Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler - Winter 2011 travel blog

 


At this point in our lives we are still restless souls. In fact I am already getting itchy to move on, despite the fact that this is a lovely place to be and Sarasota has a cultural life head and shoulders above many places of equal size. We are impressed by all the theaters here - there's even an opera house. We saw a play last night that was priced like the ones we see in Chicago and of matching quality. And we didn't have to pay to park.

There aren't all that many places to go if you want to be warm in January. We always glibly tell people who inquire why we move around so much, that we are looking for the perfect place to live. There really is no perfect place - or none that we can afford - and buying another home in the south somewhere is a large financial commitment and additional responsibility. But we know that the time will come when this gypsy life will become too much for us. Many of the folks at Fun-N-Sun have already reached this point. I always enjoy learning from the experiences of my elders, even though there are far fewer of them than there used to be.

About 40% of the sites here are occupied by mobile homes. Some are available to be rented by the campground owner, but most are individually owned. Residents can only live here nine months a year, thus avoiding paying property taxes. And if they are restless souls like us, they can rent out their homes. Every day a few of the homes listed for sale have open houses. We went to see a few today, to see how much this option costs and to see if this would be a way we would like to live for part of the year, especially when we are done running around.

Homes for sale here range from $18,000 to $35,000 and residents pay an annual fee of $6,000+ which takes care of most of their utilities, landscape maintenance, and all the activities that we are enjoying here. The living space inside them is somewhat, but not dramatically bigger than we have in the motor home. Buying a home here is much smaller financial commitment than buying another condo or house in the real world and the annual fee can be earned back by renting the home out for a few months. Once you're ready to move on, you can sell it back to the management or sell it on your own as the folks we visited today were doing. Buyers sometimes trade in their RV's to the management when they buy a house here. Most of the homes we saw today were sold fully furnished. So easy to move in and start a new life. An intriguing prospect...

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