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Boca Raton waterfront property/lot advice

Old 04-08-2012, 09:11 AM
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Default Boca Raton waterfront property/lot advice

I recently purchased a 1960s single story waterfront home five minutes from Lake Boca and the inlet. I bought this with the intent to demo the home and build new in the next 2 to 5 years.

The existing home is a 2/2 with 2 car garage and pool sitting on 85ft waterfront.

I'm looking at 2 options and would appreciate your experience/insight/advice.

1) Demo it now and not worry about the responsibility of a second home.

2) Rent it. The interior is in very rough shape and would need new paint and carpet/tile inside. Also in the near term would likely need a new AC and roof maintenance/repair.

Questions I have:

If I demo the house, is there a time span in which I would have to rebuild? The home is not located in an association of any type.

Property taxes will likely be $12K - $14K per year. I understand and am prepared to swallow this if I demo.

What's the rental market out there like for a waterfront home in rough shape but awesome location? Fortunately, I'm in a position to price it accordingly.

Thanks for your input/comments.
Old 04-08-2012, 09:25 AM
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I think renting it makes the most sense considering you don't care what happens to the house. Even more if you can find someone you trust, or a friend of a friend, etc. Are you local?

I'll do some thinking if I know anybody. Sounds like a great opportunity for someone to rent a WF house cheap for a few years - give them a good deal on it, let them deal with the minor repairs etc and you handle the major stuff. You should at least be able to cover your property taxes, no sense in flushing $10k a year if you can find a tenant willing to put up some some BS in return for a good deal. (given what you described I would think $1500 +/- a few hundred a month would work out for both of you, if you could come to a solid understanding about repairs, maint, etc)

Before I bought a place on the water I would have jumped at an opportunity like that, only peep you would have heard out of me is if the AC blew up or the roof started leaking...

You might also find someone in the same situation as you but 3 years further along, who needs a place to stay while their house is being redone...

Last edited by Flot; 04-08-2012 at 09:44 AM.
Old 04-08-2012, 09:31 AM
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If you tear it down CAN you replace it?
Old 04-08-2012, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by billinstuart View Post
If you tear it down CAN you replace it?
That is just what I'm thinking plus you open yourself up to any zoning/set back changes.
Old 04-08-2012, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by billinstuart View Post
If you tear it down CAN you replace it?
I can tell you in my neighborhood in pompano there's been a slow but steady stream of people tearing down 2/1s and putting up 3800 sqft two story deals. I'd say it's about 50/50 folks who leave a couple walls and the foundation in place, vs leveling the whole thing.
Old 04-08-2012, 10:02 AM
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You will run into problems with FEMA on a rebuild. The new codes for flood zone houses will come into effect. It is a massive headache and you will have to deal with multiple government offices to comply with permitting. I wanted to torch my house before it was over, I won't do it again. What ever your budget is.....double it and ad 75,000.00 and you might get close.
Old 04-08-2012, 10:16 AM
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Flot, I currently live in Delray. Yes, the rental scenario you described would be a good fit for both parties.

Fletch, is there a resource I can go to in order to understand my options? Sounds like you've been through this. I've heard about the need to leave an existing wall or two.
Old 04-08-2012, 10:21 AM
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Don't forget the cost of Ins. in coastal fl. Citizen's ins,the ins. of last resort just refused to renew any coastal property valued over 1mil. . No other co. has offered to pick up the slack so far.
Also,add up the cost of a new roof,a'c and all the other "oh,by the way" items and you'll demo the house. You should find the cost of taxes on a vacant lot is cheaper than you think.
Old 04-08-2012, 10:26 AM
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If you go to the tax collectors website you should have a breakdown of the assessed value of the home and the property. Using the value of the land only, and knowing the millage rate, you should be able to get what the taxes will be on the undeveloped property.
Old 04-08-2012, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Fletch717 View Post
You will run into problems with FEMA on a rebuild. The new codes for flood zone houses will come into effect. It is a massive headache and you will have to deal with multiple government offices to comply with permitting. I wanted to torch my house before it was over, I won't do it again. What ever your budget is.....double it and ad 75,000.00 and you might get close.
FEMA should not be a problem. Your building above the 100yr. flood anyway. When it comes to new seawalls sometimes there can be a problem. But rebuilding on an existing platted lot should not be an issue.
Old 04-08-2012, 08:09 PM
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In Palm Beach County the developer of a lot typically has to pay impact and connection fees for new construction. If you are knocking down a house to build a house these fees may be transferrable. Knock down a house and let the lot sit vacant for awhile and you may have a different situation. Talking with the zoning department before the demolition would make sense.
Old 04-09-2012, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by gameon View Post
FEMA should not be a problem. Your building above the 100yr. flood anyway. When it comes to new seawalls sometimes there can be a problem. But rebuilding on an existing platted lot should not be an issue.
How do you know without an elevation certificate?

Leaving a wall is no longer an option to assure rebuildability. With the recent policy of "thresholds", once you reach a certain percentage of replacement cost EVERYTHING has to come up to current code. Everything, including the plumbing under the slab and the foundation.
Old 04-09-2012, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by billinstuart View Post
How do you know without an elevation certificate?

Leaving a wall is no longer an option to assure rebuildability. With the recent policy of "thresholds", once you reach a certain percentage of replacement cost EVERYTHING has to come up to current code. Everything, including the plumbing under the slab and the foundation.
The building code requires if more than 50% replacement then everything must be brought up to code. If I'm in a hurricane zone, I would bring everything structural up to code anyway. If not for safety, just for the insurance premium reductions. If the house was built in the last 50 years, it should be above the 100 year flood plain. If not you have big problems. Be aware in south Florida FEMA has revised their flood maps for the first time in a LONG time. I would check the new maps and see if it affects you.
Old 04-09-2012, 01:03 PM
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I am probably 1 mile max from you. You can rent it easily. A1 schools, highly desirable area. My hood was built in the 60's also further inland than where I think you are and people rent in the 2k range min.
Old 04-09-2012, 01:45 PM
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Side bar question here, if he demo's the house with the exception of one wall or corner of the house and builds the rest "new" will he still have to meet all the FEMA crap codes? Or does any new addition have to meet/beat all current regs?

In NJ if you tear down an existing house you have to pay a "new" higher tax rate, if you save an olf wall or corner your house is still looked at as an existing structure and the taxes stay the same. (as explained to me)
Old 04-09-2012, 02:27 PM
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Sometimes the amount of hassles are directly proportional to the way you interact with the building inspectors.

Have seen some waterfront rebuilds go like sheet thru a goose while another was hung up 3 years waiting for final signoffs.
Old 04-09-2012, 03:45 PM
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For 2k a month I could rent oceanfront all day long in a nice condo with lots of ammenities not a dumpy tear down house.
Old 04-09-2012, 03:52 PM
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There is a house being built on the Intracoastal here in Pompano. When they tore down the old house, they left only one wall, about 10 feet long. I found out that they did it because the setbacks have changed, and that allowed them to keep the existing setback distance.
Old 04-09-2012, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Jus Teasin View Post
There is a house being built on the Intracoastal here in Pompano. When they tore down the old house, they left only one wall, about 10 feet long. I found out that they did it because the setbacks have changed, and that allowed them to keep the existing setback distance.
Good point! Also, while the "threshold" may be 50% in some areas, it seems to be open for interpretation. It is also strongly based on the "improvement value" from the tax assessor. If the improvement value is only $30,000, anything over $15,000 in repair/improvement triggers the threshold.
Old 04-10-2012, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by 08087 View Post
Side bar question here, if he demo's the house with the exception of one wall or corner of the house and builds the rest "new" will he still have to meet all the FEMA crap codes? Or does any new addition have to meet/beat all current regs?

In NJ if you tear down an existing house you have to pay a "new" higher tax rate, if you save an olf wall or corner your house is still looked at as an existing structure and the taxes stay the same. (as explained to me)
In florida FEMA is generally not an issue since the 100yr. flood elevation is so low. The only thing that exempts you from a higher tax rate here is Homestead Exemption. If you live in the house as of Jan. 1 and complete construction by Jan 1. of the following year and are living in the residence on Jan 1 you are only taxed on the incremental difference of value. Otherwise you are taxed at the new appraised value.

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