50 deg. overcast, no wind.
Forecast = Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain. Fog early. High of 73F. Winds from the NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.
Well, here's the news you've been waiting for. As of today, 1/5/2013, this is what I know. There's still a few "t's" to cross and "i's" to dot, but I'm 99% sure that this is going to happen.
Jim and Linda are going to be making a big change in their lifestyle. I’ve known about it for a long time but was nothing definite and I know Jim and Linda didn't want me to say anything until they were sure that they were really going to do this.
They have decided to stop Full-Timing. Yep, you read that right. As early as last fall, Jim started to look on the Internet to find possible places to settle down. He did searches on different areas of the country to try to get an idea of what the climate would be like year round. He checked on cost of living, home prices, rent prices, taxes, insurance, licenses fees, and even crime rates. He did searches on stix and brix homes for sale, apartments to rent, Park models, and single wide and double wide manufactured homes for sale.
The location was the first thing that had to be determined. They wanted to be close to at least one of their kids and after much research and thought, both decided that Florida would probably be the best location for them.
The pros: A state where the weather is good during the winter months.
A state that is fairly close to some of their kids and grandkids. (3 of their Children along the East Coast,)
Low housing costs at this time.
Close to Laura and her family.
The cons: Very hot and humid summers.
Possible high insurance costs.
Almost as far away from Jeff in Portland Oregon as they can be. : (
And, I’m sure there’s more pros and cons, but you get the idea. It’s just like everything else, there ain’t no 10’s!!!!
So, the location was determined. Now they had to decide on what kind of home they wanted and could afford.
They looked at prices of stix and brix homes, some park models here at the Highbanks CampResort, Checked on rent prices and finally decided that a single wide or double wide manufactured home was within their budget and best met their needs.
So, , , , , , between Thanksgiving and Christmas they started driving around to the manufactured home parks in this area and started looking at used single and double wide models.
The parks in this area range all the way from “trashy” to very “upscale”, so that cut down somewhat on the parks that would be of interest to them. (They were interested in a park that was somewhere in the middle). ; )
Now, at all of these parks, you own the manufactured home, but you lease or rent the land, (or site), and pay a monthly or yearly fee. You pay for your own electricity at all of the parks and at some, the water, sewer, cable TV and other amenities are included. But, at others, some or all of the amenities are paid for by the home owner. Of course prices vary widely, so you have to do your homework.
One of the first parks that they checked out up by DeLand and was kind of nice, but after doing some research and talking to some people, it was determined that they have a real problem with their water supply. (lots of rust and bad tasting.) And, the park also has their own sewage plant, and it is right up to capacity. Soon the owners of this park will be forced to make major improvements so that will undoubtedly raise the prices at that park.
The next park was nice, but after talking to the sales lady they determined that their homes were quite high priced. It is in Orange city, so the location would have been very good. They also had some very strict “rules and regulations” in the park, so that was also a negative.
The next park was in DeBary. It is very nice, but Jim said that he didn't feel comfortable there. It’s a newer park and most of the homes have large yards with lots of landscaping. He and Linda both felt that it was too “upscale” for them to be comfortable at so they turned around and drove back out.
DeBary was also the location of the next park that they visited. It’s an older park that is well established. The homes are older but both the homes and the park appear to be very well maintained. They have a few single wide and a few double wide homes for sale, the lots are fairly small but the homes don’t seem to be too crowded together.
After driving through the park and doing a quick drive-by look at the homes that are for sale, Jim and Linda stopped at the office to get more information.
Did you know that on this date in 1933 - Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge began?