Thoughts On Moving to Florida’s Suncoast

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Nokomis FL Casey Key 
Perhaps you’re retiring, relocating, or just ready to trade colder climates for more sunshine and temperatures that support more outdoor activity year-round.

The Florida Suncoast generally encompasses the southwest coast of Florida including Manatee and Sarasota counties. From Tampa to St. Petersburg area, Sarasota, Venice to Port Charlotte, are some of the nicest beaches in this area of Florida. And Sarasota is renowned for its art and music culture along with a history of the American circus in the Ringling museum and estate.

There are as many stories as people about the why and when of moving south. And those of us being a certain age perhaps have more angst when contemplating the move. I know we did.

As a REALTOR® and Broker/Owner, I’ve been coming to the Venice/Sarasota area with my spouse for over 4 years and recently moved from Massachusetts becoming a fulltime Floridian for just on a year now. I maintain a real estate business on Cape Cod and an office in Venice, Fl. I just can’t see the need to fully retire.

      Venice FL

I recently thought back on our move and the experiences we have had in making it work. My focus here is not on a guide to relocating but more on the emotional and intangible aspects that filled our early days upon arrival and the reinventing of a new lifestyle. To be sure it is a continuing work-in-process and we are convinced we made the right move and take full enjoyment of all Florida has to offer.

We are explorers by nature and have covered everything from Tampa to Punta Gorda. This also includes trips to Naples, Marco Island, the Everglades and of course, the Orlando area for Disneyworld and Legoland. We visited friends in Palm Beach to Jupiter on the east coast and even spent some time in the Panhandle at Rosemary’s Beach. We rent sailboats and powerboats for daily excursions. Boca Grande is a favorite for us.

So it is a journey and we strive to enjoy each step rather than the destination. Though we did build a new home in Venice, we see ourselves fully able to move again should we decide somewhere else is better suited to our needs, a good perspective to keep in mind – you’re never “stuck.”

Home buying

    Being a bit self-serving, I will say it is important to have a REALTOR® to work with if you want to buy/build a home. You will have many choices and we know the good, bad and ugly of deed restricted or gated communities and some things builder’s agents do not divulge to buyers.

    We know the amenities of these communities and how they might work with your requirements. We know the neighborhoods and the market. If renting – it’s important to start early. You will possibly compete with seasonal renters who pay considerable fees for 1-3 months over the winter months. Plan on looking a year in advance, and I’m not kidding!

The last thing I will say is making new friends and getting plugged into your community does take effort on your part. There is much to see and do and your calendar can be booked weekly. Balance is important so leave some time to yourselves to work out your new lifestyle and what is most important to you. You will have family and friends inviting themselves down to visit and managing your calendar can be a challenge.

Almost daily I hear from my spouse – “What are we doing today?” You will assess your health and fitness level to take advantage of the golf courses, walking trails; beaches, biking trails and many preserve hikes available. And if you build a new home you will take a year to fully furnish it and get it to your liking. But it’s all good!

I love to meet and talk with new people – so if you wish to continue this conversation, feel free to call me anytime. No subject is sacred, including real estate.

      River Farm Properties, LLC



About John F. Muscarella

Broker/Owner of River Farm Properties, LLC, John represents the new generation of online Realtor. With over 30 years in real estate investing, executive roles in sales & marketing, he brings experience and perspective, providing thoughtful and ethical advice to clients. He thoroughly enjoys meeting new people and writing about real situations - the humor, local information and at times the pathos of the industry. His local focus in real estate is Venice/Sarasota, Florida where he maintains a Real Estate Office. John's other interests include performing (a Conservatory trained opera singer and former founder & Managing Director of The South Shore Opera), cooking, wine, golf, tennis, sailing, and travel as often as time will allow. He has a family of two sons and three daughters; he and his wife live in Venice, FL Contrary to this paragraph, I don't always write in the third person.
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