Please Help With Some Info On Naples, FL... - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-26-2010, 02:38 PM
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Hi Floridians I could really use some help

Some background. Right now I live in Arizona (transplanted from Massachusetts 6 ½ years ago). In April 2009 my husbands company was sold, when that happened he was laid off and did not find work until February 2010. He has been doing consulting work in the DC area since February but has been constantly looking for a direct position (or another consulting position closer to home).

He recently accepted a direct position in Naples, FL and starts Monday (he drove down from DC and is there right now). It looks to be a dream job for him and their relocation package is very generous so he is very excited. I am trying to be excited but I really like AZ, we have a pretty home here (but you can make a home anywhere and I realize that) and I love my job. We do not plan to sell our home but will rent it out when the time comes for me to move (which is many months away, the company will move us at their expense for up to a year, after that we would be on our own).

So. Here is where you can help. I have been to Florida twice on vacation in the 90s, only spent 3 hours in Naples/Marco Island so do not remember a whole lot except some beautiful homes I just remember Florida being flat and all the same so I need help being convinced its more than flat and boring

Weve been looking online at homes for sale, there appears to be a lot of foreclosures just east of Naples in GGE? The amount of land with these homes looks appealing (we have 4 dogs) but from what I have read that was swampland that was drained? Is there a flooding issue in that area? There are some other homes more in what would be Naples proper but tiny lots and HOAs and I want to avoid that (we live in an HOA subdivision right now and it has its good and bad points). What are decent areas to live? Where should we avoid?

The area does not seem tremendously veg*n friendly but I can make it work. Will miss some of my favorite places here in AZ but you make do with what you have

Thanks for any help and insight into the area!
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#2 Old 11-30-2010, 12:42 PM
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I don't know the Naples area very well, but I can offer some general information about Florida, having lived here more than 2/3 of my life.

First, Florida's not just flat and boring. It's flat and boring with a beach, though surfers tend to be disappointed by the small waves here.

As for avoiding an HOA, give it up. You will be stuck with an HOA, the dues will be outrageous, the rules will be outrageous, and you will have at least one rules Nazi breathing down your neck over every little thing. Welcome to Florida.

I actually grew up in a region on the east coast that was far enough inland that it used to be swamp, and we never had any flooding issues. On the other hand, my dad lived in a neighborhood closer to the coast for a while that flooded badly in some of the bigger storms. It really depends on the specific neighborhood. I'd say knock on doors and ask the neighbors when you're home shopping about that sort of thing. Just ask them if they were there for Hurricane Wilma in 2005, and how badly the neighborhood flooded during that.

I can't really comment on how veg friendly that part of the state is. But I know there are some very veg friendly areas in the southeast and central portions of the state, so hopefully Naples won't be too bad.

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#3 Old 12-01-2010, 06:32 AM
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Thanks for the info Fromper, much appreciated. GGE (Golden Gate Estates) where hubby has been mostly looking at homes doesn't appear to have an HOA thankfully and it's about 15+ miles inland so I'm pushing for that area (it's the former swamp area with larger lots). I don't want to be too close to the coast, the thought of a hurricane kind of freaks me out. I am planning to fly out for a few days in January so will have to ask around regarding flooding. I noticed the places that have an HOA say "pets with approval", well with our 4 (one medium, two large and one extra large) they would never accept us and that's just fine by me... Our HOA now isn't too bad so could not imagine one breathing down our necks.

I do like the ocean (lived close to the ocean for many years until moving to AZ though you couldn't go in it most of the year without freezing) so it is appealing to see it again... Hubby seems to be enjoying himself, new job and new area to explore and he loves looking at houses.... Think he has snapped about 1000 photos since arriving there last Friday...
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#4 Old 12-01-2010, 07:03 AM
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Sounds like that area's better than the east coast about HOA's. They really are unavoidable here in the southeast corner of the state. Just make sure your neighborhood isn't a "senior" community.

As for hurricanes, as long as you're not right on the coast, there's really not much difference between 5 miles and 15 miles inland. If you're within a mile of the beach, there's the extra storm surge flooding to worry about. But otherwise, if your area gets hit, the extra 10 or 15 miles of buffer won't protect you much. The good news is that even though the state gets hit by hurricanes regularly, it's a big state, so no hurricane affects the whole state. So the odds of any given area getting hit in any given year are relatively low. The bad news is that we're currently in the middle of a 30 year cycle of heavier hurricane activity, so until around 2025, the odds of getting hit are higher everywhere.

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#5 Old 12-01-2010, 07:42 AM
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#6 Old 12-01-2010, 10:22 AM
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Thanks to both of you for more info!

No "senior communities", yikes! I'm not at that point yet!!! I don't like to golf or talk about my aches and pains or how many meds I am taking (don't take any) so wouldn't fit in... There are a lot of 55+ communities (some are even 45+ now) here in the "Valley of the Sun" so very familiar with the snowbirds...

Wow, your poor folks! That sounds like a lot of damage (what kind of roofing do they have, asphalt or tile?) and several weeks without power??? I'd be driving to Massachusetts with the pups to stay with family. Or have a couple of generators...

I thought about the idea of a home sitting empty without power could be an issue. I am assuming mold is the main problem? Looks like so far most of the houses hubby has looked at have power, the ones with pools were clean (except one) and running. I know you also need to watch for missing copper, that's a big issue here with empty (and not empty-last week a school was broken into and copper and projectors were stolen) buildings. People go in and rip out all the copper. He did take some photos of one house that had missing copper and a/c unit. Poor house was a mess....

As for what I like to do... Spend time with my pups, I'm a workaholic so finding a job will be key once I move (can't stay home, I'd go nuts), do volunteer work, working out/keeping fit, am a member of a costuming group and get together with them from time to time so anything that involves wearing a costume would enjoy such as Ren fests and costumed pub crawls (though I don't drink), outdoorsy stuff like hiking, biking, etc (I love hot weather but FL humidity might do me in, used to hot and dry), dancing, the lists goes on....
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#7 Old 12-01-2010, 10:54 AM
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#8 Old 12-01-2010, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by desert-dweller View Post

As for what I like to do... Spend time with my pups, I'm a workaholic so finding a job will be key once I move (can't stay home, I'd go nuts), do volunteer work, working out/keeping fit, am a member of a costuming group and get together with them from time to time so anything that involves wearing a costume would enjoy such as Ren fests and costumed pub crawls (though I don't drink), outdoorsy stuff like hiking, biking, etc (I love hot weather but FL humidity might do me in, used to hot and dry), dancing, the lists goes on....

Now that I can help with. See my avatar - that's me performing at a Ren faire here. Yes, those juggling clubs are made from authentic Renaissance plastic. They were made by actual faeries in olden tymes.

There are actually a ton of Renaissance Faires here in Florida from November through March, in various cities around the state. The vendors and performers who do this stuff professionally, and travel the country to all the faires, spend all winter in southern Florida, since it's too cold for outdoor activities up north. I know there's a festival every year in Ft. Myers, which isn't far from Naples, and I believe that's in January for 2 or 3 weekends. If you don't mind a longer drive from Naples, the two biggest festivals in the state every year are FLARF (Florida Renaissance Festival) in Deerfield Beach, which is on the east coast, and BARF (Bay Area Renaissance Festival) in the Tampa Bay area.

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#9 Old 12-02-2010, 10:14 AM
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Thank you both so much for all the information. I copied it in an e-mail to hubby....

It's good to hear about the Ren fests, we have one here that starts in February through the beginning of April.... And a couple of weeks ago we had the PHX Faire Festival, unfortunately couldn't make that one.

BTW, love the authentic plastic clubs...
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