.  If you are older, it may not be an option, healthwise, at some point.  If I could have moved further south, I would have but homeowners insurance costs were a lot higher down there, almost mortgage like.  The east coast has a 3-4x higher probability of being hit by a hurricane.  My area had not seen hurricane winds for 82 years before IRMA and IRMA was barely a cat one when it got here 70-75mph sustained and I lost no palms.  That hurrincane fear did drive my decision along with being close to a area with jobs outside tourism businesses.  Since I need no extra insurance on my home, flood or hurricane it is notably cheaper here.  Down south you may find rocky soil like Ken Johnsons place where you need a jackhammer to plant a palm but you should see that yard!  Satakentia, Copernicia, and kentiopsis look the best on his soil.  High sandy content soil will need mulching for best results, I dont want to know how much it costs for the mulch and how much labor in involved in mulching even 2 acres.  I have sandy soil and I use about 7 cubic yards of mulch for gardens that are about 6000 square feet.  Sandy soil also is more expensive to fertilize as deficiencies are harder to control.

@sonoranfans Thank you for your insight. I do want to note, that I have NO intention of planting 5 solid acres if it was purchased. It is more about privacy, rather than planting. Landscaping around the house wouldn't be an issue. 

My main concern was with adding mulches/manures/organics to the soil there given the climate. I wasn't sure if this is common practice, and an issue with the climate, as I am not used to it.

 

 

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Dartolution
13 hours ago, redant said:

Jupiter here,  was an awesome place when I moved here 30+ years ago, now it's really over crowded and one of the more expensive areas to live. I was lucky that about 24 years ago I bought a nice 2.5 acres not to far from the ocean.  Other then some small things here and there the only place to find acreage in Jupiter is in Jupiter farms, out west and a little less desirable climate wise. Also as I'm discovering,  planting to much leads to way to much work. I'm in the process of killing off some royals as they are killing me lol.

@redant I absolutely fell in love with Juno Beach when I was there on vacation for a couple of weeks. It seemed so different than the panhandle to me, and in all the good ways. 

 

9 hours ago, Johnny Palmseed said:

The thing is, when you live in zone 8 you inevitably want zone 9 palms. When you move to zone 9, you then want zone 10, etc... So yes, you will surely push the zone and lose palms periodically. It’s all part of the fun. Or sickness. Whatever you want to call it.

@Johnny PalmseedFun or sickness... hmmm haha 

Well Palms aren't the only plants, a big part of it yes, but most definitely not the only thing that would be planted. 

 

2 hours ago, ruskinPalms said:

This would be my suggestion too. Very nice 10A/10B climate where you can still find cheap land. Just look for or build a key west style home so your living areas start on the second storey so you don’t have to worry so much about flooding. You can definitely grow coconuts there if that is a goal you have. I’m not sure if you mentioned what type of work you plan to do but if you are working remotely from home or in healthcare you have options there otherwise it would be pretty slim pickings. 

@ruskinPalms Thank you for the suggestion. 

I work in healthcare clinical diagnostics and quality control of biomedical research and have for the last 8 years. So this could be an option. 

 

 

 

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Dartolution

Just to reiterate to everyone, I am only looking for insight into good/safe areas in terms of crime, and weather. I am looking for those with experience in zones 9b-11a really with growing conditions, culture, and what you do to amend sandy hard soil. 

I also want to note, that while I said 1-5 acres, I do not intend to plant 5 acres worth of palm trees. haha I know some of us would. But I would rather have most of that undeveloped for privacy, and create a small "bubble" if you will for gardening/landscaping using palms. 

 

A lot of talk about freeze data still has me curious. 

I suppose the main palms I would want to grow would be those that most find uninteresting. Sabals (which are my favorite), Bismarckia, Mule, other hybrids, Pheonix roebelenii, majesty, and perhaps some cycads, and one or two other more tropical palms, lipstick for instance... who knows. 

I think coconut palms are overrated....*please don't shoot me* haha

 

For future posts, can we keep this thread about safe areas,(crime and weather), gardening experience and practices in a wetter and warmer climate on average than where I am now, and areas with land/resources?

 

 

 

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Dartolution
2 hours ago, NickJames said:

I just did a deal for a friend of mine in Cocoa...closing July 31. Totally updated home for 184k. I want to buy it myself for the backyard space since I’m out of room. LOL. 
 

Her closing gift is an A. Cunninghamiana and a cocos from Lowe’s (just as a little experiment) :)

Well there's a selling point! haha 

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kinzyjr
5 minutes ago, Dartolution said:

This mentioning of freezes repeatedly is concerning. I would not expect zones 10a/10b to experience freezes that often. Do they? 

Why would I be concerned about flooding? This would depend entirely on the property chosen, and the house built, and I am far from that point as of right now. 

Climate data, and good areas is what I am interested in learning about experiences with currently. 

This is a decision process that will take some time.

Question: This mentioning of freezes repeatedly is concerning. I would not expect zones 10a/10b to experience freezes that often. Do they?

Answer:

The only area that is entirely free of freezes is the Keys.  All-time lows for Key Largo (35) and Key West (41) are the only ones I have found above 32.  Some weather records for Marathon show an all-time low of 28F.  How often does it freeze in 10a?  Well, the weather records for Orlando over the last 30 and 50 years put it in zone 10a.  Downtown Orlando has also gone to or below freezing 9 times from 2000-current.  For a more protected "official" 10a climate, look at Titusville in the NOW data.  They've gone to or below freezing 11 times.

10b is a little different.  Miami Beach did hit 32F in 1989, but the average low actually puts it in zone 11a at this point.  This issue with going purely by zone assignments is they are averages.  You could get 30F + frost every year and still get a zone 10 rating.  Best thing to do is look at weather data.

You can look at the NOW data from NWS/NOAA here: https://w2.weather.gov/climate/xmacis.php?wfo=mfl

Question: Why would I be concerned about flooding? This would depend entirely on the property chosen, and the house built, and I am far from that point as of right now. 

Answer:

Homes are expensive and you want to protect your investment.  When choosing a property, just be careful.  People get "taken" here all the time by a bunch of hucksters selling property they know will go underwater.

There was a home in Bartow that was recently bulldozed because the lot was not properly built up from the street and surrounding properties.  Each time it would rain hard, the home owners ended up with water damaging their home.  Imagine being in a house like this in 2017 with Hurricane Irma roaring through.  Your house has several inches of water in it and the telephone poles outside are literally cracking in three from 120MPH winds ripping hundred year old oaks out of the ground.  This was their reality.  Well, after the home was built it was too late to do anymore than put band-aids on a bullet wound.  None of them worked and the homeowners had to relocate.

Back in 2004, we had 3 hurricanes come through Polk and submerge several properties along US-27.  The home owners were angry because "that will never happen" was a great sales pitch until it wasn't.  From my view, I'd rather share those experiences with you than see another person repeat those mistakes.

 

All of that said, good luck in your search.

 

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NickJames
42 minutes ago, Dartolution said:

Just to reiterate to everyone, I am only looking for insight into good/safe areas in terms of crime, and weather. I am looking for those with experience in zones 9b-11a really with growing conditions, culture, and what you do to amend sandy hard soil. 

I also want to note, that while I said 1-5 acres, I do not intend to plant 5 acres worth of palm trees. haha I know some of us would. But I would rather have most of that undeveloped for privacy, and create a small "bubble" if you will for gardening/landscaping using palms. 

 

A lot of talk about freeze data still has me curious. 

I suppose the main palms I would want to grow would be those that most find uninteresting. Sabals (which are my favorite), Bismarckia, Mule, other hybrids, Pheonix roebelenii, majesty, and perhaps some cycads, and one or two other more tropical palms, lipstick for instance... who knows. 

I think coconut palms are overrated....*please don't shoot me* haha

 

For future posts, can we keep this thread about safe areas,(crime and weather), gardening experience and practices in a wetter and warmer climate on average than where I am now, and areas with land/resources?

 

 

 

With what you’re saying, you may be able to consider North Florida. The chance of a Landfalling hurricane is virtual Zero. In fact, there are no records of a landfalling hurricane in Duval County. 
 

I see my dear friend @shminbabe has joined us. Perhaps she could post some photos of her native landscape in the Atlantic Beach area. You should see the native sabals she has. They must be at least 100 years old. If you could find a lot like hers, you would be all set. There are lots in her area that you could get for a fairly low price. North Florida is not expensive compared to further south. 
 

edited to say: she has a VERY protected microclimate in north Florida. She has not had a freeze since 2010. 

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NOT A TA

Couple things I'll comment on you mentioned.

Crime is everywhere in E S FL.  Certainly worse in certain sections. The biggest problem is that the people who have, live too close to the have not's. That's why gated HOA's with 10' walls have become so popular. The crime rate inside gated communities is much lower. I didn't want to live in a HOA and lost my life savings moving here because of crime (long sad story). If I'd known then what I know now I'd have done things differently.

The palms you mentioned are extremely easy to grow here in S FL and in everyone's yard so you probably wouldn't be as inclined to grow them since you can just look at everyone else's. Sabal palmetto are weeds and grow everywhere.

Hurricanes can really wreck havoc. I just settled with insurance from Irma tearing up the roof on my home. Took almost 3 years. Wilma in '05 tore up the area pretty badly and I lost some nice palms. I'm near a substation on a main line and we have underground utilities for each home so I was only without power 3 days for Wilma and not at all for Irma but just a block or two away they didn't have power for over a month.

When I bought my home I was required to buy flood insurance.  I looked at the topography maps for the area and said it shouldn't be a requirement for my elevation with the canal system (I'm on a big canal). Since then they have redone the flood maps and I'm no longer required..... AFTER spending over $10,000.00 on insurance required by the mortgage holder over the years.

On the East coast the weather is distinctly different below Palm beach. We can grow things here that die a short distance North of here.

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RedRabbit

@Dartolution

Regarding Pine Island, I'm not familiar with it enough to give a good answer. I'll defer to @PalmatierMeg or @Palmaceae who live/lived nearby. 

Realistically if you want acreage in South Florida then Pine Island is one of the only options that's affordable. The Lake Okeechobee area is the other spot but its not safe. 

 

Edited by RedRabbit
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RedRabbit
1 hour ago, NOT A TA said:

Couple things I'll comment on you mentioned.

Crime is everywhere in E S FL.  Certainly worse in certain sections. The biggest problem is that the people who have, live too close to the have not's. That's why gated HOA's with 10' walls have become so popular. The crime rate inside gated communities is much lower. I didn't want to live in a HOA and lost my life savings moving here because of crime (long sad story). If I'd known then what I know now I'd have done things differently.

The palms you mentioned are extremely easy to grow here in S FL and in everyone's yard so you probably wouldn't be as inclined to grow them since you can just look at everyone else's. Sabal palmetto are weeds and grow everywhere.

Hurricanes can really wreck havoc. I just settled with insurance from Irma tearing up the roof on my home. Took almost 3 years. Wilma in '05 tore up the area pretty badly and I lost some nice palms. I'm near a substation on a main line and we have underground utilities for each home so I was only without power 3 days for Wilma and not at all for Irma but just a block or two away they didn't have power for over a month.

When I bought my home I was required to buy flood insurance.  I looked at the topography maps for the area and said it shouldn't be a requirement for my elevation with the canal system (I'm on a big canal). Since then they have redone the flood maps and I'm no longer required..... AFTER spending over $10,000.00 on insurance required by the mortgage holder over the years.

On the East coast the weather is distinctly different below Palm beach. We can grow things here that die a short distance North of here.

Have you tried getting an elevation certificate? I believe that trumps a flood map so if you're really high enough you can avoid paying for flood insurance.

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sonoranfans

if what you want to grow is sabals, bismarckia, mules etc,  those are easy and grow quickly in my area.  Mulching is needed once a year in our sandy soil for best results.  The bismarckia I do not mulch, not needed.  The sabal causiarum did respond to mulching after 6-7 years of no mulching, its a monster.  Some areas of my yard are pure sand to 3' deep and some are mixed clay and sand, especially up near the house where clay takes over due to site preparation for the slab.  I have only a 110 x 115' lot, but privacy is the best of any yard I have lived in (up to 2 acres).  The borders in back and sides are planted out with an unbuildable wooded area in back across the HOA fence.  I used serenoa repens, chinese dwarf bamboo, phoenix rupicola triple etc, to shut down views into the yard from the sides.  The front is kind of open but you cant see into the backyard from out there.  I thought I needed more land and more width of lot especially, but with the kind of things I planted and how things grow here, the privacy is excellent in many areas of the yard and under rated palm shade is magnificent in cutting the heat without making the whole yard dark and without sun in the winter.  I find sunlight, filtered properly, is great for enhancing croton and other tropical plant colors.  As the sun makes its path acros the sky different plants are illuminated against a shady background.  After growing it in for 10 years, I cannot leave it to grow another yard that will take ten years to get this layered jungle canopy.   I can grow 10a palms, have lots of them, and the yard has more palm density/canopy than ever so it should be more protected in cold than ever.  I will say that when you start with a blank slate, you yard will be notably more vulnerable to a freeze and kill off of small palms that are 10a.  After a few years that situation goes away with the increasing coldhardiness of palms as the bud rises in height and as many plantings trap heat down in advective(coldest) events here.  Good luck, if you do decide to move to florida stop by on the way to wherever you are bound, and grab a free seedling from my container ranch.   Want a sabal causiarum? I have  several small seedlings I am growing out.  On crime, we are aways out and there are 5 cops living in our neighborhood.  Nothing going on here but I think downtown palmetto is an issue.  Its 6-7 miles away and doesnt seem influence what is going on here crimewise.

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CodyORB

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Homestead yet. It does lay much further south than the 9B/10A transition zone but it hasn't been completely encroached by the gated communities yet and the acreage is decently affordable (at least compared to the Miami metro and Naples). It's not a strong place economically and you'd likely have to make a long commute to the Miami area for a well-paying job. Crime may have a factor too, similar to the SE shore of Okeechobee. It lacks water moderation and urban heat island and temps can still get dangerously close to or exceed freezing during a bad cold snap. The region is obviously vulnerable to hurricanes, take a look into the elevation above sea level if you research the area and if a property sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Edited by CodyORB

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hbernstein

I think that property values most anywhere in Miami-Dade county (Homestead is in Miami -Dade) are rediculously high, bouyed by a huge wave of foreign investment (i.e. sheltering their money in the U.S.).

Homestead's home prices are crazy, compared to just a few years ago.

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