My next move will be in an urn, but not soon. Here’s why we chose Palm Coast.
October 30, 2006 – I grew up in Rochester, NY. I had a chance to move south, to Charleston, S.C., in the mid 80’s. In Charleston, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. To see why anyone would want to move from Rochester <click here>.But each year the winters seemed longer, grayer, colder, and damper. My dad told me that it was because of my age. He said "People don’t like the temperature less than their age." Anyway, after nearly 15 years in Charleston (a truly beautiful city and a wonderful place to visit), and some other major changes in my life, I began looking for a warmer climate.
My parents had retired in Englewood, on Florida’s west coast south, of Sarasota. Like other places that far south, it’s very hot in the summer. A high percentage of the people are snowbirds. When you don’t have many year around residents, there will never be enough restaurants, barbershops, doctors, beauty shops, etc. to take care of everybody. There simply is not enough business generated in the 3-6 month season to make a yearly living. Where you do have plenty of services, it’s just too crowded (Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Naples, etc.). Palm Coast is both far enough south to play golf year around and far enough north to have a tolerable summer. Unlike Charleston, Palm Coast has a robust and reliable sea breeze that kicks in every day about 10 a.m.
Shirley and I both decided that we would rather own one home rather than two. This meant that we wanted to find a place where we could fit in and become part of the community as full-time residents. Palm Coast is not overcrowded. It has yet to attract all the major retailers, but it is conveniently located half way between Daytona Beach and St. Augustine. If you need a larger city fix, Jacksonville and Orlando are an 60 minutes and 75 minutes away, respectively. Palm Coast has a mix of retired, older/still working, and young families. We do not feel old here. I would estimate that fewer than 25% are non-full time residents.
Flagler County and Palm Coast are a hidden jewel. Even with the increase in real estate prices over the last 4 years, Flagler County is still among the least expensive warm weather coastal areas in the country. There is no state income tax. Once you make Florida your primary residence, your home’s assessment cannot increase by more than 3% – or the increase in the CPI, whichever is LESS.
The picture above is an early morning view from our lanai.